Our Projects

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The projects undertaken by CERC include research areas that:
  • Examine Christian schools’ connections to current education trends
  • Establish the efficacy of curriculums, initiatives and projects of Christian schools from a Christian standpoint.
  • Seeks to examine the faith development of students in Adventist schools.

Current Projects

Project title Partner/Funding Body Avondale Researchers Completion details Project information
Tracking the Efficacy of the Encounter Adventist Curriculum: A Longitudinal Investigation in Purposively Selected Australian and New Zealand Seventh-day Adventist Schools Adventist Schools Australia Peter Kilgour,Phil Fitzsimmons,
Bev Christian
Longitudinal
Phase 1 – 2019
Phase 2 – 2022
The overall aim of this overall research project is to measure and understand the efficacy and possible success of the Encounter Adventist Curriculum that was implemented in Seventh-day Adventist primary and secondary schools in Australia and New Zealand
The Integration of a school market gardening program into the Australian F-6 curriculum: A case study of one Adventist primary School CERC Bev Christian,
Sandra Ludlow,
Dr Jason Morton,
Karyn Stanton,
Dr Peter Williams,
Dr Robyn Pearce,
Marion Shields,
Andrea Thompson
2019-2021 Explores how one Adventist primary school integrates a school market gardening program into both the Australian F-6 curriculum & the objectives of Adventist education for authentic learning.
The Impact of Faith Development Activities on Self-Reported Measures of School Climate CERC/
Association of Independent Schools (NSW)
Kevin Petrie,
Allyson Allen,
Keith Zullig

Avondale School
David McClintock,
Garry Marsters,
Peter Lindsay
2018-2020 This is a collaboration between Avondale School and Avondale College with the aim of answering the question: “Does an increase in staff and student engagement in school-based faith development activities equate with increased measures of positive school climate?”

Avondale School Research

Revealing Jesus in the learning environment: Faith engagement at school (pp. 163-179); The relationship between school climate and faith engagement (pp. 123-162).
Attachment, nature, and the young child’s felt sense of God. CERC Bev Christian 2020 Part of the Nature-pedagogy and children’s spirituality project

Journal of Research on Christian Education
Bullying in Faith-Based Schools CERC Kevin Petrie 2020 A comparison of bullying in Adventist schools to the general population.
Christian early childhood educational leadership: A manual CERC Marion Shields 2020 Following on from the research project, a manual is being developed to guide Christian Early Childhood Educational leaders, and those wishing to follow this practice, in the practicalities of CEECC leadership.


Completed Projects (2019)

Project title Partner/Funding Body Avondale Researchers Completion details Project information Link to related publication
A Plan for the Co-Construction and Collaborative Use of Rubrics for Student Learning CERC Peter Kilgour,
Maria Northcote,
Anthony Williams
2019 Outlining the processes employed in a project that investigated the co-construction of rubrics within six different contexts, a mixed methods approach was utilized to explore the effectiveness of the strategy Education Papers and Journal Articles. 126
Revealing Jesus in the Learning Environment: Experiences of Christian Educators CERC Peter Kilgour,Beverly Christian 2019 A wide-ranging book filled with chapters that capture different styles and methods of teachers at any level from school to university and how they show Jesus to the students in any learning environment – whether it be the classroom, the lecture theatre, the workshop, the studio, or outdoor. Book
Head, Hand & Heart: Attitude change in pre-service teachers. CERC Marion Shields 2019 Within the field of education, the literature indicates a resistance by teachers to having children with special needs in their classes, despite its mandated status. This project assesses the attitudes of pre-service primary and secondary teachers towards the inclusion of students with special needs both before and after a unit on inclusion. International Christian Community of Teacher Educators Journal. 14(1)
Christian early childhood educational leadership: a grounded theory CERC Marion Shields 2019 This research project explored the beliefs, values and practices of four leaders of CEECCs in New South Wales, Australia from four different denominational groups. Using the tools of grounded theory in a three-round hermeneutic dialectic, the question of whether Christian faith was integrated into their practice was examined; and if so, how this was done. Avondale Theses PHD


Completed Projects (2018)

Project title Partner/Funding Body Avondale Researchers Completion details Project information Link to related publication
Connecting children to God through nature: Why we should and how we can. CERC Bev Christian 2018 Connecting children to God through nature Chapter of a Book Published by Wipf & Stock
Transforming Classroom Practice. CERC Deb Cooper, Beverly Christian 2018 How can a school create a learning space that provides a retreat from the regular classroom and provides an environment where children can connect with learning and with God? TEACH Journal of Christian Education: (12)1
Following Jesus projects:
Short Term Travel to the Holy Land: Questions of Potency, Pilgrimage, and Potential
CERC Phil Fitzsimmons,
Sherry Hattingh,
Paul Hattingh
2018-2019 The impact of a short term venture to the Holy Lands on Christian educators. Journal of Adventist Mission Studies 15(1)


Completed Projects (2017)

Project title Partner/Funding Body Avondale Researchers Completion details Project information Link to related publication
Wellbeing Education for Educators CERC Jason Hinze,Darren Morton 2017-2018 A report of a 10 week wellbeing intervention with a cohort of Christian college students Teach Journal 11(2)
Attrition of beginning teachers (Valuing Early Career Teachers: Putting the Brakes on the Exodus) Adventist Schools Australia Marion Shields,
Donna Berkner (South Western Adventist University)
2017-2018 This project surveyed early career teachers in ASA schools from the 2013, 2014 & 2015 Avondale teaching graduates. Administrative support, induction and orientation experiences including mentoring were explored and participants were able to share experiences that needed to improve; valuable experiences and make suggestions for both ASA and Avondale. Teach Journal 12(1)
Primary pre-service teachers' perceptions of course related factors that enhance instructional self-efficacy CERC Bev Christian 2017 Pre-service teachers were asked their perceptions of course related factors that increased their instructional self-efficacy. Australian Journal of Teacher Education. 42(2)
Nature-based learning in Christian schools: Essential element or optional extra? CERC Bev Christian 2017 This research explores the relationship between nature-based learning and the aims of Christian education, with specific reference to student wellbeing, spirituality and stewardship. Teach Journal 11(1)
Old school or cutting edge? An examination of Ellen White’s view on education from a best practice twenty-first century viewpoint. CERC Peter Kilgour,
Bev Christian
2017 A study of how 21st Century pedagogies align with the counsel of Mrs White from 1903. Teach Journal 11(2)
Are Christian schools really Christian? Perceptions of final year pre-service teachers in Australia CERC Bev Christian,
Peter Beamish
2017 What do pre-service teachers have to say about the Christian schools they have experienced? Teach Journal 12(2)
Aust Govt Funding of Adventist Schools CERC Peter Kilgour,
Tony Williams
2017 A history of the introduction of and reactions to government funding of Adventist schools in Australia Chapter of a Book published by Avondale Academic Press
Solomon Island Govt Funding of Adventist Schools CERC Peter Kilgour,
JosephPitakia
2017 A history of the introduction of and reactions to government funding of Adventist schools in the Solomon Islands. Chapter of a Book published by Avondale Academic Press