Date of Award

1996

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Religious Education, PhD

First Advisor

Roy C. Naden

Second Advisor

Richard M. Davidson

Third Advisor

Frederick A. Kosinski, Jr.

Abstract

Problem. The purpose of this study was to empirically develop a curriculum on the book of Psalms for readers of the English text that would bridge historical, theological, cultural, and linguistic distance, as well as overcome literary challenges associated with Hebrew poetry including figures of speech, parallelism, and psalm forms.

Method. The instructional product development methodology employed in this study was based on the work of Baker and Schutz (1971) and Naden (1993). The need for the product was established through a literature review, the specific learners were described, behavioral objectives were constructed, an identical pre-test and post-test were prepared, criteria for the test questions were detailed, an instructional outline was formulated, and the instructional product was tested and revised repeatedly with groups of ever-increasing size. The acceptable level of post-test performance was set at 80/80 (80% of the learners were required to score 80% or higher on each of the 10 post-tests in order to achieve mastery of the instructional objectives).

In the final tryout, the product was presented in the form of a weekend seminar to a group $(n=27)$ large enough to demonstrate statistically significant modification of cognition. The seminar was followed by a focus group interview (FGI) in order to assess the product's value at modifying affect. The FGI included one-third of the seminar participants and was conducted by a professional facilitator. A t-test for correlated means was used to measure the difference between the group means on the pre- and post-tests.

Results. At least 80% of the 27 participants achieved 80% or higher on all of the 10 post-tests. Each of the 10 post-test means was significantly different than the pre-test mean at the.05 level. A qualitative analysis of thefocus group interview transcript revealed that positive modification of affect was attained.

Conclusions. This study demonstrated again the value of the empirical development of curriculum, and it resulted in the creation of a curriculum that was proven effective at motivating and equipping participants to study Psalms on their own.

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