With the introduction of the Revised Primary Curriculum in the late 1990s, a child centred, integrated, holistic curriculum was adopted at the lower primary level with a more subject-based approach at the upper levels. A constructivist pedagogical approach was endorsed.
Purpose of the Paper
The purpose of this paper is to do the following:
1. To trace the development of two models for training teachers by distance delivery used by the University of the West Indies (Mona) over the past twenty-five years, with special reference to provisions for quality control. The models are the Certificate in Education by distance and the Bachelor of Education in Secondary Education by distance/ summer and on-line.
Recent years has seen an increase in attention to higher education since it has become a major issue of discussion in trade talks and negotiations worldwide. This is because education is one of the service sectors covered by the General Agreement on Trade and Services (GATS), administered by the World Trade Organisation (WTO). GATS is a legal trade agreement which promotes freer trade in services by removing many of the existing barriers to trade.
Our regular readers would have noticed that this issue of the Journal was published and printed in Jamaica. From its inception in 1997, Education and Development Services (EDS) has published the Journal in Guyana. EDS moved to Kingston, Jamaica in August 2000. It is now registered in Jamaica under the name of Education and Research Associates Ltd. Future communication about the Journal and all other publications of EDS should be addressed to Education and Research Associates Ltd at the address given on the inside of the cover page of this issue.
After two special issues, one on Gender in Education and Development and the other on Distance Education, this issue is a 'mixed bag' which should provide something of interest for all our readers. Two of the articles, in fact, take up themes from the special issues and explore them from a different perspective.
The articles in this volume cover a breadth of issues concerning tertiary education, the administration of schools, the culture of the classroom and the survival of the beginning teacher and pervasive cultural values and attitudes that exacerbate rather than ameliorate critical health and social issues in the society.
This volume is dedicated to the memory of Professor Dennis Roy Craig, a co-founder of this journal and editor. Professor Craig passed away on February 28, 2004, after a lifetime of service to education in the Caribbean. A true gentleman, of wit, charm and a quiet brilliance, he authored over sixty academic articles published in peer reviewed international journals. His influential book "Experiment in Teaching English" was published in 1968. He was elevated to the position of Personal Professor in Language Education at The University of the West Indies in 1979.
Classrooms in schools in the Caribbean are typically described as teachercentred with students as passive, dependent learners. Teacher training programmes year after year grapple with the task of transforming this scenario, but seemingly with little success. How do we make teaching more learner centred? How do we enable students to become more independent learners and to feel that their success or failure is under their own control? How do we prepare young people for adult civic involvement? These questions are at the centre of some of the articles in this volume.
This double issue of the Journal of Education and Development in The Caribbean (JEDIC) honours Jossett Lewis‐Smikle, lecturer in Literacy Studies in the School of Education, University of the West Indies, Mona, who passed away in March 2013. Many in our university community and beyond will know of her unstinting commitment to literacy achievement in Jamaica through her teaching, research, curriculum development and community work.
For Cuban (1992), fundamental reforms are those which permanently transform, alter, or completely overhaul the educational process, and are not mere renovations. Many changes have to take place for these reforms to materialize. Fullan (1993) describes educational change as “an overlapping series of dynamically complex phenomena” (p. 21) that are uncontrollable in many respects. Change is not something that can be forced or mandated, he argues.