ERIC Number: EJ850328
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Feb
Abstractor: As Provided
Students' Spirituality and "Big Questions" in Introductory Religion Courses
Walvoord, Barbara E.
Teaching Theology & Religion, v11 n1 p3-13 Feb 2008
A study of sixty-six highly effective teachers of introductory theology and religion courses in various types of institutions reveals very complex challenges for instructors. The majority of students have as a goal their own religious and spiritual development. Faculty members' most frequent goal is critical thinking. Students much less frequently mention critical thinking, and their expectations and voices may be more appropriate for a place of worship or a counseling center. To meet these complex challenges, faculty encourage four student "voices": the questioner, the applier, the thinker/arguer, and the autobiographer. These voices can help students explicitly to bring their own experiences and beliefs into relationship with course material and critical thinking. Careful planning and guidance for students are the key to making these voices work well.
Descriptors: Counseling Services, Teacher Effectiveness, Religion, Guidance Centers, Critical Thinking, Spiritual Development, College Faculty, Introductory Courses, College Students, Beliefs, Planning, Questioning Techniques
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A