Survey of Catholic teachers

Survey of Catholic teachers

The results of a survey of Catholic teachers were released in December 2006 under the aegis of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and the Pastoral Projects Office. The survey is titled Profile of Mass-attending teachers in Catholic schools: A Report to Directors of Catholic Education based on the 2001 National Church Life Survey.

The National Church Life Survey was statistically representative of all Catholic Church attenders, including those who identified themselves as teachers.

Women (at 74 percent) were over-represented among the teachers whose average age was 46, compared with 53 for all Mass- attenders.

Overall, teachers' views were more "liberal" than other Catholics, no doubt partly due to their younger average age and their different levels of expectations as teachers.

Teachers said they were less strengthened by attending Mass but they were far more likely to have a leadership role in the parish.

They were less likely to say their parish needed to maintain past directions or go back to the way things were done in the past. They were far less likely to value a traditional style of worship or music and more likely to prefer a contemporary style.

Teachers were considerably less likely to say they accept the teaching authority of the Church with no difficulty (29 percent) than all Mass attenders (49 percent).

This acceptance level would be lower among the non-attending teachers, a significant proportion, given that the national average attendance for all Catholics was down to 15 percent in 2001.

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