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Journal of Education and Development in the Caribbean

Teachers’ experiences implementing the National Standards Curriculum at the Riverbank High School

Publication Date: 
December 2020

The Task Force on Educational Reform and reviews of the Primary and Reform of Secondary Education (ROSE) curriculums uncovered the need for a new national curriculum to cater to the needs of the Jamaican education system. Therefore, the National Standards Curriculum (NSC) was implemented in September 2016 with the aim of enhancing the quality of education offered to learners (Ministry of Education, Youth, and Information [MOEYI], 2016). This paper explores teachers’ experiences implementing the National Standards Curriculum at a secondary school in Jamaica. During a phenomenological case study, structured and semi-structured interviews were completed with 16 participants and data collected subsequently analysed using constant comparison. The aim was to ascertain how teachers described their experiences implementing the NSC, what teachers saw as challenges with implementing the NSC and what they saw as strengths of the NSC. These are key areas Swann and Brown (2006), Bantwini (2010) and Makunja (2016) have studied in relation to newly implemented curriculums in different but similar contexts to Jamaica, and are therefore applicable to the NSC. The findings showed that most teachers described their experience as challenging. Challenges experienced included inadequate training and resources and small, crowded classrooms. On the other hand, the main strength was the curriculum’s teaching strategies. Improving the process for implementing new curriculums and guiding efforts to address challenges teachers face in order to better facilitate institutionalization of the NSC are benefits to be derived from these findings.

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