Journal Articles

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    A mixed methods research approach to exploring teacher participation in an online social networking website
    (University of Alberta, International Institute for Qualitative Methodology, 2016-03-01) Kamalodeen, Vimala Judy; Jameson - Charles, Madgerie
    Social networks are becoming very prominent in educational discourse. The discourse centers on the role of social media and its utility in the teaching and learning environment. Several arguments have been made to support its use because they are highly collaborative, easily accessible, and provide opportunities to embed a variety of Web 2.0 tools such as blogs, wikis, and online chats. However, there is a dearth in research on teacher use of educational social networking sites (SNS) in Trinidad and Tobago. The purpose of this study was to explore how 35 secondary school teachers in Trinidad and Tobago participated in an educational online social networking site. This study utilized a mixed methods exploratory approach and allowed for the use of online data capture together with questionnaires and interviews. Combined data analysis revealed five different levels of site participation, with most teachers adopting the role of content consumer rather than of content producer. Barriers to participation were time, motivation, technology, and usability. The designed social networking site allowed teachers to make public their discourse on their practice while connecting with colleagues from other schools. The study was qualitative dominant, with the mixed methods research approach allowing for deeper exploration of teachers’ participation on this social networking website, and was justified by the newness and transient nature of data from social networking websites.
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    The challenges of designing and implementing a cross-cultural unit of work
    (Taylor & Francis Group, 2006) Herbert, Susan M.
    This paper reports on the challenges experienced during an action research project in Trinidad and Tobago, in which a cross-cultural unit of work entitled "Maintaining Health" was designed and enacted. The intention was to improve teacher practice and facilitate students' access to conventional science concepts by having them build bridges between their traditional knowledge about health-related matters and conventional science concepts. The first action research cycle--plan, act and observe, reflect--was conducted with a group of Form 2 students (12-15 years) at an urban single-sex (female) secondary school. Reflections from this phase were recorded in a journal and the data from the classroom enactment were audio-taped and transcribed. These data were analysed quantitatively into themes by use of grounded theory methodology. Among the challenges that emerged were "resistance and doubt," "level of teacher control," and "communicative competence: the language of bridge building." Based on these findings, a second action research cycle was enacted with another group of Form 2 students at a rural co-educational secondary school. The results revealed evidence of the three themes as well as an overall improvement in the teacher-researcher's use of the language of bridge-building. This suggested that change occurs over time and is facilitated by the process of reflection on evidence gathered systematically.
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    Lessons from assessment: Experiences of a cross-cultural unit of work in science
    (Taylor and Francis Group, 2004) Herbert, Susan M.
    This study sought to investigate the responses of students in Trinidad and Tobago to a summative assessment of a cross-cultural unit of work. The unit was designed to help students learn Western science by building bridges between their traditional practices and beliefs in health-related matters and conventional science concepts. Students' responses to a summative test were analysed qualitatively by a process of coding and categorizing. The results indicated that: 1) students did not necessarily show that they had learned conventional science when personalized tasks were associated with contextualized stimuli, and 2) students' responses provided evidence of parallel collateral learning. These findings were deliberately explored during a second research cycle, and the initial findings were corroborated. In addition, examples of dependent and secured collateral learning emerged
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    Collateral learning in science: Students' responses to a cross-cultural unit of work
    (Taylor and Francis Group, 2008) Herbert, Susan M.
    This study sought to investigate the nature of students' responses to a cross-cultural science unit entitled "Maintaining health." The unit was designed to help students to build bridges between their traditional practices and beliefs and western science concepts. This paper reports students' responses to a pre-test and post-test, and their reflections on their learning. The responses were analysed using the collateral learning model. there was evidence of parallel, dependent, and secured collateral learning. The implications for science teaching and for assessing science learning are discussed
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    Observations from secondary school classrooms in Trinidad and Tobago: Science teachers’ use of analogies
    (International Council of Associations for Science Education (ICASE)., 2015-12) Maharaj-Sharma, Rawatee; Sharma, A.
    This study sought to examine and interpret how science teachers in Trinidad and Tobago used analogies in their science teaching. A total of 30 lessons taught by five different teachers were observed and analysed, using an interpretative research methodology to develop generalized observations. The findings revealed that, in general, science teachers used few analogies in their teaching; and that the analogies used ranged from simple to technical. Interviews following the classroom observations revealed that the teachers were knowledgeable about analogy use in science teaching, and about some of the benefits and challenges of using analogies to teach science. The research suggests that effective use of analogies in classroom science teaching is an area that needs attention from two perspectives: 1) development or acquisition of relevant analogies for use by teachers, and 2) reorientation of teachers through professional training into a view of learners as constructors of knowledge instead of passive knowledge receptors.
