The Association for Studies of Religion was formed in 1995 for the purpose of providing practical support for teachers of the newly implemented Studies of Religion HSC course. The Association’s first constitution set out its aims to provide a network of professional support for teachers and a forum for the exchange of ideas and the exploration of issues relevant to the course.
Since 1995 the Board of Studies has revised the Studies of Religion syllabus a number of times with the most recent changes including a redefinition of the syllabus outcomes and content (2005) and its assessment (2010). At each of these stages of development the Association has provided advice, nominated members to the Board’s curriculum consultative committees and represented the interests and opinions of its members.
From 1995 until 2011 the Association held an annual conference day for teachers with keynote speakers representing various religious and non-religious worldviews and workshops aiming to deepen teacher’s knowledge and understanding in areas from course content and curriculum design to classroom teaching strategies and assessment models. In 2012 an increasing number of members expressed an interest in more regular professional learning opportunities that were less disruptive to their students’ learning. Since this time the association has held a number of ‘twilight’ conferences each year with keynotes from leaders and academics engaged in shaping ‘Australia’s religious landscape’ and workshops with a classroom focus.