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Study of Religion

16XXXX

Senior Syllabus 2016

Contents
1

Introduction ______________________________________ 1

1.1

Pathways .................................................................................................. 1

Rationale ________________________________________ 4

Course overview __________________________________ 5

3.1

Underpinning factors ................................................................................ 5


3.1.1
3.1.2
3.1.3

3.2
3.3

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives ................................... 7


Teaching and learning .............................................................................. 8
3.3.1

3.4

Literacy in Study of Religion ........................................................................... 5


Numeracy in Study of Religion ....................................................................... 6
21st century skills ........................................................................................... 7

An approach to inquiry .................................................................................... 8

Course structure ..................................................................................... 13


3.4.1
3.4.2
3.4.3

Syllabus objectives ....................................................................................... 13


Subject matter ............................................................................................... 14
Assessment .................................................................................................. 14

Unit 1 Sacred texts and religious writings__________ 16

4.1
4.2
4.3

Unit description ....................................................................................... 16


Unit objectives ........................................................................................ 16
Subject matter ........................................................................................ 17
4.3.1

Core learning ................................................................................................ 17

4.4

Assessment instruments ........................................................................ 18

Unit 2 Religion and ritual ________________________ 19

5.1
5.2
5.3

Unit description ....................................................................................... 19


Unit objectives ........................................................................................ 19
Subject matter ........................................................................................ 20
5.3.1

Core learning ................................................................................................ 20

5.4

Assessment instruments ........................................................................ 21

Unit 3 Religious ethics__________________________ 22

6.1
6.2

Unit description ....................................................................................... 22


Unit objectives ........................................................................................ 22

6.3

Subject matter ........................................................................................ 23


6.3.1

6.4

Core learning ................................................................................................ 23

Assessment instruments ........................................................................ 25


6.4.1
6.4.2

Internal assessment 1: Examination (extended response; 25%) ................. 25


Internal assessment 2: Inquiry response...................................................... 29

Unit 4 Religion, rights and the state _______________ 34

7.1
7.2
7.3

Unit description ....................................................................................... 34


Unit objectives ........................................................................................ 34
Subject matter ........................................................................................ 35
7.3.1

7.4

Core learning ................................................................................................ 35

Assessment instruments ........................................................................ 37


7.4.1
7.4.2

Internal assessment 3: Inquiry response...................................................... 37


External assessment: Examination (25%).................................................... 41

Appendix 1: Glossary of cognitive verbs __________________________ 44


Appendix 2: Glossary of subject-specific terms ____________________ 49
Appendix 3: References ________________________________________ 54

1 Introduction
Study of Religion is one of 14 Humanities and Social Sciences subjects offered at a postcompulsory schooling level in Queensland. Senior Humanities and Social Sciences Learning
Area subjects include:
general subjects:
- Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Studies
- Accounting
- Ancient History
- Business
- Economics
- Geography
- Legal Studies
- Modern History
- Philosophy & Reason
- Study of Religion
applied subjects:
- Business Studies
- Religion & Ethics
- Social & Community Studies
- Tourism.
The subject Study of Religion is a unitised course of study.
Units 1 and 2 are foundational learning for Units 3 and 4. Students should complete Units 1 and 2
before beginning Units 3 and 4.
Only the results from Units 3 and 4 will contribute to the Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank
(ATAR) calculations.
Each unit has been planned to require 55 hours of teaching and learning including assessment.

1.1 Pathways
Study of Religion is a general subject suited to students who are interested in pathways beyond
Year 12 that lead to work, vocational education or tertiary studies. A course of study in Study of
Religion can establish a basis for further education and employment in the fields of anthropology,
the arts, education, journalism, politics, psychology, sociology, theology and social work.

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Figure 1: Learning area structure

F10 Australian Curriculum


Humanities and Social Sciences
Senior Secondary Humanities and
Social Sciences

General*

Applied*

Aboriginal & Torres Strait


Islander Studies

Business Studies

Accounting

Religion & Ethics

Ancient History

Social & Community


Studies

Business

Tourism

Economics

Geography

Legal Studies

Modern History

Philosophy & Reason

Study of Religion

* Please note: these are working titles only.

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Figure 2: Course structure

Study of Religion

Unit 1
Sacred texts and
religious writings
Topic 1:
Sacred texts
Topic 2:
Abrahamic
traditions

Assessment
Foundational:

Unit 2
Religion and
ritual

Unit 3
Religious ethics

Topic 1:
Life cycle rituals
Topic 2:
Calendrical rituals

Topic 1:
Religion and the
state
Topic 2:
Religion and
human rights

Topic 1:
Social ethics
Topic 2:
Ethical
relationships

Assessment
Foundational:

Unit 4
Religion, rights
and the state

Assessment

Assessment

Summative internal 1:
Examination

Summative internal 3:
Inquiry response

Summative internal 2:
Inquiry response

Summative external:
Examination

Students will have opportunities in Units 1 and 2 to respond to the types of assessment they will
encounter in Units 3 and 4.

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2 Rationale
Study of Religion is the investigation and study of religious traditions and how religion has
influenced, and continues to influence peoples lives. As religions are living traditions, a variety of
religious expressions exists within each tradition. Religious beliefs and practices also influence
the social, cultural and political lives of people and nations. Students become aware of their own
religious beliefs, the religious beliefs of others, and how people holding such beliefs are able to
co-exist in a pluralist society.
In this subject, students study the five major world religions of Judaism, Christianity, Islam,
Hinduism and Buddhism. These religions are explored through sacred texts that offer insights into
life and the rituals that mark significant moments and events in the lives of individuals. This
provides the foundations for understanding religious ethics within real-life contexts, as well as the
role religion plays in society and culture. The course is complemented by studying Aboriginal
spiritualities and Torres Strait Islander religion.
Throughout the course of study, students will engage with an inquiry approach to learning about
the worlds five major religions, their central beliefs and practices, and their influence upon
people, society and culture. As a result, a logical and critical approach to understanding the
influence of religion should be developed, with judgments supported through valid and reasoned
argument. This contributes to the development of a range of transferable thinking and processing
skills that will assist students to live and work successfully in the 21st century.
Study of Religion allows students to develop critical thinking skills, including those of analysis,
reasoning and evaluation, as well as communication skills that support further study and postschool participation in a wide range of fields. The subject also enables them to become more
informed citizens, as religion continues to function as a powerful dimension of human experience.
Through recognising the factors that have contributed to different forms of religious expression,
students should develop an appreciation of the religious diversity that exists globally, and an
empathy and respect for the ways in which people think, feel and act religiously.

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3 Course overview
Study of Religion is a unitised course of study. Subject matter, learning experiences and
assessment increase in complexity across the four units as students develop greater
independence as learners.
Units 1 and 2 allow students to begin engaging with the course subject matter. Units 3 and 4
consolidate student learning.

3.1 Underpinning factors


There are three skill sets that underpin general syllabuses and that are essential for defining the
distinctive nature of subjects:
literacy skills
numeracy skills
21st century skills.
These skill sets, which overlap and interact, are derived from current education, industry and
community expectations and encompass the knowledge, skills, capabilities, behaviours and
dispositions that will assist students to live and work successfully in the 21st century.
Literacy and numeracy skills have an important place in senior secondary subjects, regardless of
the pathways undertaken by students beyond Year 12. Both industry and the community expect
students to demonstrate competency in literacy and numeracy, and teachers themselves have
identified the need to explicitly teach literacy and numeracy knowledge and skills that reflect
learner needs and support future pathways (QCAA 2015).
The 21st century skills identify a broader skill set that is considered necessary to succeed in a
complex, competitive, knowledge-based, information-age, technology-driven economy and
society (Great Schools Partnership 2014). These high-priority skills and attributes are believed to
be most significant in helping students live and work successfully in the 21st century and are
conceptualised as skills required by all individuals.
Together these three factors shape the development of general subject syllabuses. Although
coverage of each may vary from syllabus to syllabus, students should be provided with
opportunities to learn through and about these skill sets over the course of study. Each contains
identifiable knowledge and skills that can be directly assessed.
Relevant aspects of the underpinning factors are embedded in the syllabus objectives, unit
objectives and subject matter, and instrument-specific marking guides for Study of Religion.

3.1.1 Literacy in Study of Religion


Literacy is the set of knowledge and skills about language and texts that is essential for
understanding and conveying Study of Religion content.
On-going systematic teaching and learning focused on the literacy knowledge and skills specific
to Study of Religion is essential for student achievement.

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Students need to learn and use knowledge and skills of reading, viewing and listening to
understand and learn the content of Study of Religion. Students need to learn and use the
knowledge and skills of writing, composing and speaking to convey the Study of Religion content
they have learnt.
To understand and use Study of Religion content, teaching and learning strategies include:
defining subject-specific terminology to make meaning of Study of Religion language and texts
comprehending language and texts to make literal and inferred meanings about Study of
Religion content
using Study of Religion ideas and information in classroom, real-world and/or lifelike contexts
to progress their own learning.
To analyse and evaluate Study of Religion content, teaching and learning strategies include:
drawing conclusions about the purpose and audience of Study of Religion language and texts
analysing the ways language is used to convey ideas and information in Study of Religion
texts
transforming language and texts to convey Study of Religion ideas and information in
particular ways to suit audience and purpose.
Relevant aspects of literacy knowledge and skills are embedded in the syllabus objectives, unit
objectives and subject matter, and instrument-specific marking guides for Study of Religion.

3.1.2 Numeracy in Study of Religion


Numeracy is about using mathematics to make sense of the world and applying mathematics in a
context for a social purpose.
Numeracy encompasses the knowledge, skills, behaviours and dispositions that students need to
use mathematics in a wide range of situations, to recognise and understand the role of
mathematics in the world and to develop the dispositions and capacities to use mathematical
knowledge and skills purposefully.
Although much of the explicit teaching of numeracy skills occurs in Mathematics, being numerate
involves using mathematical skills across the curriculum. Therefore, numeracy development is an
essential component of teaching and learning across the curriculum and a responsibility for all
teachers.
To understand and use Study of Religion content, teaching and learning strategies include:
interpreting statistical data, graphs and tables as sources of information
providing learning experiences and opportunities that support the application of students
general mathematical knowledge and problem-solving processes
communicating and representing the language of numeracy in teaching, as appropriate.
Relevant aspects of numeracy knowledge and skills are embedded in the syllabus objectives, unit
objectives and subject matter, and instrument-specific marking guides for Study of Religion.

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3.1.3 21st century skills


The 21st skills identified in this syllabus reflect a common agreement, both in Australia and
internationally, on the skills and attributes students need to prepare them for higher education,
work and engagement in a complex and rapidly changing world (QCAA 2015).
21st century skills

Associated skills

21st century skills

Associated skills

critical thinking

creative thinking

communication

effective oral and written


communication
using language, symbols
and texts
communicating ideas
effectively with diverse
audiences

collaboration and
teamwork

relating to others
(interacting with others)
recognising and using
diverse perspectives
participating and
contributing
community connections

personal and social


skills

adaptability/flexibility
management (self,
career, time, planning
and organising)
character (resilience,
mindfulness, open- and
fair-mindedness, selfawareness)
leadership
citizenship
cultural awareness
ethical (and moral)
understanding

ICT skills

operations and concepts


accessing and analysing
information
being productive users of
technology
digital citizenship (being
safe, positive and
responsible online)

analytical thinking
problem solving
decision making
reasoning
reflecting and evaluating
intellectual flexibility

innovation
initiative and enterprise
curiosity and imagination
creativity
generating and applying
new ideas
identifying alternatives
seeing or making new
links

Relevant aspects of 21st century skills are embedded in the syllabus objectives, unit objectives
and subject matter, and instrument-specific marking guides for Study of Religion.

