Distinctiveness (curriculum) – Why use Essential Questions?

There are several people that have been working with using Essential Questions to help students in understanding and applying a Biblical perspective. I would like to introduce them to you in succeeding posts on this blog and through the work they have contributed to the Member Community Center. Michael Essenburg is a curriculum leader and coach at the Christian Academy in Japan. He has developed many excellent resources to help administrators and teachers become more distinctively Christian in their schools and instructional practice with students. Here is a blog post he shares about the value of questions.

Why use questions (to help students understand and apply a Biblical perspective)?

Like you, we want our students to understand and use a Biblical perspective of course content. Using questions has helped us. Why?

Answer: Because it’s doable.
Teachers already know how to ask questions. Students already know how to answer questions. And teachers don’t have to have all the answers. Teachers can start with the answers they have.

Better answer: Because it works.
Students increase their understanding and use of a Biblical perspective when they consider questions like: “How can I be a wise steward?” “How can I bridge cultural differences?” “How can I use math to make sense of God’s world?”

What do our students and staff think?
* Student: “Questions challenge me to think in new ways and help me be a discerning thinker, to use a Biblical perspective.”

* Elementary teacher: “My students have learned to apply a Biblical perspective to course content. I ask them questions like, ‘How can I show that I obey God?’”

* Middle school teacher: “In my classes I ask questions like, ‘How do authors help us see truth?’ Using questions like this helps my students see God’s will in all that they do and understand that God’s Word applies to all subjects.”

* High school teacher: “Using questions has helped my students think through a Biblical perspective and apply it to course content and to their lives.”

How is your school using questions?


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Filed under curriculum, distinctively Christian, student outcomes

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