Essay: Seeing, Engaging, Reshaping: Teaching FASTly
Seeing, Engaging, Reshaping: Teaching FASTly
The teaching activities often refer to seeing things in new ways, to engaging students in particular ways, and to reshaping our practices. These three categories offer a quick set of reference points to help us focus on key pedagogical aspects of teaching FASTly.
Teaching FASTly is not just about finding the right answer, but about how we are shaped through our practices as we teach and learn.
Seeing anew is about how we imagine the world—the assumptions and beliefs that steer our choices. What do we imagine we are doing when we teach and learn about faith and science? What do we hope will change in our students’ imaginations as they learn? Many of the activities here challenge teachers and students to question their assumptions and see anew. Look out for places in the activities where both you and your students are offered bigger, more nuanced ways of seeing how faith and science relate. Look out too for teaching strategies that are designed to bring assumptions (such as the assumption that faith and science are in conflict) to the surface and create opportunities for them to change.
Choosing engagement is about how we involve students in the process of learning and rethinking. It is about what we actually ask them to do. This step prods us to move beyond just talking about faith and science questions. It asks us to think about how students are being engaged, formed, and helped to grow. Do we have ways of encouraging quiet reflection as well as active exploration? Mutually supportive collaboration as well as individual commitment? Wonder and imagination alongside understanding and analysis? As you explore the activities, consider the ways in which each involves students in learning about faith and science.
Seeing anew and becoming engaged grow out of the simple, concrete, daily practices of the classroom. Our vision is communicated to our students not just by our words and instructions, but also by our posture, tone of voice, choice of images, arrangement of furniture, use of time, and more. Students are shaped not just by what they hear, but by the pattern of activities and interactions in which they are involved. Our practices speak about what we value and affect how we interact with one another and with the world beyond the classroom. As you explore the activity maps, think about what the suggested practices have to do with shaping engagement and vision.