Finding God, Finding Me: Catholic Moral Development and Catholic High School Service-Learning
Finding God; Finding Me: Catholic Moral Development and Catholic High School Service Learning.Cristiana Ritchie-Carter, Doctor of Philosophy, 2012Dissertation Director: Professor, Merylynn Schuttloffel, Ph.D Catholic Educational Leadership The primary goals of my study were: 1) to provide an understanding of the processes through which the socio-cultural tools provided by Catholic high-school service-learning pedagogy, mediate moral action. 2) to explore the experiences of Catholic service-learner exemplars and the processes, tools, language and symbols used to describe their experiences and subsequent moral action, and 3) to seek the possible connections between moral action and religious identity as it develops within a particular socio-cultural context. This study is qualitative and uses a multiple-case study design. I choose this methodology as it provides rich descriptions and deeply explores the phenomenon of continued moral action of young adults after participation in Catholic high school service-learning. The findings of my study determined that Catholic high school service-learning programs are a means for forming young persons who are not only committed to service, but are committed to living their faith in a way that is consistent with their moral identity. Furthermore, these young people demonstrate a distinctly Catholic moral identity that is consistent with the Catholic socio-cultural context of their high school programs. Implications for practice are presented.
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