True learning is achieved through more than just the presentation of information. Rather than simply “teaching to a test,” the cultivation of life skills, character development and hands-on learning will be what makes information “stick” in the lives and minds of children. The Seventh-day Adventist Office of Education realizes this and has embedded a whole-person approach to its standards of teaching.
According to the 2011 results of the longitudinal Cognitive Genesis study, students in Adventist schools perform a third of a grade level better than the national average. The data also concludes that the longer a student is in an Adventist school, the better they perform academically over time. This means that enrolling them sooner is the most beneficial.This data was collected from nearly 52,000 students from more than 800 Adventist elementary and secondary schools in the United States.
Traditionally, schools use ITBS or other forms of standardized testing to gain a diagnostic view of student progress. The Cognitive Genesis Study by the Crae Research Institute at La Sierra University knew there was much more involved in complete learning and application.
In addition to measuring knowledge and skills with ITBS, Crae researchers wanted to assess students’ ability to learn. How could they adjust, solve problems, and comprehend instructions?
Survey results from thousands of students and parents provided a more complete picture about the necessary building blocks of true learning and growth.
“Our purpose is not to defend the educational system as it is, but to find out how well we are doing and what we can do to improve the educational experience of our children,” stated Elissa Kida, Ed.D., Project Director at La Sierra University.
The best part about having access to such comprehensive data is the ability to assess and refine the current standards and curriculums to match life’s changing needs and our ever-evolving economy. With such a vested interest in this nation’s youth, Adventist Education seeks to maintain a rigorous yet differentiated classroom blueprint that is also adaptable. Our children are the future of our workforce, of our caregivers, of our families, of our educators—the treatment of their learning experience has to be top priority.
Students enter to learn, to make friends, to find a place where they belong. They depart equipped to serve, nurtured to be good citizens that contribute to their communities and future pursuits.