: an official effort to collect and examine information
: the act of asking questions in order to gather or collect information (www.merriam-webster.com)
“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord”—Isaiah 1:18.
“He [Jesus] said unto him, What is written in the law? How readest thou?”—Luke 10:26.
Would you agree that understanding is more important than a simple knowledge of facts? Adventist science education is taking a bold step this year in completing the publishing of an inquiry-based science textbook series. The title is ByDesign, which embodies the creationist worldview of our church. Now you have the facts. So what does that mean? How is it important?
Research shows that a majority of students find it easier to learn about science and the world we live in by asking good questions and having a hands-on personal experience with the evidence. The ByDesign series fosters inquiry by starting discussions with open-ended questions. These are questions that are designed to make the student think without always giving the answer until they have had a chance to explore the evidence.
Next, the lesson has an inquiry activity where the student is involved in exploring the quest for the answers. The Student Science Journal augments this experience while the student chronicles their record of inquiry as they move toward an explanation.
The four levels of inquiry activities are systematically incorporated into the lessons based on the grade level and content. The four levels of inquiry activities are:
Directed Inquiry—The student knows an expected result and confirms the inquiry.
Structured Inquiry—The student is given a question and a procedure to answer it.
Guided Inquiry—The student is given the question but must develop a plan and procedure.
Independent Inquiry—The student develops the question and procedure.
The student is guided within safe boundaries to question and process the quest for answers. Some questions will not have simple answers. The student and the teacher are working as a team to learn truth.
This process of inquiry will be part of the music/science clinic sponsored by the Atlantic Union Office of Education that will be held at the Brockton Area school from February 26 to March 1. Students will have an opportunity to inquire about God’s creation. They will also develop tools for sharing this with their school and community.
Please pray that our students learn about Jesus, the Creator, and reach the goal of “true education to develop this power . . . to be thinkers, and not mere reflectors of other men’s thought”—Education, p. 17. Then, when Jesus asks, “How do you understand this?” They will have an answer.
Jerrell Gilkeson is the Atlantic Union Conference associate director of education and children’s ministries.