A large part of our ministry at Teach One Reach One is to try and take educational research and see if using those principles can improve the effectiveness of the Bible classes we have for kids and teens. Recently, there has been some discussion on the role of “metacognition” in learning.
When you boil it down, metacognition for the Bible class teacher basically means “Are we so busy focusing on the little details in Bible stories that we aren’t asking important life changing questions?” Don’t misunderstand. Knowing the details of Bible stories has a place. It goes back to the Bloom’s taxonomy and levels of learning we have shared with you in blog posts and workshops.
Unfortunately, when teachers become so focused on the details, they may miss realizing their students don’t know what they are supposed to learn from the story and what God wants them to do with that information. In fact, the students themselves often believe they “know their Bible”, when in fact they just know lists of random facts and commands – not really how to practically use it in their lives.
In fact, asking the big questions goes beyond just your class. You need to teach your students to ask themselves these types of questions after any Bible class, devotional, sermon and especially after independent Bible reading. Then if they don’t know the answers, teach them how to find someone who will help them find godly answers to those unanswered questions.
So what are some “big questions” that need to be asked? There are probably quite a few, but these will get you and your students started.
- What does God want me to learn from this Bible story or scripture?
- What confused me in this Bible story or scripture?
- Where can I find godly explanations of the things that confused me?
- Did this Bible story or scripture make me want to ask more questions?
- Where can I find godly answers to my questions?
- What does God want me to do in my life because of what He wanted me to learn from this Bible story or scripture?
- Do I need to learn how to do what God wants me to do after studying this Bible story or scripture?
- Where can I get godly help if I am having trouble doing what God wanted me to do after studying this Bible story or scripture?
If you can get in the habit of asking your students these types of questions at the end of each class, you will help many fill in important gaps in their faith foundation. If you can teach your students to ask themselves these questions regularly, they are much more likely to actually apply what they read in the Bible or are taught to their daily lives. It’s definitely worth the time and effort to instill this great habit of asking “big questions” in the lives of your students.