Teacher Development in the Caribbean

Book Cover: Teacher Development in the Caribbean

Teacher Development in the Caribbean showed that despite the impressive gains that were made in education in the Caribbean between the 1950s and the 1980s because of global political, economic and technological developments there was no celebration but instead governments across the region established mechanisms to reform their education systems. Task Forces, Working Groups, and Project Team carried out widespread consultations with stakeholders and actors before embarking on reforms. Teacher development became a priority not only because of the critical importance of teachers to education by because of the well-known perennial cycle of teacher bashing followed by teacher veneration common in the Caribbean.

Using the social criteria of ethnicity, gender, social class and occupational prestige five teaching occupations are identified in the Caribbean. Social changes in two of these occupations, public high school, and public primary school teachers, are traced over the last half of the twentieth century.

The Paper then proceeds to discuss teachers and teacher development in the Caribbean from the following perspectives:

  • Terms and conditions of service in relation to the governance of education systems
  • The structures of teaching occupations
  • School management using different models of school organisation
  • Eclectic practices, given the fact that Caribbean Education has been part of Western Education for more than 350 years.
  • Pre-service teacher education
  • In-service teacher education
  • Continuing professional development provided by Ministries of Education, teachers’ unions and NGOs.
  • Teacher supervision
  • Teacher evaluation
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Teacher Education and Training Policies in the Commonwealth Caribbean

Book Cover: Teacher Education and Training Policies in the Commonwealth Caribbean
Part of the OREALC series:
  • Teacher Education and Training Policies in the Commonwealth Caribbean
Part of the UNESCO series:

 In Teacher Training: A Contribution to Discussion on Some Country Experiences. UNESCO/OREALC Santiago, Chile: 2002. Pp 15 – 32

This Chapter defines the Commonwealth Caribbean historically, linguistically, geographically and culturally and discusses and clarifies the fact Commonwealth Caribbean practice does not fit neatly into the association of pre-service teacher education with formal teacher training and in-service teacher education with non-formal on the job training. It proceeds to briefly describe the historical pattern of teacher education in the sub-region between the 1830 and the 1950s. It also gives are a brief description of developments in teacher education in response to the transformation of national systems of education in relation to political independence development between the 1850s and 1980s. These developments in teacher education included building capacity, quantitative expansion, qualitative improvements and changes in the modes of delivery of education and training.

While these developments were impressive there was no celebration because of new imperatives that required an urgent response. These imperatives included a decline in the status of teachers, shrinking resources, the rapid rise of globalization, the spread of democracy and greater economic and cultural ties between countries in the region.

The teacher education and training policies that emerged in the Commonwealth Caribbean in the 1990s are described and discussed under four heading:

  • Upgrading the academic and professional standards of pre-service programmes
  • In-service training to support the education reform agenda
  • The integration of pre-service and in-service training
  • Upgrading teacher trainers.
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Successful Innovations in Caribbean Education.

Book Cover: Successful Innovations in Caribbean Education.

Successful Innovations in Caribbean Education

Successful Innovations in Caribbean Education. In, Education for the Twenty-First Century: Issues and Prospects. Editor Jacques Delors. 1998: UNESCO Paris describes innovations in the Commonwealth Caribbean and Dutch-speaking Caribbean in the second half of the 20th century. As background this Chapter places Caribbean education in historical and global contexts with respect to provision, participation, and performance.

Historical Context and Global Comparisons

A central point of the Chapter is that several Caribbean countries have schools that have operated continuously for more than 200 years, as a result, most students and parents place a high value on education and demand that education credentials can be negotiated internationally. Also, that the performance of Caribbean countries overlaps significantly with industrialized countries on basic human needs indicators despite the disparities of per capita GDP. Empirical evidence to support this argument is presented by comparisons of the ranking of education indicators of Caribbean countries and industrialized countries on the UN Development index of 1993; of Caribbean countries ranking of the 127 developing countries of the 1993 UNESCO Index tracking progress with respect to provision, participation and performance toward Education for All; and literacy rates of population of industrialized countries and Caribbean countries.

