ERIC Number: EJ941790
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Oct
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 25
"Big Questions" in the Introductory Religion Classroom: Expanding the Integrative Approach
Deffenbaugh, Daniel G.
Teaching Theology & Religion, v14 n4 p307-322 Oct 2011
Recent research by Barbara Walvoord suggests a perceived disparity between faculty learning objectives and students' desire to engage "big questions" in the introductory religion classroom. Faculty opinions of such questions are varied, ranging from a refusal to employ any approach that diverts attention away from critical thinking, to a willingness to integrate personal questions of meaning and purpose into the introductory religion course. This essay argues that, in light of work currently being done by such developmental theorists as Sharon Daloz Parks and Marcia Baxter Magolda, the integrative approach has much to commend it. It concludes with suggestions for how religion faculty can expand this approach through learning covenants, service learning, and seeing the religion classroom as a gateway to various mentoring communities on campus.
Descriptors: Religion, Introductory Courses, College Students, College Faculty, Teacher Attitudes, Critical Thinking, Integrated Curriculum, Service Learning, Mentors, Hermeneutics
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A