The use of a Web site in teaching the Cain and Abel narrative in an Israeli high school: An action research study of the integration of technology and Bible teaching
Joel Duman, The Jewish Theological Seminary of America, United States
The Jewish Theological Seminary of America . Awarded
The use of hypermedia and Web-based materials in Jewish Education is a new and growing phenomenon. This dissertation is the outcome of an action research project conducted on the use of a Web site on the biblical story of Cain and Abel with Israeli high school students. The major goal of the study was to examine student reactions to two alternate learning strategies associated with the site. One strategy gave a list of guidelines for use of the site, while the other strategy allowed maximal user control over the order and scope of use. An attempt was made to correlate student preferences regarding these two strategies with profiles generated by the Sternberg-Wagner Thinking Styles Self-assessment Inventory.
As background to this testing, the dissertation contains a review and analysis of the State sponsored curricula for Bible instruction used in Israel since the 1950's, including the latest curriculum, published in 2003. Two major findings were made regarding these curricula: (1) despite statements in support of independent study and thinking, these curricula and the very nature of schooling tend to encourage students to conform to instructions and to accept authority and (2) despite caveats to the centrality of the student, little research has been done on student attitudes toward Bible study.
This qualitative study presents both general results of the testing procedure and 5 portraits of student participants who exemplify a number of group tendencies. Issues of motivation and self-efficacy, the problematic impact of elementary school learning and the opportunity for personal growth associated with adolescent study of the psycho-mythological images of the Bible are examined. The study also stresses the adaptability of this new medium to the educational needs of the individual student.
Duman, J. The use of a Web site in teaching the Cain and Abel narrative in an Israeli high school: An action research study of the integration of technology and Bible teaching. Ph.D. thesis, The Jewish Theological Seminary of America.
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