FASTLY - Faith & Science Teaching

Part 3: Big Questions


4. Pitfalls

Hands-on with Common Pitfalls

This lesson uses a Scripture passage to give students hands-on practice identifying the common pitfalls of hermeneutics and learning how to avoid them.

You can start by reprising At the Well from earlier in the course, revisiting the idea of models and how they inform the way we read the Bible. As students work through the activity this time, ask them:

  • To step back from the activity and consider its stages in light of the list of pitfalls they developed in the previous class session.
  • To discuss how the list of pitfalls is relevant to interpreting this passage.

The first time around, this activity focused on discovery; revisiting it allows some detachment, enabling a focus on process.

Next, consider revisiting Candle in a similar manner, focusing on the relevance of the pitfalls identified.

Pop Can Implosion is a good activity to do next, as it dives into the distinctions between observations and inferences. These are explored through a classroom demonstration of a pop can suddenly imploding. At the end of the activity, debrief the process with an emphasis on the pitfalls already discussed.

If time allows, or to extend this theme into another session, do the follow-up activity Observations, Inferences, Models, which uses the example of student observation from Pop Can Implosion to delve deeper into the differences between observation and inferences.

For homework, ask students to respond to the following journal prompt:

  • What role might isolation play in allowing incorrect inferences to continue unchecked?
  • What role might community play in helping to correct poor thinking?
  • What pitfalls might inquiry in interaction with others help us avoid?
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Evaluating Pitfalls and Solutions