‘Some higher or­der think­ing needed’

Irish Independent - - News - Kather­ine Don­nelly

WHILE both Ju­nior Cert re­li­gious education papers were in line with pre­vi­ous years, the higher level exam was test­ing, ac­cord­ing to teacher Stephen O’Hara.

Mr O’Hara said among the chal­lenges fac­ing higher can­di­dates was the ques­tion where they were asked to com­pare the ap­proach taken by both ag­nos­ti­cism with sec­u­lar hu­man­ism to ques­tions about the mean­ing of life.

Mr O’Hara, a TUI sub­ject rep­re­sen­ta­tive and teacher at Coláiste Choilm, Ballincol­lig, Co Cork, said that “def­i­nitely, higher or­der think­ing was re­quired”.

The or­di­nary level pa­per wasn’t with­out some tough ques­tions in­clud­ing, he said, Q6 on the moral chal­lenge. Given it was the last one on the pa­per and stu­dents had a choice, he felt many can­di­dates might have avoided it.

Ear­lier, Ju­nior Cert can­di­dates sat home eco­nomics and teacher Mar­garet Kent re­gret­ted the fact that the ex­am­in­ers didn’t in­tro­duce the same changes seen on the Leav­ing Cert or­di­nary level pa­per this year, where ex­pla­na­tions were given, in brack­ets, for some words.

Ms Kent, an ASTI sub­ject rep­re­sen­ta­tive, who teaches at Loreto Sec­ondary School, Fer­moy, Co Cork, said a lot stu­dents come from non-English speak­ing back­grounds and can be stumped by a par­tic­u­lar word. At higher level, the use of the word ‘re­dress’ was one ex­am­ple of where, she felt, some can­di­dates would have ben­e­fited from an ex­pla­na­tion.

Ms Kenny also thought that the or­di­nary level pa­per could have down with more graph­ics.

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