Date of Submission



This thesis aimed to study the perspectives of religious education coordinators' in secondary schools in the Archdiocese of Melbourne regarding their management of a particular curriculum change in religious education. The change in question involved a 'top down' (Morris, 1995) change to a 'text-based curriculum' (Pell, 2001) directed by the Archbishop of Melbourne, who is responsible for religious education in Catholic schools throughout the Archdiocese. Situated within a qualitative paradigm this research utilised grounded theory as a means to identify and analyse the theory generated from interviews with religious education coordinators who were responsible for managing the change. The emergent categories were used to generate new theory in relation to how religious education coordinators managed the curriculum change. Key theories generated from this study included factors that impeded the change such as an inability to understand the theoretical position underpinning the curriculum innovation, and inadequate qualifications to teach religious education. It also generated theory about factors that assisted the management of this change such as time to reflect on practice, and support from school leadership teams. The theory generated was analysed against the existing knowledge about curriculum change in education, textbook use and leadership in religious education. A distinguishing aspect of this research is that it linked the general literature on educational change as it applies to curriculum change, with curriculum change in religious education.The study also proposed some recommendations for future directions and practices concerning the management of curriculum change in religious education in Catholic schools.

Document Type


Access Rights

Open Access


351 pages

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Faculty of Education