3.2 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives


This syllabus has been designed to respectfully and authentically incorporate Aboriginal
spiritualities and Torres Strait Islander religion across the course of study. This is to provide a
deeper understanding of the spiritual connections of the First Peoples of Australia to Country,
Place, language, sea and sky. When teaching Aboriginal spiritualities and Torres Strait Islander
religion, the context of the local area and community should be considered and recognised.

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3.3 Teaching and learning


3.3.1 An approach to inquiry
Learning in the 21st century is dynamic, and is enhanced by an inquiry approach that applies
discipline knowledge and skills to real-world situations and contemporary events (Masters 2016).
Inquiry as a pedagogical approach reflects Deweys belief that students need to develop critical
thinking skills (Justice et al. 2009), and is based on principles of exploration and discovery that
are critical to engaging students and promoting higher-order thinking (Vajoczki, Watt & Vine 2011;
Spronken-Smith & Walker 2010).
An inquiry approach involves a range of instructional practices that stimulate student learning and
give precedence to students investigative work (Aditomo et al. 2013). Learning through inquiry is
a significant focus of education research, curriculum and teaching.
The approach allows students to make connections between problems and questions within
topics of study, across the curriculum and with the real world. It develops students who become
lifelong learners able to participate successfully in life and work in the 21st century (Bateman
2014).

Inquiry-based learning
An inquiry approach involves 1:
a method of learning, initiated by questions or problems
personal construction of a students own knowledge. That is, knowledge that is new to the
student
an active approach to learning where students have the central role
the teacher acting as a facilitator
developing self-directed learning over time, as students assume increasing responsibility for
their learning.
Inquiry is based on a cluster of pedagogical approaches that are driven by inquiry or research
(Aditomo et al. 2013). The common key stages in an inquiry process are2:
forming and describing the inquiry activity
finding valid and reliable information and data for the defined inquiry activity
analysing and processing the information and data selected
evaluating the analysed information and data to make meaning and draw conclusions.
Reflection is the crucial mental activity that connects the four inquiry stages. As students progress
in their inquiry, they develop more meaning about previous understandings and inquiry decisions.
Consequently, students should be encouraged to view stage decisions and activities as formative
and therefore worthy of reflection and revision (Marzano & Kendall 2007). They actively
participate in both the linear stages of inquiry, and in the recursive and reflective nature of inquiry
(Aditomo et al. 2013).
1

The core elements are stated by Spronken-Smith and Walker (2010, p. 726) and supported by references to
Justice et al. (2007), Khan and ORourke (2004) and Weaver (1989).
2
Inquiry is a process and a set of skills. It has several steps or stages (Vajoczki, Watt & Vine 2011). This is
supported by the range of inquiry models used in Australian schools, as identified by Bateman (2014) as the
Integrated Inquiry Approach (Murdoch 1998), the 5Es (Hackling, Peers & Prain 2007), TELSTAR (Department of
Education 1994) and the Action Research Model (Stringer 2009).

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Engaging students in inquiry tasks and processes is critical to successful outcomes using an
inquiry pedagogy. This is the self-system as described by Marzano and Kendall (2007, ch. 3), an
interrelated arrangement of attitudes, beliefs and emotions that determine both motivation and
attention. Accordingly, the classroom climate is critical in developing responsive and active
learners who feel comfortable in taking learning risks and are willing to invest the time and effort
in critiquing previous decisions.

Skills developed through the inquiry approach


An inquiry approach can help students develop both 21st century and metacognition skills.
21st century skills

Explanation

Critical thinking
(Vajoczki, Watt & Vine 2011)

Students reason and become more intellectually flexible.

Creating a research strategy and


methodology
(Vajoczki, Watt & Vine 2011)

Students are led by curiosity (Justice et al. 2009) and


towards a situation where new links and connections are
made.

Oral and written communication


(Justice et al. 2007)

Students express their understandings and reasoning of


the processes of the inquiry approach, not just of the final
outcome of the task.

Collaborative learning
(Justice et al. 2007; Vajoczki, Watt & Vine
2011)

Students interact with different learners and


understandings. They use this interaction to construct
their learning by participating and contributing to a
community of learners.

Personal and social skills

Students become strategic in managing and planning time


and the task, and being open-minded and resilient during
the inquiry (Masters 2016).

Information and communication technology

Students become productive users of technology and


develop digital awareness and citizenship.

The skills involved in metacognition and self-regulated learning are intended outcomes of an
inquiry approach (Aditomo et al. 2013; Justice et al. 2007; Spronken-Smith & Walker 2010).
Inquiry requires students to be aware of their thinking and decisions at each stage in the learning
process, develop a positive attitude and value the crucial mental activity of reflection, and
therefore do more than follow set procedures and mimic examples without understanding.

Approaches to inquiry in the classroom


When teaching inquiry skills, teachers should consider teaching for inquiry and teaching through
inquiry. When teaching for inquiry, students are taught inquiry strategies to:
devise questions
research
examine sources for validity and reliability
record information and data
analyse and process information and data to ascertain relationships, patterns and trends
synthesise ideas and findings
evaluate using criteria

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justify or support conclusions.


Alternatively, when teaching through inquiry, students are presented with problems to solve or
questions to research in order to develop new understanding and skills. This requires an explicit
and connected approach to teaching inquiry that necessitates fluency of critical facts and
processes at each step.
The following describes three different approaches to teaching inquiry along the continua
between teaching for and through:3
Inquiry type

Description

Teaching for or
through inquiry

Structured

Teacher provides students with an issue, problem or question


and an outline for addressing it.
The inquiry stages are structured and each stage may be the
focus of class activities either in isolation or through connections
structured by the teacher.

For

Guided

Teacher provides questions to stimulate inquiry, and students


are self-directed in terms of exploring these questions.
Teacher provides guidance at some or all stages.

Through

Open

Teacher cedes control and students work independently to


formulate their own questions and problems, and progress
through the full inquiry cycle.

Through

Scaffolding is a practical element of teaching inquiry (Spronken-Smith & Walker 2010). More
structure and greater guidance will be required when students are beginning the course of study.
Classroom learning may involve activities and experiences that focus on particular stages of the
inquiry process so that these are explicitly taught; it is not necessary that students undertake all
stages of an inquiry approach each time in order to develop mastery, confidence and
independence. Consequently, the role of scaffolding is temporal, and this reflects the
developmental complexity of the course of study in Queensland senior syllabuses.
These approaches are not mutually exclusive. An open approach (teaching through inquiry) might
be undertaken as an extension from a generalised application activity that students have
previously undertaken (teaching for inquiry). Students need to have achieved the relevant
foundational understanding and skills before undertaking an open inquiry task. This capacity
needs to be built over time through the course of study with teachers closely monitoring student
progress.

Based on Spronken-Smith and Walker (2010, p. 726), which built on the problem-solving approach of Staver
and Bay (1997)

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The inquiry approach illustrated

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Stages of an inquiry approach in Study of Religion


Reflection

Reflecting is a mode of thinking, as well as a habit of mind, that is crucial in an inquiry


approach. Throughout the inquiry, students reflect on these stages to critically examine their
hypothesis, inquiry questions, sources, analysis, conclusions and judgments.

Stages

Explanation

Strategies

Stage 1:
Forming
the inquiry

Students should define and describe the aim of


their inquiry. They form questions and/or
hypotheses that will guide their inquiry, and outline
the inquiry parameters and methods.
Students consider their knowledge about the topic
and plan how to acquire further information and
data. This forms a solid foundation to identifying,
defining and clarifying the inquiry.
Teacher facilitation occurs through negotiation,
consultation and advice offered. Reflection is
important as a lack of clarity in this stage affects
subsequent inquiry stages.

identify the focus of the topic for


investigation

frame relevant inquiry questions

propose a hypothesis

Students locate sources and gather information


from these to inform the topic for investigation. The
information may be from primary or secondary
sources with teacher facilitation and monitoring of
student progress.
Technology can improve students productivity for
recording sources and information. Its use allows
for creativity and collaboration, developing personal
and social skills and responsible approaches to ICT
use to be developed.
Reflection is both forward and backward thinking
across the inquiry stages.

locate a range of primary and


secondary sources

record reference details to indicate


the sources used

make brief notes to record


information selected from sources

consider the quality, quantity and


range of sources located

reflect on the information and


sources selected to determine:

Stage 2:
Finding
sources
and
information

- if sources are suitable and


sufficient for analytical processing
to begin
- if the hypothesis requires
refinement
- if changes in direction and/or
emphasis are required
Stage 3:
Analysing
and
processing

Students identify emerging patterns, trends and


perspectives, as well as key relationships between
the components of their inquiry.
Reflection assists students to consider their major
findings. This may relate to:
Is there sufficient information for evaluation and
on which to draw a conclusion(s)?
Does the analysis indicate that:
- further information is required?
- the information and/or sources require further
checking for validity?

use of a range of sources from which


information has been selected
interpreting information to identify
patterns, trends, perspectives and
key relationships that affect the
inquiry
reflect upon the validity of sources
and information selected

Stage 4:
Evaluating
the
analysed
evidence

Students synthesise their analysis and apply


relevant criteria in order to draw conclusions and
make judgments. The evaluation must be supported
by the analysis and referenced appropriately.

synthesise information from the

analysis
draw conclusions and make
judgments
reflect across the inquiry stages to
make meaning or the process used,
including any flaws or omissions

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3.4 Course structure


3.4.1 Syllabus objectives
The syllabus objectives outline what the school is required to teach and what students have the
opportunity to learn. Assessment gathers evidence of how well students have achieved the
objectives.
The syllabus objectives are described in terms of actions that operate on the subject matter. In
order to demonstrate and meet the objectives students are required to use a range of cognitive
processes. These cognitive processes are described in the explanatory paragraph following each
objective across four levels: retrieval, comprehension, analytical processes (analysis), and
knowledge utilisation, with each process building on the previous processes (Marzano & Kendall
2007 and 2008). For example, comprehension requires retrieval, and knowledge utilisation
requires retrieval, comprehension and analytical processes (analysis).
By the conclusion of the course of study, students should:
1.

describe the characteristics of religion and religious traditions


When students describe the characteristics of religion and religious traditions, they identify
and account for the distinguishing features of religion and religious traditions.

2.

demonstrate an understanding of religious traditions


When students demonstrate an understanding of religious traditions, they explain the ways in
which religion is expressed in the lives of individuals using examples.

3.

differentiate between religious traditions


When students differentiate between religious traditions, they determine the distinct
characteristics and differences evident within and across religious traditions and the ways in
which individuals interpret and live the tradition.

