The Life Experience Approach to Religious Education

The Life Experience
Approach to Religious
During the 1960’s and 1970’s a lifecentred or life experience approach to
religious education developed in Catholic
Whenman (2012) indicates that if
catechesis was to be meaningful for
Australian students, it would need to take
into account the interests, problems and
experiences of the students.
Developments in the United States of
America in Catholic religious education
influenced the life-centred approach in
Experience Shared- student and teacher focus on their own experiences.
Reflection Deepened- The student and teacher reflect on their own
experiences to gain a deeper understanding.
Faith Expressed- The relationship between Christian Story and life
experience is revealed in Scripture, Tradition and Liturgy.
Insights Reinforced- the student and teacher reflects on the process.
(Malone and Ryan, 1994, p. 33).
Students experiences and interests were taken into account
Teachers developed a rapport with their students
Religion was seen as a way of life to be lived and experienced
Sensitive to the needs of students
Lacked educational methodology
Ignored traditional approaches
Relied on students feeling comfortable to share their own
(Ryan, 1997)
Identify aspects of teaching religion
and teaching people to be religious in
a particular way.