Making national headlines: The Cardus Education Survey Australia report launch


The Cardus Education Survey Australia report launch makes national headlines and attracts international interest 


Following on from the successful launch of the Cardus Education Survey Australia project report launch last Wednesday, a number of national media outlets including the Age, the Sydney Morning Herald and the West Australian have run stories covering aspects of the report and its findings.

One of the most comprehensive research projects of its kind, the report entitled “Australian Schools and the Common Good” was commissioned by a consortium of 6 Christian school associations including CSA and sought to measure the contribution of Australian secondary school graduates to the “common good” of society. The report aims to provide a more holistic perspective of graduates rather than the common approach of measuring only academic outcomes and economic contributions and career pathways of the individual.

The Cardus Education Survey Australia Project surveyed a nationally representative sample of almost 5,000 millennial graduates aged 25-39 who graduated secondary school from 1998 to 2011. Researchers Dr Albert Cheng and Dr Darren Iselin then analysed the influence of the Government, Catholic, Independent, and Christian schooling sectors in Australia on the academic, vocational, social and civic development of their graduates.

Co-author Dr. Iselin explained that while these four schooling sectors were analysed comparatively, the goal of the survey wasn’t to competitively rank these sectors but to reveal how each sector was shaping graduates who contribute in various ways to the good of their communities.

“Schools have a vital role to play, alongside of families and community, in building character, leadership and the qualities in students that see them hopefully contribute to the overall common good of society,” he said. “We sought to identify what type of people our graduates become many years after they leave their schools. Did schools form them well as persons who positively contribute to their communities, contemporary society and culture?  We hope the survey will stimulate meaningful conversation about the purpose of education.”

The Report identified six major themes relating to how Millennials are contributing to the common good that included:

  • Formation: the influence of school and educational experiences;
  • Work: Employment, vocational pathways and level of income;
  • Belonging: Involvement in associations, groups and causes;
  • Generosity: giving through donations and volunteering;
  • Family: Marriage and relationships; and
  • Religion: Faith, spirituality and church/religious services.

It is clear from the findings that Australian graduates are formed not just as individuals but to take their place in communities and it is incumbent upon educational leaders to ensure that a public facing posture continues to be cultivated in our graduates so they can be active contributors in and for the common good.

You can access a copies of the report documents and view the launch webinar on the Cardus Education Survey Australia Project Page.

Read some of the recent media regarding the report:

The Educator Online Cath News Eternity News
Sydney Morning Herald University of Arkansas News