Teachers and the religious socialization of adolescents: Facilitation of meaningful religious identity formation processes

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Abstract

This study investigated the effects of religious education on student religious identity over and above parent religiosity by examining student perceptions of two aspects of teacher functioning: teacher caring and teacher as role-model. We posited that effects of these variables on students' religious identity are mediated by student perceptions that the school provides a non-alienating religious atmosphere and meaningful religious studies. Participants were 2691 male and female students (grades 9-12) in 152 classes of 25 schools from the Jewish public-religious sector in Israel. Results indicate that in addition to their parents' religiosity, adolescents' perceptions of their teachers as role models and their religious studies as meaningful are important variables affecting their religious identity. Moreover, this research suggests that religious identity formation processes flourish in an educational environment which students perceive as accommodating religious exploration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-214
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Volume37
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2014

Keywords

  • Identity agents
  • Meaningful studies
  • Religious education
  • Religious identity
  • Self determination theory
  • Teachers

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