Religious Language-Twentieth Century Perspectives: A2 Philosophy

Preview of Lesson Plans:

“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.” Marcus Aurelius
Agree/ Disagree

  1. What does it mean to say something is true or false?
  2. How can we prove something is true/ false?

Go through the table worksheet answering whether the statements are true/ false or have empirical evidence to support. Discuss answers

Ppt: Slides 1-7 covering the Logical Positivists, Ayer’s Verification and how this goes against the meaningfulness of religious language.

Students write an introduction for:

“Only Cognitive language is meaningful. Discuss”

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Religious Language- Apophatic and Cataphatic Ways: A2 Philosophy

Preview of Lesson Plans:

Via Negativa:

Students pick three things in room and describe it by 10 things it is not

Write on board:
E.g:

  • Not heavy
  • Not on the floor
  • Not universally known
  • Not moving
  • Not mental
  • Not black or purple
  • Not hot
  • Not absent from me (Aimee/ teacher)

= dream catcher (I have a dream catcher tattoo on my ankle)

Students share one thing with partner – guess – share with class

Write a short paragraph:

  1. I think it was (clear/ unclear) to describe items by what they are not because…

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What you NEED to know from the OCR Training Course!

A friend from another school has recently been to an OCR training course (My car was stuck in the snow doing wheel spins in sunny Scarborough!) and the major snippet of information is that on the content table of the spec, if it mentions a Bible passage or a text from the Pope for example, this could be used as part of a specific question.

Whilst I have covered these areas within the unit and students know to make reference to them in their answers, I was not expecting them to be part of the wording of questions. This was quite naïve of me! In my ten years of teaching OCR specs I know that anything mentioned on the spec could be used in the exam questions, I am just pleased I am now able to incorporate it into my exam practice with students.

A possible question for example might then be: Critically assess the view that official Christian teachings, with reference to Ephesians, should resist current secular views on gender. To me this sounds quite a clunky question but the powers-at-be at OCR have made it clear that this sort of question is possible. 

 

Updated A2 SOW: Is There Time?

What a term! In my previous A2 SOW (see Organising a New SOW: Second Year) you will notice that I planned to cover all six of the new DCT topics first (rather than traditionally starting with Philosophy then Ethics) which was definitely the right move! They are deceivingly chucky topics with a lot of new content to learn and understand (for me) then teach – so I am pleased I’ve got those out of the way. However because I underestimated these topics, I am now seriously behind where I optimistically planned I would be. So I went back to the drawing board to work out how in the remaining weeks left, I can cover A2 Philosophy, A2 Ethics and all revision.

In brief, the plan is that students revise AS Philosophy over Christmas, AS Ethics over February half term and AS DCT over Easter. This takes care of the bulk of self-revision. In class time the plan is to cover the new topics first, then the students sit a Key Knowledge Exam in the AS material to identify problem areas. I am then going to get them to vote from worst to best topics so I can focus their revision with me on the areas most needed. I will leave the topics they are happiest with until the end (if there is time). I think the only way to cover the new material and get the most out of revision together in class is by prioritising the topics the students most need to go over.

Click on the image below if you would like to see my updated scheme of work on TES:

sow

 

In the up- coming weeks I will be blogging about revision techniques and I’m also looking into some sort of revision podcasts, so students can go over the revision lessons outside of class (the thought of recording myself at this point though still makes my tummy flip!!)

 

How to Improve your Essay Technique

My A2 students have completed their first mock exam under timed conditions. Usually when I set essays for homework students can use their notes and do not complete under time restraints. This is because I want students to develop the right essay writing technique before making things more difficult. However a college wide mock exam meant my students had to finally bite the bullet and complete their first exam paper (questions written by me since there are no previous questions to go on).

  • Task: Answer two from four questions
  • Topics: A2 DCT Pluralism and Gender
  • Time: 40 minutes per question
  • Expectation: Focus on answering the specific question and evaluate everything
  • Help: Students were allowed to use their DCT revision pack notes to support them (Just click on Revision Pack if you would like your own copy of the 55 page pack for a small price)

So what where the questions:

  1. To what extent does an exclusivist view point represent the true Christian message?
  2. Evaluate the view that Christians should have a mission to those of no faith.
  3. To what extent has secular views on gender equality undermined Christian gender roles?
  4. Critically assess the view the Christianity is inherently sexist.

The marking process:

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Gender and Society: Student’s Work

The question was:

“Should official Christian teachings resist current secular views on gender” discuss

Students were given this question as homework. There were no time constraints and students were allowed to use their class notes to help. I believe that students need to first of all develop their technique before removing support (notes) and adding extra pressure of time conditions.

They are currently doing their first mock exam of the year (November 27th) under timed conditions, so have had three months of practicing their essay writing technique first. The students are allowed to use their revision packs for support. By March next year students will do a full exam with no notes and under timed conditions, so this is what we are working towards. If students don’t have the technique, removing notes and adding time pressure will not support them in  improving their writing only aggravate the writing process.

These are three introductions for the essay (my comments can be seen at the end as footnotes):

intro GS.JPG

Examples of main paragraphs:

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