Focused by Design
The model I’m going to sketch out for you is one that any teacher can use in any classroom no matter where you are or what you are required to teach. However, it will be most powerful when implemented at the school level. There is great power in a group having a shared focus. That’s what this model offers… a way to focus all your school does to one purpose, helping students develop their worldview.
The first step is to look at each of the worldview categories and create a set of “Focus Questions” for them. Focus Questions are a series of grade level appropriate questions that build sequentially upon each other and which we will answer with subject matter content in order to guide the learner in building their worldview. There should be no more than one per category per grade level or even less… per division. These are the big, hard to answer questions. The kind of questions that demand an answer long after they are first asked… almost as if they echo in one’s mind. These are questions that you put up on posters on the walls of the school and everyone knows them… is focused on them.
The following are a list of sample focus questions broken down by worldview category and grade level.
Elementary: Where does truth come from?
Middle: How do we know what is true?
High: What is the nature of truth and how is it revealed to us?
Elementary: How did we get here?
Middle: How does nature reveal God?
High: How does evidence in the world show the wisdom of a grand design?
Elementary: Why are there bad things in the world?
Middle: What does it mean to be human?
High: What are the effects of mans sin in the world?
Elementary: How do we know God cares?
Middle: How does God show us who he is?
High: What does it mean to be redeemed?
Elementary: How does God want you to live?
Middle: How does God want you to carry on his work?
High: How should Christians live in a world filled with suffering?
Now, I know you may be saying, “Hold on this will never work. It takes more than answering three or four questions about truth to build someone’s worldview.” You are absolutely correct. It will take hundreds maybe even thousands. The Focus Questions are big and hard to answer. We need a way to make them easier for our students to answer and since we want our students to grow in wisdom, and not be puppets, we can’t just take the easy way out and tell them the answers.
So, what do we do?