At the end of the year our classes from 1st grade – 8th grade take an end of the year assessment. The purpose of this is to see how they are understanding the faith as it is being passed onto them in the classroom and through home study.
Some are not keen on the idea of giving a test in a religious education program, because it may turn kids off to the faith or because it is a way of assessing knowledge through a written test and not all students are good at test taking. Finally, some think that it should not come down to an assessment at the end of the year.
It is not about a student passing or failing. The purpose of assessments are twofold: 1) It is a solid means of helping a religious education program asses how well or poorly they are passing on the faith. In addition, it helps inform parents what their children know or do not know. Religious education programs need to strive to pass on the faith whole and entire. How are we to know how well we are doing if we have no instrument to help measure (as imperfect as it is) our progress or lack of it? It is very difficult to judge the success of a program merely on how many students like coming to class verses how many do not. Finally, an assessment in each grade helps attain goals. A program that does not have goals and seek to fulfill them lacks the focus it needs to move forward toward growth.
May Christ, the divine teacher, lead and guide us always to transmit the Gospel to the students in our Religious Education Programs.
What have the fruits been in your own parish in regards to giving an end of the year assessment?