FASTLY - Faith & Science Teaching

Part 2: Models & Methods of Investigation


3. Investigations


The goal is to review this part of the course, giving students a chance to reflect on what they have learned, before moving on to new concepts in the next part.

Framing activity: In Connecting Wisdom to Science, students were invited to complete the activity A Map. You might wish to revisit this now, at the end of this part of the course, using the variation A Map 2, which invites students to look back at their earlier views and reflect on any changes.

Journal and discussion: Consider creating a circle with desks or chairs. Give thought to whether you want your desk to be part of that circle or outside it.

You can display the following words on a board or screen for students:

  • Wisdom
  • Wonder
  • Virtue
  • Community

You might give students time to write silently for a few minutes, describing what they have learned thus far about how each of these words might be connected to both faith and science. Then you could allow them some additional time to discuss their reflections with a partner.

Reviewing journal entries: The goal is to spend time reading together through previous journal entries, marking any quotes or ideas connected to the four key ideas displayed on the board or screen.

Once students have done this, consider spending time in class sharing some of the quotes and ideas they have found. If you have been journaling along with students, which is highly encouraged, then you may also share some of your own ideas or quotes from your entries.

Now that these quotes and ideas have been shared, encourage a whole-class discussion. Ask students which of the four key ideas surprised them or was not part of how they imagined the topic of faith and science before they began the class.

Allow the students to be the ones to speak and give them freedom to shape the discussion. Look for students who display humility, compassion, courage, or patience as they talk. This provides a unique opportunity to encourage these students at the end of class when you debrief with them.

Ideally, spending time revisiting journal entries will show the complexity, messiness, and uncertainty inherent in engaging faith and science questions.

Journal prompt: Finally, in class or for homework, ask students to journal on the prompt “Review: Science and Theology” from the Models and Methods Journal Prompts:

  • What is the purpose of science?
  • What is the purpose of theology?
  • How are these two purposes similar? How are they different?

Debrief: After students have finished journaling on “Review: Science and Theology,” you can initiate a class discussion of these questions as a debrief. Let students know that these questions will serve as a transition to the next part of the course.

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