Biblical Integration Program
How does Isaac Newton Christian Academy provide a truly distinctive, truly Christian education? It is through the effective practice of biblical worldview integration. True intellectual coherency is possible when all of life and learning, and private and public life can be integrated with one’s worldview. Biblical worldview is far more than prayer and Bible reading before class begins. It is more than a Bible class alongside of all the other subjects.
We start with understanding that a worldview is the assumptions and answers we have about life’s biggest questions and issues. It is a “big picture” of reality. Our core beliefs and assumptions shape our worldview. We must examine these assumptions, because this is where decisions start, and actions germinate. A biblical worldview is one that provides a frame of reference for all things, so the pieces of life can be rightly understood in light of God’s bigger picture. These “pieces of life” can be any idea, event, problem, experiment, thing, person, concept, activity, feeling, etc. A biblical worldview is one that should be shaped by what the bible has to say about the beliefs or assumptions about: God, Creation, Humanity, Moral order, and Purpose.
For Christians, the biblical worldview should be shaped by what the Bible has to say about the “big picture” of reality. Christians should analyze and filter all subjects through the lens of Scripture to supply reasons for life’s activities and decisions.
How have our teachers learned to do this type of integrated teaching?
Isaac Newton Christian Academy recently completed a three-year worldview pilot project with Christian Overman’s Worldview Matters organization.
This has been a multi-year process that has meant re-vamping all of our curriculum guides and lesson plans. Through the Worldview Matters pilot program, however, teachers have learned how to take integration to a deeper level. They have taken coursework from Seattle Pacific University and have studied, written papers, collaborated with peers, and implemented many new teaching strategies. They engage students in deeper discussions about all subject areas and how they relate to what the bible has to say about five key areas: God, Creation, Humanity, Moral Order, and Purpose.
Mr. Ridder, Head of School, has worked with teachers on questions faculty can use in each of these five areas as they teach curriculum content to students. We are also developing open-ended questions that prompt reflection and critical thinking. Our teachers can customize these questions to fit the various academic subjects and grade levels.
Here is a simple example: During a fifth grade unit on weather, students had a specific section on Hurricanes. They each created a brochure on hurricanes that addressed not just scientific information but also addressed what hurricanes tell us about God, His creation, as well as the Christian’s obligation to his family and his fellow man in the face of a weather disaster.