Last weekend, SCCS teachers Debbie Brenner, Trisha Theobald, Melissa Coughlin and Alisha Preheim traveled to South Carolina to attend a conference for educators at Bob Jones University (BJU) Press to further understand and examine the process of curriculum development.
“BJU Press seeks to build curriculum with a Biblical worldview, meaning that students learn all subjects in light of how God describes reality and ascribes value,” shared Debbie Brenner, secondary Science teacher. “As they put together a textbook and accompanying materials, they carefully consider scope and sequence of concepts as well as artwork and design.”
Educational materials from BJU Press focus on academic rigor and encourage critical thinking through the lens of a biblical worldview. These materials are supported by appropriate educational technology. Several classes at SCCS utilize resources from BJU Press.
“As an educator at a Christian school, I strive to integrate our biblical worldview into the curriculum to equip students with the tools to evaluate all aspects of their education biblically,” expressed Trisha Theobald, secondary English teacher. “This opportunity reinforced that goal, as well as highlighted additional facets essential to a biblically-integrated education. The presenters demonstrated in detail how even the presuppositions we have as teachers when we approach our content area impact how students learn to evaluate life through the lens of Scripture.”
Additionally, during the conference, presenters walked through the process of textbook creation from concept to completion taking them behind the scenes in curriculum development.
“I enjoyed hearing the process from the writers and artists,” shared Alisha Preheim, second grade teacher. “We were able to tour the actual press as well as their art department. It was fun seeing a glimpse of what they do each day and how a particular subject turns into a book.
All of their curriculum developers have spent time in the classroom as teachers and administrators. This shows they know what it is like in the classroom. Several times they said the curriculum is a tool for the teacher.”
Teachers thrive when they are supported with excellent tools. The SCCS educators who attended the conference left with gained insight and much to consider.
“This experience gave me a lot to think about,” continued Brenner. “I love that this organization understands the necessity of teaching from a biblical perspective and strives to create materials for teachers to do just that. I can appreciate the value of the BJU Press curriculum because I have worked through those same concepts on my own, consistently and insistently bringing the Bible into a carefully secularized story.”
Trips and experiences like this further prepare and refresh teachers for the daily task of pouring into hearts and minds at SCCS.
“I thoroughly enjoyed all I learned from the presenters at the conference. I also relished the extended time with colleagues. As teachers, we have busy days interacting with students (which I love!), but we have very little time to connect with those who teach in the classrooms next to us,” continued Theobald. “The passion and perspective of these women encouraged and refreshed me.”