Archive for UVU

Inquiry Model


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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Direct Instruction Model


Let’s not beat around the bush!  To be direct, the direct instruction model is quite direct.  Okay, enough play on words.  This is a common model I use while teaching seminary.  This model is sometimes referred to in the simple terms of “I do it.  We do it.  You do it.” or the “model, lead, test” method (Teaching Models: Designing Models for 21st Century Learners, Kilbane, Milman, p. 87).  This model helps students learn skills and understanding through examples and practice.   The focus starts with the teacher but ends with focus on the student.

In the seminary sphere, I employ this model for lessons dealing with family history, gospel library, and doctrinal mastery.  I will focus on the gospel library application that many L.D.S. teenagers are well aware of.  At the beginning of the year I will bring my apple TV to class and I will project the image on my iPad onto the projector.  I walk the students through all the features of the app, which include but are not limited to: tagging, highlighting, annotating, linking, and sharing scriptures.  I then let them practice in groups with requirements to use each feature at least once.  At the end of class I will allow students to connect to the apple TV and show the class how they highlighted and annotated a certain verse.

The benefit of executing this model is that it is interactive and hands on.  I ask students if they learned something new in class and they all seem to raise their hands.  It is not a “one model fits all” solution but it does have its place in education and I believe always will, even with the advent and veneration of technology.  In fact, in seminary it seems to be that when I use technology I am often using this method.

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