for grades 1–12
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The following responses are from pilot teachers and students in the North American Division about the Adventist Encounter Curriculum.
Lori Anderson Holm
Loma Linda Academy
Just yesterday my students were saying how much they enjoy this curriculum. One student said he feels at peace entering the classroom—no panic that he forgot to do something. He knows God will be the focus, and this gives him a chance to deepen that relationship and not get lost in ‘busy work’ but focus on who God is and why He matters in his life.
Forest Lake Academy
My students look at the phrase, “Dare to be a Daniel” with a new set of eyes. It’s not just a story but a lifestyle of courage, faith and hope under fire. The essential question they are asking is,“ Do I have a strong relationship with Jesus, and if not, why not?”
Forest Lake Academy
My students did a student-led evangelism meeting on the book of Revelation. Many of the parents remarked that it was the most positive and Christ-focused Revelation meeting they had been to. I have appreciated the strong emphasis on Christ's characteristics and ministry in heaven and the assurance that God's people will be cared for during the trials of the end. That clearly rubbed off on my students, and ultimately the people they witnessed to. I'm very thankful for a curriculum that remembers it is the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
Redwood Adventist Academy
I enjoy teaching the Engaged Learning Phase because the blend of Scripture and Spirit of Prophecy readings, journaling, and stories really helps my students dig into the meaning of each unit. It goes beyond the surface information and allows them to take charge of their own learning. There is always an activity the makes my classroom “hum” with ideas.
Prescott SDA School
Encounter is an engaging curriculum, using the Bible as the text book. It’s exciting to see the Holy Spirit working in the lives of the students as they dig into God’s word, and make it real in their own lives!
4th Grade Teacher,
Sacramento Adventist Academy
I LOVE the new Encounter curriculum because it not only addresses all the multiple intelligences, but it is very fun, engaging, relevant, and relationship-focused. Helping kids encounter Jesus at their maturity level is what this is all about, which makes it very meaningful. Teaching it has benefited my own relationship with Jesus too, and I can’t stop telling my colleagues how effective it is!
The Bible Encounter program takes the learning of the Bible beyond the facts and makes it real for the students as they internalize what is presented. It is a program that is informative, innovative, creative, inspirational and challenging.
Central Valley Christian Academy
The Encounter curriculum is structured in such a way that students are taken on a spiritual journey through each topic. It is so much more than gathering information about Jesus — it is taking that information to the next level of “what does it matter in my life at this very moment?” and “what can I do with it?” The whole point of the curriculum is included in its title, Encounter, an opportunity to encounter Jesus.
Mile High Academy
As an educator I have gone to several conferences and conventions on differentiated instruction. It’s the hot term in teaching, and in my own classroom I have seen positive results from using differentiated techniques. The new Bible curriculum has many of these techniques already built in to the lesson plans. It shows as Adventist educators we can be on the cutting edge of education techniques.
Crawford Adventist Academy
The Encounter methodology has challenged me to change my method of teaching within other classes as well.ﾠ Not only does each unit start with a “Hook”, but each sub-segment or 5-minute block contains “mini-hooks” to constantly keep learners engaged.ﾠ It has also challenged me to find more ways to constantly appeal to multiple intelligences, and to encourage students to do more of the talking, thinking, and self-discovery, so that they can own their learning.ﾠ It takes a great deal of time and intentionality to try to emulate the types of lessons constructed within Encounter, which makes me appreciate the curriculum so much more.
I constantly marvel at the fact that students are asking to keep copies of Messiah, so they can read ﾠit for themselves… Previously, if I’d said, “Read Desire of Ages,” they would have groaned, but here they are asking for it!
Having been part of the Value Genesis surveys over the years that I was a principal, I see how this new program will meet the needs not only of our high school, who seem to become cynical and leave the church, but also for our younger students to have a solid foundation to build their Christian walk upon. I like the approach, the rigorous thinking, the questions asked, the support materials that have been provided and the attention to the meaningfulness of the program.
Director, Office of Education,
Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada
Teachers have found the units and accompanying resources to be “planning friendly” and, even more importantly, that their students have been powerfully engaged. “Their learning experience is so much richer than it has been in the past and the connections that they are making are that much stronger as well,” said one teacher. “My students love the hands-on, group, and responsive activities,” said another teacher. “They really seemed to develop a close and authentic relationship with their Creator. There were so many times I could just strongly sense the Holy Spirit working on their hearts.
Professor of Preaching and Adventist Studies, Southern Adventist University
Teachers will especially appreciate the whole-person lesson plans that impact students intellectually, emotionally, and behaviorally. Accordingly, students will learn not only how to read and understand the Bible, but how to apply its lessons to everyday life. From a creative application of Bloom’s taxonomy to the nine intelligences, this curriculum applies the latest learning theory and strategies to the academy Bible classroom. Teachers will find it a pleasure to use this material and students will discover that learning the Bible is fun. Through Encounter the secondary Bible classroom will achieved its ultimate objective—transformed teenagers who are authentic Seventh-day Adventist Christians. Adventist education will never be the same!
Dr. George Knight
Professor Emeritus of Church History,
Thirty years ago in Myths in Adventism I highlighted the difference between a Bible curriculum taught as a body of knowledge (theology) versus a Bible curriculum taught as a personal relationship with Jesus (religion). My basic thought was that theology is not an end in itself, but a means to a religious experience. Thus while theology is important, it is not what the teaching of religion is all about. But it is so easy to develop a curriculum featuring theology and cognitive knowledge and to miss the really important but much more difficult realm of wholistic relationships inherent in religion.
This pioneering Bible curriculum is what the church has needed for decades. It is relational, wholistic, and thorough, yet at the same time theologically respectable and biblically insightful. The genius of this approach is that you have featured personal relationships and the challenge to grow spiritually while at the same time introducing students to significant Bible study and discovering learning along with the basic Christian and Adventist doctrinal understandings. My prayer is that your ground breaking curriculum when fully developed may find a place not only in the South Pacific Division but throughout the world church. Your curricular work is far beyond anything else I have seen.
“I liked to be rescued from the shipwreck.”
(Unit 4.1 — Salvation)
“I liked learning about King Solomon building the temple.”
Grade 1 Student
“My favorite thing to learn about in Bible was about King David.”
Grade 2 Student
“I liked doing the gems and talking about the strengths God gives us.”
Grade 4 Student
“I learned more about the Bible than with the older Bible program where we just wrote down answers and filled out worksheets. I think it was really fun and it helped me learn because we got to act Bible stories and situations. It drew me closer to God and helped me understand Him more, even though I already knew about God. I learned more about the Bible. I felt like I learned more about the Bible.”
Grade 5 Student
“I liked when we jumped off the table [ship] into the lifeboat and paddled.” (Unit 4.1 — Salvation)
Grade 6 Student
“My favorite part was the story of King Solomon deciding who the baby belonged to. Afterwards, we got cards with different situations on them, and we had to decide what we would do. We learned that God can help us make wise decision.”
Grade 9 Student
“I enjoy how hands-on the class is because we have lots of opportunity to connect with each other rather than only listening to lectures or doing in-class assignments. This curriculum really challenges me to be honest with myself about my relationship with God and helps me to look at our Creator outside of the box I usually put Him in.”
Grade 9 Student
“It’s relaxed but not easy. I come to school looking forward to Bible class because it’s fun and not stressful, but it’s also deep. I’ve explored my beliefs a lot more this year. It’s really made me think and grow. This curriculum is God smart not just book smart.”