I recently taught a teacher workshop in Pennsylvania, which was aimed at areas for growth in many Christian school (and public school, for that matter) curricula. Certainly, not all Christian schools share these same areas for growth, but many do–especially the curricula which are touted as “teacher-proof” so that anyone can do the teaching. I’m a strong proponent of Christian schools, so please do not think that I am criticising; I just encourage continual growth in any school. Here is the slide set from that workshop and a few of the activity sheets.
Questions define tasks, express problems, and delineate issues. Answers, on the other hand, often signal a complete stop in thought. Only when an answer generates a further question does thought continue its life as such.
This is why it is true that only students who have questions are really thinking and learning. It is possible to give students an examination on any subject by just asking them to list all the questions that they have about a subject, including all questions generated by their first set of questions.
I’m going to try this on Monday. We’ve been studying the government of the United States, have set up a three-branch government in the classroom. The congress and senate passed a law that we could have a class pet which was signed by the president. Monday I, a concerned citizen, am going to challenge this law in the Supreme Court stating in my brief that this law violates the Constitution as one of the precepts of our Constitution is “Respect others.” The students know I don’t want a class pet, but if I lose my case we’ll have one (although I’m not going to buy it or care for it). After this, I’m going to give them an exam consisting only of them writing down their questions about government. I’ll let you know how it goes.