Junior Certificate Religeous Education Exam

Issues relating to promoting a secular state education and raising children in a non-religious home
aZerogodist
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 1280
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 6:04 pm
Location: Co. CORK
Contact:

Junior Certificate Religeous Education Exam

Post by aZerogodist » Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:16 pm

Heres a link to the 2011 exam.
http://www.examinations.ie/archive/exam ... P000EV.pdf Ordinary
http://www.examinations.ie/archive/exam ... P000EV.pdf Higher
Now there are a few questions about other beliefs but the main Q are on guess what religion?
There's a big Q on knock in the ordinary-level paper.
If RE-exams are given to non-believers, the answers are baised towards the one and only correct answer which would be in conflict freedom of belief.
Also RE could be seen as easy points to acheive.
Just a note on one Q.
OL 6. The work of Tacitus provides historical evidence about the life of Jesus of Nazareth. True of False (tick one).
Well obviously it's false as there is no historical Evidence about the life & times of a man called JC
HL 10. Humanism holds the view that......
Not sure if I know the answer to that one

note:
2009 scrapping proposalIn late 2009 the Irish Government considered completely scrapping all Junior Cert examinations permanently. The move was met by criticism and outrage from the Teachers Union (ASTI), but the Government said that scrapping the annual examinations and replacing them with continual assessment would save the country €30 million. The dispute is ongoing as of November 2009.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junior_Certificate
Ryano
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:53 am

Re: Junior Certificate Religeous Education Exam

Post by Ryano » Fri Jul 29, 2011 1:45 pm

LMAO - I'm going to have to print this out and fill it in!!! Perhaps send it on to Dermot Aherne when done :o
Who wants to correct it for me???? :lol:
nozzferrahhtoo
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 1140
Joined: Thu May 29, 2008 8:17 am

Re: Junior Certificate Religeous Education Exam

Post by nozzferrahhtoo » Fri Jul 29, 2011 1:51 pm

Im sure god, the ultimate examiner will have a few words to say :)

Here is the marking scheme for the previous years papers to give you an idea how they are marked.

(Ordinary)

http://www.examinations.ie/archive/mark ... P000EV.pdf

(Higher)

http://www.examinations.ie/archive/mark ... P000EV.pdf

Am I the only one thats tickled by there being a lower level of such a paper?
canasta42
Posts: 29
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:43 pm

Re: Junior Certificate Religeous Education Exam

Post by canasta42 » Fri Jul 29, 2011 7:22 pm

Thanks for that. It's fascinating.

Small grammatical error in one Q:

"Question 3.
You are visiting a friend whose family are celebrating a religious festival."

When I went to school, we would have said: "...whose family is celebrating..."

C.
sueH
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2011 10:09 pm

Re: Junior Certificate Religeous Education Exam

Post by sueH » Wed Aug 03, 2011 2:12 pm

there are very good reasons why the ASTI and other teaching unions are against continual assesment by teachers of their own students; Here are a few of my views on this...

•While assessment for learning is valuable, the situation may easily arise that material to be assessed will be passed back and forth between student and teacher until it reflects more of the teachers input than that of the student. This is reported to be already happening in LC and at higher institutions. The assessment is then not of the students own work but an assessment of material completely modified by continual teacher input. Everyone’s work will be the essentially the same standard which is not a reflection of reality.

•It will lead to grade inflation (see above point) and ultimately devalue the system’s credibility.

•Within a school or between schools some teachers may put in more ‘unpaid overtime’ outside set class contact time to raise the grades of their students. This will cause unfair comparisons with those who do not or cannot. The results then do not reflect a level educational playing field. The syllabus is designed to be delivered within a certain number of hours. Those teachers who add to this are skewing results. This situation already occurs where teachers give Saturday classes or classes at lunchtime to ‘catch up’ or ‘get the syllabus covered’. It is grinds by another name. The syllabus is designed to be delivered within a set number of hours.

•The system will be impossible to standardize because of the arguments above. It will leave the teacher based assessment part of the new JC essentially worthless. Few people will value it and place more value on the externally graded part of the certificate.

•The system places teachers in a vulnerable position where they may be intimated and/or pressurized in order to raise grades by parents or management looking to improve their position on publicised league tables.

•Teachers/schools who have large numbers of students with learning issues or large classes and disruptive pupils will be under greater pressure to raise grades so as to avoid unfair comparison with teachers/schools whose classes contain smaller numbers or more able students. The cutbacks in SNA’s will make this situation worse.

•Comparison of marks from teachers who have ‘honours’ classes will show their results to be higher than those who do not. This will be perceived as one teacher being ‘better’ than another even if that is not the case. It will introduce ‘league tables’ for teachers within schools.
•It is highly unlikely that we will be given time within the school day/year to correct the extra material. This will lead to even more stress and ‘burn out’ for teachers. It is highly unlikely that teachers will paid to do the extra work involved with assessment.

•One of the most important reasons for opposing teacher assessment of their own students is that it negatively changes the fundamental relationship between student and teacher. Teacher assessment for JC will place a barrier to communication between student and teacher on many issues. It will inhibit openness and trust between student and teacher. It makes the student more vulnerable in class and the teacher more vulnerable within wider society.
Feardorcha
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 1266
Joined: Fri May 01, 2009 4:28 pm

Re: Junior Certificate Religeous Education Exam

Post by Feardorcha » Thu Aug 04, 2011 6:06 pm

Re Canasta's aside: Collective nouns are becoming plural even in the quality papers. First the sports pages ('Ireland are out of the World Cup' but news pages continue with 'Ireland is likely to default'). 'The Government is...' has almost completely given way to 'The Government are...'
Sorry to intrude in the main debate.
DaithiDublin
Posts: 188
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 6:15 pm
Location: Bray, Co. Wicklow
Contact:

Re: Junior Certificate Religeous Education Exam

Post by DaithiDublin » Sat Aug 13, 2011 1:38 pm

My local recycling centre keeps a section for books and DVD's that you can just take away with you. It's a great service but I don't know if it's common elsewhere.
On a recent visit I picked up a copy of Religion For Living, the junior cert religious ed. textbook. It is, not surprisingly, about 90% Catholic. I found it curious that the student who had owned the book had been very free with her highlighting marker, and it is easy to track the syllabus by following the highlighted passages. It is also possible to see what was not covered by her teacher: there isn't a single mark anywhere in the sections covering the other main religions included. It looks like the students were not given any instruction on Judaism, Islam, Hinduism or Buddhism.