4.

analyse perspectives about religious expressions within traditions


When students analyse perspectives about religious expressions within traditions, they
identify, examine and consider religious characteristics to ascertain a range of views, and
provide reasons for such views.

5.

consider and organise information about religion


When students consider and organise information about religion, they interpret information
from sources and decide on the validity of these.

6.

evaluate and draw conclusions about the significance of religion for individuals and
its influence on people, society and culture
When students evaluate and draw conclusions about the significance of religion for
individuals and its influence on people, society and culture, they make judgments about the
importance of religion for believers and the way it shapes people, society and culture.

7.

create responses that communicate meaning to suit purpose


When students create responses that communicate meaning to suit purpose, they convey
ideas or arguments using their understandings of religion and religious traditions. They use
genre and language conventions, and recognised conventions of referencing.

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3.4.2 Subject matter


Core learning
Core learning is the required information, mental procedures and psychomotor procedures
particular to the unit. It provides a common body of subject matter necessary for students
learning and engagement with Study of Religion and is what all students who undertake this
subject will have the opportunity to learn.
Core learning is integrated in each unit and developed throughout the course of study. It must be
covered in Units 1 and 2 and further developed in Units 3 and 4.

Organisation of core learning


Core learning in Study of Religion is organised into topics. There are two topics in each of the
four units.

3.4.3 Assessment
Best fit statement
The instrument-specific marking guide (ISMG) outlines the descriptors students will meet to be
awarded a mark.
The marker assessing student work must choose the mark that overall best matches the work
being assessed. Where a student response has qualities associated with different marks, the
marker uses a best-fit approach by choosing the mark that overall best matches the evidence in
the student response.
Where there is a two mark range the marker decides if the best fit is the higher or lower mark of
the range. If the evidence matches all the descriptors or (where possible) some higher
descriptors, then the higher mark is awarded. If the evidence does not match all the descriptors or
(where possible) matches some of the lower descriptors, the lower mark is awarded.
It is worth noting that the highest mark does not require a flawless response.

Authentication
Schools and teachers should have in place strategies for ensuring that work submitted for
assessment is the students own. Where aspects of school-based assessment are completed
outside class time, teachers must monitor and record each students progress through to
completion. This may include regular sightings of the student work by the teacher and keeping of
records, or the students demonstrating their understanding of the task at the time of submission
of the work.
The following strategies are useful to ensure authentication of student work:
tasks kept secure prior to administration to avoid unauthorised prior release to students, e.g.
tasks not sent electronically without due care
task design that provides each student with the opportunity to develop a unique response, e.g.
choice of focus within topics, different data sets
rotation of questions or tasks from year to year to ensure that students are unable to use
student work from a previous year
use of technologies or other strategies to identify plagiarism or copied responses

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significant classroom time is spent on the task so the teacher is familiar with a students work
and can regularly monitor/discuss aspects of the work with student
students may document specific stages of work, starting with an early part of the task such as
topic choice, list of resources and/or preliminary research
filing copies of students work at given stages in its development
students to acknowledge tutors, if they have them, and to discuss and show the work done
with tutors. Similar advice applies if students receive regular help from a family member.
student declaration that the work is their own, and prepared without the substantive assistance
of others.

Teacher feedback
Formal assessment has a formative purpose, to assist students in attaining higher levels of
understanding and skills, across the four units of the course. Therefore, formal assessment
feedback occurs at two main times:
when preparing for the task or at one or two critical points in a research task, ensuring that the
response and its parts only receive feedback once
at the completion of the task during the marking process, so students can learn more about
their performance and how to improve in subsequent assessment.
Teachers should be aware of effective forms of feedback and students need to know how to act
on feedback. Consequently, forms of feedback should be incorporated within pedagogical
practice. The feedback provided by teachers must be aligned to the developmental nature of the
syllabus, that is, more extensive and explicit feedback is acceptable for Units 1 and 2, while less
extensive and more conceptual feedback is appropriate for Units 3 and 4.
For equity and authentication purposes, it is important for teachers and students to have a
common understanding of feedback that is appropriate and acceptable as part of unsupervised
assessments.
The following outlines conceptual feedback when preparing for a research assessment within
Units 3 and 4:
one formal draft or outline
feedback may be given orally or in writing, and should not be extensive. For example, 5-10
minutes of oral discussion or written guidance comments on areas within the response that
require further attention, do not address the task or are incorrect. Specific corrections should
not be dictated in either oral or written form
some errors with the conventions of communication may be highlighted to indicate that the
whole draft requires more careful editing, e.g. specific errors found in one paragraph only. All
errors beyond one paragraph should not be corrected or specifically indicated to the student.
brief assistance in the form of prompting and general advice from another person or source
which leads to the student making their own decisions about refinements and/or self-correction
is acceptable. Where this assistance is not brief or where it is extensive, the authenticity of the
student response is at risk of not being their own work as a whole or in part. All extensive
assistance must be declared by the student to the teacher. The school is responsible for
applying their own authentication procedures in order to make a decision about the
authenticity of student work. Students may be required to resubmit the response, in whole or
part, within the original deadlines. Ultimately, it is the students responsibility to ensure the
work they submit is their own.

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4 Unit 1 Sacred texts and religious


writings
4.1 Unit description
In Unit 1, students are introduced to the five major world religions of Judaism, Christianity, Islam,
Hinduism and Buddhism as a foundation to the course of study. This is complemented by an
introduction to Australian Aboriginal spiritualities. Through a study of sacred texts and religious
writings, students explore how sacred texts offer insights into life, provide guidance for living, and
express a relationship between a people and the sacred. As Unit 1 progresses, there is a
particular focus on the sacred texts of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
The learning for the unit comprises two topics, which are of equal importance in providing
students with the knowledge and skills associated with the unit.
The Unit 1 topics are:
Topic 1: Sacred texts
Topic 2: Abrahamic traditions.

4.2 Unit objectives


Unit objectives are drawn from the syllabus objectives and are contextualised to the subject
matter and requirements of the unit. They are assessable objectives, with each being assessed at
least once in this unit. These objectives will be evident in the instrument-specific marking guides.
By the end of this unit, students should:
1.

describe the characteristics of religion and religious traditions through identifying sacred texts
and religious writings in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Aboriginal
spiritualities

2.

demonstrate an understanding of religious traditions by explaining beliefs that emanate from


sacred texts and religious writings

3.

differentiate between religious traditions by recognising different methods of interpretation of


sacred texts and religious writings

4.

analyse the perspectives within religious traditions that relate to ways in which sacred texts
and religious writings are interpreted

5.

consider and organise information about sacred texts and religious writings through
interpreting sources and deciding on their validity

6.

evaluate and draw conclusions about the influence and significance of sacred texts and
religious writings on religion and religious individuals

7.

create responses that communicate ideas or arguments using their understandings of sacred
texts and religious writings.

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4.3 Subject matter


4.3.1 Core learning
Topic 1: Sacred texts
In this topic, students are introduced to Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and
Aboriginal spiritualities. Students will identify sacred texts belonging to each tradition, recognise
features of sacred texts and consider the influence of sacred texts on people, society and culture.
Topic 1: Sacred texts
In this topic, students will:
identify sacred texts belonging to each religious tradition, including:
- Torah, Nevim and Ketubim (TaNaK) (Judaism)
- Bible (Christianity)
- Quran (Islam)
- Vedas and Upanishads (Hinduism)
- Pali Canon (Buddhism)
- oral stories, the land, art and dance (Aboriginal spiritualities)
explain the origin and meaning of the sacred texts of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism
and Aboriginal spiritualities for the tradition, community and individuals
explain why and how some texts are recognised as sacred
demonstrate an understanding of how sacred texts inform ritual, moral codes and relationships
identify literary styles of written and oral expression in sacred text, including:
- sacred myth
- parable
- miracle
- poetry
differentiate between religious traditions through the ways in which individuals reverence, interpret and
respond to sacred texts
analyse perspectives related to how sacred texts answer ultimate questions, for example:
- where do we come from?
- what happens when we die?
- why is there evil and suffering in the world?
consider and organise information from sources on the influence of sacred texts on religion and
religious traditions
evaluate and draw conclusions about the impact of sacred texts on people, society and culture
create responses that communicate ideas or arguments related to sacred texts.

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Topic 2: Abrahamic traditions


In this topic, students specifically focus on the sacred texts of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, i.e.
the Abrahamic traditions. They investigate how sacred texts become authoritative, the ways in
which texts are interpreted, and the influence these texts have on people, society and culture.
Topic 2: Abrahamic traditions
In this topic, students will:
identify the sacred texts of Judaism (TaNaK), Christianity (Bible), and Islam (Quran) and explain how
God is revealed through these texts
describe the similarities and differences in the founding stories of Judaism, Christianity and Islam with
respect to:
- creation
- the flood narrative
- patriarchs and matriarchs
explain the ways in which religious texts become authoritative within the Abrahamic traditions including:
- stages of development (lived, oral, written)
- canon
- authorship
- interpretation
differentiate between and analyse the ways in which individuals within the Abrahamic traditions read,
interpret and analyse sacred texts including:
- contextual interpretation (Worlds of the Text)
- reader response (e.g. feminist, liberationist, political)
- literal and fundamental interpretations
consider and organise information from sources about the ways in which sacred texts are interpreted in
the Abrahamic traditions
evaluate and draw conclusions about the influence of sacred texts of the Abrahamic traditions on
people, society and culture
create a response that communicates ideas or arguments related to sacred texts and religious writings.

4.4 Assessment instruments


The assessment instruments for Units 1 and 2 will reflect the assessment instruments for Units 3
and 4, and will be described in Draft 3 of the syllabus.

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5 Unit 2 Religion and ritual


5.1 Unit description
In Unit 2, students build upon their understandings of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism,
Buddhism, Aboriginal spiritualities and Torres Strait Islander religion as they investigate the
religious rituals that mark significant moments and events in the lives of individuals. The rituals
are divided into two groups: life cycle rituals and calendrical rituals. Life cycle rituals mark rites of
passage in the biological and sociological cycle of human life; calendrical rituals occur at a
particular time of the week, month or year or mark a period of time since a significant event.
The learning for the unit comprises two topics, which are of equal importance in providing
students with the knowledge and skills associated with the unit.
The Unit 2 topics are:
Topic 1: Life cycle rituals
Topic 2: Calendrical rituals.

5.2 Unit objectives


Unit objectives are drawn from the syllabus objectives and are contextualised to the subject
matter and requirements of the unit. They are assessable objectives, with each being assessed at
least once in this unit. These objectives will be evident in the instrument-specific marking guides.
By the end of this unit, students should:
1.

describe the characteristics of religion and religious traditions through identifying rituals and
their features within a religious tradition

2.

demonstrate an understanding of religious traditions through explaining rituals as ways in


which religion is expressed in the lives of individuals

3.

differentiate between religious traditions through identifying the characteristics of and


differences between ritual practices within and across religious traditions

4.

analyse perspectives within religious traditions regarding religious rituals and their purpose

5.

consider and organise information about religious rituals and their purpose through
interpreting sources and deciding on their validity

6.

evaluate and draw conclusions about the significance of religious rituals and their influence
on people, society and culture

7.

create responses that communicate ideas or arguments using their understandings of


religious rituals.

