I was reading the website of Verity College (https://veritycollegeeducation.org/) because I’m always intrigued by any kind of “Biblical education” and how it conflicts with traditional education. My favorite sections are the academics (what classes are taught) and student life (what restrictions are set). This college differs from most because they offer samples of a typical PowerPoint presentation for a class (English Literature; Renaissance period) as well as a study guide for biology.
The PowerPoint only serves to show that such things are meaningless without context–as is, this education seems very lacking, but that could be just because its only highlighting the highlights.
Now the biology study guide is a wealth of information! The first notable thing is that they give you pretty much everything you need to know to pass the tests. Most of the booklet is flashcards that are begging to be cut out, filled in, and memorized. All the basic notes on just about everything are also given to you. It reminds me of the booklets all the “regular” kids at my high school were given, which were full of basic fill in the blank, “we want you to memorize these things” questions to prepare them for the SOL tests.
Next, the study guide surprised me by having a section for studying evolution, which I wasn’t expecting from a Bible college. Looking at the syllabus for this section, however, revealed one reason the study guide had reminded me of high school–there is something about “cracking the AP Biology Exam” as though its one of the the textbooks for the class! Wait…it IS a textbook for the class! How did I miss this during my first casual perusal?! It even recommends that a high school text book would be helpful. Wow. I mean I know that most people coming into this school have probably lacked a good science education, but is this really on par with a secular university’s Bio101 course? Maybe I did attend a pretentious school–the required Bio class we took was 201: cell biology.
Anyway. Further along came a table of the geologic timescale which listed the age of the life forming on Earth at… 5000 to 1500 million years ago, which isn’t correct, or is at least very misleading. But, again, I was just shocked to find this included, though now that I think about this, since it’s clear that this is simply a case of teaching the AP test, that this is just taught as simple memorisation of facts so that students who have plans to transfer to another school can have the AP credit. It’s not teaching biology so that students can understand biology!
Which, of course, begs the question of how well do these students perform on the AP biology exam. I took AP psychology in high school taught by a teacher who didn’t understand the first thing about the AP test. A few of my classmates and I were “us who were destined by the powers that be to go to college and therefore were in ONLY AP and dual enrollment classes by 11th grade” rather than “regulars” were not amused and got this teacher demoted from AP because we were pissed that his “take this test I wrote, use the textbook, and take as long as you need” method resulted in nearly all of us getting 1s and 2s. The valedictorian got a 3. The top score in AP is a 5 and most reputable universities will only take a 4 and 5 score, and even if they accept a 4 in one course, they might not accept it in another. This study guide seems like something he’d use and wondered why test scores were so low.
After reading the student handbook which says that they believe the Earth was formed 4000 Years before Christ, I had to send the school a message asking what was up with the discrepancy. That was only a couple hours ago, so I’ll share the response when and if I get one.