For Real Education Reform, Take a Cue from the Adventists

By Kido, Elissa | The Christian Science Monitor, November 15, 2010 | Go to article overview

For Real Education Reform, Take a Cue from the Adventists


Kido, Elissa, The Christian Science Monitor


Amid all the buzz on education reform, the Seventh Day Adventist school system might seem an unexpected place to look for models in improving student achievement. But by educating mind, body, and spirit, Adventist schools outperform the national average across all demographics.

Education reform has taken center stage lately as Americans struggle to close the oft-condemned achievement gap. But quietly in our midst, the second largest Christian school system in the world has been steadily outperforming the national average - across all demographics.

The Seventh-Day Adventists' holistic curriculum serves as a model for how to overcome that gap - the disparity in academic performance between low-income and minority students and their peers in higher- income communities. But even more, it shows how to narrow the gap between mind, body, and spirit, truly educating students for success.

Now, I'm not advocating for religious instruction to be included in school curricula. Rather, what my research indicates is that holistic learning - an education that doesn't erect artificial barriers among disciplines and between mind, body, and spirit - does indeed result in greater student achievement.

Adventist schools outperform their peers

Since 2006, as part of the CognitiveGenesis study, two colleagues and I have gathered data on more than 50,000 students enrolled in Seventh-Day Adventist schools. (Unbeknownst to many, the Adventist Church runs a Christian school system second only in size to the Roman Catholic parochial schools.) While we have long believed in the effectiveness of the holistic approach Adventist schools take, we wanted to quantify, empirically, how well students in Adventist schools perform.

Even we were surprised by the results. Our four-year, independently financed study showed that students at Adventist schools outperformed their peers at the national average in every subject area.

Between 2006 and 2010, my colleagues and I analyzed test scores of 51,706 students, based on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills for Grades 3-8, the Iowa Test of Educational Development for Grades 9 and 11, and the Cognitive Abilities Test for all grades, as well as surveys completed by students, parents, teachers, and school administrators.

In each subject category, students attending Adventist schools scored higher than the national average. They also scored higher than their expected achievement based on assessment of individual ability - a factor few other schools measure.

One of our most dramatic findings is that students who transferred to Adventist schools saw a marked improvement in academic achievement. The more years a student attended an Adventist school, the more his or her performance improved.

Socioeconomic status and funding aren't factors

A skeptic might argue that private schools such as those run by the Adventists are made up primarily of wealthy, white, upper- middle-class students, hence the reason for higher achievement. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

For Real Education Reform, Take a Cue from the Adventists
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.