Pedagogy Development: Building on Positive Learnings from COVID-19 (2021 – 2022)


In 2021, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference National Centre for Pastoral Research (NCPR) was commissioned by the National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC) to conduct a research study of pedagogical development and positive learnings from COVID-19. The purpose of the study was to investigate Catholic schools that had developed innovative approaches to online teaching and learning during COVID-19. The project focused on positive learnings about these experiences and innovative practices, particularly in areas of religious education, faith and spirituality.

The study aimed to answer the following key questions:
1. What strategies were most effective to improve learning and wellbeing outcomes for students in Catholic primary and secondary schools? What improvements do we need to make so that all students benefit?
2. How can we improve our transition to remote learning for individual students (especially those with special needs, remote students and those in boarding schools), as well as in preparation for future situations similar to COVID-19?
3. How can we apply learnings from best practice examples to the new learning landscape?

The research used a predominantly qualitative strategy using multiple case studies and a mixed methods approach to address the key questions. Data collection was carried out by means of interviews with school principals, parents, teachers and Directors of learning and teaching, and focus groups with students and parents. The study also examined documents developed by Catholic Education Offices for external and internal distribution.

The final report was first published for the NCEC in September 2022. A revised version was published in February 2024, which can be accessed below:

Pedagogy Development: Building on Positive Learnings from COVID-19 – Revised Version

Report Details: Trudy Dantis, Philip Hughes, Stephen Reid, Leith Dudfield and Paul Bowell, Pedagogy Development: Building on Positive Learnings from COVID-19 – Revised Version (Canberra: Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, February 2024).