Date of Award:

5-2013

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

School of Teacher Education and Leadership

Advisor/Chair:

James A. Barta

Co-Advisor/Chair:

Suzanne H. Broughton

Abstract

The aim of this study was to quantitatively measure refutation text's power for conceptual change while qualitatively discovering students' preference of refutation or expository text structures. This study also sought to examine if religious interest levels predict conceptual change. Participants for this study were 9th, 10th-, 11th-, and 12th-grade seminary students from the private religious educational system of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). The study was conducted in two sessions. Session 1 involved pretesting, interventions, and posttesting. Session 2 involved delayed posttesting and participant interviews. Results were predominately measured quantitatively with some qualitative interview analysis added to enrich the study. This research study provides insight into the refutation text effects in LDS religious education. Results of the study showed significant differences in conceptual change between participants reading refutation texts and those reading expository texts. In every case, the refutation text group performed higher on posttests than did the expository group. Results also showed participant preference toward refutation text structures. Furthermore, the study found significant correlations that verify topic interest as a possible predictor of conceptual change. Insights are valuable in aiding curriculum developers in implementing effective ways to teach doctrinal principles by utilizing refutation text interventions. The advantages of this research study add to educational research and identify areas for improvement and exploration in further research. This study of refutation text effects in religious education also broadens researchers' understanding of refutation text's power for conceptual change in subjects outside of K-12 science. Results of this study are of interest to researchers, teachers, curriculum writers, and LDS seminary teachers and administrators.

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