Details of Thesis

TitleIn good faith: A historical study of the provision of religious education for Catholic children not in Catholic schools in New South Wales: the CCD movement 1880-2000
Author Whenman, Ann Maree
Institution Australian Catholic University
Date 2010
AbstractThis thesis provides a coherent documented history of the provision of religious education to Catholic children who did not attend Catholic schools in New South Wales from 1880 to 2000. The CCD movement is the title generally assigned to a variety of approaches associated with this activity. The Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) is an association of clergy and lay faithful, within the Catholic tradition, established in the 16th century, devoted to the work of Catholic religious education. In the 20th century the principal concern of the CCD came to be the religious education of Catholic children who were not in Catholic schools. The CCD movement has as its core activity the parish-based religious education of Catholic children. The religious educators are generally members of the local parish community. Described traditionally as catechists, these religious educators are, for the most part, unpaid volunteers. The way in which the provision of parish-based religious education is practiced varies internationally, nationally and in the local church, as does the title of the groups who assume responsibility for this activity. The nature of CCD practice is influenced by factors that include the local social, cultural, political, educational and ecclesial contexts. In Australia, at the beginning of the 21st century, over 50 % of Catholic students were attending schools other than Catholic schools. There was significant research literature on Australian Catholic schooling and on religious education in Catholic schools. This included the place of Catholic schools in the history of the Catholic Church in Australia and the contribution of Religious Congregations to the development of Catholic schools. There was little research devoted specifically to the practices associated with the provision of Catholic religious education to the Catholic children not in Catholic schools. This included three distinct groups of Catholic children - those attending State run schools (known also as Public or Government); those attending Independent schools conducted by other Religious Denominations; and, those in isolated areas where no schools were available. This widespread educational and pastoral activity of the Catholic Church in Australia was rarely mentioned in Church histories or accounts of the development of Catholic education. The CCD movement had existed for over 120 years as the ‘silent partner’ in the history of Catholic Education in Australia. The purpose of this research was to document the history of the CCD movement within the Catholic Church in Australia. With a specific focus on the development of the CCD movement in the State of New South Wales, this historical study records this development chronologically from colonial times, 1880, to the beginning of the 21st century, 2000. The research identified distinct historical periods and examined the influence of social, cultural, political, educational and ecclesial contexts that have shaped the development of the CCD movement in New South Wales in each era. The research design for this study was drawn from an interpretative qualitative paradigm. An historical research approach has been used to develop a descriptive history of the CCD movement in an Australian context. Constant Comparative Method of data analysis was used to assist in the identification of the essential features of the practice and significant factors influencing that practice. The creation and analysis of a coherent historical record of the CCD movement in New South Wales has informed the proposal of an interpretive framework that helps explicate the place and function of the CCD movement within the Australian Catholic Church. This framework incorporates theological, educational and organisational perspectives to provide a model that will assist in the interpretation of the unique situation of the CCD movement in New South Wales, setting its undertakings within the pastoral mission of the Catholic Church and providing a foundation for future research.
Thesis 01front.pdf 105 Kb
02whole.pdf 1,388 Kb

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