Critical issues for the future of senior class retreats in Australian Catholic Schools: Part 1 - major theoretical and educational issues

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This first of two articles reviews some of critical issues for the future of retreats in Catholic secondary schools that emerged from a doctoral research study of teachers’ understandings of the nature, purposes and conduct of live-in retreats. It follows up an earlier publication that reported some of the research findings (Tullio, 2006). The scope of the research project is outlined briefly in endnote 1. The article draws on the conclusions reached in the final chapter of the research thesis (Tullio, 2009). It tries to develop a ‘big picture’ interpretation of the significance of the live-in retreat as one of the most important ‘grass roots’ innovations in Australian Catholic religious education. The follow up article will discuss some of the key issues for the theory and practice of retreats. For a number of reasons, the place of retreats in Catholic secondary schools is not as secure as perhaps it was formerly. Hence there is a need for Catholic education authorities to review the conduct of retreats so that their valuable contribution to religious education can be confirmed, while at the same time addressing the problems that could impede their future development. This article seeks to further this agenda by reporting research based insights that can promote reflection and discussion.


School of Education

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Journal Article

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ERA Access