Social and economic implications of teacher training in Jamaica

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A preliminary study of the teacher training process in Jamaica used statistics, historical documentation, and a questionnaire survey to address four topics: 1) the future contributions of the Jamaican system of teacher training to the economic welfare of the country; 2) adapting present teacher education programmes to the needs of teachers who will work in non-traditional settings; 3) specific areas in teacher education curricula that can be changed to positively affect the nation's economic, political, and social future; and 4) structural and conceptual changes needed in teacher education programmes. The history of education in Jamaica shows the struggle to establish teacher education programmes, of which there are now 13. In preliminary surveys, answered by students in the programmes, on the characteristics of these programmes, recommendations for educational practices and goals have emerged, but further analysis must be made to ascertain the potential role of teacher education in the socio-economic development of Jamaica. The current status is that Jamaica has an inadequate supply of qualified teachers. Teachers should be trained to work in both formal and informal settings to reach the maximum number of people with educational needs. Higher admission standards and salaries are factors in obtaining better teachers. Appendices provide statistical information and student questionnaires


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