School Forum: Step 2. Choosing a Topic
Step 2. Choosing a Topic
After establishing the goals for community conversations about faith and science in Step 1, the topic(s) for conversation should be clarified. A number of teachFASTly.com-related resources can help with this.
Your forum meeting(s) will need one or more focal topics that can spark discussion and provide opportunities for learning. You will need to consider whether to focus a series of meetings on a single topic (does your community, for instance, need extended engagement with origins questions?), or whether to explore the relationship between faith and science more broadly and from a variety of angles.
If you would like to focus on questions surrounding origins, a small group curriculum such as The Colossian Way produced by The Colossian Forum can serve as a helpful resource. The Colossian Way curriculum, which has been tested in both church and school settings, provides opportunities for group discussions about faith and science (among other topics) that focus on virtuous interaction and building Christian community, not just on arriving at right answers.
Another possibility is to select activities from teachfastly.com that focus on big-picture questions about faith and science—especially from the Activity Maps that engage meta-questions. The Activity Map titled Do Faith and Science Conflict? includes activities that look directly at the supposed conflict between faith and science, while the maps on Faith and the Nature of Science and Models and Humility contain materials on the nature of science and how it relates to theology. Activity Maps on Resurrection, Unity and Diversity, God and Natural Causes, and Wonder and Wisdom include a range of material for exploring faith and science questions through engaging with biblical passages and themes, and also offer ways of broadening these discussions beyond the confines of origins debates.
As you adapt FASTly activities, bear in mind that they were designed for classroom use. Many will also work well in a small group setting, but you will want to keep the right balance between introducing and presenting new ideas, and leaving enough space for group discussion and participation.