Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Preparing elementary school teachers for the academic study of religion: Knowledge, attitudes and practice in colleges of education
by Abdelrahim Tartir, Suzanne, Ed.D., The George Washington University, 2010, 153; 3397598
Abstract (Summary)

This qualitiative descriptive study examined the attitudes, awareness, and actions of elementary teacher prep faculty at NCATE accredited universities on issues of preparing elementary school teachers for teaching about religion within the curriculum. The purpose of this study was to learn more about what colleges of education are currently practicing as well as willing to practice in terms of preparing elementary school teachers for the academic study of religion.

Primary forms of data comprised of a web-based/online survey (modified from the RSSQ by Zam & Stone, 2006) with some document analysis of course syllabi, class handouts, and other course materials voluntarily sent in by a few participating faculty. Data analysis included numerical and descriptive analysis, using Likert scales and coding of documents for common themes. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize and present current practices in the field.

The study highlighted progress in teacher educators’ knowledge on legal guidelines related to including religion in the curriculum. The results highlighted the need for a focus on objectivity and accuracy when teaching about religion; the issue of time when including religion in the curriculum; religion as a part of elementary school educators’ role; and the changing of attitudes about including religion in the curriculum. Findings indicated that survey participants appeared to be more comfortable in preparing teachers to address multicultural issues with their teachers; however, multicultural issues addressed did not always include religion as a pertinent aspect.

Finally, the study provided several recommendations for future research and for the field, including looking to current initiatives; modeling after successful practices; and making effective use of available resources. The potential of this study may lead to revision of curricular and program areas in teacher education. However, before actions or policy can change, this study suggested that a shift in attitudes must occur.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Comas, Jacqueline
Commitee: Beck, Sylven, Haynes, Charles, Paratore, Salvatore, Tate, Patricia
School: The George Washington University
Department: Curriculum & Instruction
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 71/04, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Elementary education, Religious education, Teacher education
Keywords: Elementary, Knowledge, Practice, Religion, Teacher preparation
Publication Number: 3397598
ISBN: 9781109696264
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