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5.3 Subject matter


5.3.1 Core learning
Topic 1: Life cycle rituals
In this topic, students will identify, analyse and interpret life cycle rituals within and across
religious traditions. Students will also consider how cultural practices have been incorporated into
some of these rituals and how others have remained unchanged for centuries.
Topic 1: Life cycle rituals
In this topic, students will:
describe the nature and purpose of religious life cycle rituals
identify life cycle rituals associated with Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and
Aboriginal spiritualities, including:
- initiation rites
- rites of passage
- rites of cleansing and healing
explain how core beliefs of religious traditions are manifested in life cycle rituals
explain the ways in which life cycle rituals flow from, and respond to, ultimate questions such as:
- what does it mean to be human?
- how do life cycle rituals help people make meaning?
differentiate between the role of the insider and outsider in a life cycle ritual
analyse at least one religious life cycle ritual by using and critiquing recognised theories of scholars
including:
- Arnold van Gennep
- Victor Turner
- Terence Lovat
analyse the way(s) life cycle rituals may have changed over time, e.g. Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah in
Judaism, and give reasons for this
consider and organise information from sources on the way in which life cycle rituals may be influenced
by cultural particularity and/or cultural diversity, e.g. Hindu-Indian weddings and Hindu-Malaysian
weddings
evaluate and draw conclusions about the influence of culture and secularism on peoples participation
in religious life cycle rituals
create a response that communicates ideas or arguments related to religious life cycle rituals.

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Topic 2: Calendrical rituals


In this topic, students will identify, analyse and interpret calendrical rituals within and across
religious traditions. Students investigate the significance of calendrical rituals in the lives of
individuals and examine the role that culture plays in these rituals.
Topic 2: Calendrical rituals
In this topic, students will:
describe the nature and purpose of religious calendrical rituals
identify calendrical rituals in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Torres Strait
Islander religion including:
- Yom Kippur, Rosh Ha-Shanah (Judaism)
- Easter (Christianity)
- Hajj (Islam)
- Divali (Hinduism)
- Dharma Day (Buddhism)
- Coming of the Light (Torres Strait Islander religion)
explain, using sacred texts, the reasons for religious calendrical rituals occurring at a particular time of
the week, month or year or mark a period of time since a significant event, including:
- Shabbat (Judaism)
- Pentecost (Christianity)
- Ramadan (Islam)
identify and differentiate between the motivation and purpose of pilgrimages in the calendars of
different religious traditions
analyse at least one religious calendrical ritual by using and critiquing recognised theories of scholars
including:
- Arnold van Gennep
- Victor Turner
- Terence Lovat
consider and organise information from sources on peoples participation in calendrical rituals in a
religiously plural society
evaluate and draw conclusions about the influence of calendrical rituals in a religiously plural society
create a response that communicates ideas or arguments related to religious calendrical rituals.

5.4 Assessment instruments


The assessment instruments for Units 1 and 2 will reflect the assessment instruments for Units 3
and 4, and will be described in Draft 3 of the syllabus.

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6 Unit 3 Religious ethics


6.1 Unit description
In Unit 3, students continue to build on the foundation units to examine the religious ethical
principles that are evident within the traditions of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and
Buddhism. They are required to understand the nature of ethical principles, the religious
understandings that have shaped these within different religious traditions, and their influences on
the lives of individuals. Students apply religious ethical principles and theories to real-life
contexts.
The learning for the unit comprises two topics, which are of equal importance in providing
students with the knowledge and skills associated with the unit.
The Unit 3 topics are:
Topic 1: Social ethics
Topic 2: Ethical relationships.

6.2 Unit objectives


Unit objectives are drawn from the syllabus objectives and are contextualised to the subject
matter and requirements of the unit. They are assessable objectives, with each being assessed at
least once in this unit. These objectives will be evident in the instrument-specific marking guides.
By the end of this unit, students should:
1.

describe the nature of religious ethics within the context of religious traditions

2.

demonstrate an understanding of religious ethical responses to real-life contexts

3.

differentiate between the ways in which beliefs in religious traditions influence ethical
decision making

4.

analyse the perspectives of religious ethical responses within religious traditions and
expressions

5.

consider and organise information about religious ethics by interpreting information from
sources and deciding on their validity

6.

evaluate and draw conclusions about the significance of religious ethical stances and its
influence on people, society and culture

7.

create responses that communicate ideas or arguments using understandings of religious


ethical principles.

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6.3 Subject matter


6.3.1 Core learning
Topic 1: Social ethics
In this topic, students consider how ethical principles and theories are understood in Judaism,
Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism and applied to social ethical issues. They analyse the
perspectives of religious ethical responses and draw conclusions about the extent to which
religious ethics influence decisions made by people within society and across cultures.
Topic 1: Social ethics
In this topic, students will:
describe the nature and purpose of religious ethics
identify ethical teachings in the sacred texts, religious writings and rituals of Judaism, Christianity,
Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism
explain ethical terminology used in decision making, including:
- normative ethics
- descriptive ethics
- natural law
- social ethics
- personal ethics
explain and apply ethical theories used in decision making to social ethical issues. These theories
include:
- deontological ethics (duty-based ethics)
- teleological ethics (situation ethics)
- virtue ethics
- ethics of care
- natural law theory
differentiate between the ways in which religious beliefs in the five major world religions influence
decision making about a social ethical issue
analyse and apply, from a religious perspective, two approaches to ethical decision making about social
ethical issues, for example:
- a multidimensional approach (Isaacs and Massey)
- pastoral spiral (Holland and Henriot)
analyse the influences of religious ethics on people, society and culture in response to at least one of
the following social ethical issues:
- asylum seekers
- capital punishment
- employment and work
- environment
- refugees
- slavery
- war
consider and organise information from sources on religious ethics and a social ethical issue
evaluate and draw conclusions regarding ethical stances held by religious authorities and their
influence on individuals
create an extended response that communicates ideas or arguments related to religious and social
ethics.

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Topic 2: Ethical relationships


In this topic, students use their understandings of religious ethics, ethical teachings, ethical
terminology and approaches to ethical decision making developed in Topic 1. These
understandings are applied when analysing at least one contemporary ethical issue from the
perspective of one of the five major world religions. Students identify how a variety of views may
be evident and the extent to which religious ethics influence an individuals decision-making
process.
Topic 2: Ethical relationships
In this topic, students will:
identify the way(s) in which religious traditions inform personal ethics
explain a variety of responses from individuals within and across religious traditions to a range of
ethical issues in contemporary society exists
investigate at least one contemporary ethical issue selected from:
- alcohol abuse
- body image, e.g. cosmetic enhancement, sexting
- domestic violence
- drug abuse
- interpersonal conflict, e.g. bullying
- organ farming
- palliative care
- reproductive technologies
analyse perspectives of one of the five major world religions to the contemporary ethical issue selected
from the list above
consider and organise information from sources relating to the influence of religious ethics on people,
society and culture
evaluate and draw conclusions about the extent to which religious ethics influence:
- individual decision making
- responses to ethical issues within a religious tradition
create an extended response that communicates ideas or arguments in a research-based inquiry essay
related to religious ethics.

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6.4 Assessment instruments


6.4.1 Internal assessment 1: Examination (extended response;
25%)
This assessment is a supervised test that assesses the application of a range of cognitions to a
provided question, scenario or problem.
Student responses must be completed individually, under supervised conditions, and in a set
timeframe.

Objectives to be assessed
This assessment technique is used to determine student achievement in the following objectives:
1.

describe the distinguishing features of religious traditions that inform religious ethics

2.

demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which religious traditions inform ethical


responses

3.

differentiate between religious traditions, with reference to beliefs that influence ethical
decision making on a social ethical issue

4.

analyse perspectives within and across religious traditions that influence responses to a
social ethical issue

6.

evaluate and draw conclusions about religious ethical stances and the influence on the
response made by adherents to a social ethical issue

7.

create an analytical essay response that communicates ideas or arguments using


understandings of religious ethics.

Note: Objective 5 is not assessed in this instrument.

Examination specifications
Description
The student is required to analyse the perspectives of religious ethical responses to one social
ethical issue. The issue is selected from the list of examples provided in Topic 1 Social ethics.
Ethical principles and theories as understood within two of the worlds major religions are to be
evident in the student response. Students are also required to use the unseen stimulus materials
that are to be provided with the examination paper. The student response is in the form of an
analytical essay that is handwritten.
Extended response
constructed using one item; the item is a response to an unseen question or hypothesis
requires sustained analysis, synthesis and evaluation to fully answer a question or hypothesis

Weighting
This instrument has a weighting of 25%.

Conditions
time: 2 hours + perusal (15 minutes)
length:

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- written 8001000 words


other:
- unseen stimulus 4
- stimulus materials will be succinct enough to allow students sufficient time to engage with
them
- stimulus materials need to include information related to at least two of the five major world
religions and the social ethical issue selected
- stimulus materials should be presented in both text-based formats, e.g. excerpts from
reference books, journals, media articles and visual forms, e.g. cartoons, diagrams,
graphical representations, illustrations, tables
- scaffolding should model the range of cognitions required to respond; it should not specify
or lead the student through a series of steps dictating a solution or the knowledge to be
used.

Instrument-specific marking guide


The instrument-specific marking guide (ISMG) outlines the descriptors students will meet to be
awarded a mark. The marker assessing student work must choose the mark that overall best
matches the work being assessed (see Section 3.4.3).

Summary of the instrument-specific marking guide


The following table summarises the internal assessment guide for marking the examination
(extended response). It aligns with the unit objectives to be assessed.
Instrument-specific objectives

Marks total 25

1. describe the distinguishing features of religious traditions that shape and


inform religious ethics
2. demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which religious traditions inform
ethical responses

6 marks

3. differentiate between religious traditions, with reference to beliefs that influence


ethical decision making on a social ethical issue
4. analyse perspectives within and across religious traditions that influence
responses to a social ethical issue

8 marks

6. evaluate and draw conclusions about religious ethical stances and their
influence on the response made by adherents to a social ethical issue

8 marks

7. create an analytical essay response that communicates ideas or arguments


using understandings of religious ethics

3 marks

When stimulus materials are used, they will be succinct enough to allow students sufficient time to engage with
them.
Unseen materials or questions are not copied from information or texts that students have previously been
exposed to or have directly used in class.

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Instrument-specific marking guide


1. describe the distinguishing features of religious traditions that shape and inform religious
ethics
2. demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which religious traditions inform ethical
responses
Marks

The student work has the following characteristics:

56

distinguishing features of religious traditions and the ways in which religious traditions shape and
inform the nature of religious ethics are relevant and correctly identified; the explanations are
detailed and precise throughout the response.

34

distinguishing features of religious traditions and the ways in which religious traditions shape and
inform the nature of religious ethics are identified; explanations are provided but with some errors
and/or omissions throughout the response.

12

features associated with religious traditions are stated; there is a lack of detail and/or relevance,
with major omissions and/or inaccuracies evident throughout the response.

The response does not match the above descriptors.

