Promoting religious studies

Issue: Volume 96, Number 7

Posted: 1 May 2017
Reference #: 1H9d7g

In November 2016 New Zealand’s newest subject association was born. The association representing teachers of religious studies was recently launched at the University of Auckland.

RSTAANZ Committee

The Religious Studies Association of Aotearoa New Zealand (RSTAANZ) represents teachers of religious studies, and teachers who use the NCEA religious studies achievement standards in other subjects.

Comprised of representatives from around the country, and a range of state and state integrated schools, RSTAANZ seeks to:

  • promote the study and teaching of religious studies
  • provide a forum for those interested or engaged in teaching religious studies to express views, exchange ideas and share knowledge
  • represent professionally, the views of teachers of religious studies
  • develop and promote professional learning opportunities for teachers of religious studies
  • iaise with individuals, groups and other associations with an interest in promoting the study of religion and the aims of religious studies.

Religious studies achievement standards have been available on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework since 2009.

According to the Ministry of Education’s Te Kete Ipurangi website, “The religious studies standards have been developed for a diverse Aotearoa New Zealand and need to be able to be used by all schools and all students – by those with a specific religious affiliation as well as by those who have none but wish to acquire knowledge and understanding of religions.

“This is viewed as important in the context of globalisation and of the migration of people of different faiths and cultures to Aotearoa New Zealand. Understanding religions contributes to understanding how belief systems function in societies and to the fostering of an inclusive society in Aotearoa New Zealand that reflects the histories and traditions of all its people.”

Linda Aitchison (Rosehill College, Auckland) is the RSTAANZ state sector representative.

The set of religious studies achievement standards, 12 in all, with four, six credit standards at each of Levels 1, 2 and 3, are very open in possible application. They can be used individually to complement subject domains such as history, social science, English, philosophy, humanities, Māori, philosophy and ethics, or as a full University Entrance subject. They are all internally assessed.

RSTAANZ currently has 185 members and its committee is represented by teachers in state and state integrated schools. More information can be sourced from the RSTAANZ website(external link) 

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 7:38 pm, 1 May 2017

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