School of Education
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Russel G. Yocum
Faith Development, Parental Involvement, Phenomenology, Religious Education, Sanctification of Parenting, Spiritual Development
Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods | Educational Psychology | Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education
Bunnell, Peter, "Parental Involvement in Elementary Children’s Religious Education: A Phenomenological Approach" (2016). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 1181.
The issue of parental involvement in religious education is an important one for the family, the church, the Christian school, and society. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to describe parents’ concepts and practices of involvement in their children’s religious education as evangelical Christian parents in Midwestern communities. This research addressed four research questions: (a) What are evangelical parents’ concepts and practices of involvement in their children’s religious education? (b) What informs evangelical parents’ concepts and practices of involvement in their children’s religious education? (c) What content do evangelical parents consider important to their children’s religious education? (d) Why do evangelical parents get involved in their children’s religious education? (e) What barriers do evangelical parents encounter when participating in the religious education of their children? The research involved 12 participants, parents who exhibited the phenomenon of parental involvement in their children’s religious education. Church leaders recommended the participants for involvement in the study. The data collection from these participants included interviews, site documents, and a focus group. The data were analyzed through immersion into the participants’ expressed experience, identification of essential qualities of the experience, and synthesis of individual experiences to describe the general essence of the experience. This process led to the identification of eight themes including foundations, forms, facilities, functions, foci, fruit, fights, and feelings of parental involvement in their children’s religious education. This analysis also incorporated the qualitative practices of bracketing and member-check.
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