Essentials in Education (EIE), a non-profit educational organization that has been the U.S. leader in teaching the Bible academically in public schools has announced the release of their new curriculum, Wisdom Literature from the Bible. This standards-based (National Council of Teachers of English/International Reading Association) curriculum uses material from the writings of Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, and Job in the Hebrew Scriptures to teach English/Language Arts objectives and incorporate lessons of character that can be imparted from the Bible.
This new course was developed as a result of a meta-study focused on the relationship between character education, student achievement and behavioral outcomes funded by EIE and conducted by researcher, Dr. William Jeynes, Professor of Teacher Education at California State University at Long Beach. The study revealed a strong relationship between character education & student achievement and behavioral outcomes.
“When character is taught”, says Dr. Jeynes, “higher levels of educational outcomes are documented, no matter what type of standardized or non-standardized measure is employed”. Furthermore character education was also related to higher levels of expressions of love, integrity, compassion, and self-discipline.
Deborah Hicks, EIE’s vice president, noted that “Wisdom Literature from the Bible allows students to meet language and literacy objectives by studying the writings and life experiences of David, Solomon, and Job. Students gain personal insights by applying critical thinking skills, analysis, and oral and written skills to interpret meanings and imagery of selected materials from the Hebrew Scriptures. Students also experience the influence of these writings on art, drama, and music. This unique instructional resource should be taught in every high school English classroom in America.”
EIE is the publisher of The Bible and Its Influence, which is the only academic textbook on the Bible deemed First Amendment safe, and is currently being taught as a high school elective in over 650 high schools in 45 U.S. states.
Since 2006, nine U.S. states have passed legislation to encourage their respective public schools to teach the Bible academically – Georgia (2006), South Carolina and Texas (2007), Tennessee (2008), Oklahoma (2010), South Dakota and Arizona (2012), Arkansas (2013) and Kentucky (2017). Several more states are pending for 2019.
“With the launch of Wisdom Literature from the Bible, we are now adding this as a requirement to legislation going forward both in the U.S. and in countries around the world,” says Chuck Stetson, CEO of Essentials in Education. “We as a country need to correct the absence of the Bible being taught academically in the classroom since the Bible contains amazing literature that has taught good character for nearly 3,000 years, and it is still the most read book in the world”.
Data collected supports the need for teaching the Bible academically in schools:
• A survey revealed that 98% of U.S. high school English teachers believed that students who had little knowledge of Bible content were at a disadvantage when reading English literature. One course designed to prepare students for the ‘Advanced Placement Literature and Composition Exam’ cites that 60% of the allusions used in that test are Biblical!
• In a 2005 survey interviewing university English professors including those from Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Stanford and the University of California at Berkeley, 38 out of 39 agreed that “an educated person, regardless of his or her faith, needs to know the Bible.”
• In a 2017 survey of 1,000 households with teens 13-17 here in the U.S., 80% of parents believe it’s beneficial for their child’s comprehension of art, literature, and music to have an education that includes teaching about the characters and narratives in the Bible.
Stetson says, “With 9 states already committed, we would like to see the other 41 states endorse Bible literacy as a supported academic course. We are calling on parents to seek out answers from their children’s educators to encourage the inclusion of these programs as part of the curriculum for the overall academic and character development of their children”. For additional information please visit TeachTheBibleInSchools.org.