FASTLY - Faith & Science Teaching

Training Materials: Training Session 1: Introduction to Seeing FASTly

Facets of FASTly

: 20 Minutes

You can download these notes as a PDF here. During this activity you can display slide 6 of Introduction to Seeing FASTly as a background image during group discussion. Hand out copies of Only Photosynthesis. Ask participants to return to their small groups, read the story, and make some written notes on the sheet in response to the questions. Emphasize that they should complete the first side of the sheet before moving on to the second part of the story on the second side. Allow about 10 minutes in total for this activity. You may find it helpful for time management to pause and briefly collect ideas from the groups about the first side of the sheet and have everyone begin the second side together.

Then draw people back into the whole group and display slide 5. Explain that the teachFASTly resources explore a range of connections between faith and science. Different activities draw upon different connections. Show slides 7-12 in turn to illustrate the different facets of faith and science teaching addressed in teachFASTly resources. These include:

  • Truth – What kinds of truth can we know through science or by faith? How do we handle apparent conflicts in light of the Christian conviction that both the Scriptures and the natural world are authored by God?
  • Virtues – What character qualities are needed to learn science well or to work well as a scientist? What virtues inform scientific practices or teaching practices? How are these connected to faith?
  • Motivations – What motivates people to study and work in science and technology? How can the range of motivations be informed by faith?
  • Society – Learning about faith and science can impact our relationships. Science and technology impact society. How can faith frame the way we approach these wider impacts?
  • Practices – What do our teaching practices and our scientific practices say about the kinds of truth, virtues, motivations, and societal connections we value?
  • FASTly – Teaching FASTly includes paying attention to all of the above.

Finally, display slide 13 and hand out copies of What Is Teaching FASTly for each participant. Explain that this handout offers a quick guide to the thinking behind the teachFASTly resources. If there is time, have people read it over; otherwise recommend they read it over after the session.

Display slide 11 and conclude with an overview of what is and is not. There is text to accompany these bullet points on the handout – the key points to emphasize are:

What teachFASTly IS:

  • A modeled approach. The activity resources are designed to offer a practical model of a whole approach to teaching faith and science – this is more important than whether you choose to use or skip any particular activity.
  • A push at the boundaries. Some activities may be new or surprising – they join things that we often habitually keep separate.
  • A collection of free resources. There is no charge or obligation. All resources can be freely used and adapted to local needs.

What teachFASTly is NOT:

  • A replacement science or Bible curriculum. The resources enrich existing curriculum; they do not cover all topics or assessment needs and need not be used in sequence.
  • An attempt to replace science class with Bible class. There are resources for cross-curricular connections between science and Bible class, but the particular goals of each are not suspended.
  • A set of positions on controversial faith/science questions. The resources offer an approach to teaching, not a set of answers to controversial questions. They aim to provoke reflection from both teachers and students.