Friday, March 6, 2015
And we wonder where Biblical illteracy comes from . . .
So you compare 1908 with 2014 Minnesota reading lists for 7th and 8th grade students in public schools.
If you need some help, read Annie Holmquist's comparison here and here is another contribution by the same author. Perhaps the most glaring fact from the comparison is not just how much shorter the modern list is but how recent the works are which are required reading. Only four are more than 20 years old. We are enamored with our modern age in so many different ways but who would have thought that public education would not only tolerate but encourage this narrow view of culture, society, history, and literature.
The thematic material is also narrowly modern as opposed to the 1908 reading list which gives the reader everything from ancient Greece to the modern world. While I am no expert on this, she also documents that the reading levels have diminished so that, in effect, we are asking our children to read at a lower reading level than in 1908.
We might only add that reading the Bible even as literature is missing from modern day schools and the Biblical illiteracy that we often complain about is endemic not only for the education that takes place in churches but also the familiarity that came once from the literature (quoting Scripture) and the Bible itself within the public school setting.