Christian Parent Controlled Schools in Australia - A Study of the

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					Christian Parent Controlled Schools in Australia -
A Study of the Relationship between Foundational
            Values and Prevailing Practices.



                       Charles Francis Roy Justins
                B.A. Dip.Ed. M.Ed. (Sydney), B.D. (Melbourne).




   A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of
                              Doctor of Education




                        School of Educational Leadership
                             Faculty of Education




                         Australian Catholic University
                               Research Services
                               Locked Bag 4115
                               Fitzroy VIC 3065,
                                    Australia
                            Statement of Sources

This thesis contains no material published elsewhere or extracted in whole or
in part from a thesis by which I have qualified for or been awarded another
degree or diploma.

No other person’s work has been used without due acknowledgment in the main
text of the thesis.

This thesis has not been submitted for the award of any degree or diploma in
any other tertiary institution.

All research procedures reported in the thesis received the approval of the
relevant Ethics Committees (where required).



                                                      _____________________

                                                                 Charles Justins
                                                               Tuesday, 2 April 2002




                                     ii
                                     Acknowledgements
I would like to express my gratitude to a number of people who have provided significant assistance
in the preparation of this thesis:

        To the many pioneers and early leaders of Christian Parent Controlled Schools who
        willingly gave of their time for surveys, interviews and in other conversations. I have a
        profound respect and appreciation for the passion, strength and selflessness that you have
        applied in support of parent controlled Christian schooling in Australia.

        To the Principals, staff, senior students and parents of the 12 CPC schools across Australia
        who were willing to give of their time to share their perspectives through surveys and
        interviews.

        To Stuart Fowler for his time and hospitality (thank-you Joy) and for his willingness on
        many occasions to apply his deep insights and broad scholarship to issues that arose in this
        study.

        To my supervisors – Professor Tony d’Arbon for his warmth, humour and encouragement,
        for his generous ecumenical spirit and for his wise and penetrating critique and Dr Shukri
        Sanber for his availability, patience and his astute analysis and assessment.

        To my daughters, Alison, Naomi and Ellen and my other ‘children’ – Linda, Phil, Greer, and
        Daniel and (and the ‘young adults’!) – thank-you for journeying with me.


        I reserve my greatest thanks for my wife Pam whose graciousness, generosity, love and
        support provided the framework without which I could not have embarked on, nor
        completed this project.




                                                  iii
                                              Dedication
Parents who … are earnestly convinced that the tenor of education at existing schools is un-
Christian must not be hindered, directly or indirectly, from providing their children with the
kind of education they believe they can justify before God. … the moment you provide
education, there is rearing there, which is based on some moral doctrine, rooted in some
religion or in none.

(Guillaume Groen Van Prinsterer, 1801 - 1876)



There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ,
who is sovereign over all, does not cry: 'Mine!'

(Abraham Kuyper at the opening of the Free University of Amsterdam in October 1880)
                                   -------------------------------------------

It is for this and for no other purpose that we establish our Christian day school movement.
Education ought to be Christian education, ought to acknowledge the Cross and the Crown
of Jesus Christ, and ought to prepare for his return, so that generations come and go, but
the church remains and Christian service and Christian life and Christian culture and
Christian learning remain.

(Rev. J. Deenick - opening address at the inaugural meeting of the National Union of Parent Controlled
Christian Schools at Blacktown, NSW, January, 1966)

                                   -------------------------------------------

As educators, consciously or unconsciously, we nurture children in a vision of life. Are we
to lead children to a full and undiminished knowledge of God’s creation, in all its many
aspects, or will we be satisfied with a reduction of this experience?

(Doug Blomberg, 1980, p.50).
                                   -------------------------------------------

Christian educators ought to be trailblazers in tackling the issues thrown up by the
changing social environment rather than mere modifiers of trails blazed by others. … Our
calling as Christian educators is to develop a Gospel-enlightened understanding of the
issues that face all schools in today’s changing societies, so that we may set educational
directions that ensure a humanity-fulfilling experience for students in the schools of today
and tomorrow.

(Stuart Fowler, 1998, p.183).
                                 -------------------------------------------



                                                       iv
                                                 Abstract
Christian Parent Controlled (CPC) Schools, which commenced in the 1960s, are a relatively small,

but growing component of the non-government schooling sector in Australia. In 2001, they enrolled

over 22 000 students in 85 schools. Very little research has been conducted on the values and

practices of CPC schools and while these schools frequently assert that they promote explicitly

Christian values, their foundational values have not previously been identified or recorded.

