Details of Thesis

Title An Exploration of How Some Staff Members Perceive Catholic School Renewal in Some Primary Schools in the Catholic Diocese of Rockhampton
Author Watkins, Simon A. C.
Institution Australian Catholic University
Date 2006
Abstract For the last forty years, since the end of the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church has been committed to renewal. In Queensland, Catholic schools have responded to this commitment by undertaking cyclical renewal processes since the early 1980s. The focus of this research was the process of Catholic School Renewal in the Catholic Diocese of Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia. The review of the literature focused on literature relating to school effectiveness and school improvement internationally and nationally, as well as Catholic School Renewal in Queensland generally and the Catholic Diocese of Rockhampton specifically. The following research questions focused the research design: 1. How is the process of Catholic School Renewal a source of potential growth? 2. How does the process of Catholic School Renewal ensure quality Catholic education? 3. How is the process of Catholic School Renewal a useful quality assurance tool? The epistemological stance adopted for the research was constructionism. The research paradigm adopted was interpretivism with social interactionism as the selected orientation. As case study is congruent with an interpretivist tradition of research it was adopted as a useful way of gaining insight into the perspectives of the participants. The case was comprised of some staff members who worked in one of four Catholic primary schools situated in three of the four regions of the Catholic Diocese of Rockhampton. Data collection took the form of semi-structured interviews and a survey questionnaire with the data being analysed using the constant comparative method. The study concluded that the process of Catholic School Renewal in the Diocese of Rockhampton is a useful quality assurance tool which helps to ensure quality Catholic education. Whether or not the process is a source of growth is dependent on a number of factors, paramount among which is the approach and ability of the Regional Supervisor of Schools. There were six major recommendations arising out of the research. These related to: 1. Ensuring the Regional Supervisor of Schools has certain attributes and knowledge. 2. Inservicing school staff on the purpose and nature of Catholic School Renewal. 3. Providing External Validation Team members with adequate inservice. 4. Permitting more involvement of the school principal in the process. 5. Initiating a review of the process of Catholic School Renewal in the Catholic Diocese of Rockhampton. 6. Rockhampton Catholic Education continuing to use the process.
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