Student-Centered Religious Learning and Literacy Lab (SCRoLL Lab) provides opportunities for Brandeis students to develop social scientific research skills, as they participate in a range of collaborative empirical studies all focused on how children read and understand sacred texts.
SCRoLL Lab Director Professor Ziva R. Hassenfeld supervises 4-8 Brandeis University undergraduate students each year in the lab. The group collaborates on everything from designing new studies, recruiting participants, developing data and assessment instruments, conducting ethnographic observations and other forms of data collection, analyzing data, and publishing their findings.
The lab's research explores how children read, translate, comprehend, and discuss texts. Using sacred texts as a case study, the team investigates what children do when they read and discuss sacred texts, how they talk about them with their teachers and classmates, how they work to translate them, and what interpretations they offer.
Sacred texts have been studied across millennia in almost every context imaginable. Therefore, they offer unique opportunities to explore how people, starting from a young age, read closely. The research of the SCRoLL lab generates insights not only for educators who teach sacred texts, but also for the broader community of literacy and language educators.