This research identifies the key foundational values which are characteristic of these schools and

examines the extent to which these values continue to influence the prevailing practices of these

schools. Consideration is given to the implications of the relationship between foundational values

and prevailing practices for the identity, development and leadership of CPC schools in Australia.

The ability of these schools to articulate their foundational values and consider their prevailing

practices in the light of these values should enhance their ability to understand their heritage, assess

their current situation and plan their future.

The research found that in general, prevailing practices in these schools give faithful expression to

the foundational values; however, the research also identified a number of areas where CPC schools

struggle to engage consistently with these values.

As a result of this study, recommendations are proposed to assist national and school-based

leadership in their strategic planning for the maintenance of these values and the future of these

schools.




                                                     v
                             Glossary and Acronyms
ACE schools – Accelerated Christian Education schools. These schools were based on an

American system which employed an individualised classroom structure and programmed

learning booklets. They commenced in Australia in 1976 and grew to as many as 120 schools in

the early 1980s. Few of these schools now exist and in recent years, the ACE organisation,

(under the auspices of Southern Cross Educational Enterprises in Australia since 1997) has

tended to focus greater attention on the home schooling market. See also page 22.

Amillennial – those Christians who do not believe that the Bible warrants the expectation of a

millennium, either before or after, the advent of Christ and that the present age, or reality will be

followed by the Kingdom of God in its eternal form.

Anglican – In Australia, the ‘Church of England’ became the ‘Church of England in Australia

and Tasmania’ in 1872, the ‘Church of England in Australia’ in 1962 and then the ‘Anglican

Church’ in 1981. The term ‘Anglican’ was used in Australia as early as 1846 to describe those

belonging to the Church of England. (Source: Librarian, Moore Theological College, Sydney,

November 2001)

ARP – The Anti-Revolutionary Party. A political party established in 19th Century Netherlands

by Van Prinsterer (Guillaume Groen Van Prinsterer) and subsequently led by Abraham Kuyper.

With Kuyper as leader, the ARP formed government in coalition with the Catholics in 1902.

Board – Most CPC schools have a school board, but some schools which are part of a network

of CPC schools have a site-based council with a board that has overarching responsibility for

the system of schools. For the purposes of this research, and in order to preserve anonymity, the

term board will cover both school boards and school councils.

Calvinist – An adherent of the Christian tradition founded by John Calvin (1509-1564).

Calvinism currently finds expression in Presbyterian and Reformed Churches, both of which are

found in many countries. Some Anglican (Church of England) churches have also been

significantly influenced by Calvinism.

Christian – See notes on ‘CPCS Ltd’.



                                               vi
Church of England – See ‘Anglican’.

CCSL – Christian Community Schools Limited. See page 24.

CPCS Ltd – Christian Parent Controlled Schools Ltd. In 1988 the movement changed its name

from Parent Controlled Christian Schools to Christian Parent Controlled Schools. Throughout

the study, these schools will be described as CPC schools for the sake of simplicity. The

importance of both ‘parent’ and ‘control’ in the title will be considered in Chapter 4 in

particular. In the context of the constituencies that comprise these CPC school communities, it

would be recognised that Christians come from many traditions and denominations, but when

members of these communities talk of employing a ‘Christian’ teacher for example, it would

generally be understood to mean a teacher who attended a Protestant church on a regular basis

and believed that Jesus was the unique Son of God

CSAQ – Christian Schools Association Queensland. In 2001, CSAQ had 42 affiliated schools

with over 18 500 students.

CSI – Christian Schools International. CSI is the North American equivalent of CPCS Ltd.

Evangelical – an evangelical Christian gives concentrated attention to the Bible as a guide to

conviction and behaviour (Fackre, 1983, pp. 191-192).

Focus (or Education in Focus) Conferences – held particularly for teachers, generally biennially

with an emphasis on educational philosophy from a Reformed perspective and organised by CPCS

Ltd. The most recent conferences have been called Transforming Education rather than Focus.

NICE – The National Institute for Christian Education is the tertiary institute for teacher

training of CPCS Ltd. NICE offers external studies in education at Masters and Graduate

Diploma level and is accredited through the Department of Education and Training of the NSW

State Government.

