Religious educators distinguish four different aspects of learning:
- knowledge of material,
- critical thinking and interaction with the material,
- individual acceptance of the material as meaningful, and
- actual incorporation of the material into one’s personal life.
Religion teachers strive to achieve all four outcomes, recognizing, however, that some lend themselves to evaluation and grading better than others. Teachers will clarify for themselves what it is that they are marking and how they arrive at the grades. They will clearly and explicitly inform students how they will be graded. Students will be reassured that their grades are not a function of their belief or disbelief, or of their agreement or disagreement with the teacher on controversial questions.
The grade will be a function of the skills the student has shown in articulating his/her authentic discernment about the material.