Guidelines for the Faith Formation and Development of ...
Guidelines for the Faith Formation and Development of Catholic Students Junior Certificate Religious Education Syllabus The Irish Catholic Bishops Conference 1999 Page 5: Introduction The purpose of the document outlined: Paragraph 2 (P2) In the Ireland of today context for R.E. has changed economic, development of I.T.,
globalisation of culture, etc P3 The educational aims of the syllabus (among others) moral, spiritual, religious values should form part of the educational experience of every young person Publication of the Syllabus recognises the dedication, professionalism and ongoing commitment of teachers of R.E. in Post-Primary schools P4 highlights the need for Home, School and Parish to work together in support of the young persons faith journey
Page 6: Purpose of Document The purpose of the document is outlined in bullet point form Note the point: to deepen their sense of belonging to the Church; to participate more fully in the Churchs liturgy and life, prayer, worship and retreats.
Page 7: Religious Dimensions of Education P1: Catholic Education begins and is nurtured in the home, it is taught and fostered by the school and it lives and matures through the parish P4: Catechetical method should be considered within the context of three criteria: a) Fidelity to the Word of God b) Fidelity to the teaching of the Church c) Fidelity to the person being taught Method of teaching should be student-centred.
Page 9: Certification & Assessment P1: Knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes are assessed without prejudice to their personal faith Page 9: Professional Qualifications & In-Service Education Religion is a specialised subject
The teaching of Religion is not a soft option Teachers of Religion should be people with a faith commitment and a recognised professional qualification to do the work competently Page 10: National Education Convention Secretariat Report regarded as desirable that teachers should, as far as possible, have their teaching subjects to degree level
It would be unwise to allow a situation to develop whereby a significant portion of subject teaching was being taught by non-specialists P3: It should be the aim of all management, responsible for the education of Catholic students, to phase out the practice of using non-formally qualified personnel whenever the first opportunity arises. Page 10: Texts, Resources & Time-tabling P1: Texts and resources should be student-friendly.
Due care should be given to the reading age, academic abilities and differing needs of students P2: The document reminds readers of Religion being allocated a minimum of two hours per week stating that it is not acceptable, for any reason, that this requirement be reduced in schools where the education of Catholic students takes place Page 11: The School Environment This paragraph describes a true understanding
of a Catholic School/Catholic Ethos Page 11: Pastoral Care, the Chaplain, the Liturgical Year Under this subtitle P1: Schools Pastoral Care systems explained P2: Role of Chaplain is outlined, however it does not mention that the Chaplain is not always a member of a schools staff P3: The need/function for good liturgical practices in the school community is
highlighted Page 12: Death and Bereavement Emphasises the need for faith practices to be involved in good pastoral care/critical incident policies Page 12: Parents & Guardians, School/Home/Parish Links
This section is aspirational and what all involved in school life ought to strive for. Channels of communication should be open between the school, home and parish When this community comes together, it celebrates the mystery of God in Jesus Christ, it reflects on the complexities of its life as a community and lives the experience of Christs Paschal Mystery Page 13: Social Justice
for the Reign of God *Theme was mentioned in R of SERVE for CSW 2015 Catechesis is about leading students to seeing the value of giving practical assistance and shaping their own lifestyles so that justice will prevail Social Justice is a popular topic for R.E. teachers, however See Page 15
Section A: Communities of Faith Section B: Foundations of Religion Christianity Section C: Foundations of Religion - Major World Religions Section D: The Question of Faith Section E: The Celebration of Faith Section F: The Moral Challenge Faith Dimension does this not apply to all aspects of the Junior Cycle Syllabus?
Page 17 This page is helpful in noting what is essential to cover for examination purposes Page 21 See Section B: the final point mentioned here is not really dealt with by any of the textbooks at Junior Cycle Page 22 & 23
These pages are a helpful reference when we encounter instances where Section C is being taught without any fait context/lense Further observations Looking at Section D & E (Pg 24 27); these are in many ways, the two strongest sections to validate the need for passionate, qualified teachers. The content outlined for both sections highlights how the R.E. teacher plays a vital role in forming the faith of our young people.
Section F (Pg 28 & 29) is where teachers have the greatest opportunity to involve the wider community, broadening students learning experience. The faith formation dimensions listed here, should be the starting point/context in which all social projects are introduced. Page 31 - 32: The Journal The points listed on Page 32 are helpful to
note when highlighting how this task for the state examination can be a faith enriching experience for students.
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