Our Projects


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 titlePartner/Funding BodyAvondale ResearchersCompletion detailsProject information
Tracking the Efficacy of the Encounter Adventist Curriculum: A Longitudinal Investigation in Purposively Selected Australian and New Zealand Seventh-day Adventist SchoolsAdventist Schools AustraliaPeter Kilgour,Phil Fitzsimmons,
Bev Christian
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 SchoolCERCBev Christian,
Sandra Ludlow,
Dr Jason Morton,
Karyn Stanton,
Dr Peter Williams,
Dr Robyn Pearce,
Marion Shields,
Andrea Thompson
2019-2021Explores 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 ClimateCERC/
Association of Independent Schools (NSW)
Kevin Petrie,
Allyson Allen,
Keith Zullig

Avondale School
David McClintock,
Garry Marsters,
Peter Lindsay
2018-2020This 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

Kuyers Institute Conference 2019: Shaping Christian Learning

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 GodCERCBev Christian2020Part of the Nature-pedagogy and children’s spirituality project

Journal of Research on Christian Education
Bullying in Faith-Based SchoolsCERCKevin Petrie2020A comparison of bullying in Adventist schools to the general population.
Christian early childhood educational leadership: A manualCERCMarion Shields2020Following 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 titlePartner/Funding BodyAvondale ResearchersCompletion detailsProject informationLink to related publication
A Plan for the Co-Construction and Collaborative Use of Rubrics for Student LearningCERCPeter Kilgour,
Maria Northcote,
Anthony Williams
2019Outlining 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 strategyEducation Papers and Journal Articles. 126
Revealing Jesus in the Learning Environment: Experiences of Christian EducatorsCERCPeter Kilgour,Beverly Christian2019A 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.CERCMarion Shields2019Within 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 theoryCERCMarion Shields2019This 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 titlePartner/Funding BodyAvondale ResearchersCompletion detailsProject informationLink to related publication
Connecting children to God through nature: Why we should and how we can.CERCBev Christian2018Connecting children to God through natureChapter of a Book Published by Wipf & Stock
Transforming Classroom PracticeCERCDeb Cooper, Beverly Christian2018How 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
A Health Check of Avondale's Distance Education Program: Where Have we Been? Where are we Going Next?CERCJason Hinze,
Maria T. Northcote,
Peter Kilgour,
Beverly Christian

David Bolton (West Chester University)
2018The results of the study provide insight into the extent to which the distance education program at the College provides a space in which learning relationships can develop in online communities. Also, suggestions for future improvement and further research recommendations are provided.Teach Journal 12(2)
Following Jesus Projects:
Short Term Travel to the Holy Land: Questions of Potency, Pilgrimage, and Potential
CERCPhil Fitzsimmons,
Sherry Hattingh,
Paul Hattingh
2018-2019The impact of a short-term venture to the Holy Lands on Christian educators.Journal of Adventist Mission Studies 15(1)
Mindset, Perseverance, & LearningCERCPeter Beamish,
Alysha Ryan
2017-2018A study which explored how psychological factors of: Growth Mindset (the belief in one’s ability to learn and succeed, Self-Control (the ability to resist temptation and remain focused on a goal), and grit (applying passion and perseverance for long term goals) impact junior school students’ academic achievement.Teach Journal 12(2)

Completed Projects (2017)

Project titlePartner/Funding BodyAvondale ResearchersCompletion detailsProject informationLink to related publication
Wellbeing Education for EducatorsCERCJason Hinze,Darren Morton2017-2018A report of a 10 week wellbeing intervention with a cohort of Christian college studentsTeach Journal 11(2)
Attrition of beginning teachers (Valuing Early Career Teachers: Putting the Brakes on the Exodus)Adventist Schools AustraliaMarion Shields

Donna Berkner (South Western Adventist University)
2017-2018This 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-efficacyCERCBev Christian2017Pre-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?CERCBev Christian2017This 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.CERCPeter Kilgour,
Bev Christian
2017A 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 AustraliaCERCBev Christian,
Peter Beamish
2017What do pre-service teachers have to say about the Christian schools they have experienced?Teach Journal 12(2)
Aust Govt Funding of Adventist SchoolsCERCPeter Kilgour,
Tony Williams
2017A history of the introduction of and reactions to government funding of Adventist schools in AustraliaChapter of a Book published by Avondale Academic Press
Solomon Island Govt Funding of Adventist SchoolsCERCPeter Kilgour,
2017A 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