3 differentiate between religious traditions, with reference to beliefs that influence ethical
decision making on a social ethical issue
4. analyse perspectives within and across religious traditions that influence responses to a social
ethical issue
Marks

The student work has the following characteristics:

78

thorough and accurate differentiation and analysis of perspectives within and across religious
traditions; the perspectives identified are convincingly supported through well-reasoned arguments
informed by an in-depth understanding of religious beliefs and perspectives that influence
responses to a social ethical issue; stimulus material is used effectively in the response.

56

substantial and accurate differentiation and analysis of perspectives within and across religious
traditions; the perspectives identified are supported through arguments informed by a considered
understanding of religious beliefs and perspectives that influence responses to a social ethical
issue; stimulus material is used competently in the response.

34

differentiation between and analysis of perspectives within and across religious traditions is
evident; the perspectives identified are informed by an understanding of religious beliefs and
perspectives that influence responses to a social ethical issue; stimulus material is evident but
may not be relevant to the response.

12

statements on a perspective or perspectives within religious traditions are evident; these are
based on an oversimplified and/or erroneous understanding of religious perspectives and/or
beliefs that influence a religious ethical response; stimulus material is either not used or its use is
irrelevant to the response.

The response does not match the above descriptors.

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6. evaluate and draw conclusions about religious ethical stances and their influence on the
response made by adherents to a social ethical issue
Marks

The student work has the following characteristics:

78

discerning judgments are made about the extent to which religious ethics influence responses by
adherents to a social ethical issue; judgments are supported by accurate, logical, thorough and
well-justified arguments that clearly respond to the question or hypothesis.

56

considered judgments are made about the extent to which religious ethics influence responses by
adherents to a social ethical issue; judgments are supported by accurate, logical and reasoned
arguments that respond to the question or hypothesis; some minor inaccuracies or omissions
influence the arguments established.

34

judgments are made about the extent to which religious ethics influence responses by adherents
to a social ethical issue; judgments are supported by basic reasons in response to the question or
hypothesis; some major inaccuracies or omissions influence the arguments established.

12

a statement(s) on how religion influences responses to a social ethical issue is made; the
statement(s) is based on a simplified and/or erroneous understanding of religious ethics.

The response does not match the above descriptors.

7. create an analytical essay response that communicates ideas or arguments using


understandings of religious ethics
Marks

The student work has the following characteristics:

the response is succinct with ideas or arguments related to the question or hypothesis conveyed
fluently and logically; genre and language conventions are adhered to with minimal errors in
spelling, grammar and punctuation throughout the written response.

the response conveys ideas or arguments that are related to the question or hypothesis; genre and
language conventions are generally adhered to but with some errors in spelling, grammar and
punctuation evident throughout the written response.

the response has significant errors in genre and language conventions that impede communication
of ideas or arguments related to the question or hypothesis.

The response does not match the above descriptors.

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6.4.2 Internal assessment 2: Inquiry response


This assessment requires students to research a hypothesis through collection, analysis and
synthesis of primary and/or secondary data. An inquiry response uses research or investigative
practices to assess a range of cognitions in a particular context. Research or investigative
practices include locating and using information beyond students own knowledge and the data
they have been given.
Research conventions, e.g. citations, reference lists or bibliographies, must be adhered to. This
assessment occurs over an extended and defined period of time. Students may use class time
and their own time to develop a response.

Objectives to be assessed
This assessment technique is used to determine student achievement in the following objectives:
2.

demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which a world religion informs an individuals


response to the contemporary issue selected

4.

analyse perspectives within a world religion that influence an individuals response to the
contemporary ethical issue selected

5.

consider and organise information about religious ethical responses

6.

evaluate and draw conclusions about the influence of religious ethics on an individual
individuals response to a contemporary ethical issue

7.

create an analytical essay response that communicates ideas or arguments using


understandings of religious ethics.

Note: Objectives 1 and 3 are not assessed in this instrument.

Inquiry response specifications


Description
The student is required to investigate one contemporary ethical issue selected from the list
provided in Topic 2 Ethical relationships. The issue is analysed from the perspective of one of
the five major world religions, with each student devising a hypothesis that is the focus of their
inquiry. The students response to the inquiry is written in the form of an analytical essay.
Students will be able to:
apply their understandings of religious ethics, ethical teachings and approaches to ethical
decision making
identify how and why a variety of views may be evident within the religious tradition
consider the extent to which religious ethics influence an individuals decision.

Weighting
This instrument has a weighting of 25%.

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Supporting evidence
Students are required to maintain a written record of their research or investigative practices. This
includes the development of their hypothesis, information and data from the sources located,
annotations on the validity of the sources, and a draft of their response to the inquiry. At least 58
reference sources should be evident, with brief reasons for their use being evident within the
annotations. Supporting evidence may also include a record of teacher feedback and/or teacherstudent discussions, e.g. on the development of the students hypothesis.

Conditions
written: 15002000 words
duration: 4 weeks (approximately 30% of the time allocated to Unit 3)
other:
- authentication strategies as implemented by the school (see Section 3.4.3)
- one draft only and on which teacher advice is provided.

Instrument-specific marking guide


The instrument-specific marking guide (ISMG) outlines the descriptors students will meet to be
awarded a mark. The marker assessing student work must choose the mark that overall best
matches the work being assessed (see Section 3.4.3).

Summary of the instrument-specific marking guide


The following table summarises the internal assessment guide for marking the Inquiry response.
It aligns with the unit objectives to be assessed.
Instrument-specific objectives

Marks total 25

2. demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which a world religion informs an


individuals response to the contemporary issue selected

6 marks

4. analyse perspectives within a world religion that influence an individuals


response to the contemporary ethical issue selected

6 marks

5. consider and organise information about religious ethical responses

3 marks

6. evaluate and draw conclusions about the influence of religious ethics on an


individual individuals response to a contemporary ethical issue

6 marks

7. create an analytical essay response that communicates ideas or arguments


using understandings of religious ethics

4 marks

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Instrument-specific marking guide


2. demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which a world religion informs an individuals
response to the contemporary issue selected
Marks
6

The student work has the following characteristics:


thorough and accurate understanding of a world religion and its ethical view on the contemporary
ethical issue; detailed and precise identification and explanation of the ways in which a world
religion informs an individuals response.
substantial understanding of a world religion and its ethical view on the contemporary ethical issue;
there are minor inaccuracies in the identification and explanation of the ways in which a world
religion informs an individuals response.

34

understanding of a world religion and its ethical view on the contemporary ethical issue; there are
some inaccuracies or omissions in the identification and explanation of the ways in which a world
religion informs an individuals response.

12

narrow understanding of a world religion and its ethical view on the contemporary ethical issue;
there are major inaccuracies and/or omissions in the identification and explanation of the ways in
which a world religion informs an individuals response.

The response does not match the above descriptors.

4. analyse perspectives within a world religion that influences an individuals response to the
contemporary ethical issue selected
Marks

The student work has the following characteristics:

thorough and accurate analysis of perspectives within a world religion that influence an individuals
response to the contemporary ethical issue; the perspectives identified are convincingly supported
through well-reasoned arguments informed by an in-depth understanding of religious ethics and
relevant ethical teachings.

substantial and accurate analysis of perspectives within a world religion that influence an individuals
response to the contemporary ethical issue; the perspectives identified are supported through
reasoned arguments informed by a considered understanding of religious ethics and relevant ethical
teachings.

accurate analysis of perspectives within a world religion that influence an individuals response to
the contemporary ethical issue; the perspectives identified are supported through arguments
informed by an understanding of religious ethics and relevant ethical teachings.

analysis of perspectives within a world religion that influence an individuals response to the
contemporary ethical issue; the perspective(s) identified is informed by a basic understanding of
religious ethics and ethical teachings.

12

statements on a perspective or perspectives within a world religion that influence an individuals


response to the contemporary ethical issue are evident; these are based on an oversimplified and/or
erroneous understanding of religious ethics.
The response does not match the above descriptors.

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5. consider and organise information about religious ethical responses


Marks

The student work has the following characteristics:

evidence of the use of a diverse range of valid primary and secondary sources. These sources are
effectively used in response to the hypothesis.

evidence of the use of valid primary and secondary sources. These are used in response to the
hypothesis.

evidence of the use of primary and/or secondary sources.

The response does not match the above descriptors.

6. evaluate and draw conclusions about the influence of religious ethics on an individuals
response to a contemporary ethical issue
Marks

The student work has the following characteristics:

discerning judgments are made about the extent to which an individuals response to the
contemporary ethical issue is shaped by religious ethics, approaches to ethical decision making,
and ethical teachings related to the world religion; judgments are supported by accurate, logical,
thorough and well-justified arguments that are clearly related to the hypothesis.

considered judgments are made about the extent to which an individuals response to the
contemporary ethical issue is shaped by religious ethics, approaches to ethical decision making,
and ethical teachings related to the world religion; judgments are supported by accurate, logical and
reasoned arguments that are clearly related to the hypothesis.

valid judgments are made about the extent to which an individuals response to the contemporary
ethical issue is shaped by religious ethics, approaches to ethical decision making, and ethical
teachings related to the world religion; judgments are supported by relevant and reasoned
arguments that are related to the hypothesis; some minor inaccuracies or omissions influence the
arguments established.

a judgment(s) is made about the extent to which an individuals response to the contemporary
ethical issue is shaped by religious ethics, approaches to ethical decision making, and/or ethical
teachings related to the world religion; judgments are supported by basic reasons that may relate to
the hypothesis; some major omissions or inaccuracies influence the arguments established.

12

a statement(s) on an individuals response to the contemporary ethical issue is made; the


statement(s) is based on a simplified and/or erroneous understanding of religious ethics or ethical
teachings.
The response does not match the above descriptors.

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7. create an analytical essay response that communicates ideas or arguments using


understandings of religious ethics
Marks

The student work has the following characteristics:

the response is succinct, with ideas or arguments conveyed fluently and logically in relation to the
hypothesis devised; genre, language and recognised referencing conventions are adhered to with
minimal errors in spelling, grammar and punctuation throughout the response.

23

the response conveys ideas or arguments that are related to the hypothesis devised; genre,
language and recognised referencing conventions are generally adhered to but with some errors in
spelling, grammar and punctuation evident throughout the response.

the response has significant errors in genre, language and/or referencing conventions that impede
communication of ideas or arguments.

The response does not match the above descriptors.

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7 Unit 4 Religion, rights and the state


7.1 Unit description
In Unit 4, students consider how religion affects and influences peoples understanding of culture,
history, politics and social interaction. Within this context, issues of rights and religion-state
relationships are considered. Students investigate how religions seek to shape or are shaped by
their social, cultural and political contexts. They examine how the dynamic of religion in different
times and places has interacted with the nation, as well as religions contribution to society and
culture.
The learning for the unit comprises two topics which are of equal importance in providing students
with the knowledge and skills associated with the unit.
The Unit 4 topics are:
Topic 1: Religion and the state
Topic 2: Religion and human rights.

