Leaving Certificate Religious Education Syllabus/Religious Education

Report
GUIDELINES FOR THE FAITH
FORMATION AND
DEVELOPMENT OF CATHOLIC
STUDENTS
• Leaving Certificate Religious
Education Syllabus
• R.E.: A Curriculum Framework
for Senior Cycle
The Irish Catholic Bishops’
Conference (2006)
CONTENTS
The document is divided into two sections:
1. Leaving Certificate Religious Education Syllabus
(Page 7 – 18)
2. Religious Education: A Curriculum Framework for Senior
Cycle
(Page 20 – 38)
PAGE 7: LEAVING CERTIFICATE RELIGIOUS
EDUCATION SYLLABUS INTRODUCTION
 This introduction provides a useful overview of the document.
However, it is also a helpful reference with regard to providing
a concise overview of the impact that can be made when
positive, consistent R.E. programmes are in place and
delivered by those who are conscious of the need for
catechesis to underpin every topic/module explored.
 It says of the Leaving Certificate Syllabus: “… it offers young
people the language to engage in open dialogue with others
of their own faith, with people of different faiths and with
those who propose a non-religious worldview. The syllabus
also contributes to the spiritual and moral development of the
student…”
PAGE 7: INTRODUCTION CONTD.
 “The general aim of Religious Education is to awaken people
to faith and to help them throughout their lives to deepen and
strengthen that faith…”
 “The personal faith of young people is nourished when they
are of fered the opportunity to engage with questions of
meaning and to explore a variety of responses to these
questions. By deepening their knowledge of the faith, an
opportunity is provided for them to explain their faith to
others”
 “… they discover the ‘social consequences of the demands of
the Gospel’, which is the climax of … moral teaching”
 [Through Prayer, students] … “discover the action of God in
their lives. Prayer is the living relationship between God and
humanity; it is… a response of love to the Son of God”
PAGE 8: SUPPORTING
FAITH FORMATION IN R.E.
 Again, it is highlighted that there is a great need for links to
be established between home, school and parish in leading
young people towards mature faith.
 It highlights the need for R.E. to be delivered by qualified
teachers, committed to their faith.
 R.E. needs whole schools support, the DA plays a key role
here in supporting R.E. teachers and school management.
 See point 4: The role of the School Chaplain; what a wonderful
description of the Chaplain’s role and what a pity that many
schools do not have a chaplain on staf f!
 Reference is made to the need for good quality teaching and
learning resources.
LEAVING CERTIFICATE SYLLABUS:
LET’S TAKE A LOOK
In the written paper (worth 80%) there are three units:
 Unit 1:
 Unit 2:
 Unit 3:
Section A: The Search for Meaning and Value
(Compulsory)
Section B: Christianity, Section C: World Religions,
Section D: Moral Decision Making (Choose any 2)
Section E: Religion and Gender,
Section F: Issues of Justice and Peace
Section G: Worship, Prayer and Ritual
Section H: The Bible: Literature and Sacred Text
Section I: The Irish Experience
Section J: Religion and Science (Choose 1)
So, for example: You could choose to cover Section A,
Section B, Section D and Section G or I
depending on coursework (worth 20%) titles
PAGE 9: A – THE SEARCH FOR MEANING
AND VALUES
 ‘The human person’s openness to truth and beauty, sense of
moral goodness, freedom, conscience and longings for the
infinite and for happiness, provokes questions about God’s
existence’ (CCC 33)
 This section allows students to examine the role of religion in
the secular world
 The history of Philosophy is an important reminder that the
issues surrounding religious belief are ones that define
human nature.
 The core issue of the objectivity of values such as justice,
goodness, truth and love.
 The manner in which Christianity can be understood as a
response to foundational questions.
PAGE 10: B – CHRISTIANIT Y: ORIGINS
AND CONTEMPORARY EXPRESSIONS
 Students have the opportunity to examine the Christological
aspects of Christianity
 This section “opens the student to meeting and knowing the
historical Jesus and his message…”
 It allows students to “develop an appreciation of the early
Christian movement and to correlate this with contemporary
expressions of Christianity.
 The adaptability and diversity of the Early Christian
communities can be linked to Section A’s Search for Meaning
 Contemporary religious and Christian identity can be
examined in light of the founding vision and earliest
expression of this.
 It allows students to recognise the ecumenical hunger that
‘all may be one’ John 17:21
PAGE 11: C –WORLD RELIGIONS
 “For the Catholic student, an understanding of other religions
contributes to a deeper appreciation of what membership of
the Christian community offers. It highlights the need for
inter-faith dialogue… [as it has been encouraged since]
Vatican II
 Take a look at the section “Inter-faith Aspects for Catholic
students” it serves as an excellent guideline for teachers
uncertain as to how World Religions can be explored in the
classroom.
 …The effectiveness of religion classes is enhanced when
entrusted to those teachers who are committed to the faith,
professionally qualified to teach religion, and wiling to do so…
PAGE 12: D – MORAL DECISION-MAKING
 “Morality and the Christian tradition involves discipleship – Jesus
invites people to follow him rather than an ethical code or
vision.”
 “Following Jesus involves a radical personal conversion
(metanoia).”
 “Christian morality is not only about what we do, but who we are
becoming.”
 The fundamental response to sin in the teachings of Jesus is one
of forgiveness.
 The role of moral teaching in a pluralist society can be explored.
 “… it is important not to leave students with the impression that
all theories are equally valid and that moral decision-making is
simply a matter of applying one’s preferred theory.”
