|dc.description.abstract||In 2012, the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) embedded seven General Capabilities, including the intercultural understanding capability, to the nationally adopted curriculum that guides school education in Australia. The way in which capabilities have been incorporated varies from state to state, from sector to sector, and from school to school. Currently, there is no study that examines the integration of intercultural understanding into Christian Studies in the context of Lutheran secondary education. This qualitative case study research addresses the research problem: How do Lutheran schools embed the Australian Curriculum capability intercultural understanding within their Christian Studies program? In order to investigate the research problem, two research questions were explored: (1) How do educators implement intercultural understanding in their Christian Studies program on the basis of their Christian Studies Curriculum Framework? (2) In what ways does the Christian Studies program allow for students to develop intercultural understanding?
The framework for this study is provided by Dewey’s constructivist approach of inquiry-based learning and student-centred learning, and Vygotsky’s model of social constructivism. These constructivist theories are applied in this study in two ways—by examining the educational practices and materials based on constructivist ideas, and by incorporating a constructivist approach to the interview process. This study is concerned with understanding how students develop intercultural understanding as well as how educators implement this capability into their Christian Studies program and units of work. For a qualitative case study that aligns with the theoretical framework of constructivism, literature from Stake (1995) is employed.
Qualitative data were collected from the key documents⎯the Christian Studies Curriculum Framework (CSCF) and the Christian Studies units of work from Years 7–9, and the two semi-structured interviews⎯one with a writer of the CSCF document (2015) and one with a teacher who wrote and implemented the Christian Studies units of work in their school. An inductive approach to the data coding and a thematic analysis were used for this qualitative research, which revealed three key themes. These include (1) curriculum, (2) pedagogy, and (3) culture and religion. Sub-themes identified in curriculum include structure and content, and service-learning. Within the theme of pedagogy several sub-themes were identified⎯inquiry-based learning, student-centred learning which includes authentic learning, reflective learning and collaborative learning, and teachers’ planning. Sub-themes identified within the culture and religion theme were texts and activities. The findings from this research will assist Lutheran schools as well as other religious and non-religious schools to examine ways of incorporating the intercultural understanding capability into their programs as well as discover ways for students to develop intercultural understanding.||en_US