Program Goals of Elementary Science
What Is a Biblical Worldview?
Science is a battlefield of worldviews. A person's worldview is the perspective from which he sees and interprets the world. And it depends on his presuppositions. Everybody has a worldview, including scientists.
Scientists have conflicting ideas about what they observe in the universe. Where did it all come from? How is it changing? What is the significance of all this? What is man's role in it all? The BJU Press Secondary Science program helps students grapple with these questions from a Biblical worldview.
“A Christian worldview teaches us to value science as a powerful tool for solving problems—if we will use science as a tool and not as a God.”
What Does a Biblical Worldview Look Like in Science Textbooks?
Throughout our science materials, we show students how a Christian worldview enables them to see science the way it was meant to be seen. All of science is a process of modeling. We observe the world, then we make models of reality based on our observations. But we must be careful to build models that fit with reality as God has described it in His Word. We cannot understand God's world unless we look at it through the lens of His Word. This means that we often must take time to show students that modern science has gone wrong. Because it begins with the wrong assumptions about the world, it gets wrong the age of the earth, how mountains and canyons formed, and where the human race came from.
But our goal is not to leave students with a negative view of the study of nature. Repeatedly we emphasize that a Christian worldview teaches us to value science as a powerful tool for solving problems—if we will use science as a tool and not as a God. Genesis 1:28 tells us that God made humans to rule over the earth. The modeling work of science is one of the most important tools God has given us for filling out this command. This is the reason that we fill our books with real-world problems for students to solve. As students get their hands dirty in the stuff of science, they see how God can use then to live out the demands of Genesis 1:28 in a way that declares God's glory and blesses others.
Academic Rigor & Critical Thinking
What is Academic Rigor?
"Scientific" claims are made everywhere—on television, in magazines, in grocery stores, even on billboards. Do living things really evolve? Is stem-cell research wrong? Will a certain food actually prevent cancer? Students need to learn to evaluate the claims they hear. Some "scientific" claims are not really scientific at all. It is important that students learn to recognize such false claims and to know how to refute them. But this ability requires a strong foundation, both in science and in the Bible.
How Do We Teach Critical-Thinking Skills?
BJU Press Secondary Science gives students that foundation by teaching them to think critically every day. In the text, the quizzes, tests, and labs, students must evaluate what they read, test their knowledge, make connections, hypothesize, test their hypotheses, and analyze data to come to a conclusion.
Section Reviews are provided at the end of every section in the Student Text to help students comprehend what they have just read. Chapter Reviews are provided to help students think through concepts they have learned in the chapter. Lab exercises include questions that students must complete before, during, and after the lab to help them recognize data, see connections, and understand each lab process more fully.
“Science is a powerful tool for Christians to use in exercising good and wise dominion over the earth.”
Can Science Help Students Make Better Decisions?
Knowledge about science will help students make intelligent decisions. Every day they make many decisions that affect themselves, other people, and other living things around them. For example, decisions about what they eat and how they care for their bodies are important. They may also have to decide whether participating in a specific medical procedure is morally wrong, even though it is technologically possible. What they encourage their friends to believe and practice about topics like conservation and pollution is also important.
Science is a powerful tool for Christians to use in exercising good and wise dominion over the earth. Our books make frequent references to career opportunities and applications of science that allow students to maximize the usefulness of God's creation. In many instances, these same actions also fulfill the second great commandment of showing love for others.
A Christian's decisions should be based upon three things: the principles taught in the Bible, the wisdom that God promises to those who seek it, and the knowledge available from observations. The information that students learn in the BJU Press Secondary Science program will help them become better stewards of the resources God has provided—not only in junior high and high school but also for the rest of their lives.
How Do We Help Students Get More Out of Their Textbooks?
Facets and boxes are sprinkled throughout the chapters of each Secondary Science book. These features provide enrichment information, including career boxes, life connections, biographies of historical and modern scientists, and extra content that will help stimulate students and shape their worldviews.
Students appreciate science more fully when they can see it in action. To make learning about science more interactive, suggested resources and activities are provided in each Teacher's Edition, giving teachers easy access to ideas.