When it comes to Catholic religious education, the most basic source text we can put into the hands of students is the Bible. This means that students need to be in regular contact with the actual text of the Scriptures, not simply commentaries or information about the text.
Research into the use of Scripture in classrooms points to a
need for teachers to grow in the understanding that God’s word must be allowed to speak for itself, not used as ‘proof texts’ to shore up a predetermined lesson.* Teaching resources and the various pedagogical techniques can be used as helpful tools, but they should never be allowed to interfere with students’ direct engagement with the sacred text, nor complicate the learning process to the point of robbing students of the joy and accessibility of a personal encounter with God’s word. As educators, the last thing we want to see is students ‘bored’ by the sacred text or to have it relegated to the ‘too hard’ basket. Our goal is to instil a deep ‘taste’ and desire for further encounters with God’s word, having learned practical ways of engaging its mysterious power to speak to human experience.