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A Quiet Revolution

Popular revolutionary movements are front page news from time to time around the world.  Yet some popular movements are of a different quality. ACS strives to research and promote Christian education for the common good.

In the last fifty years in Australia, from suburban metropolitan campuses, to regional, remote and largely indigenous towns, Christian schooling is providing further choice and diversity to the schooling mix available to parents.

This movement’s development seems to have been organic in nature, and attempts to lead the movement have proven elusive to those who have tried to shape it.

What has worked well, is where Christian schools have seen themselves as participants with others in the mainstream of Australian education.  Federal and state governments have provided oversight of quality through their various agencies, to ensure that Christian – or indeed, any form of schooling, delivers what the governments want to see delivered, and after all, they are funding it.

Of course, there has been bickering from time to time over different funding levels, or how far independent schools should allow government direction, but generally speaking the results have been impressive.

Associated Christian Schools has undertaken to understand the sector better, and importantly, to promote research findings on the notion of Christian education for the common good, in the public square.

What does this mean?  In the recently published ACS digital eBook Think deeply. Think differently. there is a paper devoted to this in Chapter 2 Part 5.

ACS Directors, led by Chair Mr Leighton Kuss and Executive Director / Principal Research Officer Lynne Doneley, have resolved to open up two research fronts to explore this general theme.  One, undertaken in cooperation with other Christian schools’ associations will have a scholarly, academic thrust, and will for the first time introduce data on Australian Christian schooling into the Cardus Education Report. This report is already significant and respected contributor to the education debate in Canada and North America.

The second, undertaken in cooperation with McCrindle Research will seek to draw conclusion from their already significant body of data about Christian schooling.  McCrindle research is a highly reputable, well-known Australian research company and we think this will add richness to what we are learning about the sector.

After fifty years of admittedly organic development, ACS thinks the time is right to advocate the contribution of Christian schooling more confidently in the public square, hence the research.

Christian schooling above all respects the contributions all schools are making to the public good.  But what are the specific contributions this quiet revolution is making, and what are some of its outcomes?