Quality education shapes lives for the common good and effectively equips graduates to contribute to the flourishing of society. Effective schooling should therefore be orientated towards the formation of persons and recognise and celebrate the cultivation and shaping of both hearts and minds within all of our educational communities. But how do we seek to measure our effectiveness in shaping lives that contribute to the public good once they leave our schools?
For nearly a decade, the Cardus Education Survey (CES) has collected data on the social, academic, and spiritual outcomes of nationally representative samples of secondary school graduates (aged 25 – 39) in the USA and Canada. The CES data reveals that school communities are very important cultivators of moral character and civic virtue that can be leveraged more broadly for the common good and the flourishing of society. The CES aims to go beyond the politics to understand the building blocks of society itself. What are the conditions for student flourishing? Where do students learn to respect and love one another and others? How can we scale these lessons to maximize their potential for democratic citizenship?
A consortium of Australia Christian school associations collaborated in 2019 to implement the survey in Australia, leading to the formation of the CES Australia Project. Whilst the project is overseen and licensed through Cardus and their appointed lead Researcher Associate Professor Albert Cheng; the Australian implementation of the CES has been entirely funded and coordinated by the consortium project team consisting of of 6 Australian Christian School Associations: Adventist Schools Australia (ASA), Associated Christian Schools (ACS), Australian Association of Christian Schools (AACS), Christian Education National (CEN), Christian Schools Australia (CSA) and Swan Christian Education Association (SCEA).
Through these collaborative efforts The Cardus Education Survey (CES) has now been able to be developed and undertaken in Australia. The consortium project team look forward to sharing the findings of this landmark research project that will contribute to the narrative regarding education for the public good in Australia into the future.