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This book chapter was originally published as:

McIver, R. (2017). A reflection on the principal findings of this study. In R. McIver, & P. Kilgour (Eds.), Perceptions of mission held by teachers in Seventh-day Adventist schools in Australia and the Solomon Islands (pp. 163-167). Cooranbong, Australia: Avondale Academic Press.

ISBN: 978-0-9874172-3-7


130106 Secondary Education| 130199 Education Systems not elsewhere classified| 130311 Pacific Peoples Education| 130399 Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified

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Ellen G. White and the other pioneers of Adventist Education in Australia were very clear on their vision for the schools they established. White insisted that “The great aim of the [Avondale] school is to lead the students to God” (White 1897), that education “is the harmonious development of the physical mental, and the spiritual powers” (White 1903: 13). For White and those around her that tried to put these and other principles into practice as they built their ideal school at Cooranbong. For them, true education developed the whole person, and paid especial attention to the spiritual needs of students.

The differences in Adventist Schools in Australia and the Solomon Islands between 1897 and 2017 are stark. There are differences in numbers, funding arrangements, and societal and Church expectations. The Seventh-day Adventist Church is also very different in 2017 to what it was in 1897. It has grown in numbers, it has a much better educated clergy and membership, and it has participated in the intellectual issues that have arisen in the last 120 years. It is hard to overstate the changes that have taken place in the church and society since 1897.

What has been the impact of all these changes on the perceptions of mission held by today’s teachers in Seventh-day Adventist schools Australia and the Solomon Islands? Furthermore, how congruent are these perceptions of mission with those of Ellen White and the other pioneers of Adventist education? The responses from the Australian teachers who chose, “Act in a manner which contributes to the physical, psychological, social and spiritual wellbeing of our students,” “Create an environment that makes it more likely that each student will accept Jesus Christ as their saviour and friend,” and the Solomon Island teachers who chose “Put into practice the teachings of the Adventist Church,” and “Lead students to join the Adventist Church and become baptized” among the main purposes for Adventist schools reveals that there is a very strong congruence between the perceptions of mission from today’s teachers and those of the pioneers who started the Adventist school system.


Used by permission: the publisher and the author.

© 2017 Robert K. McIver

Staff and Students of Avondale College may access Perceptions of mission held by teachers in Seventh-day Adventist schools in Australia and the Solomon Islands from Avondale College Library (371.071767 M18).

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