The Cosmos and the Classroom
Course Code: PL1911
Purpose of this course:
In this Post-Modern, secular age, Science is often elevated to the only source of truth. This course explores the wonders and the limitations of Science in a secular age. The course draws on scientific knowledge and theological insight and argument to explore the wonder of the universe and its amazing intricate design. Teachers are encouraged to promote a sense of awe and wonder in their students by raising awareness of these features in relevant Science lessons. The course also encourages teachers of Science to explore the nature of scientific truth with their students as well as its limitations, and to consider how they can authentically use the teaching of Science to help students to be prepared to critique the secular understanding of truth.
Course structure and timing:
The Cosmos and the Classroom is a six-hour, online course. The course has five modules and involves readings, videos and interactive learning tasks – discussions and reflection exercises that are an application of the learning to the participant’s school situation.
Explicit course outcomes:
- To develop a sense of wonder at the extent and order of the universe.
- To develop a sense of awe at the intricacies of the creation on earth.
- To facilitate the development of curiosity in students as they study science.
- To understand the limitations of Science as a basis for moral life and answering life's big questions about purpose and meaning.
- The participant can outline how and where in their teaching of current Science courses they can encourage an understanding of the extent and wonder of the universe in their students.
- The participant can express how and where in their teaching of current Science courses they can include an understanding of the significance of teaching more than facts in Science.
- The participant demonstrates an ability to raise curiosity in students as they study Science.
- The participant can express the limitations of teaching only facts.
Module 1: The remarkable universe
Module 1 is an overview of the wonder of the universe based on the talk given by Associate Professor Frank Stootman at an Agora meeting and the video clips that he used when explaining his ideas. Participants watch seven videos and complete two short learning tasks.
Module 2: Cosmology
Module 2 looks more closely at Cosmology, the amazing Universe and its intricate design. It presents a balanced view that Science uncovers a truth that already exists and that is congruent with the Biblical accounts. Participants read two short articles and complete three learning tasks that ask them to apply their learning to their classroom practice.
Module 3: Intelligent design
This module focuses more closely on the intricate design or fine-tuning of the universe (the Anthropic Principle) and the natural world and the universal 'constants' that mankind has discovered that describe various functions. It also deals briefly with the 'limits of science' and answers about life that cannot be gained from science. Participants complete one short reading and three learning tasks that ask them to apply their learning to their classroom practice.
Module 4: Meeting the challenges of secular thinking: Science and God
Module 4 explores the intersection between Science in the classroom and the secular understanding of truth. It considers the idea that 'Science' is the only real ‘truth’ and all other information is just ‘belief’ and progresses to interact with the concept of the post-truth culture and its impact in the classroom. Participants complete five short readings and two learning tasks that again apply their learning to their classroom.
Module 5: Application of learning to the classroom
Module 5 gives participants the opportunity to reflect on their learning and to interact with additional resources.
Anglican EdComm Member Schools: Complimentary
Anglican EdComm Individual Members: Complimentary
Non-member Schools: $240pp
8th February - 7th March, 2021