By: Kendall Hunt RPD with contributions from the writing team of ByDesign Biology
One of the most popular aspects of the Kendall Hunt Religious Publishing Division (RPD)’s ByDesign Science curriculum for grades 1–8 is the fact that it spans so many grades, providing schools and families with consistency as the student progresses through the curriculum.
Now, with the launch of ByDesign Biology, a rigorous, faith-based biology program for high school students, educators have the opportunity to maintain consistency in students’ education during the transition to high school.
After the launch of the elementary ByDesign Science, a high school biology program was the logical next step, said Larry Blackmer, former vice president of the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) North American Division (NAD) Office of Education and executive editor of ByDesign Biology.
“It was obvious to me that we needed the next step: a high school biology program,” he said.
Although ByDesign Biology provides an in-depth focus on biology for high school students, whereas the elementary-level ByDesign Science covers a broader range of earth, physical, and life sciences, the theory behind the two curricula is identical: to provide a rigorous scientific curriculum without discounting the value of faith. Educational experts agree that maintaining this consistency in message and mission is a powerful way to help students thrive in the classroom. When students are consistently exposed to curricula with a similar focus and mission, they are more likely to internalize that information and develop educational routines that lead to success in higher education and beyond.
“The best curriculum stretches across a child’s entire K–12 career,” wrote Lauren Barack in a 2018 article for EducationDive. “Curriculum designers should make sure that a consistent thread is present throughout […] to not only educate children, but to prepare them for what they’ll need when they leave school.”
“The most important principle you should establish at the start of school is consistency,” agreed Harry K. Wong and Rosemary T. Wong in a column for Scholastic. “Students do not welcome surprises or embrace disorganization.”
Not only does ByDesign Biology maintain the faith-based theme of ByDesign Science, but it also adheres to the same standards for academic rigor; it is correlated with both the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and the SDA educational science standards for high school students. Educators who continue their high school students’ education using ByDesign Biology can feel confident that these standards build on the standards in their elementary curriculum, giving their students a gradual release of responsibility as they become independent thinkers and learners.
“We’ve correlated a number of things all the way through the [ByDesign Biology] book,” Blackmer said. “The Teacher Edition has all of the standards that are correlated, the NGSS and the Adventist standards.”
It’s this level of consistency with our already-successful curricular options that will set high school students up for success with ByDesign Biology. For traditional and nontraditional classrooms in which students have thrived using ByDesign Science, consider ByDesign Biology as a natural transition to more advanced scientific discovery.