NUPCCS – National Union of Parent Controlled Christian Schools. (The name of the national

organisation from 1966 to 1987).




                                            vii
Premillennial – The view that Christ’s return will be followed by a thousand years of various

activities on the earth.

Protestant – a term applied initially to Lutherans, but eventually to all adherents of the

Reformation. Protestants are commonly regarded as all those Christians who are neither Roman

Catholic nor Orthodox.

RCA – Reformed Churches of Australia. The RCA was established by Dutch migrants and is

therefore often incorrectly referred to as the ‘Dutch Reformed Church’.

Reformed – The term ‘Reformed’ is used nearly synonymously with ‘Calvinist’ in this study.

In the Netherlands at the time of the large migration to Australia in the 1950s, the Hervormde

Kerk (Dutch Reformed Church) was the state church and was regarded as more liberal than the

Gereformeerde Kerken (Reformed Churches). ‘Reformed’ is preferred to ‘reformed’ throughout

this study in order to avoid confusion with the more commonly used adjective.

Schools – In Australia, a public school is the equivalent of a government or a state school.

These schools are funded by government and therefore, essentially free to parents. Private

schools are equivalent to non-government schools and are partially funded by both federal and

state governments. Substantial amounts are also raised from parents through fees in most private

schools.

Themelic – A term devised by Long (1996), on the basis of the koine Greek, “themelios” which

means “Christ-centred” and used to describe the new low-fee, conservative Protestant schools in

Australia.




                                            viii
9
                                                                              Contents
CHAPTER ONE
Introduction And Research Context ................................................................................................................................... 2
    Education and Values ........................................................................................................................................................ 2
    Christian Education - Christian Values.............................................................................................................................. 6
    European Settlement in Australia and Christian Education ............................................................................................... 9
    Christian Education in Australia - Different Traditions, Different Articulations. ............................................................ 12
            Catholic Schools .................................................................................................................................................... 12
            Anglican (Church of England) Schools.................................................................................................................. 15
            Lutheran Schools.................................................................................................................................................... 18
            Adventist Schooling............................................................................................................................................... 20
            Accelerated Christian Education ............................................................................................................................ 22
            Christian Community Schools ............................................................................................................................... 24
            Christian Parent Controlled Schools ...................................................................................................................... 25
    The Purpose and Significance of this Study..................................................................................................................... 28
    Research Questions.......................................................................................................................................................... 31


CHAPTER TWO
Christian Parent Controlled Schools - Theological Influences and Cultural Context .................................................. 33
    Origins of the Worldview of the CPC Pioneers ............................................................................................................... 35
    Groen Van Prinsterer ....................................................................................................................................................... 35
    Abraham Kuyper ............................................................................................................................................................. 38
    The Values of the Dutch Migrants................................................................................................................................... 40
    Theological Motifs that Informed the Foundational Values ............................................................................................ 42
            Antithesis ............................................................................................................................................................... 42
            Sphere Sovereignty ................................................................................................................................................ 44
            Covenant ................................................................................................................................................................ 45
            Common Grace and the Cultural Mandate ............................................................................................................. 46
            Sovereignty of God ................................................................................................................................................ 47
    The Influence of Van Prinsterer and Kuyper ................................................................................................................... 48
            The United Kingdom ............................................................................................................................................. 48
            South Africa ........................................................................................................................................................... 49
            Canada and the USA .............................................................................................................................................. 50
    The Australian Context.................................................................................................................................................... 52
            The Growth in Non-Government Schools in Australia .......................................................................................... 52
            The Absence of an Affordable Protestant Alternative in Education....................................................................... 55
    The Early Days of CPC Schools in Australia .................................................................................................................. 57
            The Involvement of Non-Dutch Australians .......................................................................................................... 61
            The Journal of Christian Education - Values Challenged....................................................................................... 63
            The ‘Word of God’ in CPC schools - Values Debated........................................................................................... 65
            The Influence of the Netherlands Today ................................................................................................................ 66
            The Influence of North American Calvinist Schools ............................................................................................. 67
    Studies Related to Parent Controlled Christian Schooling in Australia ........................................................................... 72
            Recent Publications Related to the Prevailing Practices of CPC Schooling in Australia ....................................... 78
            Recurring Themes in the Research and Publications of North American Calvinist Schools and CPC Schools ..... 80
            Identification of the Foundational Values from the Themes in Early Publications ................................................ 80
CHAPTER THREE
Research Design and Methodology ................................................................................................................................... 86
    Research Design .............................................................................................................................................................. 87
             Methodology Used in Similar Studies.................................................................................................................... 88
    Ethical Considerations ..................................................................................................................................................... 89
    ‘Pre-existing’ Stage - The Researcher’s Role and Possible Limitations .......................................................................... 89
    Stage One - The Identification of Foundational Values................................................................................................... 91
             Sources of Information - Documents and People ................................................................................................... 92
             The Document Study – Foundational Values......................................................................................................... 93
             The Surveys of Pioneers and Early Leaders - Foundational Values....................................................................... 96
             The Selection of the Pioneers and Early Leaders for the Interviews ...................................................................... 99
             The Interviews – Type and Conduct ...................................................................................................................... 99
    Stage 2 – A Consideration and Identification of Prevailing Practices of Foundational Values...................................... 101
             The Document Study - Prevailing Practices......................................................................................................... 101
             Surveys and Interviews – Prevailing Practices..................................................................................................... 101
             The Constituent Groups of Christian Parent Controlled Schools ......................................................................... 102
             The Surveys of Constituent Groups - Prevailing Practices................................................................................... 103
             Questionnaire Structure........................................................................................................................................ 104
             Sampling .............................................................................................................................................................. 104
             The Selection of Schools...................................................................................................................................... 105
             Interviews - Constituent Groups .......................................................................................................................... 110
    Validation ...................................................................................................................................................................... 114
    Data Collection- Overview ............................................................................................................................................ 116


