Journal of Catholic School Studies
Volume 84 Issue 1 May/June 2012
Welcome to the May/June edition of the Journal of Catholic School Studies. Articles in this edition focus on staff, students, school leaders, parents and curriculum in Catholic schools.
In the first article, Recommendations for Staff Spirituality Programmes in Authentic Catholic Schools,Belinda Clarke provides an opinion piece where she argues for authentic spirituality experiences that stem beyond a single day, for staff in Catholic schools. The author draws on personal experience and the work of others as she describes spirituality programmes and makes recommendations for other possibilities that can be incorporated into the life of schools.
In the second article, Exploring the Need for Improvement in a Student Leadership Program, Gregory Hine reports on a study of adolescent school leaders in one Catholic secondary school. Using data gathered from focus group interviews with students, researcher field notes and researcher reflective journaling the author reports ways for improving the effectiveness and functioning of school leadership programs.
One of the key decisions all parents face is choosing a suitable school for each of their children. As many parents know, not all schools suit all children. In the article Understanding Parent Choice: The Development of a Holistic Theoretical Model, Michael McCarthy and Elizabeth Warren propose a theoretical framework with regard to the factors that influence parents’ choice processes when selecting a school for their children. In the current competitive educational marketplace this paper will be of interest to all involved with the provision of schooling.
In the fourth article, The Catholic Leader: A Transcendent Leader, Shane Lavery explores the notion of transcendental leadership and the appropriateness of this leadership model for principals in Catholic schools. While acknowledging transactional and transformational leadership the author proposes transcendental leadership with an emphasis on building relationships with others, in the spirit of service and spirituality.
Curriculum provides the focus for the fifth and sixth articles in the current edition of the journal. The first,Revelations on the Teaching of Reading and Reading Support in the Early Years of Schooling by myself, Maureen Walsh and Lorraine McDonald provides an insight into the choices teachers and schools need to make for the teaching of reading. Within the current climate schools in Australia are participating in national testing of reading in years 3, 5, 7, and 9 and this adds another layer of accountability for teachers and schools. The development of new technologies also is constantly changing the ways reading is experienced, and these add to the complexity involved in making choices for the teaching of reading. The research reported in this paper was conducted in a regional Catholic diocese and data were collected from surveys, focus group and individual interviews and case studies.
In the sixth article Teachers’ Perceptions and Experiences in using a Dispositional Framework in Catholic School Early Years’ Religious Education to Track Students’ Learning, Brendan Hyde and Lisa Leening report on a study being conducted in two Catholic dioceses in Victoria where religious education in the early years has been influenced by Godly Play. Interviews with participating teachers provide insights into how young children are learning through play.
Finally in the paper from practitioners, Lisa Cannon and Jo Thompson reflect on working together and using inquiry processes to change practice in a Year 2 class for the teaching on mathematics.
I hope you enjoy reading these articles and look forward to receiving contributions from educators and researchers for future editions of the Journal of Catholic School Studies.
Dr Janelle Young