The use of information and communication technologies to educate laity: A case study
B. Mark Francis, University of Denver, United States
University of Denver . Awarded
Technology-based education is learning primarily based in constructivist styled pedagogies. It is neither good nor bad; its value is inherent to the user and environment where it is placed. While some churches place a high value on the benefits gleaned from its use, others abhor it in religious education.
Why churches incorporate or reject technology-based education is a phenomenon that baffles most educators because the logic invoked is neither sound nor empirical. Either way, technology continues to evolve in education circles beyond the walls of the local church. In order to preserve the historical traditions and the distinctive cultures of their organizations, many churches have refrained from using information and communication technologies for educational purposes. Instead, technology is relegated to office functions and sermon preparation practices. However, through the provisioning of grants, restructuring of budgets, and the generosity of alumni, theological schools have implemented information and communication technologies to expand their reach into religious education markets. In religious education, a divide exists between leaders and laity regarding educational development. Education for clergy adheres to guidelines prescribed by their respective religious bodies; however, lay education is local, traditionally non-formal, synchronous, and unregulated.
Traditionally, pastors consign ecclesiastical ministry to laity similar to the way parents relegate care giving to the eldest child. The primary considerations prior to prescribing responsibility are spiritual maturity, time served, and potential. Formal training and prior participation in the ministry are additional factors. In terms of educational development, clergy and laity differ in information and communication technologies use.
This research seeks to understand and report the manner in which information and communication technologies (ICT) are used within a local church. This report is a review of the qualitative data on the education offered and the pedagogical practices of ICT used in teaching and development of laity.
Francis, B.M. The use of information and communication technologies to educate laity: A case study. Ph.D. thesis, University of Denver.
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