Caribbean Innovations in Education

The drivers for Caribbean innovations in education are identified as the demand of students and parents that Caribbean education credentials be internationally negotiable and participation in Caribbean education for reasons of upward social mobility and escape from persistent poverty.

The list of successfully Innovations in Caribbean Education described and discussed are:

  • School-based Management and democratization of School Boards in Jamaica
  • Early Childhood education across the Caribbean sub-region
  • The inclusion of Caribbean Content in the Curriculum
  • Innovation in First Language Education in the Dutch Caribbean
  • Comprehensive Secondary Education in St Kitts and Nevis
  • Caribbean Education Council (CXC) Common Exit Standards for High Schools
  • Regional Cooperation in Teacher Education
  • Community Colleges
  • Innovation in University Education: The University of the West Indies
  • Non-Formal Education Programs:
  1. SERVOL: Adolescent Development Programme, Trinidad and Tobago
  2. JAMAL: Adult Literacy Programme Jamaica
  3. HEART/NTA Jamaica

 

 

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Gender, Power and Politics

An alternate Perspective

Book Cover: Gender, Power and Politics

Gender Power and Politics: An Alternative Perspective

Gender Power and Politics: An Alternative Perspective addressed the question: why are Parliaments in Western liberal democracies, and many new nations practicing democratic governance, predominantly male after all women have had the right to vote for over 70 years and constitute at least 50 percent of electorates? The position taken is that to unravel this conundrum is it necessary to go beyond empirical data and reconceptualize gender and patriarchy and their relation to power and politics.

Accordingly, this Chapter does the following:

  • Review relevant studies done by a spectrum of scholars
  • Offer alternative definitions of both patriarchy and gender
  • Trace the ethnic origins of nation-states

Describes the transformation of patriarchy in modern societies through two main processes: a partnership between men and women of ethnic groups holding an advantage in their competition with other groups in nations and the exclusion of most men of groups that are disadvantaged from material advancement with the effect of reversing patriarchal norms in those groups.

Discusses the interaction between gender and other axes of inequality in society drawing examples from manhood suffrage in the United States in the 19th century as well as woman suffrage between Seneca Falls and 1919, and the gender composition of Soviets of the Soviet Union compared to the gender composition of elected bodies after the transformation of Russia to a market economy and multi-party politics.

Concludes with a general discussion of the question initially posed considering the alternative perspectives that were presented and argued.

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The Introduction of Computers in secondary schools in Jamaica

A case of Bottom-up Reform

Book Cover: The Introduction of Computers in secondary schools in Jamaica

In Adapting Technology for School Improvement: A Global Perspective. Editors David W Chapman and Lars O Mahlick. International Institute of Educational Planning: Paris. 2004 Pp 101-121.

The Introduction of Computers in Secondary Schools in Jamaica: A Case of Bottom-up Reform focuses exclusively on public secondary schools in Jamaica and traces the introduction of computers in a few schools in the mid-1980s to the inclusion in all public secondary schools by 2000. The paper draws on some material reported in Partnership for Change: Using Computers to Improve Instruction in Jamaica’s Schools, 1996, it examines the roles of each partner to 2002. This includes the Jamaica Computer Society Education Foundation; the Business Partners; the HEART Trust; the school communities; the main agencies providing development cooperation and the Ministry of Education. In so doing it examined the impact of the virtual collapse of the financial and banking sector between 1998 and 2000 and rising public debt. I

The paper looked at the circumstances and factors which operated as the Ministry of Education moved from the periphery to the center stage of policy-making and the decline of the Jamaica Computer Society Education Foundation from visionary leadership to becoming no longer needed. One of the most important observations of the study was that the school communities of teachers, parents, students, past students, and organisations and business in the neighborhoods of schools were the most constant, reliable and substantial contributors to the origin and its sustainability of the reform notwithstanding changes in implementation and great variations in the economy. This was with the exception of 26 of the 166 public secondary schools that were located in very poor communities.

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