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Durham e-Theses
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All-age learning: implications for faith development, education and nurture in a changing church

Sadler, Judith Mary (1994) All-age learning: implications for faith development, education and nurture in a changing church. Masters thesis, Durham University.



Since the late 1980's all-age learning has become a significant feature of education and worship within the Church of England. This thesis relates Christian education to the faith development theory of James Fowler. Recognising both the value and limitations of Fowler's theory, there is an appreciation of how the debate arising from his research enriches the sphere of Christian education. Churches need to take responsibility for carefully defining Christian education, establishing precise aims and identifying worthwhile outcomes. The particular aim presented in this thesis is regarded as one which is achieved by effective all-age learning (sometimes abbreviated in the thesis to "all-age"). An associated worthwhile outcome is the promotion of faith development. It is argued that the success of this developmental process becomes apparent in unpredictable as well as predictable outcomes. Claims are made for a holistic view of learning which takes into account a full range of identifiable human operations, represented by what are broadly referred to as the cognitive and affective domains. Part of the intentional process of learning within formative all-age Christian education should include the development of critical skills. This highlights the issue of evaluation and brings with it a challenge to the Church in its present form. A positive response to the possibility and reality of challenge may bring change. Where all-age features in Christian education and worship, it is hoped that such change will affect the entire Church community rather than isolated individuals. It soon becomes clear that all-age might serve as a pragmatic and effective tool within Christian education. However, the corporate nature of the Church of England is as important as its individual membership. Thus there are further conclusions which centre on one in particular; that all-age is a necessary component of a changing and developing corporate Church, where there exists a desire to respond to what is perceived to be the continuing creative power of God.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1994
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 Oct 2012 11:47

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