7.2 Unit objectives


Unit objectives are drawn from the syllabus objectives and are contextualised to the subject
matter and requirements of the unit. They are assessable objectives, with each being assessed at
least once in this unit. These objectives will be evident in the instrument-specific marking guides.
By the end of this unit, students should:
1.

describe the characteristics of religion and religious traditions that shape responses to
events or issues

2.

demonstrate an understanding of religious traditions through the responses within a religious


tradition to events or issues

3.

differentiate between religious traditions through recognising, within and across religious
traditions, responses to events or issues

4.

analyse perspectives within religious traditions that have shaped responses to past and
present events or issues and the reasons for these

5.

consider and organise information about the interaction between religion, the state and
society through interpreting information from sources and deciding on their validity

6.

evaluate and draw conclusions about the significance of religion and its interaction with the
state

7.

create responses that communicate ideas or arguments using their understandings of the
relationship between religion, society and the state.

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7.3 Subject matter


7.3.1 Core learning
Topic 1: Religion and the state
In this topic, students identify and examine relationships between religion and the state. They
investigate and analyse the interactions of religion with the state in order to evaluate the
consequences of this relationship on individuals, groups and societies.
Topic 1: Religion and the state
In this topic, students will:
describe and identify different types of religion-state relationships that may exist, including:
- official separation of religion and state (e.g. United States of America, France)
- religious state (e.g. Saudi Arabia, Iran)
- secular state (e.g. Australia)
- state religion (e.g. Denmark)
- predominantly religion-less state (e.g. Democratic Peoples Republic of China)
identify and explain that different relationships are evident between religions and states, for example,
- Judaism: Israel
- Christianity: Malta (Roman Catholicism), Greece (Greek Orthodox), England (Church of England),
Denmark (Church of Denmark), Norway (Evangelical Lutheran), Tonga (Free Wesleyan Church of
Tonga)
- Islam: Pakistan, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia (Sunni Islam); Iran (Shia Islam); Yemen (mixed Sunni
and Shia Islam)
- Hinduism: Nepal prior to 2006
- Buddhism: Cambodia, Myanmar and Sri Lanka (Theravada Buddhism); Bhutan (Vajrayana
Buddhism)
- Multi-religious: Indonesia (Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and
Confucianism)
analyse the ways in which religion has interacted with the nation-state through one example selected
from:
- Judaism in Europe up to 1945
- Hinduism in India pre- and post-Independence (1947)
- Buddhism in Tibet
- Judaism, Christianity and Islam in Israel and Palestine since 1948
- Christianity Roman Catholicism in Poland, especially in the 1980s
- Australian government legislation and the involvement of religious institutions regarding:
Aboriginal peoples and spiritualities
Torres Strait Islander people and religion
consider and organise information from sources related to religion-state relationships
evaluate and draw conclusions about relationships between religion and state and their impact on
individuals, groups and society
create an extended response that communicates ideas or arguments in a research-based inquiry essay
on religion-state relationships.

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Topic 2: Religion and human rights


In this topic, students consider how religions shape perspectives on rights, including human
rights. They examine perspectives on human rights using their understandings of religious
traditions and the insights that these provide on issues at a local and global level.
Topic 2: Religion and rights
In this topic, students will:
describe the concepts of rights, religious rights and human rights
identify the ways in which religions describe human life through:
- sacred texts and religious writings of:
Judaism (Revelation, made in the image and likeness of God, relationship with God and others)
Christianity (Revelation, Incarnation, The Resurrection, Salvation, made in the image and likeness
of God, relationship with God and others)
Islam (revelation to the prophet, predestination and the Greater Jihad)
Hinduism (reincarnation, karma, moksha)
Buddhism (reincarnation, karma, dharma and Nirvana)
- religious rituals of:
Judaism (birth and death)
Christianity (birth and death)
Islam (birth and death)
Hinduism (death)
Buddhism (death)
- religious ethics of:
Judaism and Christianity (sacredness of human life)
Islam
Hinduism (karmic consequences)
Buddhism (karmic consequences)
explain the way in which religious traditions inform understandings of human rights
differentiate between religious traditions through the ways in which human life is viewed, including:
- cyclical world view (Buddhism and Hinduism)
- linear world view (Judaism, Christianity and Islam)
analyse religious perspectives on human rights and distinguish from those informed by:
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948)
- Krishnaswami Study (1960)
- United Nations resolutions such as the 1966 Covenants on Human Rights and The Declaration on
Intolerance and Discrimination based on Religion or Belief 1981
- Cairo Declaration on Human Rights (1990)
consider and organise information from sources regarding the influence of religion in shaping
understandings of human life and perspectives on human rights
evaluate and draw conclusions about the significance of religion and the extent to which it has an
influence on societys responses to human rights issues, e.g. capital punishment, human trafficking,
genocide and refugees
create responses that communicate ideas or arguments within sentences and short paragraphs on
religion and human rights.

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7.4 Assessment instruments


7.4.1 Internal assessment 3: Inquiry response
This assessment requires students to research a hypothesis through collection, analysis and
synthesis of primary and/or secondary data. An inquiry response uses research or investigative
practices to assess a range of cognitions in a particular context. Research or investigative
practices include locating and using information beyond students own knowledge and the data
they have been given.
Research conventions, e.g. citations, reference lists or bibliographies, must be adhered to. This
assessment occurs over an extended and defined period of time. Students may use class time
and their own time to develop a response.

Objectives to be assessed
This assessment technique is used to determine student achievement in the following objectives:
2.

demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which religion has interacted with the state
within the context selected

4.

analyse the perspectives that influenced religions interaction with the state within the context
selected

5.

consider and organise information about the interaction between religion, the state and
society

6.

evaluate and draw conclusions about the interaction between religion and state and its
influence on shaping societys response within the context selected

7.

create an analytical essay response that communicates ideas or arguments using


understandings of religion-state relationships.

Note: Objectives 1 and 3 are not assessed in this instrument.

Inquiry response specifications


Description
The student is required to investigate one of the ways in which religion has interacted with the
state selected from the list of examples provided in Topic 1 Religion and the state. This
establishes the context for the investigation, with each student devising a hypothesis that is the
focus of their inquiry. The students response to the inquiry is written in the form of an analytical
essay. Students will be able to:
apply their understandings of religion-state relationships
analyse the ways in which religion has interacted with the state
consider the extent to which the relationship between religion and state has shaped societys
response within a specific context.

Weighting
This instrument has a weighting of 25%.

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Supporting evidence
Students are required to maintain a written record of their research or investigative practices. This
includes the development of their hypothesis, information and data from the sources located,
annotations on the validity of the sources, and a draft of their response to the inquiry. At least 58
reference sources should be evident with brief reasons for their use being evident within the
annotations. Supporting evidence may also include a record of teacher feedback and/or teacherstudent discussions, e.g. on the development of the students hypothesis.

Conditions
written: 15002000 words
duration: 4 weeks (30% of the time allocation for Unit 4)
other:
- authentication strategies as implemented by the school (see Section 3.4.3)
- one draft only and on which teacher advice is provided.

Instrument-specific marking guide


The instrument-specific marking guide (ISMG) outlines the descriptors students will meet to be
awarded a mark. The marker assessing student work must choose the mark that overall best
matches the work being assessed (see Section 3.4.3).

Summary of the instrument-specific marking guide


The following table summarises the internal assessment guide for marking the Inquiry response.
It aligns with the unit objectives to be assessed.
Instrument-specific objectives

Marks total 25

2. demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which religion has interacted with


the state within the context selected

6 marks

4. analyse the perspectives that influenced religions interaction with the state
within the context selected

6 marks

5. consider and organise information about the interaction between religion, the
state and society

3 marks

6. evaluate and draw conclusions about the interaction between religion and state
and its influence on shaping societys response within the context selected

6 marks

7. create an analytical essay response that communicates ideas or arguments


using understandings of religion-state relationships

4 marks

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Instrument-specific marking guide


2. demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which religion has interacted with the state within
the context selected
Marks
6

The student work has the following characteristics:


thorough and accurate understanding of the ways in which religion has interacted with the state
within a particular context; detailed and precise identification and explanation of the religion-state
relationship and interaction.

substantial understanding of the ways in which religion has interacted with the state within a
particular context; there are minor inaccuracies in the identification and explanation of the religionstate relationship and interaction.

34

understanding of the ways in which religion has interacted with the state within a particular context;
there are some inaccuracies or omissions in the identification and explanation of the religion-state
relationship and interaction.

12

narrow understanding of the ways in which the religion-state relationship and interaction within a
particular context; there are major inaccuracies and/or omissions in the identification and
explanation of the religionstate relationship and interaction.

The response does not match the above descriptors.

4. analyse the perspectives that influenced religions interaction with the state in the context
selected
Marks

The student work has the following characteristics:

thorough and accurate analysis of perspectives that have influenced religions interaction with the
state in a particular context; the perspectives identified are convincingly supported through wellreasoned arguments informed by an in-depth understanding of the religion-state relationship and
interaction.

substantial and accurate analysis of perspectives that have influenced religions interaction with the
state in a particular context; the perspectives identified are supported through reasoned arguments
informed by a considered understanding of the religion-state relationship and interaction.

accurate analysis of perspectives that have influenced religions interaction with the state in a
particular context; the perspectives identified are supported through arguments informed by an
understanding of the religion-state relationship and interaction.

analysis of perspectives that have influenced religions interaction with the state in a particular
context; the perspective(s) identified is informed by a basic understanding of the religion-state
relationship and interaction.

12

statements on a perspective or perspectives associated with religions interaction with the state in a
particular context are evident; these are based on an oversimplified and/or erroneous understanding
of the religion-state relationship and/or interaction.
The response does not match the above descriptors.

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5. consider and organise information about the interaction between religion, the state and society
Marks

The student work has the following characteristics:

evidence of the use of a diverse range of valid primary and secondary sources; these sources are
effectively used in response to the hypothesis.

evidence of the use of valid primary and secondary sources; these sources are used in response to
the hypothesis.

evidence of the use of primary and/or secondary sources.

The response does not match the above descriptors.

6. evaluate and draw conclusions about the interaction between religion and state and its
influence on shaping societys response within the context selected
Marks

The student work has the following characteristics:

discerning judgments are made about the extent to which the interaction between religion and state
has shaped societys response within a particular context; judgments are supported by accurate,
logical, thorough and well-justified arguments that are clearly related to the hypothesis.

considered judgments are made about the extent to which the interaction between religion and state
has shaped societys response within a particular context; judgments are supported by accurate,
logical and well-reasoned arguments that are clearly related to the hypothesis.

valid judgments are made about the extent to which the interaction between religion and state has
shaped societys response within a particular context; judgments are supported by relevant and
reasoned arguments that are related to the hypothesis; some minor inaccuracies or omissions
influence the arguments established.

a judgment(s) is made about the extent to which the interaction between religion and state has
shaped societys response within a particular context; the judgment(s) is supported by basic reasons
that may relate to the hypothesis; some major inaccuracies or omissions influence the arguments
established.

12

a statement(s) on a religion-state relationship is made, based on a simplified and/or erroneous


understanding of the interaction between religion and state within a particular context.
The response does not match the above descriptors.

