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.


John Joseph Flanagan said...

Since I went to college in the sixties, went into the Marines, then later on completed my BA, I often feel that the books I read and the authors I studied have been relegated to the dust shelves. As for the Bible, even Walmart still sells the KJV and modern versions, and I do believe many people still read the word of God, but our society has produced many educated illiterates today. People miss out by ignoring the great writers for the contemporary ones, but times change and who can stop the march of time.

Kirk Skeptic said...

Parents can still insist on a reading list & using it to grant or deny tv and video game privileges. Parents can also be readers and demostrate the improtance of education in the home. Of course, htose who insist on dumping their kids in governmetn schools and believe parental responsibility begins and ends with sending the kid off and letting them back in should blame themselves for the problem of functional illiteracy.