The CognitiveGenesis Study


In all grades,
in schools of all
sizes, students in
Adventist schools
outperformed the
national average
in all subjects.

From 2006 to 2009, the project gathered massive amounts of data about the academic achievement and abilities of 51,706 students in more than 800 Adventist elementary schools and academies in the United States. The students were in grades 3 to 9, and also in grade 11. Every conference and nearly every school participated.

The study was designed to show how well students are doing in the Adventist school system and how their academic achievement compares to the achievement of students in other school systems. Standardized Iowa achievement tests were given each year to gather this data.

In addition to measuring knowledge and skills with achievement tests, the researchers wanted to assess students’ ability to learn, adapt, solve problems and understand instructions—their aptitude. The Cognitive Abilities Test was used each year to gather this data.

Finally, students, parents, teachers and school administrators were surveyed to help identify factors that might influence academic achievement and thinking ability.

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