A. What do teachers and school leaders in Queensland Catholic schools think about the relationship between identity and curriculum?

Two complementary approaches were employed to address this question.

An electronic survey, designed in collaboration with representatives of the five Queensland Catholic Education Offices, to establish teachers’
reasons for working in Catholic education

  • self-ratings of their knowledge of Catholic teaching
  • perceptions of the purposes of Catholic schools
  • perceptions of the identity and characteristics of Catholic schools
  • opinions regarding the planned integration of a Catholic perspective into the formal curriculum
  • practices regarding the planned integration of a Catholic perspective into the formal curriculum
  • confidence and willingness to integrate a Catholic perspective across the curriculum in a planned way.

The survey instrument was circulated electronically, using Qualtrics software, in March 2014 to 6,832 teachers and subsequently administered in hard copy format at staff meetings in approximately 50 schools. Complete responses were received from 2,287 teachers, representing a response rate of 33.5%.

Interim draft teacher report (PDF, 756KB)

Following further analysis of the data the following papers were published in peer-reviewed journal:

Interviews with volunteer teachers and school leaders to illuminate the survey findings with particular reference to the questions of curriculum and identity. Twenty six interviews have been completed to date.

Draft report (PDF, 81KB)

B. What relevant examples of good practice are available?

The work of the project was informed by interaction with the Institute for Catholic Education, Ontario as well as the Halton Catholic District School Board, Burlington, Ontario; London Institute of Education, St. Mary’s College Twickenham and Catholic Schools Partnership, Ireland. Two case reports on the integration of social justice across the curriculum have been prepared.

C. Longitudinal study of student teachers’ opinions, beliefs and attitudes concerning faith-based education and identity

168 first year student teachers at ACU completed a purpose-designed survey in March 2014. See Gleeson, J., O'Neill, M. (2017) Student-teachers' perspectives on the purposes and characteristics of faith-based schools: an Australian view. British Journal of Religious Education.

The Defining Issues Test of Moral Reasoning was administered to ACU first year student teachers in April 2014. Summary report (PDF, 55KB).

Student teachers from this cohort (now Year 4 students) responded to the same two instruments in 2017. See Chapter 11 of Gleeson, J., Goldburg, P. (2019), Faith-based Identity of Catholic Schools: Curriculum Perspectives. London: Routledge.

D. Comparison of teachers in Catholic schools in Australia and Ireland

Study of teachers' perceptions of their roles vis-a-vis moral/ethics education in Catholic schools in Australia and Ireland; findings were presented at the Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association, Philadelphia, April, 2014.

Gleeson, J., O'Flaherty, J. (2016). The teacher as moral educator: comparative study of secondary teachers in Catholic schools in Australia and Ireland. Teaching and Teacher Education 55, 45-56.

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