CHAPTER FOUR
Christian Parent Controlled Schools in Australia - Foundational Values ................................................................... 117
    What Did the Pioneers and Early Leaders Have in Mind?............................................................................................. 118
    Establishing the Foundational Values............................................................................................................................ 119
Foundational Value I - Christian Parent Control ................................................................................................................ 120
             The Bible and the Responsibility of Parents ........................................................................................................ 122
             Sphere Sovereignty and Parent Control ............................................................................................................... 124
             Tensions Surrounding the Word “Control” .......................................................................................................... 126
             Parental Involvement ........................................................................................................................................... 129
Foundational Value II - Christian Families......................................................................................................................... 130
    IIA. Support for Christian Families ............................................................................................................................... 130
    IIB. Affordable Education for Christian Families.......................................................................................................... 133
    IIC. Christian Families - A Protected Environment ....................................................................................................... 135
Foundational Value III - Christian Curriculum................................................................................................................... 138
    IIIA. Thoroughly and Distinctively Christian Curriculum............................................................................................. 138
    IIIB. Christian Curriculum - The Bible as Guide........................................................................................................... 141
    IIIC. Christian Curriculum - The Centrality of Christ.................................................................................................... 143
Foundational Value IV - Christian Teachers ...................................................................................................................... 146
             Low Priority Values ............................................................................................................................................. 149
             Other Sets of Values ............................................................................................................................................ 151
        Summary – Overview of Foundational Values ......................................................................................................... 153
        Summary – Data sources and Foundational Values .................................................................................................. 154
CHAPTER FIVE
Christian Parent Controlled Schools - Prevailing Practices Of The Foundational Values......................................... 160
    Values Held in Common in CPC Schools...................................................................................................................... 161
    Prevailing Practice of Foundational Value I: Christian Parent Control......................................................................... 162
             Concerns with the Practice of Parent Control ...................................................................................................... 172
    Identification –Prevailing Practice of Foundational Value I. Christian Parent Control ................................................. 186
    Prevailing Practice of Foundational Value IIA. Support for Christian Families............................................................ 186
             Enrolment Policies Designed to Preserve the Christian Constituency ................................................................. 199
    Identification –Prevailing Practice of Foundational Value IIA. Support for Christian Families.................................... 202
    Prevailing Practice of Foundational Value IIB. Affordable Education for Christian Families ...................................... 202
    Identification –Prevailing Practice of Foundational Value IIB. Affordable Education for Christian Families .............. 208
    Prevailing Practice of Foundational Value IIC. Christian Families - A Protected Environment.................................... 208
    Identification –Prevailing Practice of Foundational Value IIC. Christian Families – A Protected Environment........... 211
    Prevailing Practice of Foundational Value IIIA. Thoroughly and Distinctively Christian Curriculum ......................... 212
    Identification –Prevailing Practice of Foundational Value IIIA. Thoroughly and Distinctively Christian Curriculum . 225
    Prevailing Practice of Foundational Value IIIB. Christian Curriculum - The Bible as Foremost Guide........................ 226
    Identification –Prevailing Practice of Foundational Value IIIB. Christian Curriculum - The Bible as Foremost Guide 231
    Prevailing Practice of Foundational Value IIIC. Christian Curriculum – The Centrality of Christ................................ 232
    Identification –Prevailing Practice of Foundational Value IIIC. Christian Curriculum - The Centrality of Christ ........ 236
    Prevailing Practice of Foundational Value IV. Christian Teachers................................................................................ 236
    Identification –Prevailing Practice of Foundational Value IV. Christian Teachers ....................................................... 240