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    The impact of school violence on secondary victims in selected secondary schools in Trinidad and Tobago
    (School of Education Publications, UWI, Mona, 2014) James, Freddy; Phillip-Williams, Dianne; Keith, Lyn; Glasgow-Charles, Kimberly
    Although a wide body of research on school violence exists, much of the work is concentrated within westernized contexts, particularly within the American context, and is focused on the types of violent behaviours exhibited, the causes of the behaviour, and solutions to reduce the behaviours. Within the local context, research has identified root causes of school violence and possible solutions. These local studies neither purposely focus on the unmet needs of the secondary victims of school violence nor devise programmes to address the needs of this group of victims. This paper reports on research that sought to fill this gap, and presents findings of the first phase of a study that examined the impact of school violence on students who are secondary victims in two schools in Trinidad and Tobago. The research is situated within the fields of criminology and school improvement.
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    Leading educational improvement in Trinidad and Tobago
    (Taylor and Francis Online, 2010-09) James, Freddy
    This Trinidad and Tobago (TandT) is currently undergoing major educational reforms and improvement at all levels of the system. Schools have been given responsibility for implementing changes through the establishment of school-based management. is your abstract School leaders now have the important role of initiating and implementing school improvement, which necessitate new forms of leadership. This raises the question of the leadership capacity and competencies that are required for school leaders to fulfill this role. This article focuses on educational improvement in TandT and its implications for school leadership. The study presented in this article utilized a qualitative interpretive research design employing a range of data collection methods, including questionnaires and interviews. The results of the study confirm a need for developing a new type of school leader who is: better trained, more research oriented; more of a risk taker and more autonomous.
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    The school improvement policy context in Trinidad and Tobago
    (Taylor and Francis Online, 2013-05-28) James, Freddy
    There have been numerous appeals to explore more non-westernized and developing country contexts, (Dimmock, 2000; Harris and Chrispeels, 2006; Mc Mahon, 2006 and Harris, 2009). This paper is a response to those appeals. The study maps the school improvement educational policy contexts of Trinidad and Tobago (TandT), which is a developing country in the Caribbean.. This paper attempts to illuminate on research, which reviewed the development of school improvement particularly in the secondary school sector. It identifies distinct phases of school improvement in TandT and proposes that these phases are linked to significant educational policy development eras within the country. A documentary based research approach that involved the analysis of educational documents and a review of the literature on historical and educational policy was employed. This investigation is significant because it documents the school improvement movement in TandT and provides an understanding of how the country experienced educational change.
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    The effect of POGIL on academic performance and academic confidence
    (International Council of Associations for Science Education, 2015) De Gale, Stefan; Boisselle, Laila N.
    POGIL (Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning) is a collaborative learning technique that employs guided inquiry within a cyclic system of exploration, concept invention, and application. This action research explores students’ academic performance on a unit of organic chemistry work taught using POGIL, in addition to the effect of POGIL on their academic confidence. The academic performance was measured using a summative assessment at the end of the study, while academic confidence was measured using a pre- and post-test questionnaire. A qualitative comparison to the previous term’s academic scores suggested a varied academic performance, while tests of significance indicated an improved level of academic confidence among the students involved.
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    Online-learning and its utility to higher education in the Anglophone Caribbean
    (SAGE, 2014-10) Boisselle, Laila N.
    This theoretical article uses the extant literature to define online learning, weigh its effects on teaching and learning, and examine its utility in higher education within the English-speaking Caribbean. Online learning is defined here as an integrative application of information and communication technologies (ICTs). The article looks at the technical components of online learning, as well as how online learning is impacted by environmental factors such as institutional policy, democratization, quality assurance, and the rise of the mega-university. It also considers the coalescence among tools, audience, and environment to provide suggestions on the utility of online learning to a Caribbean learning community.
