Encouraging Students to Act: Helping Students Apply Principles Learned in a Religious Education Setting

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Abstract

Much debate exists regarding the purpose of education. This article explores the idea that religious education can be used to inspire change and action in the lives of students beyond the classroom. We describe a study of students who took a required religion class at a private religious university. The intended outcomes of the class centered on encouraging students to make the following changes in their lives: to develop a habit of regular scripture study, to use new methods to study the scriptures, and to make positive choices in their lives. Specific assignments were designed to encourage these outcomes. At the end of the semester, students were surveyed as to whether they had made changes in their lives in these three areas. The vast majority of students reported that they had made changes in their lives because of assignments given in the class. Implications and limitations are discussed.

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