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

Shirley A. Freed

Third Advisor

Bruce L. Bauer

Abstract

Problem. Professional and lay leaders in the Seventh-day Adventist church need to be sensitive to the dynamics of faith development as it interfaces with human development over the life span, and with its practical implications. Currently, there is no curriculum available, empirically developed or otherwise, to explore this issue.

Method. The underlining philosophy of the approach to curriculum design utilized in this study is that curriculum is likely to be more effective when it is developed in a cooperative spirit between an instructor and learners rather than written in isolation, and when there is emphasis on both the cognitive and affective domains of the learning process. The product was empirically developed through 10 systematic steps. They included establishing the need for the product, formulation of behavioral objectives, design of the pre- and post-tests for each session, and the process of trial and revision of the instruction and all supplemental materials. General mastery for cognitive domain was established at the 80% level; that is, at least 80% of the subjects would need to achieve the specified mastery of the criteria established for each of the 24 behavioral objectives. The test for the affective domain was administered and analyzed before and after the series of lectures. In order to complement the objectives of the curriculum in the cognitive and affective domains, a process objective was formulated and outcomes were discussed. After the sessions with a small number of learners, the curriculum was modified. This process was repeated with increasing numbers of learners until mastery was achieved at the predetermined level.

Results. The development included four trials of the curriculum with four groups of subjects. The last group of 35 subjects achieved cognitive mastery at the specified levels for each of the objectives, achieved statistically significant modification of affect as measured by the instrument of affect, and realized the process objective.

Conclusions. This empirically developed curriculum on faith development provided an insight into the role of the curriculum developer in the process of empirical development. The product is ready for adaptation by qualified instructors in the Seventh-day Adventist church in North America, or, in an appropriately modified version, with other audiences.

Subject Area

Faith development, Christian education.

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