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Intergenerational Christian education: Reclaiming a significant educational strategy in Christian faith communities

Harkness, Allan Grant (1996) Intergenerational Christian education: Reclaiming a significant educational strategy in Christian faith communities. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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Christian education in Protestant Christian faith communities is under scrutiny because of its perceived ineffectiveness in equipping Christians for relevant mission in postmodern Western society.

The dominant model of education within most Christian faith communities is an age­-segregated individualistic one, based on the traditional schooling approach to education. This study demonstrates that not only is this model failing pragmatically, but that key elements of the model are at variance with biblical and theological affirmations of the Church concerning the function and principles of education within those communities; and that elements of secular education theory also expose its weaknesses.

The study argues that intergenerational Christian education (IGCE) processes in Christian faith communities are a significant and normative strategy to achieve the goals of education, for both individuals and corporate faith communities. The study demonstrates that IGCE processes are normative in the New Testament; have substantial support from the social sciences and current educational theory; are integrative of the major theoretical foci of knowledge, personhood and community in Christian education; and are complementary to, but take primacy over, homogeneous­age group strategies. Criteria to distinguish IGCE are formulated and consequent curricular issues for Christian educators are outlined.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Social Sciences
Notes: Note to the author: If you would like to make your thesis openly available on Murdoch University Library's Research Repository, please contact: Thank you.
Supervisor(s): Hill, Brian
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