Religious education involves learning about religion and the possibility of having religious experiences. Although measuring religious knowledge can be fairly straightforward, assessing whether students are having religious experiences can be more difficult. The purpose of this self-study is to develop clearer understanding of the interactions that might enable my students' religious experiences and how I might recognize when such experiences are occurring. I have written 10 narratives describing situations in which I believed students in my seminary had religious experiences. I interviewed those students to better understand their side of the narrative, and then used the Listening Guide to analyze the narratives and find whether and in what ways I was able to tell when a student was having religious experiences in my classroom. Four plotlines emerged from the data, which centered on what the student was doing to prepare for religious experiences. These ranged from simple attendance and participation to extensive outside seeking and preparation. Regarding my involvement in these experiences as a teacher, I found that common elements across the plotlines included taking time to know students and attending to intuitions about their needs. Implications of the present study are explored for both religious educators and teachers in other content areas who might be interested in helping students move beyond content knowledge toward meaningful engagement with a discipline.
College and Department
David O. McKay School of Education; Teacher Education
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Pearson, Jason Bird, "Something Happened: Exploring Student Religious Experiences Through the Eyes of Their Teacher" (2021). Theses and Dissertations. 9223.
religious education, religion studies, evaluation, action research