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RE not counted as a humanity in the Govt's new GCSE 'EBacc' Watch

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      (Original post by medbh4805)
      I think the real issue is that the current RE specs are a crock of ****e. If the Philosophy options actually required the students to study philosophy or the Christianity options required students to study Christianity in any real detail, for example, introducing something like Aquinas' Summa Theologica, then nobody would be saying RE is a soft subject.
      Absolutely...for the brighter student, Theology and Philosophy is much more rigorous and challenging. But then, many students wouldn't be able to study at that level.
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      (Original post by yawn)
      I was not aware that any examination boards in the UK had a RE syllabus that was entirely concerned with Catholicism in particular.

      Which examination board was it?

      Regarding 'definitions' - these are very variable according to who is defining them.
      Well, there were a couple of questions where you had to incorporate views of other Christian sects to get full marks. But in general it was about Catholicism. The exam board was Edexcel, I think.

      Well, imo the definition of Atheism we taught was just incorrect, because it said "Atheism is the belief that God doesn't exist". According to most academic sources, atheism is simply doubting the existence of God, but isn't ruling it out.

      It seems a fine distinction, but imo atheism is such a broad term that really can't be defined in a 2 mark question.
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      (Original post by yawn)
      Absolutely...for the brighter student, Theology and Philosophy is much more rigorous and challenging. But then, many students wouldn't be able to study at that level.
      No, obviously not, but that's why we differentiate between foundation and higher level. I certainly don't think a basic introduction to Aquinas is beyond the reach of to top 40% of students. I believe that there's a tendency to assume that students are incapable of dealing with academically challenging material, that students shouldn't be challenged to think about these things, which is why it is now possible to obtain an A* GCSE in RE without learning anything at all.
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      I support this move. RE out of my set of grades was definitely the highest grade-to-effort ratio! More focus should be put on skills that are in a much higher demand, such as Maths and Physics. RE isn't a vital subject like you suggest...
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      You can't *teach* philosophical thinking and understanding in a classroom, anyway. You might be able to teach the specifics of some religions but any subject which tries to arbitrarily mark your understanding of theology is inherently flawed.
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      (Original post by milkytea)
      Well, imo the definition of Atheism we taught was just incorrect, because it said "Atheism is the belief that God doesn't exist". According to most academic sources, atheism is simply doubting the existence of God, but isn't ruling it out.
      You're wrong; the definition is right. The word 'Agnostic' is simply doubting the existence of God, but not ruling it out. Atheism is the belief that God does not exist.
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      (Original post by ussumane)
      gangsta/chavs don't usually pick RE, they always go to business studies and media. This shows how useless RE is tbh...
      at my college the first course to become full at enrolment was RE
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        (Original post by medbh4805)
        No, obviously not, but that's why we differentiate between foundation and higher level. I certainly don't think a basic introduction to Aquinas is beyond the reach of to top 40% of students. I believe that there's a tendency to assume that students are incapable of dealing with academically challenging material, that students shouldn't be challenged to think about these things, which is why it is now possible to obtain an A* GCSE in RE without learning anything at all.
        Good points there, medbh. Maybe education does underestimate the capabilities of all students.
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          (Original post by milkytea)
          Well, there were a couple of questions where you had to incorporate views of other Christian sects to get full marks. But in general it was about Catholicism. The exam board was Edexcel, I think.

          Well, imo the definition of Atheism we taught was just incorrect, because it said "Atheism is the belief that God doesn't exist". According to most academic sources, atheism is simply doubting the existence of God, but isn't ruling it out.

          It seems a fine distinction, but imo atheism is such a broad term that really can't be defined in a 2 mark question.
          Edexcel Unit 10 relates to Catholicism - but that is only one specific paper. You said your RE course was 100% on Catholicism, whereas it very obviously wasn't.

          "Your sins will find you out!"

          I haven't got any time for this 'hard', 'soft' atheism nonsense as far as definitions are concerned. As I said, it depends who's doing the defininng, and if it's an atheist they will invariably complicate matters. The definition of atheism is simply and purely a belief that God does not exist...
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            (Original post by Kaloo)
            It has been a long time since I pissed myself but I can tell you know that I do not have the hiccups and this is not lemonade I spilled over my pants.

            I just looked at the RE past papers and seriously they are a ****ing joke. What is this ****?

            Exam paper about Islam:


            I wish this was an isolated example. No wonder why *some* question the sustenance of GCSE's
            Hopefully, either the paper gets progressively more challenging or this paper is for those with learning difficulties.
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            RE is a bit of a waster subject at least the way it is taught and the content at GCSE. If they covered more philosophy and was more in depth then people might see it as a proper subject
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            Re is laughably easy at GCSE.

            I was so high when I did it, had never revised and barely turned up to lessons. Got an A.
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            (Original post by Kaloo)
            Another question


            Oh look I got a ****ing A* I am so clever.
            0 1 Name two artificial methods of conception. (2 marks)

            0 2 Give three reasons why some religious people believe that embryo research is wrong.
            (3 marks)

            0 3 ‘Religious believers should not be surrogate parents.’
            What do you think? Explain your opinion. (3 marks)

            0 4 Explain the attitudes of religious believers to blood transfusions. (4 marks)

            0 5 ‘If a couple cannot have children naturally, they should accept that they will never be parents.’