I'm sure that they were included in the textbook to make it appear that it was an inclusive course of religious education, but the highlighter shows that it was simply used to promote Catholicism. It never makes any statements which suggest that any particular belief is right or wrong, but from the amount of text devoted to Catholicism and the simplistic way other beliefs are treated it is hard not to come to conclusions about which is valid.

Here's just a few of the many passages that I found curious:

Libertarianism is the view that people should have the right to do as they please.

When people vote in free elections in a democratic society, it is inevitable that the voting patterns of citizens will reflect religious moral values to some degree. To this extent, there is a connection between the laws of the state and religious morality.

Human beings have a tendency to do what is wrong rather than what is right. They are more inclined to be jealous, selfish and rude than considerate, peaceful and kind. This is the effect of original sin.

The main point of contact between science and religion is that both accept that there is order and design in the universe. The world is just too complicated and too beautiful to have happened merely by chance. Take for example the human eye. The eye is a wonder of creation. A person of religious faith...can reflect on the perfection of the human eye and see the hand of God in it's creation. In this way science and religion complement each other (couldn't believe this was in there!)

Science and religion are two distinct and equally valuable forms of knowledge. One is not better than the other. They are just different. They both contribute greatly to our knowledge of the world.

There are vast areas of the human experience that are not suited to testing by the scientific method.

The miracles were signs. They helped people of faith to believe that Jesus was the Messiah promised by God.


Atheism, Humanism, Materialism and Libertarianism are all covered. And while the descriptions are not actively incorrect, a student having been through the broad interpretation of Catholicism would see the curt and perfunctory treatment of these views in only one way.

So, does anyone know if this course is supposed to be about religion in general of Catholicism in particular?
As yet I have not found a single case of a terrestrial animal which fertilises itself.

- Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species
(he obviously never went to Bray)
Marks
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 362
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 12:09 pm

Re: Junior Certificate Religeous Education Exam

Post by Marks » Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:20 pm

Below are the aims of the Junior Certificate Religious Education Syllabus. This State syllabus is supposed to be for all religions and none. This is the Irish State taking a neutral position.

As you will see from the aims of the religious education course the purpose is to foster an awareness that the human search for meaning has found and continues to find expression in religion.

The non-religious are now the second largest group in Ireland after Roman Catholics but regardless of this the State curriculum only explores the common search for meaning through belief in the supernatural.

Another purpose of the course is to contribute to the spiritual and moral development of the student. The State contributes to the moral development of the children of secularists by fostering an awareness of how the search for meaning in life has found, and continues to find expression in religion.

According to the Guidelines for the inclusion of other faiths in Catholic Schools if parents are concerned about this they should be encouraged to see this as a civic duty.

“It is important to note that the syllabus is a state syllabus, written to encompass all faiths
and none. There is no reason why students of different faiths in a Catholic school should not participate fully in this syllabus, whether the class is sitting the exam or not. However, denominational schools, with a particular characteristic spirit or ethos, should be and are
entitled to teach the syllabus through the lens of their own religious tradition.”

The majority of schools at second level operate a religious ethos.

“If the parents are concerned about the Christian content in the curriculum, they should be encouraged to see it as a civic education for their son or daughter to understand more about the history and heritage of Ireland. There would never be any effort to ‘convert’
their son or daughter to Catholicism.”

So the search for meaning is only to be found in religion. The course is delivered through the eyes of the Catholic Church, is not taught in an objective manner and this is not an effort to convert. According to the rationale this does not constitute disrespect for the secular viewpoint and is seen in Ireland as a neutral position.

Aims of Religious Education
1 To foster an awareness that the human search for meaning is common to all peoples, of all ages and at all times.
2 To explore how this search for meaning has found, and continues to find, expression in religion.
3 To identify how understandings of God, religious traditions, and in particular the Christian tradition, have contributed to the culture in which we live, and continue to have an impact on personal lifestyle, inter-personal relationships and relationships between individuals and their communities and contexts.
4 To appreciate the richness of religious traditions and to acknowledge the non-religious interpretation of life.
5 To contribute to the spiritual and moral development of the student.
happydays
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:13 pm

Re: Junior Certificate Religeous Education Exam

Post by happydays » Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:03 am

I was very surprised to read this myself!........

The main point of contact between science and religion is that both accept that there is order and design in the universe. The world is just too complicated and too beautiful to have happened merely by chance. Take for example the human eye. The eye is a wonder of creation. A person of religious faith...can reflect on the perfection of the human eye and see the hand of God in it's creation. In this way science and religion complement each other (couldn't believe this was in there!)
Feardorcha
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 1266
Joined: Fri May 01, 2009 4:28 pm

Re: Junior Certificate Religeous Education Exam

Post by Feardorcha » Fri Aug 19, 2011 9:51 am

Religions are only siding up to science and saying 'let's be friends' now that all their denials and opposition, particularly in the fields of medicine and natural history, have been exposed as false.
The view that religion and science have much in common really means that religion no longer has anything to say.
Yippee!
Post Reply