The preparation of new textbooks for use in Religious Education in Melbourne is well underway, according to the Archdiocese's Kairos newspaper.
    Six student textboks will be introduced into schools next year, with a further five due for 2002. This will give a complete coverage of all primary and secondary school levels to Year 10.
    The materials currently being readied for publication have just undergone extensive trialling in a comprehensive sample of Archdiocesan schools, and are being re-drafted in light of comments received from the trial schools.
    The introduction of the new texts follows a major review of Religious Education in the Archdiocese. It will be accompanied by a program of professional development of teachers.
    In the latter part of this year, meetings of school principals and religious education co-ordinators will be held with project staff, which will revisit the nature and contents of the project and consider the materials being produced and how they might be used in the classroom and at home.
    This introductory phase of the professional development program will be followed up in 2001 with an extensive schedule of consultants and network meetings to be arranged by the Catholic Education Office staff who are consultant writers to the project. Meetings with other groups who have interest in the project, for example, parents, priests, parish groups, are also to be planned for later this year.

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