            Do you agree? Give reasons for your answer, showing that you have thought about more than one point of view. Refer to religious arguments in your answer. (6 marks)

            Personally, I think these questions in my example are quite good. You just picked the piss easy questions everyone gets right. The first question in my higher maths GCSE was "Using this number machine, was is 4 multiplied by 6, then divided by 2?" The maths paper then got harder after the first page of piss.
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            I did OCR - 8 questions, 20 marks each, each question split into 3 sub questions - 8 mark, 7 mark, 5 mark. Usually the 8 mark ones are what we might call regurgitating as much as you know. The 7 mark requires a little more in depth. The easiest marks to grab were the 5 marks - on one hand, ...... on the other hand....in my opinion. Brilliant paper, A* xD

            Aquinas is introduced in OCR but you dont really need to mention him if you want to - a question might say, "How would a Christian argue the existence of God philosophically?" - in that case, we learnt about Aquinas, Paley, Ontological, etc. Not in depth as much as the AS obviously, but it is in the syllabus.

            Dunno what exam board you guys were doing but the OCR one seemed more relevant than your exam boards.
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            (Original post by Cinqueta)
            You're wrong; the definition is right. The word 'Agnostic' is simply doubting the existence of God, but not ruling it out. Atheism is the belief that God does not exist.
            That isn't really what agnosticism is. Atheism defined as a lack of belief makes more sense.
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            Is this Michael Gove's work? Good grief, does that evil little sod still have a job?

            To be honest, I can't see anything too bad with this decision as R.E is essentially the subject everyone takes to get an easy A, and the government know it. But as it has come from Cleggoron, let's face it, its bound to fail abysmally if ever implemented.
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            (Original post by Kaloo)
            Another question


            Oh look I got a ****ing A* I am so clever.
            GCSE covers a wide ability range and therefore must have a wide range of questions. It's too easy to pinpoint one question and use this as evidence to describe to the subject as easy because you're missing the point.
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            (Original post by Kaloo)
            You're 17. You like Pokemon. Life is simple to you. When you grow up you'll realise how piss easy GCSE's really are.
            I never said GCSEs are hard, I said they're not as bad as you make out. I see you didn't even bother to pull apart the questions in my examples. You deliberately picked out the easier RE questions.

            The questions in GCSE have to be accessible to all candidates along the grading system of A*-F (or A*-C or C-F if the exam is tiered), so obviously there have to be questions aimed at grade C-F candidates as well as questions for people of higher capabilities. Hardly fair if in a maths, science or RE paper all the questions are aimed at A* pupils now is it? If that were the case we may as well have a system of pass and fail and anything below 90% UMS (the UMS of an A*) is a fail.
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            (Original post by yawn)
            Edexcel Unit 10 relates to Catholicism - but that is only one specific paper. You said your RE course was 100% on Catholicism, whereas it very obviously wasn't.

            "Your sins will find you out!"

            I haven't got any time for this 'hard', 'soft' atheism nonsense as far as definitions are concerned. As I said, it depends who's doing the defininng, and if it's an atheist they will invariably complicate matters. The definition of atheism is simply and purely a belief that God does not exist...
            Alright, I made a mistake. But as I'm sure you can imagine, the teaching was very much focused on Catholic values. In general, they didn't try and drum Catholicism into us at school, but they really did in RE.

            Positive and negative atheism are not nonsense definitions, they're important distinctions. I'm an atheist, but I don't reject the possiblity of God's existence. I don't have a belief that God does not exist.

            I object to the way the terms were simplified so heavily, that's all. It doesn't help young people try and figure out their own religious stance if you oversimplify and dumb down the varying viewpoints.
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              (Original post by milkytea)
              Alright, I made a mistake. But as I'm sure you can imagine, the teaching was very much focused on Catholic values. In general, they didn't try and drum Catholicism into us at school, but they really did in RE.
              Your school was a Catholic school...what else do you expect but to be immersed in an ethos based on Catholic teaching? If you attended a Jewish, Muslim or Sikh school you would find exactly the same...an ethos that is based on the individual teachings of those faiths. If you didn't like it, you should have found a different school to attend, and freed up a place for someone who really did want such an education.

              Positive and negative atheism are not nonsense definitions, they're important distinctions. I'm an atheist, but I don't reject the possiblity of God's existence. I don't have a belief that God does not exist.
              You're not an atheist, you're an agnostic.

              ]quote]I object to the way the terms were simplified so heavily, that's all. It doesn't help young people try and figure out their own religious stance if you oversimplify and dumb down the varying viewpoints.[/QUOTE]

              Carry on objecting then. As far as those who don't have your hang-ups are concerned:

              Theism = belief in gods or a God, especially a God supernaturally revealed to Man.

              Atheism = belief that there is no god.

              Agnosticism = a belief that the existence of God is not provable.

              I'm not interested in pursuing this particular line of debate since it is moving away from the OP. Thanks for your input anyway.
             
             
             
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