Title

The Focolare Educational Model at the Sophia Higher Learning Institute for Cultural Studies

Date of Degree

12-2009

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Program

Education

Advisor

Absael Antelo

Advisor

Judith Beauford

Advisor

Richard Gray

Abstract

This mixed methods study explored in depth the Focolare Educational Model at Sophia Higher Learning Institute for Cultural Studies, identifying its origins, analyzing its curriculum, describing its spiritual practices and teaching strategies, and assessing the effectiveness of its outcomes. In this research, the qualitative and quantitative aspects were addressed simultaneously. For the qualitative part of the research a case study design was used. This consisted of collecting documentary evidence and interviewing on site 10 professors of the Sophia Higher Learning Institute. At the same time the researcher administered a questionnaire among the 250 students that participated in the Sophia Higher Learning Institute. Qualitative findings and quantitative results were first cross validated and integrated with each other and then compared with the literature review. The Focolare Educational Model at Sophia Institute was proven to have a variety of unique characteristics in its origins, curriculum content, teaching and learning environment, and outcomes.

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