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1 Why study Religious Education? Leaving Certificate.

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1 1 Why study Religious Education? Leaving Certificate

2 2 Religious Education for Leaving Certificate is a new subject, examined for the first time in 2005 It is a personally enriching subject which helps the learner to function effectively in a complex, pluralist culture It is fully recognised by CAO, UCAS and other entry bodies into third level education and merits the same points as other Leaving Certificate subjects

3 3 Relevance to Life R.E. can help develop and enrich you as a person as you learn to: understand and grow in appreciation for the variety of religious traditions in Ireland and globally engage with the secular response to human experience reflect on your human experience so that you can begin to understand and interpret that experience participate in your own conscious and critical development

4 4 develop tolerance and mutual understanding engage in meaningful dialogue with people of other and of no religious traditions grow personally, holistically, spiritually, morally and academically develop an informed and critical understanding of the Christian tradition in its origins and contemporary expressions

5 5 R.E. will help you prepare for the world of work, further training or education R.E. will help you prepare for your role as participative, enterprising citizens

6 6 What’s particular about R.E.? The emphases are on:

7 7 ‘The student who pursues this course of study must assume the roles of critical questioner and reflective searcher: roles which are at the heart of a commitment to lifelong learning’ Leaving Certificate Religious Education syllabus, p4

8 8 Religion is at the heart of many local, national and global acts of generosity and community building. It can also be a source of conflict and division, particularly where prejudice, ignorance and intolerance exist. R.E. can help to inform you about religious traditions and secular culture so that you can make a positive contribution to global citizenship Religious debate and dialogue are needed so that people can live harmoniously in a pluralist society R.E. at Leaving Certificate will help facilitate this process and will deepen your understanding of your personal search for meaning and that of other people from religious and secular traditions

9 9 Other reasons for studying R.E. include: Many people have an interest in religion and have views on religion Religion has ongoing relevance to life and culture R.E. can help you to see and overcome religious bias and ignorance in some literature, films, art and culture Employers may like to hire people who have completed the course since their skills are suited to work in a multi cultural and multi-faith setting. They also have skills of research and critical questioning and are self-directed learners but are skilled at understanding different perspectives R.E. explores issues of relevance in an informed and academic way: issues such as meaning and values, the nature of morality, the development and diversity of belief, the principles of a just society, and the implications of scientific progress

10 10 R.E. offers deep insight into the evolution of religion since ancient times. This will inform your understanding of modern culture R.E. offers a deep appreciation for the Christian tradition as well as other traditions. This is particularly important for people who intend to travel to other cultures and to those who wish to understand and appreciate the richness of faith traditions in Ireland and abroad. Students are encouraged to dialogue constructively with modern secularist trends and to appreciate the value of religious belief and practice

11 11 Relevance to careers Students who have studied R.E. at Leaving Certificate level have learned to be: Independent, critical thinkers Open-minded, balanced, informed and objective Focused yet aware of a variety of perspectives Excellent at research and analysis Skilled communicators Able to analyse issues, trends and problems Unbiased and grounded in inquiry skills These qualities are valued in a vast number of jobs and professions. They have particular relevance for those interested in a career in the fields of education, teaching (primary and post primary), law, journalism, Human Resources, administration and many other occupations.

12 12 Skills Some of the skills you will learn on this course include: Analysis of topics Engagement in extended research – including using computers, libraries, surveys, interviews, media, drawing conclusions Critical thinking – questioning the authority of different sources, distinguishing fact from bias Reflection on your learning and its effect on your ideas, attitudes and experience Ability to interpret, contrast and evaluate different opinions/approaches to a topic Ability to develop counter-arguments

13 13 You will notice that some of these skills are related to other subjects. With practice you will develop your skills to write in a coherent, unbiased way, examining different perspectives and asking critical questions, and reaching informed conclusions. These skills are also learned in some other subjects. All of these skills are very useful in a variety of careers. Therefore studying R.E. does not limit you to studying theology at college. The skills that you learn in R.E. help you adapt to a huge range of college choices as well as careers – in many ways the skills you learn are as important as the content.

14 14 Coursework 20% of the assessment grade in R.E. is awarded for Coursework 80% is awarded for performance in the terminal examination Coursework involves the student choosing one of four prescribed titles for extended research. Coursework is submitted prior to the terminal examination. Coursework has two parts: Part A : A summary of your investigation of the chosen title Part B: Your personal reflection on the learning, skills and experience gained through undertaking coursework

15 15 Terminal Examination The terminal examination is 2½ hours for higher level, 2 hours for ordinary level Candidates must answer questions from 4 sections of the course Higher level candidates should be able to write extended / essay style answers Ordinary level candidates should be able to write more paragraph style answers

16 16 What is assessed in Leaving Certificate Religious Education? ‘Assessment of Religious Education in the Leaving Certificate examination will be based on the aims, objectives and outcomes of each section of the course. Students’ personal faith commitment and/or affiliation to a particular religious grouping will not be subject to assessment for national certification.’ Leaving Certificate Religious Education syllabus, p9

17 17 The End Religious Education Support Service

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