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Results of Three Scientific Studies Significantly Boost Rationale for Introducing Bible As Literature Courses In Public Schools

William Jeynes

In a presentation at the American Educational Research Association's Annual Conference in Chicago, William Jeynes, a Non-resident Scholar at Baylor University and a Professor at California State University in Long Beach, shared long awaited results of his research on the influence of Bible Literacy on student achievement. The results represent the first time that a social scientist has attempted to extensively assess the academic and behavioral effects of Bible literacy. Jeynes, a graduate of Harvard University and the University of Chicago, presented studies that included a meta-analysis of the effects of Bible literacy, a second study focusing on a private religious school, and a study of students from both public and private schools. The meta-analysis, which involves statistically synthesizing all the research that has been done on a given topic, indicated that students who possessed high levels of Bible knowledge achieved at higher academic levels and were more likely to demonstrate positive behavior patterns than those with lower levels of Bible knowledge.  The other two studies also showed dramatic differences between students between students who possessed high and low levels of Bible knowledge. In the second study, the difference in GPA between students high versus low in Bible literacy was 3.60 vs. 2.47. In the third study the difference in GPA between the two groups was 3.31 versus 2.91.

Dr. Jeynes asserted, "The results of these studies indicate that Bible literacy is associated with positive student outcomes. These results indicate that efforts to introduce the Bible as Literature courses in public schools will likely yield positive academic benefits. The primary reason is simple. It is probably impossible to be an educated American unless one has a solid knowledge of the Bible. The Bible is the most published and cited book not only in world history, but also in every single year of recorded human history. One cannot have an adequate grasp of most of the classics of literature and American history without an impressive knowledge of the Bible." Jeynes added, "One cannot thoroughly understand Shakespeare, Dickens, Dostoevsky, or Tolstoy without a solid knowledge of the Bible. Furthermore, to comprehend the effect of the life saving miracle of George Washington, the abolition of slavery, the women's suffrage movement, and the civil rights movement, one needs a sufficient knowledge of biblical principles. Students that possess such knowledge will indubitably have an academic advantage. The results of this study confirm this fact."

Dr. Jeynes is one of the nation's leading researchers on the influence of religiosity and religious schools. He has conducted the only meta-analysis ever undertaken examining these issues. He published 4 books, has two others in press, and has written about 60 academic journal articles. He is a well known public speaker, having spoken in 47 states and in every inhabited continent. William Jeynes (whjharvard@post.harvard.edu) is also the Co-Chair of the Religion and Education group of the American Education Research Association.

http://www.religionnews.com/press02/PR042407A.html

 

 
 

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