The goal of this lesson is to continue identifying and then begin evaluating the assumptions and misconceptions that students may have about the nature of science and faith.
As a way to look more deeply into this topic, you might want to lead the exercise Identifying Assumptions. This activity reviews student understanding of the nature of science, offers a chance to diagnose problematic assumptions that students still hold, and provides a way of engaging the school community beyond the classroom through a survey.
The discussion detailed in Identifying Assumptions can be used to outline the trajectory for the course, exploring what types of topics will be covered and how, and highlighting key topics that will remain a course focus.
Let the students know that the course is not designed to advocate for a particular stance on controversial issues in science and religion, such as human evolution. Rather, the course will lead into a deeper exploration of the natures of science and faith. The initial goal is to create a deeper understanding of the relationship between science and faith, not to sign participants up for specific conclusions.
Note that the goal for these opening activities is not to arrive at a consensus, but to practice the kinds of discussions that will be explored throughout the semester. Disagreement within the class is to be expected and should be accepted.
After completing the Identifying Assumptions activity, assign the previously mentioned homework Identifying Issues. Identifying Issues has students work through the same activity that they did in class, this time at home with their parents or families or another adult. Consider asking some colleagues to be available for any students who may have difficulty accessing a family member or adult at home. Spend a little time at the end of the class session discussing strategies for ensuring a respectful conversation.Download all files for this topic