A Content Analysis Studying The Validity Of The Curriculum Needs Identified In "sharing The Light Of Faith: National Catechetical Directory For Catholics Of The United States" (religion)

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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Educational Leadership


This study investigated Sharing the Light of Faith: National Catechetical Directory for Catholics of the United States (NCD) to ascertain validity of the catechetical curriculum needs identified for the United States Roman Catholic Church. This was accomplished by isolating curriculum objectives of the NCD. These objectives were analyzed by comparison to findings of six validated national studies identifying needs for contemporary Catholic religious education in the United States.Understanding the Curriculum Paradigm (Tanner and Tanner, 1980) as the definition of curriculum, a content analysis was performed to isolate the curriculum objectives identified in the NCD. The isolation of objectives was accomplished utilizing a Curriculum Needs Identification Instrument. All units of the NCD were categorized into one of the elements of the Paradigm. The frequencies of the units of the NCD were analyzed in comparison to the distribution theorized in the construct of the Curriculum Paradigm.To ascertain validity, a second content analysis was performed by categorizing objectives of the NCD (isolated in the first analysis) and findings of the six validated national studies. This categorization was done utilizing a Religious Experience Identification Instrument. Objectives and findings were compared according to the frequencies for each of the types of religious experience described in Stark's Taxonomy of Religious Experiences (1965).From the results of the comparison of the curriculum needs identified in the NCD to the construct of the Curriculum Paradigm, the NCD and Curriculum Paradigm were judged to reflect different patterns of curriculum development. The NCD reflects a pattern of curriculum development with strong emphasis on objectives and subject matter (84.3% of NCD units). In addition, the NCD contains minimal presence of evaluation criteria (1.1% of NCD units). Thus, the area of evaluation within curricula based on the NCD can be developed only by inference. Inferred evaluation criteria were concluded to be a source for disagreement on implementation of the NCD.From the results of the comparison of objectives in the NCD and findings of the six validated national studies, the curriculum needs identified in the NCD were concluded to be valid.


Education, Curriculum and Instruction

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