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volunteering, charitable giving, school choice


Schools play a vital role in sustaining civil society by tending to the civic formation of their students. Prior research has focused on assessing students on a variety of civic outcomes including volunteering and charitable giving, and often compares students in Government, religious Independent, and non-religious Independent schools. However, this work has mostly been conducted in North American contexts. Nor has much attention been given to developing theory and then empirically testing mediating variables that explain any observed differences across these schooling sectors. We fill these gaps in this study. Using a nationally representative sample of 4,000 Australian adults, we first replicate prior research that compares volunteering and charitable giving rates across school sectors. Based on the theory of moral ecologies, we then hypothesize and empirically demonstrate that observed differences in outcomes across school sectors are mediated by the degree to which schools have emphasized community service in their curricula. Implications about civic education and subsequent research into civic formation are discussed.

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EDRE Working Paper

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