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    More than a new country: Effects of immigration, home language, and school mobility on elementary students' academic achievement over time
    (Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College Arizona State University, 2013-05-20) Broomes, Orlena
    This study investigated the effects of immigration and home language on academic achievement over time. Using data from Ontario’s Assessments of Reading, Writing, and Mathematics administered to the same students in Grades 3 and 6, logistic regression was used to predict whether students achieved proficiency in Grade 6 if they were not proficient in Grade 3. The results indicate that home language or interactions with home language are significant in most cases. In addition, students who speak a language other than or in addition to English at home are, in general, a little more likely to be proficient at Grade 6. Most students who were born outside of Canada were significantly more likely than students born in Canada to stay or become proficient in Reading, Writing, and Mathematics by Grade 6. These results highlight the importance of considering the enormous heterogeneity of immigrants’ experiences when studying the effects of immigration on academic performance and the dire limitations of datasets that do not collect such data
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    An examination of types and usefulness of analogies generated by upper primary school students - A case study
    (Science Teachers Association of Nigeria, 2011-12) Maharaj-Sharma, Rawatee
    This article discusses the nature, type, and usefulness of analogies generated by upper primary school students. It looks at the range of analogies upper primary school students generate and how they use them to develop conceptual understandings. Fifty-five Standard 4 students were asked to generate analogies during a science unit of work and to complete a Perceptions Questionnaire about the instructional utility of the analogies they generated. A number of different analogies were generated by the students and while many students indicated that analogies represented a fun and interesting way to learn science concepts, some of the students preferred the use of summaries and worked examples, and suggested that these were more effective in helping them to develop scientific conceptual understandings
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    A case study of five teachers' understandings of classroom research and their willingness to become active classroom researchers
    (Canadian Center of Science and Education, 2011-09) Maharaj-Sharma, Rawatee
    This article reports on the views of five secondary school science teachers who accepted the challenge to explore the self-assessment aspect of their practice, with specific respect to their understandings of classroom research and their willingness to actively initiate and engage in classroom research. The approach is an explorative one, and the accounts outline the context in which the teachers work, provide brief descriptions of their work, and consider what lessons from these case studies might guide or inform teachers and teacher educators in the personal and professional development of science teachers as researchers
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    A comparative study of the impact of students' feelings regarding the use of nuclear energy
    (International Council of Associations for Science Education, 2011-03) Maharaj-Sharma, Rawatee
    This article presents the results of a comparative study of two groups of learners--group 1 (25 non-science students) and group 2 (25 A-level physics students). It explores the extent to which their feelings and emotions, in conjunction with their knowledge of nuclear energy, impact and influence their views and feelings about the use of nuclear energy as an alternative source of energy. The findings reveal that, after exposure to learning about topics in nuclear energy, the non-science students were more accepting and open in respect of the use of nuclear energy than the science students. In fact, over 80 percent of the non-science students indicated that they would support nuclear energy as a viable alternative energy source, while only about 45 percent of the physics students said that they would
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    Exploring the global/local boundary in education in developing countries: The case of the Caribbean
    (British Association for International and Comparative Education, 2011-05-18) George, June M.; Lewis, Theodore
    This article focuses on education in developing countries in the context of globalization and with specific reference to the Caribbean. It examines the concept of globalization and related concepts, and positions developing countries within this context. It explores the possibility of the creation of a third space where the local and the global can co-mingle and new understandings can emerge. The article argues that although the global/local interface constitutes a zone of tension; it can, in the realm of education, become an area of creative opportunity. It outlines some parameters that can guide the way in which the third space can be shaped when Caribbean and other developing countries are faced with the challenge of accommodating external ideas into local education
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    Culturing environmental education in the Caribbean
    (2002) George, June M.; Glasgow, Joyce Louise
    This paper presents a detailed description and analysis of one aspect of the lives of villagers of a coastal Caribbean community--their knowledge of, and interaction with, the marine environment. Using the grounded theory methodology, meanings were extracted from the accounts of how villagers function in the marine environment. These meanings were analysed in light of Stables' (1998) environmental literacy model, which encompasses functional, cultural, and critical literacy. Against this backdrop, suggestions are made for "culturing" formal environmental education in the Caribbean school system, particularly for students from rural coastal communities. It is suggested that the case study presented here is likely to be representative of several Caribbean coastal communities, particularly those that share a common historical background
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    Solar variablity of the daytime atomic oxygen O(¹S) emission in the middle and lower thermosphere.
    (The American Geophysical Union, 2004-03-13) Maharaj-Sharma, Rawatee; Shepherd, Gordon G.
    [1] The Wind Imaging Interferometer (WINDII) on board the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) measures winds from the Doppler shifts of airglow emissions, and as a by-product the volume emission rates (photon cm־³ sˉ¹) of those emissions. This includes the atomic oxygen O(¹S) emission at 557.7 nm, which during the daytime is emitted over a large altitude range from about 85 km to over 250 km. Two distinct peaks in altitude are formed, one near 100 km (herein denoted the E region) and one near 150 km (herein the F region). The daytime E region emission was virtually unknown prior to WINDII - it resembles its nighttime counterpart, but the emission rate is much higher and it is broader in vertical extent. Both regions are produced by direct and indirect processes, but the WINDII data show that both behave as Chapman layers, corresponding to production of emission by absorption of solar radiation. The F region processes are fairly well understood, but the direct E region process has not previously been identified. The data are consistent with excitation by photodissociation of O2 dominantly by Lyman-β. The solar influence is investigated through correlations of daily values of emission rate with six solar indices; the E region yields higher coefficients than the F region, with the highest value for solar Ly-α at 0.82, which is consistent with the Ly-β process. For one of the six indices, the GOES xl x-rays (0.1-0.8 nm), no correlation is evident, in part because the radiances are too low to produce the observed emission, but also because the radiances are seemingly random, not following the solar cycle variation. Variations of atmospheric origin with latitude and longitude are briefly reported upon, and an F region emission rate scale height correlation with temperature is also found.