 The lives of St. Thomas More and Franz Jaegerstaetter highlight
the conflict that can arise between conscience and civil authority
PAGE 13: E – RELIGION AND GENDER
“God transcends the human distinction between the sexes. God
is neither male nor female, just God.” CCC 239
 Jesus gave women a place of prime importance… The
Samaritan woman at the well, he raised Lazarus out of his
love for Mary and Martha, he revealed himself risen from the
dead to Mary Magdalene
 “God entered the womb of a woman for the salvation of
humankind (Luke 1:30-31) Mary gives men and women an
understanding of what it means to be a Christian disciple [by
saying ‘Yes’ to God’s call.]”
 “The baptised share in the priesthood of Christ. The roles of
both lay and ordained ministries are important to the life of
the Church by contributing to the Reign/Kingdom of God.”
SECTION 14: F – ISSUES OF
JUSTICE AND PEACE
 “To identify and analyse the links between religious belief and
commitment, and action for justice and peace.”
 “To explore the relationship between the concepts of justice
and peace and the challenge to sustain this relationship, [in
the Irish context for example]”
 Liberation Theology and Environmentalism feature here also
 Important to keep in mind that… “no particular worldview can
be seen as the cause of all wrongs in society… it is dif ficult to
read the Bible as a means of justifying any particular set of
political convictions…”
 “Students should be helped to develop sensitivity to a variety
of perspectives, while also being alert to the risks of
relativism and intolerance.”
PAGE 15: G – WORSHIP, PRAYER
AND RITUAL
 Highlights the importance of worship and prayer as a
response to witnessing the presence of God; links with
Section A and B
 Imparts a greater understanding of the rituals that are
celebrated at times in our lives where words fail us.
 Involvement of local Parish links and visiting sites of religious
significance is promoted as part of students’ studies.
 “To develop an awareness of the spiritual dimension of human
life.”
 “To
encourage
an
openness
to
personal
spiritual
development.”
 “Prayer is the living relationship between God and humanity;
it is the response of faith to the promise of salvation and a
response of love to the Son of God.”
 “The Eucharist contains and expresses all forms of prayer.”
PAGE 16: H – THE BIBLE: LITERATURE
AND SACRED
 An ideal section to cover with students who express a love of
story, allegory: never underestimate the power of story!
 “leaves plenty of scope for the teacher to apply the Bible to
the religious life and faith experience of the pupils in a way
that supports their religious commitment by:
… examining “the impact of the Bible on contemporary society”
… learning “how the Bible was formed as a text”
… exploring “the understanding of the Bible as Word of God and
as an expression of the relationship between God and
humankind.
 “In sacred scripture, God speaks to humankind in a human
way, the reader must be attentive to the text and context.”
 “The course as it is outlined should help to give students an
appreciation of the profound influence that the Bible has had
on religious thought… cultural life down the ages”
PAGE 17: I – RELIGION: THE IRISH
EXPERIENCE
 “The syllabus is deeply rooted in the cultural heritage of the
past and it enables students to appreciate the religious
dimensions of that past.”
 It examines “…the characteristics of religion in Ireland from
ancient times to the present day.”
 Students can “…become aware of the plurality of religious
traditions that have existed, and continue to exist, in Ireland.”
 “an awareness of the role of Irish monks on the Continent will
remind the student that the Irish have always been part of
Europe.”
 “… brings students face to face with contemporary issues in
Irish Christianity… changing pattern of belief…
 This section reminds students of the variety of viewpoints in
Irish society today; promoting the opportunity to engage in
ecumenical and inter-faith dialogue.
PAGE 18: J – RELIGION AND SCIENCE
 “What is most important about the module… is that it
offers an opportunity to bring students beyond the
standard stereotypes, to enable them to become engaged
in this new dialogue, and to discover that faith can be
enriched by exchanges between religion and science.”
 From CSP, Catholic Education at Second-Level (ROI): “In
an era often dominated by religious fundamentalism on
the one hand and atheistic science on the other: this
commitment to a dialogue between faith and reason was
rarely more relevant… Faith and reason can thrive in the
same person: while one cannot be reduced to the other
they both play a dynamic role in forming and educating a
mature person. There is no contradiction between being a
fully educated person and a committed Christian…”
R.E.: A CURRICULUM FRAMEWORK
FOR SENIOR CYCLE
Page 20 – Partners in education identified:
 The young people themselves
 Parents and guardians
 The school management
 Catechists and others who teach R.E.
 The rest of the teaching and ancillary staff
 The diocesan advisers
 The school chaplain or chaplaincy department
 The wider community
R.E.: A CURRICULUM FRAMEWORK
FOR SENIOR CYCLE
Page 21 – 22: Faith formation is nurtured in several ways:
Knowledge
of the faith
Missionary
initiation
Liturgical
Education
Community
life
Moral
formation
Prayer
R.E.: A CURRICULUM FRAMEWORK
FOR SENIOR CYCLE
Page 22 – Supporting Faith Formation in
Religious Education:
See Notes on Page 8 as this is very similar
R.E.: A CURRICULUM FRAMEWORK
FOR SENIOR CYCLE
Page 23 – The curriculum framework contains the
following sections:
 Section
 Section
 Section
 Section
 Section
 Section
 Section
 Section
A: The Search for Meaning (Page 24 – 25)
B: Christianity (Page 26 – 27)
C: Religious faiths in Ireland today(Pg 28-29)
D: Morality in Action (Page 30 – 31)
E: God-Talk (Page 32 – 33)
F: A Living Faith – Doing Justice (Pg 34 – 35)
G: Celebrating Faith (Page 36 – 37)
H: Story (Page 38 – 39)

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