I started a class yesterday. It is on teaching science through phenomena, meaning students explore and make discoveries about their world through investigations versus a textbook. It's exciting for me as a teacher to ponder the possibilities of letting students determine the direction of the classroom. As they ask questions you give the opportunities for them to learn by exploration.
When I stop to think about it, it's what I have done my whole life. Do frogs bite? Why don't I pick one up and see? Will that branch hold me? How about that one? Let's climb up and see! Does a metal or wooden bat hit farther? Let's try both.
As my family drove down the gravel road, highway, or interstate I usually sat in silence staring out the window. I was seeing all that was out there and in my 7-, 8-, 9-year old mind I was trying to discover why there was a rhythm to the road, what could be under those tarps on semi trailers, and how each structure I saw was put together. Why were there so many trees in Ohio and Michigan, but not South Dakota? They grew corn like we did, so why was the natural life different. Why did my relatives say they were from uh-HI-uh when we said oh-HI-oh? Was Ohio more southern than I thought?
The questions kept coming, and my brain kept pondering. It make me think of David watching sheep in a field in ancient Israel. As he sat on those hills outside Bethlehem he made many observations as well. Most of what he saw was the large expanse above him- the sky. As he watched and wondered these thoughts came to him,
"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is deprived of its warmth."
David watched the heavens and confidently proclaimed, "There is a God! All of the heavens declare it! The order and constancy is right there painted across the sky for ALL THE WORLD TO SEE!"
That is the world I was discovering as a child. The world that pointed to the Creator! All of its beautiful mysteries and intricacies seen through the eyes of a child that led to this "old man" who could with the heavens "declare the glory of God!"
May He forever be praised! Amen!