Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Bible and Academic Success

What makes for academic success? A school equipped with the latest computers? Parental achievement and high socio-economic background? The most student-centered teaching techniques? Researcher William Jeynes analyzed more than 1 million student subjects and sifted through 1,000 studies on the achievement gap among minority students and found that “the presence of an active personal faith and a strong family unit erased the education gap completely”:

  • "The meta-analysis yielded some amazing results," Jeynes wrote in a February article on South Dakota Rep. Steve Hickey's blog. "Not only did it indicate a powerful relationship between high levels of Bible literacy and strong scholastic results, but also of all the studies that have been undertaken on this topic not even one of them indicated a negative or neutral relationship. Every single study indicated that there existed a positive relationship. Such an overwhelming association is almost unheard of in the research world."
Odd, isn't it, that a book that many claim is no more than a collection of fairy tales should be so strongly associated with academic success!
I don’t know if Jeynes investigated the relationship between Bible literacy and academic performance among the more well-to-do and better-educated Caucasians. However, it is likely that this strong correlation might not hold among this group. If not, why not? Would it be that the Bible had lost its academic potency among the well-to-do or that the well-to-do had lost hold of the Bible?

I would love to see a study following 3-4 generations of atheists. Beliefs exert a profound influence on behavior and perhaps even academic attainment. I wonder what the impact of atheism is trans-generationally. Aware of any studies?

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