Dr. Rose Davies was a complete professional. She was unassuming, nonchalantly confident, and formidably competent in whatever she undertook thereby readily dismissing any attempt to underestimate or overlook her or the fields in which she worked. Dr. Davies was a leader who did not need to command overtly because of the thoroughness with which she articulated goals, the critical paths identified to achieve them, and the personal examples she set.
When Dr. Rose Davies joined the Institute of Education of the School of Education, UWI, Mona as Lecturer in Early Childhood Education she was expected to build on the foundations laid for the training of teachers at the Early Childhood level by the trailblazing innovator in early childhood education, Dudley R. B. Grant, who was also a co-founder, along with Professor Reginal Murray, of the Institute Board of Teacher Training, later renamed the Joint Board of Teacher Education (JBTE) Mona. She was also expected to lead the implementation of reforms agreed to upgrade the quality of teachers as well as increase the numbers of early childhood teachers at a time when early childhood education was significantly expanded in public school systems within the sub-region.
The JBTE, Mona is a partnership that sets, develops, validates, and ensures standards in the education and training of teachers in the Western Caribbean. The partners are the Ministries of Education, national colleges and universities training teachers, the Teachers’ Associations in the countries, and the University of the West Indies, which holds the chairmanship and houses the research and development capacities.
Among the first markers of Rose Davies’s brilliance was leading the process which drafted standards of the education of children aged three, four, and five years. These standards were accepted by the International Labor Organization (ILO) for worldwide application, almost a precursor of ISO Standards. From the Institute and School of Education Rose worked with colleges, particularly Shortwood, in developing bachelor’s degree programs. She documented early childhood education across the English-Speaking Caribbean and is the most frequently quoted author on early childhood education in the sub-region. Rose was a team player. She worked collaboratively, particularly with the UNICEF, the Dudley Grant Memorial Trust, the Dudley Grant Early Childhood Research Center, the Caribbean Child Development Center, and the Early Childhood Commission.
So adept and effective was Dr. Davies in mastering her area of specialization within the teacher education enterprise that her colleagues and the University Administration coopted her to wider leadership and responsibilities in the field of the development of teacher education and research. As the Director of the Institute of Education and Chairman of the Joint Board of Education, Dr. Rose Davies helped to guide the partnership through the difficult transition where Colleges offered bachelor’s degrees accredited by the University Council of Jamaica, or offered their own degrees as in the case of the University of Belize and the College of the Bahamas, but continued to engage in functional cooperation in institutional development, staff development, research, and knowledge sharing under the egis of the University of the West Indies.
Dr. Rose Davies was always up to any challenge with which she was presented or confronted. She made stellar contributions to early childhood education, teacher education, research, and publications that will continue to yield fruit long beyond her passing.
Most profoundly Rose was a wonderful person. Her life was firmly grounded in her faith in Christ. She was a Methodist Christian whose faith was manifest in what she did and not only in the words she said. Integrity was her hallmark. You could depend on Rose to be constructive and supportive. Where she got the energy to sustain all her involvements was a marvel to me. We enjoyed a great relationship over the more than thirty years that we knew each other which went beyond retirement from the University. Rose remained positive up to the last.
Sincere condolences to her husband, Dr. Omar Davies, and his family. May her soul rest in peace and light eternal shine upon her.