FASTLY - Faith & Science Teaching

Part 2: Models & Methods of Investigation


3. Investigations

Virtues (Second Lab)

The goal is to conduct an extended, inquiry-based lab on a topic of your choice.

Students should understand from the beginning of this lab that they will be preparing for a process of peer review resulting in public research reports. There are further details in Labs and Community.

Framing activity: Chemical or Not? explores what virtues have to do with science and brings students’ assumptions to light as a basis for further learning. Students completed this activity at the beginning of the course. Have them revisit it now to review their earlier assumptions and see whether their thinking has changed. This will help connect the earlier framing discussions to the current lab work.

In-class reflection: Look for moments when groups of students are actively collaborating or clearly focused on their investigation. When they reach a natural stopping point, engage them in a brief conversation about what virtues they might have been exercising in their work. For examples you may refer back to the List of Virtues, which was handed out to students during Part 1: Course Orientation of the course. Replenish the handouts for any students who no longer have them.

Journal prompt: Have students reflect on their lab work this week, particularly thinking about the times when they were highly focused on the investigation or collaborating with others. Students can refer to the List of Virtues handout to help them with this prompt.

You may ask:

  • What virtues might you have been exercising as you worked?
  • How might the process of scientific inquiry be related to growth in virtue?

Debrief: Choose between Closing Questions or The World Before Our Eyes to encourage students to reflect back on the whole lab. If there is time, you might do both.

Consider repeating the same debrief activity each week, to build a habit of reflection.

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