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Thread: What Religious training do Primary teachers get in Ireland?

  1. #1
    Dylan2010
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    Default What Religious training do Primary teachers get in Ireland?

    I gather that there are 2 types of RE teaching courses for primary teachers in Ireland a state set module and one that has to be passed if you want to teach in a catholic school which is ~90% of schools. Do these courses force teachers in any way to give particular answers in exams etc which would go against their conscience (example below) or otherwise use sub standard marerial which if discussed here would be ripped apart pretty quickly. The implication is we "might" have teachers that are happy to pass on badly researched or propaganda and lazy content as facts.


    As background a good interview on Newstalk on the "offending material" . The rep from Atheist Ireland notes that he doesnt know what is actually being taught to trainee teachers in Ireland and can only assume he has tried to find out? then again it can hardly be a secret with so many teachers out there.

    If anyone has past papers mock tests etc, post them here.








    I posted this on the other thread about religion in an American school but worth posting again here


    from a trainee primary teacher

    So, as I've mentioned on here a couple of times, I'm nearly finished the H. Dip. for primary school teaching. We have our online religion exam on Wednesday and I was going through the demo exam to make sure it works. Some of the questions that will be on it are actually shocking!! I cannot believe that a college in Ireland in 2012 is allowed to preach such sht.

    I've attached two sample questions from the exam for your viewing pleasure. The answer that I will have to choose to get the marks for the first attachment is "True". And in the second attachment, asking which statement is false, I will have to choose the one about Hinduism. So apparently, the one about atheism is true.

    I am actually in shock. How can something that is so subjective and open to opinion be included in an exam in a modern college??? I could understand something like "Atheist humanism has produced the worst horrors history has ever witnessed. Discuss." But actually putting a True/False option there?? There is no notable incident in history where someone actually went out and said "Oh those darn believers! I'll kill them all!!" I can think of plenty of examples where the reverse happened though.

    I knew what I was letting myself in for when deciding to train as a primary school teacher in Ireland, but I didn't think it was this bad. I had already made up my mind that I was leaving Ireland as soon as I'm qualified (for a lot of reasons, teaching of religion being a more minor one), but this just confirms it even more. Effectively, I'm expected to spout this shte out to a child if I ever teach in a Catholic school. Unbelievable.







    /rant

  2. #2
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    No teacher in any school should be required to know more about religion than that there are some books, the bible, the koran and the torah being the principal ones and one day when the children are old enough to vote they may also choose to read one or all of the worst books ever written
    Its Up to ME

  3. #3
    Boggle
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    I wouldn't worry. From what I gather the religion lessons come down to knowing a few prayers and keeping the parish priest happy.

    They certainly don't go changing the syllabus to cater for the religion. (none of this american cult weirdness you read about)

  4. #4
    Dylan2010
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    sure and I dont remember any primary discussing the evils of communism even back in my day but in theory it means there is an attempt at weeding out secular teachers via the exam process if one was prepared to honestly answer questions instead of parroting back the answers they want to hear.

  5. #5

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    I can only comment based on my own experiences of teacher training and I have to say that I never had to answer any questions such as those in your screen shot. Such questions weren't even part if the RE aspect of the course and I strongly suspect that these are a hoax. Or, as they are 'sample' questions, someone having the craic and forgetting to delete it...

    Yes, there are two different type of RE courses which are taken as part of teacher training and both modules are timetabled during the college week.

    One is for the cert in RE, which is required to teach religion in school (Catholic for the catholic teacher training colleges and CoI for the CoI college in Rathmines. It is assessed through seminar participation, not an exam.

    The other is RE methodology, i.e. learning how to teach religion. This involves exploring how to use the Alive-0 teaching resource (the one used in all Catholic schools - the CoI have their own version). No exam here, either, but assessed through lesson plan and resource preparation.

    Regarding the actual content of these modules, 'happy clappy' would be the best way to describe it. In terms of the RE cert module, it was mostly theology - learning about the philosophy and history of the Catholic church in a very academic way, i.e. the Council of Nicea, the issues caused by translations of the gospels from Greeek to Latin. etc.

    I can hand on heart say that the religion courses in teacher training were in no way critical of any other religion or spiritual belief.
    "Holding it together with pilates and gin."

  6. #6
    Dylan2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by alloverbartheshouting View Post
    I can only comment based on my own experiences of teacher training and I have to say that I never had to answer any questions such as those in your screen shot. Such questions weren't even part if the RE aspect of the course and I strongly suspect that these are a hoax. Or, as they are 'sample' questions, someone having the craic and forgetting to delete it...
    Atheists criticise religion exam at student teacher college



    you can take it that they were real, they referred to them with Fr Vincent Twomey in the Newstalk interview who designed the course

  7. #7
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    These are extracts from the 'practice' religion exam with Hibernia.

    I did the exam myself and confirm that it is not fake.

    We had four modules online and a big 'religion' day in Maynooth. I recall that we did the historical aspects that you mention but also had a 'lecture' from Vincent Toomey (sp?). I've talked about that experience before in another thread.

    In reality, the majority of the things we covered will never see the light of day in any classroom.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dylan2010 View Post
    sure and I dont remember any primary discussing the evils of communism even back in my day but in theory it means there is an attempt at weeding out secular teachers via the exam process if one was prepared to honestly answer questions instead of parroting back the answers they want to hear.
    But that's the thing - Irish schools have plenty of' secular' teachers. In my own time in teacher training I would have debated in religion classes as a declared lapsed Catholic veering towards agnostic. There was no weeding out required.

    On applying to teacher training, candidates are not asked to declare their religion - one of my fellow students was Presbyterian and she got the cert - and religious belief is not asked about either when applying for jobs.
    "Holding it together with pilates and gin."

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dylan2010 View Post
    Atheists criticise religion exam at student teacher college



    you can take it that they were real, they referred to them with Fr Vincent Twomey in the Newstalk interview who designed the course
    Janey - it just looks like a dummy site not updated form test mode before going live.... it once happened on a project I worked on when the nice folks in IT failed to take out some 'interesting' filler material that they had put in the test site before it's oficial launch.

    Again, I never had any lectures where such things were even discussed let alone have to sit an exam.
    "Holding it together with pilates and gin."

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fall Girl View Post
    These are extracts from the 'practice' religion exam with Hibernia.

    I did the exam myself and confirm that it is not fake.

    We had four modules online and a big 'religion' day in Maynooth. I recall that we did the historical aspects that you mention but also had a 'lecture' from Vincent Toomey (sp?). I've talked about that experience before in another thread.

    In reality, the majority of the things we covered will never see the light of day in any classroom.
    Exactly - Alive-0 hardly tackles the evils of Communism, does it?
    "Holding it together with pilates and gin."

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