In the midst of what has been an extraordinary period of social upheaval and change relating to COVID-19, I trust that your communities have found grace, hope, joy, and creativity as you have pivoted to new ways of leading and learning in this season.
In light of these challenges, CS Lewis poses a very poignant question in his 1939 sermon entitled “Learning in Wartime”. He asks his audience, with the tragedy of war engulfing their every waking thought:
“why should we — indeed how can we — continue to take an interest in these placid occupations (like education, study and research!) when the lives of our friends… are in the balance? Is it not like fiddling while Rome burns?”
Whilst the COVID -19 challenge is certainly not on the scale of a world war, Lewis’ response is as relevant today as it was when first delivered in that Oxford Church:
I think it important to try to see the present calamity in a true perspective… Human culture has always had to exist under the shadow of something infinitely more important than itself. Life has never been normal… Plausible reasons have never been lacking for putting off… cultural activities until some imminent danger has been averted or some crying injustice put right. But humanity long ago chose to neglect those plausible reasons. They wanted knowledge and beauty now and would not wait for the suitable moment that never come.“Lewis, C. S., 1939, Learning in Wartime: A Sermon Presented in the Church of St. Mary the Virgin. Oxford.
Yes, theses recent times have been far from what may be perceived as “normal” but when is there ever a suitable moment? Our task remains to be faithful and diligent with what He has called us to do in and through these times because we are compelled that we actually exist under the shadow of “something infinitely more important”. Because of this, our “placid occupations” – including education, study and research – become sacred service in His hands as we glorify Him through our search for all that is good, true and beautiful in whatever setting we find ourselves in – suitable moment or not!
Be encouraged and inspired, below, by the exciting research projects that CSA are undertaking in 2020, all of which you can also keep up with on the newly developed Research page on the CSA website.
Cardus Education Survey Australia Project Update
There have been some exciting developments in the latest Consortium Update, which you can read more about here.
Keep up with ongoing CSA Research Projects
Christian Schools Workforce Research Project: Wellbeing and Impact
Thirteen Christian Schools Australia (CSA) member schools have participated in an exploratory study that has investigated the characteristics of K-12 school workforces, including levels of staff resilience, and their potential connection to student outcomes. Read more
ASCI Flourishing Schools Culture Model (FSCM) and Flourishing Schools Culture Instrument (FSCI)
The ACSI Flourishing Schools Culture Model research continues to encourage with a range of CSA member schools from across the nation are now registered for the pilot implementation of the Flourishing Schools Culture Model (FSCM) and the Flourishing Schools Culture Survey instrument (FSCI) in Australia.
Exciting new projects from our Tertiary Partners
Find out more about the new projects from each of current Tertiary Partners below.
ACSI- Barna School Choice Project:
Multiple Choice – How Parents Sort Education Options in a Changing Market
The ACSI Barna survey is anticipated to be implemented within Australia in 2021. Preliminary conversations with ACSI have already provided a framework and proposed schedule for the project to be implemented. The School Choice Project will focus on current and prospective CSA member school parents from a representative sample across Australia and will seek to identify, understand and analyse the decision-making practices and influences of parents within a dynamic, rapidly changing Australian socio-cultural milieu. The project will explore why and how do prospective parents choose schools? What do they value, and what are their perceptions of different school types? What do Millennial prospective parents look like? What are the trends that are emerging for school choice for millennials? What are the motivations/barriers for parents who choose Christian education? And what are the faith commitments and spirituality of these Millennial parents? Expressions of interest for CSA member schools to be involved in this study will be sent in Semester 2, 2020.
Exciting New Funding of Tertiary Partner Short Courses
The Commonwealth Government have granted Alphacrucis 50 ‘tertiary relief package’ places, for people wanting to redirect their careers into teaching during the COVID period. This is equivalent to an 85% fee reduction. The reductions apply for the following undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
Click here to find out more.
Excelsia College offers CSA members the opportunity to apply for our new Graduate Certificate in Classroom and Curriculum Innovation and Graduate Certificate in Counselling with no upfront fees for CSA member schools. These courses are online and supported by CSP (Commonwealth Supported Places). The courses start in August 2020 and finishes by December 2020 and provide a pathway to the Master ofEducation or the Master of Counselling courses. Limited places are available, so apply now here. It is exciting to see the range and quality of projects being undertaken by CSA in 2020. Please forward this email on to any staff who are interested in research and wanting to be kept informed of the exciting developments with projects at CSA.