An analysis of evangelical theological presuppositions and educational practices of students in a doctoral level community of learning
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SubjectGraduate students--Intellectual life.
Graduate students--Religious life.
Theses Ph. D.--Christian education.
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This dissertation explored the relationship of theological presuppositions as they relate to educational practice. The purpose of the research is to evaluate the way in which evangelical theology and philosophy inform evangelical higher education. The research concern addresses the fact that many different new methods and theories have become available for the adult learner and educator. Many of the methods are based upon constructivist philosophy. Most tenants of constructivist philosophy are antithetical to evangelical philosophy and theology. Prior research has shown, however that many shared methods exist between the constructivist and the evangelical. This is particularly true when a community approach to learning is fostered and practiced. Prior research has also shown that shared methods can be justified. Yet, for the evangelical the many elements of constructivist philosophy cannot be justified. This research, through a descriptive study, analyzed the presuppositions of a community of learners in Internet-enhanced and face-to-face doctoral education. Elements of learning communities and Mezirow's transformative learning theory were prime constructivist theory examined in the literature. It was found that the population agreed with evangelical philosophy according the survey instrument by percentages ranging in the high eighties to low nineties. There was no significant difference in evangelical belief between the students in a face-to-face community of learning and those students in an Internet-enhanced community of learning. It was also found that face-to-face students and female students emphasized much of the evangelical philosophy in a more social or communal perspective than other groups in the population.