CHAPTER SIX
Conclusion and Recommendations ................................................................................................................................. 244
    Values Worth Fighting For? .......................................................................................................................................... 245
    Recommendations for Leadership - Christian Parent Control........................................................................................ 251
    Recommendations for Leadership - Christian Families ................................................................................................. 256
    Recommendations for Leadership - Christian Curriculum ............................................................................................ 257
    Recommendations for Leadership - Christian Teachers ................................................................................................ 261
    Recommendations for Leadership - Principals .............................................................................................................. 261


Bibliography...................................................................................................................................................................... 266


Appendices
    Appendix 1 - Survey Questions – Pioneers – Stage 1 .................................................................................................... 289
    Appendix 2 – Participant Permission - Surveys – Stage 2 ............................................................................................ 291
    Appendix 3 – Participant Permission - Interviews – Stage 2 ........................................................................................ 293
    Appendix 4 – Informed Consent Form .......................................................................................................................... 294
    Appendix 5 – Survey Questions – Senior Students / Graduates – Stage 2..................................................................... 295
    Appendix 6 – Survey Questions – Parents – Stage 2 ..................................................................................................... 297
    Appendix 7 – Survey Questions – Teachers – Stage 2................................................................................................... 299
    Appendix 8: Chi-squared Tests - Reasons Parents Send Their Children to CPC Schools - Student & Parents. ............ 301
Tables

Table 1:1 - Content Overview .............................................................................................................................................. 32
Table 2:1 - Percentage of Australian Students Attending Schools: 1958 to 2000................................................................. 53
Table 2:2 - Increases in the Number of Students Attending Schools - 1986 to 2000............................................................ 53
Table 3:1 - National Distribution of Schools Involved in Study........................................................................................ 106
Table 3:2 - A Comparison of the Characteristics of the Schools in this Study and the Population of CPC Schools with
Senior Students................................................................................................................................................................... 106
Table 3:3 - Surveys - Administration and Response Rates ................................................................................................. 108
Table 3:4 - Prevailing Practices Survey – Foundational Values and Corresponding Survey Questions. ............................ 109
Table 3:5 - Numbers Of Interviews .................................................................................................................................... 111
Table 4:1 - Foundational Values of Christian Parent Controlled Schools in Australia ....................................................... 153
Table 4:2 – Summary – Identification of the Foundational Values of CPC Schools from Data Sources............................ 154
Table 5:1 - Parents on Parent Control................................................................................................................................. 164
Table 5:2 - Senior Students and Graduates on Parent Control............................................................................................ 166
Table 5:3 - Teachers on Parent Control .............................................................................................................................. 169
Table 5:6 - Senior Students' Positive Responses to Teachers ............................................................................................. 192
Table 5:7 - Senior Students' Negative Responses to Teachers............................................................................................ 192
Table 5:8 - Parents' Views on Financial Difficulties .......................................................................................................... 203
Table 5:9 - A Protected Environment ................................................................................................................................. 209
Table 5:10 - Curriculum from a Christian Perspective. ...................................................................................................... 214
Table 5:11 - The Bible as Guide......................................................................................................................................... 227
Table 5:12 - Teachers' Use of the Bible in Different Sections of the School...................................................................... 228
Table 5:13 - The Centrality of Christ.................................................................................................................................. 234
Table 5:14 - The Employment of Christian Teachers ......................................................................................................... 237




Graphs
Graph 5.1 - Church Attendance - 'Monthly' or 'More Often' ……………………………………………………………..188

				
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