Educational Research

The English-Speaking Caribbean

Book Cover: Educational Research

Educational Research: The English-Speaking Caribbean.

(1984) International Development Research Centre, Ottawa.

Foreword by Susan Mowat, Deputy Director of Social Science Division, IDRC.

Educational Research: The English Speaking Caribbean gives an account of the establishment of education research in the English-speaking Caribbean for its first thirty years: 1954 to 1984. First, the Monograph traces the infant years of educational research in the English-speaking Caribbean from 1954 with the creation of the Centre for Studies in Education in the Department of Education of the University College of the West Indies, and 1966 with the creation of the Faculty of Education of the University of Guyana. It mentions that the Carnegie Corporation assisted with the commencement of educational research in both the University College of the West Indies and the University of Guyana. It also described how the Centre for the Study of Education was superseded by the Institute of Education of the University College of the West Indies in 1962 and was established as a regional entity with branches in Barbados and Trinidad with assistance from the Ford Foundation and several Caribbean governments.

Educational Research: The English-Speaking Caribbean also traces the spread of research in education, between 1954 and 1984, outside of Departments, Institutes and Faculties of Education to other entities within the Universities of the West Indies and Guyana, namely the Tropical Metabolism Research Unit, the Institute of Social and Economic Studies, and the Department of Preventative Medicine of the UWI and the Institute of Development Studies of the University of Guyana; to Ministries of Education of the English-speaking Caribbean; and to the College of the Bahamas and to the Child Assessment and Research in Education Centre of Mico College and to private entities such as the Caribbean Research Centre in St Lucia and the Mel Nathan Institute in Jamaica.

The Monograph documents the education research capacity that existed in 1981 in the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and seven countries of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) formerly known as the Leeward and Windward Islands. It documents research capacity in terms of institutions engaged in research projects, projects that had been or were being implemented, numbers of educators trained in conducting research, sources of funding; journals and support services such as archives, libraries, and information and communication technologies.

The Monograph also documents the development of indigenous capacity to train education research in the English Speaking Caribbean starting at the University of the West Indies in 1964 and the University of Guyana in 1976. It records the number of persons who had been trained in research up to 1981, the areas in which they had been trained and the numbers that had remained in the sub-region up to the time of writing.

The Monograph not only describes, documents and counts but discusses the context of English-speaking Caribbean in relation to its political milieu, economies, cultural ferment, social stratification and social structures as these relate to education systems as well as the intellectual traditions and dominant modes of thought. At different points, it discusses constraints to research and critiques research practices and outcomes.

Probably its most provocative aspect is the five mini-case studies recorded in relation to research done by Dennis Craig, Lawrence Carrington, Desmond Broomes, D.R. B Grant and Errol Miller and their intersection and impact on education policymaking. The discussion of these cases includes the research cycle, the policy cycle, the movement of researchers and their students into policy advisory positions and the critical factor of timing.

Educational Research: The English-Speaking Caribbean is a seminal study and could well be regarded as compulsory reading for all currently engaged or interested in educational research in the Commonwealth Caribbean.

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