The impact of system based teacher development programs on the role of teachers and administrators in Catholic schools in the Parramatta Diocese 1990-1997-preliminary findings

Year: 1997

Author: Bracken, Tony

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Over the last two decades lay educators have increasingly been replacing the religious orders in the leadership and staffing of catholic schools. Support for these lay educators' personal, spiritual and religious development was recognised as a priority by the Parramatta Catholic Education Office which initiated staff 'spiritual formation' programs in 1990. Since then different programs have evolved (spiritual formation, religious education and leadership development) involving hundreds of participants and a significant expenditure of financial and human resources by the CEO, Parramatta. Teacher spirituality is acknowledged as a priority area for professional development and, arguably, is the ultimate basis by which teachers are empowered to pursue the mission of catholic education. This research investigates the impact of these programs, from the perceptions of a sample of participants, on their working roles as teachers and administrators in catholic schools in the Parramatta Diocese. Preliminary findings suggest there are identifiable indicators (though subtle) of the effects of a program as perceived by participants and that other influences need acknowledgement. What is becoming evident is participants perceived link between personal development and the flow on effect in the professional role.