7. create an analytical essay response that communicates ideas or arguments using


understandings of religion-state relationships
Marks

The student work has the following characteristics:

the response is succinct with ideas or arguments conveyed fluently and logically in response to the
hypothesis devised; genre, language and recognised referencing conventions are adhered to with
minimal errors in spelling, grammar and punctuation throughout the response.

23

the response conveys ideas or arguments that are related to the hypothesis devised; genre,
language and recognised referencing conventions are generally adhered to, but with some errors in
spelling, grammar and punctuation evident throughout the response.

the response has significant errors in genre, language and/or referencing conventions that impede
communication of ideas and arguments.

The response does not match the above descriptors.

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7.4.2 External assessment: Examination (25%)


This assessment is a supervised test that assesses the application of a range of cognitions to
multiple provided items, e.g. questions and/or scenarios.
Student responses must be completed individually, under supervised conditions, and in a set
timeframe.
The examination will focus on Topic 2 Religion and human rights.

Objectives to be assessed
This assessment technique is used to determine student achievement in the following objectives:
1.

describe the distinguishing features of religious traditions that shape views on rights

2.

demonstrate understanding of the ways in which religions inform understandings of human


rights

3.

differentiate between religious perspectives on human rights

4.

analyse perspectives within and across religious traditions on human rights

6.

evaluate and draw conclusions about the influence of religion on responses to human rights
issues

7.

create responses that communicate ideas or arguments within sentences and short
paragraphs on religion and human rights.

Note: Objective 5 is not assessed in this instrument.

Examination specifications
Description
The student is required to respond to a number of short items related to Topic 2 Religion and
rights. The items will allow students to use their understandings of the five major world religions
in order to explain the ways in which religious traditions have shaped perspectives on rights. In
particular, there will be a focus human rights and the influence of religion on societys response to
human rights issues. Students will also be required to use the unseen stimulus materials that are
to be provided with the examination paper to support their arguments. Responses are
handwritten.
Short response
consists of a number of items that ask students to respond to the following activities:
- short items requiring sentence or short paragraph responses
- responding to unseen stimulus materials
- interpreting ideas and information
where applicable, students are required to write in full sentences, constructing a response that
may have one or several paragraphs so that ideas are maintained, developed and justified
the majority of items within the examination should require students to use the stimulus
materials provided
the assessment instrument comprises:
- Section A: two short items with each requiring sentence responses and/or short paragraph
responses of no more than 50100 words

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- Section B: two short items with each requiring a short paragraph response of 100150
words
- Section C: two short items with each requiring a short paragraph response of 200250
words.

Weighting
This instrument has a weighting of 25%.

Conditions
time: 2 hours + perusal (15 minutes)
length:
- written paragraph responses, 50250 words per item (8001000 words in total)
- other types of item responses, e.g. drawing, labelling and calculating, should allow students
to complete the response in the set time
other:
- unseen stimulus
- stimulus materials will be succinct enough to allow students sufficient time to engage with
them
- stimulus materials should be presented in both text-based formats, e.g. excerpts from
reference books, journals, media articles and visual forms, e.g. cartoons, diagrams,
graphical representations, illustrations, tables
- stimulus materials need to reflect the five major world religions and subject matter within
Topic 2: Religion and rights
- scaffolding provided within the items should model the range of cognitions required to
respond; it should not specify or lead the student through a series of steps dictating a
solution or the knowledge to be used.

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Summary of the instrument-specific marking guide


The following table summarises the external assessment guide for marking the examination
(short response). It aligns with the unit objectives to be assessed.
Instrument-specific objectives

Marks total 25

Section A
1. describe the distinguishing features of religious traditions that shape views on
human rights
2. demonstrate understanding of the ways in which religions inform
understandings of human rights

6 marks

Section B
3. differentiate between religious perspectives on human rights
4. analyse perspectives within and across religious traditions on human rights

8 marks

Section C
6. evaluate and draw conclusions about the influence of religion on responses
to human rights issues

8 marks

Across Sections A, B and C


7. create responses that communicate ideas or arguments within sentences
and short paragraphs on religion and human rights

3 marks

Instrument-specific marking guide


No instrument-specific marking guide is provided for the external assessment.

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Appendix 1: Glossary of cognitive verbs


Term

Explanation

A
analyse

examine or consider something in order to explain and interpret it, for the
purpose of finding meaning or relationships and identifying patterns, similarities
and differences

apply

use knowledge and understanding in response to a given situation or


circumstance; carry out or use a procedure in a given or particular situation

appraise

evaluate the worth, significance or status of something; judge or consider a text


or piece of work

appreciate

recognise or make a judgment about the value or worth of something);


understand fully; grasp the full implications of

argue

give reasons for or against something; challenge or debate an issue or idea;


persuade, prove or try to prove by giving reasons

assess

measure, determine, evaluate, estimate or make a judgment about the value,


quality, outcomes, results, size, significance, nature of, or extent of something;
assess the degree

C
calculate

determine or find (e.g. a number, answer) by using mathematical processes;


obtain a numerical answer showing the relevant stages in the working;
ascertain/determine from given facts, figures or information

categorise

place in or assign to a particular class or group; arrange or order by classes or


categories; classify, sort out, sort, separate

clarify

make clear or intelligible; explain; make a statement or situation less confused


and more comprehensible

classify

arrange, distribute or order in classes or categories according to shared qualities


or characteristics

comment

express an opinion, observation or reaction in speech or writing; give a judgment


based on a given statement or result of a calculation

communicate

convey knowledge and/or understandings to others; make known; transmit

compare

display recognition of similarities and differences and recognise the significance


of these similarities and differences

comprehend

understand the meaning or nature of; grasp mentally

conduct

direct in action or course; manage; organise; carry out

consider

think deliberately or carefully about something, typically before making a


decision; view attentively or scrutinise; reflect on

construct

create or put together (e.g. an argument) by arranging ideas or items;


display information in a diagrammatic or logical form;
make; build

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Term

Explanation

contrast

display recognition of differences by deliberate juxtaposition of contrary


elements; show how things are different or opposite; give an account of the
differences between two or more items or situations, referring to both or all of
them throughout

create

bring something into being or existence; produce or evolve from one's own
thought or imagination; reorganise or put elements together into a new pattern or
structure or to form a coherent or functional whole

critique

review (e.g. a theory, practice, performance) in a detailed, analytical and critical


way

D
decide

come or bring to a resolution as a result of consideration; make a choice from a


number of alternatives

deduce

reach a conclusion that is necessarily true, provided a given set of assumptions


is true; arrive at, reach or draw a logical conclusion from reasoning and the
information given from something known or assumed

define

give the meaning of a word, phrase, concept or physical quantity; state meaning
and identify or describe qualities

demonstrate

prove or make clear by argument, reasoning or evidence, illustrating with


practical example; show by example; give a practical exhibition

derive

arrive at by reasoning; manipulate a mathematical relationship to give a new


equation or relationship

describe

give an account (written or spoken) of a situation, event, pattern or process, or of


the characteristics or features of something

design

produce, e.g. a plan, simulation, model, project; plan; plan or fashion; form or
conceive in the mind

determine

establish, conclude or ascertain after consideration, observation, investigation or


calculation; obtain the only possible answer; decide or come to a resolution

develop

elaborate, expand or enlarge in detail; add detail and fullness to;


cause to become more complex or intricate

devise

think out; plan; contrive; invent

differentiate

identify the difference/s in or between two or more things; distinguish,


discriminate; recognise or ascertain what makes something different

discriminate

note, observe or recognise a difference; make or constitute a distinction in or


between; differentiate; note or distinguish as different

discuss

offer a review that includes a range of arguments, factors or hypotheses;


opinions or conclusions should be supported by evidence;
examine by argument; sift the considerations for and against; debate; talk or
write about a topic, taking into account different issues and ideas, and points for
and/or against

distinguish

recognise as distinct or different; note points of difference between; discriminate;


discern; make clear a difference/s between two or more concepts or items

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Term

Explanation

document

support (e.g. an assertion, claim, statement) with evidence (e.g. decisive


information, written references, citations)

evaluate

make an appraisal by weighing up or assessing strengths, implications and


limitations; make judgments about the ideas, works, solutions or methods in
relation to selected criteria; examine and determine the merit, value or
significance of something, based on criteria

examine

investigate, inspect or scrutinise; inquire or search into; consider or discuss an


argument or concept in a way that uncovers the assumptions and
interrelationships of the issue

experiment

try out or test new ideas or methods, especially in order to discover or prove
something; undertake or perform a scientific procedure to make a discovery, test
a hypothesis or demonstrate a known fact

explain

make an idea or situation plain or clear by describing it in more detail or


revealing relevant facts; present a meaning with due regard to the order of
statements in the explanation; give an account; provide additional information

explore

look into closely; scrutinise; inquire into or discuss something in detail

express

convey, show or communicate (e. g. a thought, opinion, feeling, emotion, idea or


viewpoint) in words, art, music or movement; convey or suggest a representation
of; depict

extrapolate

infer or estimate by extending or projecting known information; conjecture; infer


from what is known; extend the application of (e.g. a method or conclusion) to an
unknown situation by assuming that existing trends will continue or similar
methods will be applicable

G
generate

produce; create; bring into existence; produce by a chemical process

H
hypothesise

formulate a supposition to account for known facts or observed occurrences;


conjecture, theorise, speculate; believe, especially on uncertain or tentative
grounds

I
identify

distinguish; locate, recognise and name; establish or indicate who or what


someone or something is; provide an answer from a number of possibilities;
recognise and state a distinguishing factor or feature

implement

put something into effect, e.g. a plan or proposal

infer

derive or conclude something from evidence and reasoning, rather than from
explicit statements; listen or read beyond what has been literally expressed;
imply or hint at

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Term

Explanation

interpret

use knowledge and understanding to recognise trends and draw conclusions


from given information; make clear or explicit; elucidate or understand in a
particular way;
bring out the meaning of, e.g. a dramatic or music work, by performance or
execution; bring out the meaning of an artwork by artistic representation or
performance; give one's own interpretation of;
identify or draw meaning from, or give meaning to, information presented in
various forms, such as words, symbols, pictures or graphs

investigate

carry out an examination or formal inquiry in order to establish or obtain facts


and reach new conclusions; plan, collect, search, inquire into, interpret and draw
conclusions about data and information

