Have you heard the words academic rigor before? You probably have if you’re familiar with our products. But do you know what that phrase means to us here at BJU Press? We took that question and some others to Brad Batdorf, supervisor of secondary authors in the product development department of BJU Press. His answers will help you better understand why academic rigor is one of our core values.
1. How does BJU Press define academic rigor?
Academic rigor is the educational experience that engages students in the appropriate content, helping them to develop the ability to analyze, critically evaluate, and ultimately create new ideas or products.
2. What makes academic rigor important to BJU Press?
It’s vitally important to what we do here since we have an established reputation for this type of instruction and it is what attracts many customers to our products. It is also critical because it provides the ideal vehicle for strong Bible integration.
3. What are some examples of how academic rigor is supported in BJU Press materials?
- Our authors thoroughly research effective educational practices, scope and sequence, and appropriate academic standards.
- The student materials contain descriptive text and questions that promote deep learning.
- Photos, illustrations, maps, charts, and other images are intended to promote deeper understanding of the content.
- The printed and digital assessments target student performance at all levels of Bloom’s taxonomy.
- The teacher’s editions contain clear learning objectives to help teachers promote this type of learning. They also contain answers to the questions (even suggested answers for those of a subjective nature), suggestions for discussions, additional research ideas, demonstrations, group projects, use of manipulatives, and more.
4. How would you describe an academically rigorous learning environment?
While I wouldn’t call it strictly student-centered or student-directed, I think students would be actively engaged with challenging content through teacher-guided discussions, group learning, and in some cases, projects. Hands-on learning, creative problem-solving, and other research-based teaching strategies would be employed to connect with students and inspire real learning. Students would be doing more than reading and memorizing material. They would often be relating it to other content and applying it to real-world issues. And, they would be comprehending the content, whether it’s science, history, or a reading selection, in the light of the principles of Scripture.
5. Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers about BJU Press’s educational philosophy or view on academic rigor?
Our approach is one that embraces academic rigor supported by effective Bible integration. We care deeply and have a great sense of responsibility toward this end.
How do you apply academic rigor to your teaching?