The Powers that Be: A Phenomenological Study of College Students' Impressions of the Bias in Religious Narratives in History Textbooks
School of Education
Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction (EdD)
Religion, History, Bias, College Students, Phenomenology, Content Analysis
Education | Higher Education
Herrero, Sarah Irene, "The Powers that Be: A Phenomenological Study of College Students' Impressions of the Bias in Religious Narratives in History Textbooks" (2019). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 2183.
The purpose of this phenomenological study was to describe the perception of bias of college students at a local college regarding the religious narratives in history textbooks. The theory that guided this study was reader response theory, as it identified the tendency of readers to bring their experiences and backgrounds to the literature they read. The study accomplished this by answering (a) how do college students who claim to perceive bias describe their experience of that perception of bias in religious narratives in history textbooks; (b) how do college students describe bias; (c) how do college students construct perceptions of a topic from the content of religious narratives in history textbooks; (d) how does a college student’s, religion, political orientation, psychology, empathetic worldview, or family influences influence perception of bias in the text?; and (e) how do students verbalize factors that they perceive as minimizing bias. To achieve this, 10 college students, from a college in South Florida were recruited for the study. Data collection included interviews, focus groups, and journaling; the data analysis was completed using the constant comparative method. The findings revealed that all participants who described a perception of bias exemplified an empathetic worldview, including both empathy and perspective taking toward different groups. Suggestions for future research include how to foster such empathy and perspective taking in the student body at large.