As we previously stated, you have been participating in the “convergent thinking” thought process your entire life. We also stated that the “convergent thinking” thought process has been a major part of your life for so long that you are more than likely not even aware that you have been a participant in the process. This thought process also plays a major role in the spiritual aspects of your life, especially when it comes to your religious studying.
There are a multitude of religious educational study materials available for use and all of the ones that we are aware of are designed to incorporate the “convergent thinking” thought process. These religious educational study materials normally use questions or incomplete statements to get individuals to focus on a single correct answer.
Like the item writers for the standardized multiple-choice format, the questions and incomplete statements written for the religious educational study materials can be subjective in nature, poor in quality, and very ineffective as a teaching tool depending on the writers themselves, their religious training, their religious beliefs, their interpretation of the scriptures, their personal feelings about the scriptures, and their personal agenda, just to name a few.
Even though each one appears to have a different design, a different look, a different style, or a different layout, the basic format for each of the religious educational study materials is the same. Each one basically starts out with a title to the lesson, which is the most important part of any good lesson plan; it is the part the garners the attention of the reader.
Somewhere in beginning of the lesson, there will appear the scriptural text for the lesson, which sets up the theme and the objectives for the lesson. Sometimes the lesson will tell you what to be aware of or what to look out for as you read the scriptural text. Each lesson is then divided into three subsections, where what the scriptures say, what the scriptures mean, and what the scriptures mean to you or how the scriptures impact your life are examined and discussed.
Then there is the most important part of all, the question and answer part. Now these questions that you find in this part can come in many forms. You can have the “close-ended question,” which is a form of questioning that can normally be answered with a yes or no, that can be answered with a simple piece of information, or that can be answered with a selection from within a set of pre-selected options.
Next is the “open-ended question,” which is a form of questioning that cannot be answered with a yes or no, cannot be answered with a simple piece of information, or cannot be answered with a selection from within a set of pre-selected options. These questions present an opportunity for the individual to offer information that seems to be appropriate to the question. These questions are quite often phrased as statements that require some type of response but there is usually what we like to call “a twist” to them, where the individual is instructed as to where the response should come from.
You also have the “loaded question,” which is a form of questioning that contains some type of assumption or loaded language, where the facts can be presupposed and/or fallacious. These types of questions can limit or restrict the responses to a single answer or to those that best serves the questioner.
Next, there is the “leading question,” which is a form of questioning that can contain implicit assumptions or loaded language that suggests the correct response or contains the information the questioner is seeking.
Not that much different from the “leading question” with the implicit assumptions or loaded language is the “suggestive question,” which is a form of questioning that can be deliberate or unintentional in nature, but will imply that a certain answer be given in response to the question. This form of questioning can also falsely present a presupposition within the question as accepted fact, forcing the individual to respond a specific way that may or may not be true or consistent with their actual feelings.
Now, once all of the questions have been asked and discussed, there is a small section in your religious educational study materials that will suggest certain scriptures to be read as a daily devotional. So, does this describe the religious educational study materials that you are accustomed? Does this sound like the things that are contained within the materials that you seen over the years?
What type of questions are there in your religious educational study materials? Are they in the “standardized multiple-choice format?” Are they “closed-ended questions?” Are they “open-ended questions?” Do they have the “twist?” Are they “loaded questions?” Are they “leading questions?” Or are they “suggestive questions?” Do the questions sound like any of these that we have just discussed? Are the questions different from the ones that we have discussed? Or are they some type of variation or combination.
What types of answers are you expected to give? Can you answer the question with a yes or no? Are you expected to make the best selection from within a set of pre-selected options that you are given? Are you expected to respond to the question with a simple piece of information? Does the question presents you an opportunity to offer information that seems to appropriate to the question? Are you instructed as to what the answer should be? Or are you instructed as to where the answer should come from?
Are there any limits on your answers? Are there any restrictions on your answers? Do your religious educational study materials contain assumptions, whether they be an implicit or explicit? Do they contain some loaded language? Are the facts contained in them presupposed? Are the facts fallacious?
Do your religious educational study materials guide you to a certain conclusion? Do they guide you in a certain directions? Do they guide your thought process? Are you free to explore in a spontaneous, free-flowing manner the many possible solutions that can be generated by a question or by an incomplete statement, without limitations or restrictions? Who would have thought?
Enjoy your blessings. - KW