Pennings, Ray; Seel, John; Van Pelt, Deani A. Neven; Sikkink, David; & Wiens, Kathryn L. (2011). Cardus education survey: Do the motivations for private religious Catholic and Protestant schooling in North America align with graduate outcomes? Hamilton, Ontario, Canada: Cardus. www.cardus.ca. Explain that Christian schools “… have served a vital role in the educational landscape of North America for over 400 years …” and that from about 1600 “… until late in the 18th century, the purpose of education in the U.S. was centered on religion …” (p. 9). “As John Dewey, Robert Booth, and other historic and contemporary educators have argued, all schools are religious in nature, and therefore parents desire schools in which congruence can exist for their children between home, religious institution, and school” [p. 11]. “The Cardus Education Survey has just this purpose—to determine the alignment between the motivations and outcomes of Christian education, setting a benchmark for further study of Christian schooling” [p. 12]. Christian education, in this study, includes homeschooling by Christian parents but the study is not focused on home-based education. Their survey of graduates (i.e., from secondary school, high school) – “… which included participants from Catholic, Protestant, non-religious private, public, and homeschool graduates – focused on educational and occupational attainment, civic and political engagement, spiritual formation, marriage and family as well as social psychological outcomes in the young adult years” [p. 44]. Present several findings about the adults in the study. Authors have developed a valuable research concept. They are trying to understand to what degree the outcomes of Christian education match the motivations of adults who design and conduct the Christian education for children. However, that this study has not “…allowed for the establishment of quality benchmarks …” [p. 36] regarding the thinking, religious beliefs, and actual behaviors of adults who were home educated. They might have “quality benchmarks” regarding those who attended state (public), Roman Catholic, and Christian schools but not for those who were homeschooled by Christian parents. One problem with the methods is that “homeschooled” was defined as a participant reporting he was homeschooled in high school and therefore it is not known for how many of their K-12 years they were home educated. Further, the “home educated” were categorized as either “religious” or “nonreligious,” simply depending on whether their mothers attended religious services regularly. About 2,000 randomly selected Americans, aged 23 to 49, were sampled and studied; of those, less than 90 [personal communication with one of the authors] – and the sample size is not reported – were home educated at all, and only some of these less-than-90 had a “religious” homeschool mother during high school. This is a very small sample size from which very few dependable conclusions can be drawn about the adults who were “homeschooled” by “religious” mothers. Authors should have been much more careful to explain the notable limitations of their study regarding the home educated.) (Descriptors: home education, homeschooling, research, Roman Catholic, Christian school, Protestant, public school, outcomes, educational attainment, occupation, civic engagement, political engagement, spiritual formation, marriage, family, social psychological outcomes)
Cardus education survey: Do the motivations for private religious Catholic and Protestant schooling in North America align with graduate outcomes?
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