When choosing might mean losing: A mixed method study of secondary school choice in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

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dc.contributor.author De Lisle, Jerome
dc.contributor.author Keller, Carol
dc.contributor.author Jules, Vena
dc.contributor.author Smith, Peter
dc.date.accessioned 2010-04-14T17:43:14Z
dc.date.available 2010-04-14T17:43:14Z
dc.date.issued 2009
dc.identifier.citation De Lisle, J., Keller, C., Jules, V., & Smith, P. (2009). When choosing might mean losing: A mixed method study of secondary school choice in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Caribbean Curriculum, 16(1), 131-176 en
dc.identifier.issn 1017-5636
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2139/6584
dc.description.abstract This article argues that Trinidad and Tobago has historically operated a system of open enrolment. Open access to schools by families may be rooted in the conflict between Church and State over schooling. The system is founded on the principle of the right of parents to choose schools for their children, first argued in the 18th century by the Church, and now included as a provision in the Trinidad and Tobago Republican Constitution. Choice of secondary school is operationalized by a system of rules for placement at eleven-plus. Parents are required to list their choice of schools and depending upon the candidates' score in the eleven-plus examination, test takers receive one of these choices or are assigned by the Ministry of Education. To study the system of secondary school choice in Trinidad and Tobago, information was gathered from the registration database of 11 eleven-plus examinations spanning the period 1995-2005. Student choices were analysed along with the demographic and geographic data. In the mixed method research design, data on the construction of school choice were also collected from focus groups and individual laddering interviews with both parents and children at four school sites. The integrated findings suggest that the choice-making process is complex, fluid, and dynamic, with multiple markets and different consumer types. Families made decisions in which children and even outsiders had considerable voice. Making choices involved a dual process of valorization and demonization of schools, but a tendency to reject some schools was predominant in many instances. The value placed on first choice "prestige" schools may be related to the consumer values of future economic success, safety of person, and assurance of stable personal development en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher School of Education, UWI, St. Augustine en
dc.subject Secondary schools en
dc.subject School choice en
dc.subject Entrance examinations en
dc.subject Trinidad and Tobago en
dc.title When choosing might mean losing: A mixed method study of secondary school choice in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago en
dc.type Article en


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