The Bible in the Classroom
A new Bible program has been developed for elementary and secondary schools in the North American Division. The Adventist Encounter Curriculum is scheduled for full implementation for the 2018-19 school year. This curriculum differs in significant ways from past Bible programs. We wish to familiarize our readers with both the purpose and the features of the Adventist Encounter Curriculum as we look to the new school year.
The primary purpose of the Adventist Encounter Curriculum is for all students to have a solid, deep, and personal knowledge of the truths of the Bible as spelled out by the Seventh-day Adventist Fundamental Beliefs; to respond to Christ’s invitation to live in a lifelong, vibrant relationship with Him; and to be passionate about the salvation of others.
Four distinctive features characterize the Adventist Encounter Curriculum:
- Biblical Discipleship Focus. In response to the Great Commission, the program seeks to touch the heart as well as the mind. Not only will students learn about the truths of the Bible; they will be given the opportunity to develop a lifelong friendship with Jesus.
- Topics. All content relates to the Personhood of God, for Scripture testifies of Him. The teaching units have a central biblical narrative focus and are thematically linked to help build students’ faith and reveal God’s character of love.
- Higher Order Thinking. The curriculum rigorously pursues what Ellen White exhorted us to do in her book, Education: “To train thinkers and not mere reflectors of other men’s thoughts.” In this pursuit, there is a move away from a textbook orientation; the Bible is the main textbook students will use. Teaching units and resource materials provided for teachers outline a broad range of learning activities intended to encourage critical, reflective, and creative thinking in each student. Opportunities for adapting learning experiences to cater for varying students’ abilities are embedded in this interactive program.
- Assessment. The aim of assessment tasks is for students to understand and grapple with the topics explored in class and to be able to apply, analyze, and create personal and practical applications as a result of their learning, with the goal of transformation foremost in mind.
The goal of the Adventist Encounter Curriculum is to develop a classroom context where every student’s relationship with Christ is nurtured, based on developing a solid knowledge of scripture, so that they can be challenged to make an eternal difference in our world. Learn more about the curriculum and hear from students and teachers who have implemented the program at Encounter.AdventistEducation.org.