Eighth Grade Bible Students Recognize Biases & Build Discernment
Story by Head of Academic Development Micah Gall
Our students are surrounded by a world obsessed with accumulation of material wealth and filled with biases that don’t always line up with biblical principles. These biases are so entwined in the fabric of our culture that we often fail to recognize them as problematic and so fall victim to their central tenets. This is what makes a Westminster education so vital. Westminster exists to “prepare and equip more young men and women to engage the world and change it for Jesus Christ.” As we often say, to engage the world and change it, one must first understand how it functions.
A perfect example of what this looks like can be found in the recent weeks of our 8th grade Bible curriculum, where Ms. Kable Cunningham has led her students through a unit focused on recognizing the worldly messages around them and exercising discernment as they assess the value of these messages.
Part of what Ms. Cunningham emphasizes in the early weeks of the course is the necessity for students to develop and utilize their critical thinking skills. She notes, “Critical thinking is a skill that is not only necessary for 8th grade students but one they are now developmentally ready to practice.” For students, this builds a deeper understanding of who they are and what the world is while also instilling in them confidence that comes with this understanding.
The focus of the recently wrapped-up unit is to teach students to be aware not only of what they know but also how and why they came to know it. This unit culminated in a project called Infomercial Mania, in which students created their own infomercials to present to their classmates. Each infomercial identified a problem with “worldly” thinking and then offered a solution to this problem from a biblical worldview. Students then had the opportunity to present their infomercials to their classmates, other teachers, and even an administrator or two.
Students will spend the rest of the school year building upon this foundation learned in the earlier weeks of the semester.