Inquiry Model

Questions

How many pounds does an airplane weigh?  What is the capitol of Turkey?  Who was the 6th President of the United States?  We all have questions and inquiries–some important and some not so much.  We live in a world where immediate answers are readily available.  The inquiry model of teaching doesn’t mean you invite students to ask “Siri” their questions but rather to collaborate and work together to find out the answer themselves.  It is an empowering technique that, if employed and delivered appropriately, empowers students to walk away having worked for an answer, not just an ordinary answer from google but a uniquely individual answer based upon the learning that took place in the classroom.

This model is described in “Teaching Models” as: “a model that builds on natural curiosity to provide students the opportunity to learn a systematic approach that leads to discovery and deeper understanding of the world and the processes involved in comprehending it” (pg. 244).  It seems that in the religious realm there are an infinite array of questions that I am asked as a seminary teacher.  Students love to ask questions but many times they are unwilling to do what it takes to get an answer.  They seem to want me, as their teacher, to have all the answers.  While I am knowledgeable regarding the doctrine and practices that does not mean that I can prescribe a formula as easy as a math teacher can (i.e. 2+2=4).  Religion is more about the individual and God rather than the individual and a teacher.

With that said, I believe that spiritual questions deserve spiritual answers and that varies from person to person.  This model is engaging to youth because there are many questions that can be asked.  As the teacher my job is the help them find answers for themselves, not just give a generic response.  President Eyring has stated, and I believe it fits nicely with this model of teaching, ““To ask and to answer questions is at the heart of all learning and all teaching” (“The Lord Will Multiply the Harvest”, Feb. 6, 1998).

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