What is catechesis? The General Directory for Catechesis states “the definitive aim of catechesis is to put people not only in touch, but also in communion and intimacy, with Jesus Christ.” (80)
Sadlier has identified and studied these six popular models of catechesis that are being implemented for faith formation. In fact, these six models were essential in shaping Sadlier’s new catechetical program, Christ In Us. It’s important to understand each model and what differentiates them.
Download a tip sheet with descriptions of each of these six models and use it to assess which models you are currently implementing within your program and which models could be used to reach families and diverse populations.
Alternative catechetical models can offer flexibility for both parishes and families and help parishes reach diverse populations.
Alternative models of catechesis can offer flexibility for both parishes and families and help parishes reach diverse populations.
Offering multiple or alternative models for catechesis gives families options and flexibility, and therefore can boost engagement and increase participation in your religious education program.
Which model do you most often use for catechesis in your religious education program? Is it a traditional school model, or a hybrid model that includes family catechesis? Do your students meet mostly by grade level but come together with families for intergenerational meetings at some points throughout the year? Your catechetical model may have elements of multiple catechetical models, or you may use different models within your program.
Consider a New Approach
Sadlier’s new catechetical program, Christ In Us, provides an unprecedented level of catechetical customization for schools and parishes. One of the key features that speaks to CIU’s flexibility and ease of use is the ability to choose from six catechetical models: traditional parish and school; liturgical (lectionary based); family; at home; and summer models. While not a formal Model in Christ In Us, these events provide multi-age learning for the whole faith community.
Model selection is quick and easy; the user is managing his or her class or parish group and planning lessons in no time at all. When a user selects a model, Christ In Us content is automatically filtered to suit the selection. For example, if one chooses a traditional school model, the lesson planner would be populated to suit a four- or five-day lesson plan. The planner provides media options for lesson enhancement. These options add to the blended nature of Christ In Us.
Current We Believe or We Live Our Faith Users
Find more suggestions for experimenting with alternative Catholic catechetical models within a variety of resources.
Benefits of a Spiral Approach in Religious Education
When it comes to learning, research shows that a spiral approach has many well-documented benefits. See how these apply specifically to religious education. Is your religious education curriculum offering the same benefits?
Cross-Curricular Connections At Home
Connect Religious Education to STEAM subjects through cross-curricular connections. This lesson on forgiveness is tied to second grade big ideas and standards in science and mathematics. H This experiment is perfect for an at-home project with just a few have-at-home materials. Share it with families today!
Flipped Classroom for Family Models
Experiment with a flipped classroom approach. The flipped classroom philosophy involves taking the portions of learning that typically happen in a classroom (think of the content from formal teaching and readings) and having students complete them at home, ahead of class time. Class time is then spent reinforcing the content that students have read and reviewed before class (think activities, discussion, and projects). In other words, what is typically completed as classwork is homework preceding class, and what is typically assigned as homework, is classwork. This alternative model supports transitioning to an at-home or family-centered catechetical model.
Help the students make connections to the weekly readings and supplement with seasonal, Scriptural-based resources. Preview, discuss, and reflect on the readings students will hear at Mass or heard at Mass this week. Download this exclusive Integrating the Lectionary Planner designed for catechists to inspire connections to the weekly readings in whatever catechetical model you currently use.