Children as hermeneutes : readings of the seven parables in Matthew thirteen

Lloyd, Raymond Henry (2001-03)

On title page: MPhil (Bible Skills)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2001.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This qualitative empirical study is located in one of the aims of Bible Skills which focuses on 'the Bible in today's world' and specifically on the foregrounding of the ordinary reader in recent research. The study aimed to answer two mutually dependent research questions about children as ordinary readers of the Bible. The first question was concerned with the sense children of ten make of the seven parabolic units in Matthew thirteen and the second with the children's hermeneutical processes and strategies. A small sample of thirteen Grade 5 learners was divided into three leaderless groups to work out over three discussion episodes what the parables meant to teach. A" discussions were audio-taped, transcribed and subject to a content analysis for features of the children's interpretations. The researcher's analysis of the readings was brought into dialogue with three previous critical assessments of the parables by trained readers. The discussion data were also used to make inferences regarding eight dimensions of the hermeneutical task. Two tentative conclusions relative to the two research questions were drawn from these observations. The children could readily conceptualize reading parables as a search for meaning and were we" able to discover together an agreed and intelliqible meaning of the allotted parables. The children also had available to them and could intuitively use an identifiable pattern of hermeneutical strategies. Several limitations of the study are considered, together with some implications for the study of the. Bible in religious education and some comments on further research.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie kwalitatiewe empiriese navorsing beliggaam een van die doelwitte van die Bybelvaardighede program wat op die Bybel in die hedendaagse wêreld wil fokus terwyl dit veral die oog het op die rol van die gewone leser in onlangse navorsing. Die studie beoog om twee onderling afhanklike vrae oor kinders as gewone lesers van die Bybel te beantwoord. Die eerste vraag wil vasstel watter betekenis kinders van tien jaar oud uit die sewe gelykenisse in Matteus 13 kan haal. Die tweede vraag wil bepaaloor watter hermeneutiese prosesse en strategieë die kinders beskik. 'n Klein toetsgroep van dertien Graad 5 leerlinge is in drie leierlose groepe verdeel. Hulle moes by drie gespreksgeleenthede beraadslaag oor wat die gelykenisse veronderstel is om te beteken. Die gesprekke is op band vasgelê, . oorgeskryf en die inhoud ontleed vir kenmerke van die kinders se verstaan daarvan. Die navorser se ontleding van die kinders se vertolking word daarna vergelyk met die kritiese lees van die gelykenisse deur drie vakkundiqeIesers. Die besprekingsdata word ook gebruik om agt afleidings oor aspekte van die hermeneutiese taak te maak. Ten opsigte van die twee navorsingsvrae word daar twee gevolgtrekkings gemaak. Die kinders kon maklik insien dat die lees van gelykenisse eintlik 'n soek na betekenis is en hulle dat hulle saam op 'n sinvolle manier betekenis in die gelykenisse kon ontdek. Die kinders het ook beskik oor bepaalde hermeneutiese strategieë wat hulle kon aanwend. Verskeie grense van die studie word self aangetoon, terwyl bepaalde implikasies van die navorsing vir Bybelonderrig in godsdiensonderrig uitgewys, asook opmerkings oor verdere navorsing gemaak word.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/52162
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