Document Type

Dissertation

Rights

This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only

Disciplines

5.3 EDUCATIONAL SCIENCES

Publication Details

Successfully submitted for the award of Master of Arts (MA) to the Dublin Institute of Technology in 2014.

Abstract

“Mormon” gospel doctrine classes present a practical problem since the scriptural text is often bypassed in favour of thematic discussions. The use of exegesis might overcome this problem by reinstating the text as a genuine source of meaning since it gains greater applicability in modern times when its original context is fully appreciated. Indeed, “exegetical education” (the combination of a systematic study of a text through questions and subsequent application via peer-learning activities) could be a useful way to structure classes, study and discussions. Practical action research was employed in a small-scale study to explore these claims. Interviews were held with three practitioners of specific exegetical forms of instruction. Exegetical education was practiced and formalised by the researcher during a pilot stage. A reflective journal was kept by the researcher during a further implementation of exegetical education in nine gospel doctrine classes (over a period of four months). Finally, a focus group interview was held with six students from the classes to explore their experience of exegetical education as implemented. The data obtained was analysed using network analysis and the findings were compared to the expectations raised by the review of literature. The findings illustrate the usefulness of exegetical education in structuring classes, study and discussions. These findings support the claim that exegetical education contributes to the relevance of the text in classroom discussions and independent study. A further action research cycle could explore whether the consistent use of exegetical homework assignments encourage independent learning and improve class discussions.

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