Journey to Excellence

Religion

religion - (n) 1) the service and worship of God; 2) commitment or devotion to faith in God; 3) a personal or institutionalized system of attitudes, beliefs, and practices

In many places Seventh-day Adventist schools have experienced an increase in enrollment of community students. The reasons range from better marketing and recruiting by the Adventist schools to parental dissatisfaction with public schools. The higher percentage of community students, from both Christian and non- Christian backgrounds, has created a new awareness of the differences religious beliefs bring to Christian education in an Adventist school.

The change in student population usually results in a school community having to reassess the purpose for their Adventist school. Traditionally the school has been viewed as a safe haven for rearing and educating Adventist children. The school was an environment consistent with home and church, fully integrating a common faith and values in the educational process. But the increase in non-Adventist students has given the school an opportunity to become an effective outreach ministry of the church. This shift, however, brings a student body of more diverse religious background that presents specific and unique challenges. These include differences in content knowledge about the biblical narrative and the wide variation in core values of students from other religious groups, or from students with little or no religious background. This requires an assessment of individual student backgrounds and a modification of instruction plans to meet the spiritual and character education goals of Adventist education.

Resources

Black, S. (April 2003). Teaching about religion. American School Board Journal 190(4) p.

Jeynes, W. H. ( 2003). The effects of black and Hispanic 12th graders living in intact families and being religious on their academic achievement. Urban Education, 38(1) p. 35 57.

Risinger, C. F. (1993). Religion in the social studies curriculum. http://www.eric.ed.gov/contentdelivery/servlet/ ERICServlet?accno=ED363553

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