J
judge

form an opinion or conclusion about; apply both procedural and deliberative


operations to make a determination

justify

give reasons or evidence to support an answer, response or conclusion; show or


prove how an argument, statement or conclusion is right or reasonable

M
make decisions

select from available options; weigh up positives and negatives of each option
and consider all the alternatives to arrive at a position

manipulate

adapt or change to suit one's purpose

modify

change the form or qualities of; make partial or minor changes to something

O
organise

arrange, order; form as or into a whole consisting of interdependent or


coordinated parts, especially for harmonious or united action

P
predict

give an expected result of an upcoming action or event; suggest what may


happen based on available information

propose

put forward (e.g. a point of view, idea, argument, suggestion) for consideration
or action

prove

use a sequence of steps to obtain the required result in a formal way

R
realise

create or make (e.g. a music, artistic or dramatic work); actualise; make real or
concrete; give reality or substance to

recall

remember; present remembered ideas, facts or experiences; bring (e.g. a fact,


event or situation) back into thought, attention or into ones mind

recognise

identify or recall particular features of information from knowledge; identify that


an item, characteristic or quality exists; perceive as existing or true; be aware of
or acknowledge

reflect (on)

think about deeply and carefully

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Term

Explanation

resolve

consolidate and communicate intent through a synthesis of ideas and application


of media to express meaning, especially in the visual arts

S
sequence

place in a continuous or connected series; arrange in a particular order

sketch

represent by means of a diagram or graph; the sketch should give a general


idea of the required shape or relationship and should include features

solve

find an answer to, explanation for, or means of dealing with (e.g. a problem);
work out the answer or solution to (e.g. a mathematical problem); obtain the
answer(s) using algebraic and/or numerical and/or graphical methods

structure

give a pattern, organisation or arrangement to; construct or arrange according to


a plan

summarise

give a brief statement of a general theme or major point(s); express the details;
present ideas and information in fewer words and in sequence

symbolise

represent or identify by a symbol or symbols

synthesise

combine different parts or elements (e.g. information, ideas, components) into a


whole, in order to create new understanding

T
test

take measures to check the quality, performance or reliability of something

U
understand

perceive what is meant by something; grasp; be familiar with (e.g. an idea);


construct meaning from messages, including oral, written and graphic
communication

use

operate or put into effect; apply knowledge or rules to put theory into practice

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Appendix 2: Glossary of subject-specific terms


Term

Explanation

Aboriginal
spiritualities

names the reality that there are multiple spiritualities connected to


different language groups and locations; core to Aboriginal spirituality is
the deep connection to the land

adherents

someone who follows or upholds a leader, cause, etc.: supporter,


follower

accurate

precise and exact; to the point; consistent with or exactly conforming to a


truth, standard, rule, model, convention or known facts; free from error or
defect; meticulous; correct in all details

basic

fundamental

Buddhism

the philosophy founded by Buddha, which teaches that life is intrinsically


full of suffering and that the supreme blessedness (Nirvana) is achieved
after many reincarnations by shedding ones greed, hatred and delusion

calendrical rituals

occur at a particular time of the week, month or year or mark a period of


time since a significant event

canon

list or measuring rod; Canon of scripture is the title given to the official
list of writings that constitute the sacred text of a tradition

Christianity

the religion founded on the belief in the one and only God, who is
transcendent, and the creator of all things, and on belief in the sanctity
and teachings of Jesus Christ and mainly divided between Roman
Catholic, Protestant, and Eastern Orthodox Churches

competently

in an acceptable and satisfactory, though not outstanding, way

considered

thought about deliberately, with a purpose

contextual
interpretation

an analysis of the text that begins with the text itself and uses tools to
investigate the text in order to understand its meaning

convincing

persuading or assuring by argument or evidence; appearing worthy of


belief; credible or plausible

culture

the sum total of ways of living built up by a group of human beings,


which is transmitted from one generation to another

deontological ethics

from the Greek word deon meaning duty; a way of approaching ethics
which emphasises duty and obligation

descriptive ethics

the study of peoples beliefs about morality; an empirical investigation of


peoples moral beliefs

dharma

in Hinduism, the eternal law of the cosmos, inherent in the very nature of
things and expressed in right behaviour by humans, including adherence
to the social order; in Buddhism, it is interpreted as universal truth or law

detailed

executed with great attention to detail; having many details or facts;


showing attention to detail

discerning

showing intellectual perception; showing good judgment to make


thoughtful and astute choices

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Term

Explanation

ethics of care

a practical branch of ethical theory that stresses the importance of


relationships and an appreciation of practical needs

fluently

in a way that progresses smoothly and readily

fundamental
interpretation

accepts that the biblical texts are literally true and that the Bible is
without error or contradiction

Greater Jihad

the spiritual struggle within oneself against sin

Hinduism

the dominant religion of India, evolved from the teaching of the Vedas,
comprising a complex body of religious, social, cultural, and
philosophical beliefs, and characterised by a system of divinely ordained
caste

incarnation

in Christian theology, the process by which the Word of God became


flesh

initiation rites

mark the entrance or acceptance into a group or society

life cycle rituals

mark rites of passage in the biological and sociological cycle of human


life

Islam

the Muslim religion, based on the teachings of the prophet Muhammad


as set down in the Koran, the fundamental principle being absolute
submission to a unique and personal God, referred to as Allah

Judaism

the Jewish religion, deriving its authority from the precepts of the
Hebrew Scriptures and the teaching of the rabbis as expounded in the
Talmud; it is founded on belief in the one and only God, who is
transcendent, the creator of all things, and he source of all
righteousness, and in the duty of all Jewish people to bear witness to
this belief

karma

in Hinduism and Buddhism, the cosmic operation of retributive justice,


according to which someones status in life is determined by their own
deeds in a previous incarnation

Ketubim

also spelt as Kethuvim or Ketuvim; reflects the variety of material


collected in this canonical division, including works about Israels past,
prayers, wisdom literature and apocalyptic prophecy

literal interpretation

accepts that the text as written to be historical and factual

logical/logically

rational and valid; internally consistent; reasonable; reasoning in


accordance with the principles of formal argument

minimal

least possible; small, the least amount; negligible

moksha

a Hindu concept that refers to the release from the cycle of rebirth
impelled by the law of karma

moral codes

written, formal and consistent set of rules prescribing righteous


behaviour, accepted by a person or by a group of people

narrow

limited in range or scope; lacking breadth of view; limited in amount;


small, or meagre; restricted

nation-state

an independent state inhabited predominantly by a people sharing a


common culture, history, religion and language

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Term

Explanation

natural law

a special kind of knowledge about human beings, their possibilities, their


perfection which grounds natural moral obligations; not about God

Nevim

also spelt Neviim; according to Jewish Tradition, the second canonical


division; Neviim or Prophets comprises the eight books of Joshua,
Judges, Samuel, Kings, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and the Twelve Minor
(in the sense of short) Prophets

nirvana

in Buddhism, the ultimate state achieved usually after a series of


reincarnations when all passions and self-delusions have been shed

normative ethics

is the study of ethical action; it is the branch of philosophical ethics that


investigates the set of questions that arise when considering how one
ought to act, morally speaking

Pali Canon

also known as Tipikatka, the sacred writings that contain the teaching of
the Buddha; literally three baskets

pilgrimages

a journey, especially a long one, made to some sacred place, as an act


of devotion

precise

definite or exact; definitely or strictly stated, defined

predestination

the decree by God by which humans are foreordained to everlasting


happiness or misery

Quran

also spelt Koran; the sacred scripture of Islam, believed by Muslims to


contain revelations made in Arabic by Allah directly to Muhammad

reasoned

logical and sound; based on logic or good sense; logically thought out
and presented with justification

reincarnation

rebirth of the soul in a new body

relevant

bearing upon or connected with the matter in hand; to the purpose;


applicable and pertinent

religion

a belief in a supreme supernatural power or powers thought to control


the universe and all living things

religion-less state

a nation-state which discourages religious engagement

religious traditions

a grouping of stories, beliefs, etc. that have been part of the culture of a
group of people for a long time; in the context of this syllabus it refers to
the traditions of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism

religious state

a nation-state that has adopted a particular religion and uses the religion
as a foundation for its political institutions and laws

Revelation

fundamentally understood as Gods self-revelation; it is first of all the gift


of Gods own being; secondly, it is the illuminative or propositional
unfolding of the foundational event of a divine self-giving; the
communication of the mystery of God to the world

ritual

a form or system of religious or other rites

sacred

appropriated or dedicated to a deity or to some religious purpose;


consecrated

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Term

Explanation

sacred texts

religious texts that are the texts which various religious traditions
consider to be sacred, or central to their religious tradition

Salvation

saving the soul or preservation from loss or disaster

secular

from the Latin word secularum meaning worldly as distinct from


heavenly; distinct from clerical authority or matters under religious
control; relating to the world, or to things not religious, sacred or spiritual

secular state

a nation-state purports to be officially neutral in matters of religion;


supporting neither religion nor irreligion

state religion

a religion officially endorsed by the nation-state

statement

a communication or declaration in speech or writing setting forth facts,


particulars etc, but lacking explanation and/or development within the
context of an argument

substantial

firmly or solidly established; of real significance; reliable; important,


worthwhile

succinct

expressed in few words; concise; characterised by conciseness or


verbal brevity; brief and clear

TaNak

also spelt tanakh or tanach; an acronym for the Jewish Scriptures,


derived from the three main subdivisions: Torah (Law), Nevim
(Prophets), and Ketuvim (Writings)

teleological ethics

from the Greek word teleos meaning end/goal; focuses on good or


desirable as an end to be achieved

texts

texts take a number of forms within a religious context: written (which


are often referred to as scripture) and oral (which can take the form of
stories, body painting, masks, taboos, carvings, rock paintings, ritual
objects and even sand paintings)

theocracy

a form of government in which God or a deity is recognised as the


supreme civil ruler, his laws being interpreted by the ecclesiastical
authorities

thorough

carried out through, or applied to the whole of something; carried out


completely and carefully; including all that is required

Torah

first five books of the Jewish Bible, also known as the Law or the
Pentateuch

Torres Strait Islander


religion

the Indigenous religion in the Torres Strait was replaced by Christianity


in the early years of European contact with few traces remaining

ultimate questions

large questions that people have long reflected on concerning the


meaning and purpose of life, the value of the human being, identity and
destiny

Upanishad

each of a series of treatises, forming the chief theological documents of


ancient Hinduism, expounding more elaborately the mystical knowledge
contained in the earlier Vedas, especially the pantheistic doctrine that, in
all things but pre-eminently in each human soul, there may be seen
manifested the supreme, impersonal Brahma or Atman, the World Soul

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Term

Explanation

valid

sound, just or well-founded; able to be supported

vedas

the four ancient texts that constitute the oldest and most sacred stratum
of Hindu sacred writings: the Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda, and
Atharva Veda

virtue

traits of character requiring cultivation, e.g. truthfulness, courage,


compassion

virtue ethics

a branch of ethics that is person rather than action based; exploring the
virtue or moral character of the person carrying out an action, rather than
the ethical duties, rules or consequences of particular actions

well-justified

sound reasons or evidence is provided to support an argument,


statement or conclusion

well-reasoned

logical and sound; based on logic or good sense; logically thought out
and presented with justification; guided by reason; well-grounded;
considered

well-structured

organised or arranged so as to produce a desired result

World of the Text

refers to the analysis of the Christian Scriptures which considers: the


World behind the Text, the World of the Text, and the World in front of
the text

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Appendix 3: References
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(HMI). Ethos, 22(1), 811.
Department of Education Queensland. (1994). Social Investigators: An Approach to Active and
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Great Schools Partnership 2014, The Glossary of Education Reform: For journalists, parents, and
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education: administrators perspectives on integrating inquiry pedagogy into the curriculum.
Higher Education, 58(6), 841855. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10734-009-9228-7
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education: Reflections and directions on course design and teaching methods. Innovative
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the new taxonomy, Corwin Press, USA.
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Weaver, F.S., ed. 1989. Promoting inquiry in undergraduate learning. New Directions for
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