If you have ears to hear, listen; let the girls speak! A case-study of the faith development of girls aged 7-14 years

Hancock, Siân Elizabeth (2022). If you have ears to hear, listen; let the girls speak! A case-study of the faith development of girls aged 7-14 years. University of Birmingham. Other

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This thesis has been produced by an educator/youth worker undertaking research for a professional doctorate whilst training Christian children and youth workers in a theological college. It has been generated by an inquiry set within Girls’ Brigade Ministries (England and Wales) exploring to what extent does single-sex uniformed group work with girls aged 7–14 years effectively enhance their growth and development?

As a case-study using ethnographic methods and interpretative phenomenological analysis, its approach has been to hear what girls aged 7–14 years understand of themselves, this girlhood phase and their lives whilst investigating the effectiveness of this kind of youth work practice to enhance faith development. By accompanying the group and through the use of fieldnotes, attentive listening and purposeful conversation, the outcome of this inquiry has highlighted:

• The need to amplify the voice of girls aged 7–14 years.

• The significance of the relationship with those who accompany them
through this time, in both physical presence as well as encountered
through scripture and literature.

• The messiness of this transitional phase of girlhood and its significance
for girls making meaning of their lives and sense of self.

• The underlying thread of belonging that is interwoven throughout these
themes and is key to this girlhood experience.

As a result of these findings recommendations have been made for the future practice of those in local groups, national teams and local churches. These include practical suggestions to help reflect and build upon existing ways of working that contribute to creating a safe, nurturing physical space; to ensuring that resources and scripture use inclusive language that girls can relate to; and to practise the art of accompanying, to amplify the voice of the girls.

Type of Work: Thesis (Other)
Award Type: Other
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion, Department of Theology and Religion
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BV Practical Theology
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/12513


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