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Catholic education serves 55 million children with over 175,000 kindergarten, primary and secondary schools throughout the world (Pittau, 2000). A key characteristic that distinguishes Catholic education from other schooling systems is the religious education dimension of the school. In recent times leadership in religious education has been established as a senior leadership position in these schools. Furthermore, incumbents of these leadership positions are required to hold or undertake a postgraduate Masters Degree in religious education (or equivalent) from a recognised university. These initiatives are intended to convey the importance of religious education in a Catholic school. This relatively new senior leadership position is distinct from other leadership positions in Catholic schools. This paper reports the preliminary findings of a study which sought to identify the kinds of support the participants perceived would benefit them in their learning for leadership through continuing education at postgraduate level. The participants were leaders and aspiring leaders of religious education in Catholic schools. From the perspective of the participants the preliminary findings suggested that opportunities for mentoring, developing leadership capacity, and networking would support them not only in their studies but in their professional growth as leaders. The findings are significant in that they provided insights from the participants who are required to continue their education to a Masters Degree level in order to hold this relatively new senior position of leadership in religious education.


School of Education

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Journal Article

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