Program Goals for Elementary Science
A biblical worldview is based on the authority of the Bible. Its overarching assumption is that the story the Bible tells from Genesis to Revelation is true and is meant to guide us in all of life. That story has three main emphases: Creation, Fall, and Redemption. Everything in life is properly understood only if it is focused by these key truths.
“Science helps us exercise dominion in a way that helps people meet the needs of others.”
What Is a Biblical Worldview in Science?
When we look at science through the lens of a biblical worldview, we come to see science with clarity. From the Creation portion of a biblical worldview, we learn that God has made us to rule over the world (Gen. 1:28). This means that science is important because it gives us the tools we need to manage God’s world. From the Fall we learn that sin has twisted us as well as our world (Gen. 3:17–19). So our attempts to manage this world through science often fail. And, worst of all, science is filled with denials of God and His Word. But from Redemption we learn that God is at work to restore this world to Himself. He does this through the work of His Son (Gen. 3:15). And He extends His Son’s work, in part, through the lives of His people. Science plays a role in such lives. Believers need to be able to respond to the claims of unbelievers in science. Believers also need to know how to use science to meet the needs of others. As Christians live lives of good works they lead people to glorify their Father in heaven (Matt. 5:14–16).
The BJU Press Elementary Science program incorporates a Christian worldview by repeatedly showing how science helps us exercise dominion in a way that helps people meet the needs of others. In addition, both the “Creation Corner” interest boxes and the “Science and the Bible” interest boxes further the development of a Christian worldview. The program also gives students skill in spotting wrong thinking in science and responding to it in a Christian way. In grade 4 and 5 some of the worldview lessons are produced by Answers in Genesis (answersingenesis.org).
Science—More Than a Collection of Facts
“Students are taught to read for both information and enjoyment as they discover important details about our planet.”
Science is defined as knowledge about or study of the natural world based on facts learned through experiments and observation. Students are taught a balanced approach to every topic and presented with realistic expectations. Lessons in the Activity Manual allow students to practice multiple science-process skills and to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts. Most of the activity lessons can be completed by students working in groups. Using science groups helps students learn cooperation and management skills.
BJU Press science textbooks are filled with well-researched material about the world in which we live. Students are taught to read for both information and enjoyment as they discover important details about our planet.
The teaching instructions in each Teacher’s Edition focus on developing comprehension of the science text. Students are encouraged to read for information, a skill critical for learning content. The Purpose for Reading questions in the Teacher’s Edition can be used to help students focus on the material as they read. The discussion questions in the Quick Check section provide guidance for identifying the main concepts and help the students evaluate how well they have comprehended the material.
Graphic information—such as diagrams, charts, graphs, maps, photos, and illustrations—is a vital part of the Student Text. It is used as a means of presenting the concepts in a clear succinct way. Learning to assimilate knowledge from graphic sources is vital to mastering content.
People are Important to God.
“A biblical worldview identifies mankind as a separate act of creation, made in the image of God.”
A naturalistic perspective on science views humans as a part of the evolutionary process and ultimately no more important than the animals on the earth. A biblical worldview identifies mankind as a separate act of creation, made in the image of God. This means that people are very important because they are God’s special creation. The Bible teaches man to love his neighbor as himself. It was God’s own love for His image bearers that led Christ to pay such a horrific price to redeem mankind from sin.
Because of all this, Christians should have a powerful motivation to study science. Scientific knowledge can enable man to help others. When a Christian helps poor children get clean drinking water or develops a new medication for a harmful disease, he glorifies God by reflecting the value that God places on people.
A Biblical Worldview Is Just the Beginning.
While Christian growth stems from having a biblical worldview, growth and worldview are not the same. Developing a Christian perspective of God and His world is just the beginning. It is not the end goal, just as we recognize that knowledge of science is not an end goal within itself. Both are to be used to glorify God and serve others.
The BJU Press Elementary Science program is designed not only to give students a basic scientific foundation but also to teach students how to apply science to everyday life. BJU textbooks promote disciplined and orderly approaches to problem solving. Students learn life-long, cooperative skills through group activities and are taught to be good stewards of God’s creation.