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A study of cognitive and affective elements in the religious development of adolescents

Mark, Timothy John (1979) A study of cognitive and affective elements in the religious development of adolescents. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

A review is given of recent writing in religious education with particular reference to research into children's religious attitudes, behaviour and cognition. Key concepts of religious experience, the view of religion as multi-dimensional, and the problem of definition are discussed. The work of Hyde (1965) as a point of departure for the present research is indicated. A description is given of the development of two attitude scales using the scale discrimination technique, and of the construction and revision of a religious behaviour questionnaire and a religious thinking test. Material for use in individual interviews is described and a small pilot study is reported. Additional instruments to be used in the research are identified, and five general hypotheses to be tested by the research are stated. A detailed account is given of an empirical experiment in two comprehensive schools in South Yorkshire in which data is obtained from a sample of 2,096 pupils. Marks awarded by a team of judges are shown to be reliable and raw scores from the experiment are analysed by item analysis, analysis of variance and factor analysis. The results are described and discussed; they show statistically significant differences in the test scores for religious attitudes, religious behaviour and religious thinking related to school, school year, and pupil's sex. Three separate components identified by factor analysis are labelled religious behaviour, compassionate attitude, and cognition. The results of follow-up interviews with a cross-section of 58 pupils are analysed and it is demonstrated that pupils have considerable interest in questions of religious belief, interpretation of the Bible, and the significance of religious belief in relation to human suffering. The aims of religious education in the two schools which participated in the research are evaluated in the light of the research results. Points for further investigation arising from the research are indicated. It is stated in conclusion that clear trends and factors in the cognitive framework of the adolescents' religious world which have been established by this research, provide a strong impetus for curriculum change in religious education in the secondary school.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds) > School of Education (Leeds)
Depositing User: Ethos Import
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2012 15:25
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2013 08:48
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/2313

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