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Measuring the Effectiveness of Virtuous Pedagogy: A Quantitative Study of the What If Learning Approach in Church of England Schools

Hulbert, Sabina, Cooling, Trevor, Bowie, Robert (2020) Measuring the Effectiveness of Virtuous Pedagogy: A Quantitative Study of the What If Learning Approach in Church of England Schools. Education Sciences, 10 (11). Article Number 315. E-ISSN 2227-7102. (doi:10.3390/educsci10110315) (KAR id:89268)


What If Learning is a pedagogical approach that allows teachers to deliver traditional content, as prescribed by national curricula, while at the same time promoting character virtues fundamental to Christian ethos. It encourages teachers to present topics from a different perspective, which shapes understanding through the lenses of cooperation, coaching or hospitality. What If Learning reframes ‘how’ to teach rather than changing ‘what’ to teach. This study tested the effects of a three-months-long What If Learning intervention which reshaped the delivery of lessons to reflect values of hospitality and welcome in twenty schools across five dioceses in the United Kingdom. Four hundred and seventy-four pupils and 198 of their teachers filled in online surveys presenting implicit and explicit measures of intergroup attitudes adapted from the existing literature to reflect our operationalisation of tolerance as the Christian virtue of hospitality or welcome. Data were collected from all participants at three time points: before and after the intervention and then again three months later. Analyses of variance revealed a pattern of answers largely supportive of the positive effect of the proposed pedagogical approach, although not always consistent with the hypotheses. Teachers report overwhelming positive effects of the intervention on several aspects of pupils’ behaviour and flourishing potentials. The discussion focuses on the widespread implications of these findings while acknowledging the need for additional research to strengthen our conclusions and promote the approach even further.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.3390/educsci10110315
Uncontrolled keywords: Christian; virtuous; pedagogy; hospitality; welcome; tolerance
Subjects: L Education
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research > Centre for Health Services Studies
Depositing User: Helen Wooldridge
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2021 11:07 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 16:01 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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