Jamaican Society and High Schooling

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1990. Institute of Social and Economic Research University of the West Indies, Mona. Kingston Jamaica.

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Jamaican Society and High Schooling

Published by the Institute of Social and Economic Research of the University of the West Indies, Mona Kingston Jamaica, 1990

Jamaican Society and High Schooling is landmark study of the history and sociology of the high school institution in Jamaica from 1850 to 1985. The study described and discussed the major policies and reforms that guided the inauguration and evolution of the public high school system over the 145 year period. This includes the creation of the Jamaica Schools Commission in 1879 with the mandate to establish public high schools from trust schools; the inclusion in 1920 of schools founded by Christian Denominations in the public system through a Grants-in-Aid Scheme; and the reforms of 1957 and adjustments in 1964. Regarding empirical data of public high school students, the study examined the socioeconomic backgrounds inclusive of race, class, gender, and residence. For the period 1940 to 1985 this study collected and analyzed data of 14, 974 students who entered 26 high schools in the years 1942, 1952, 1962, 1972 and 1982 in order to track social changes among students entering high schools over the 40 year period.  Regarding high school teachers, the study examined their nationality, gender, teaching experience, academic and professional qualifications in relation to the geographic location of high schools. The study also examined classified wanted advertisements for the period 1900 to 1980 in the only daily newspaper that operated continuously during this time and identified the explicit statements made with respect to the race, class, gender, academic and professional qualifications of persons wanted or applying for work. These data were compared with Census data on the labour force of 1943 and 1960 and Annual Labour Force Statistics for the period 1975 to 1985. The focus of these comparisons were the socioeconomic backgrounds, gender, and qualifications of persons employed in the labour force. The empirical data gathered by the study are interpreted by the Theory of Place, which the author outlines in Chapter 2. The Book includes the Occupational Coding Scheme that was developed and used to classify students into six socioeconomic categories.

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