The Jamaica Remedial Reading Project, 1971-76: CUSO - Ministry of Education: An evaluation

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May 1979

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School of Education, UWI


Four of five reading tutors from teacher training colleges; principals and teachers of 21 schools (15 new secondary and 6 primary); 13 Canadian University Services Overseas (CUSO) teachers (1974); and officials of the Jamaica Reading Association participated in this project. Data were collected in 1974 and 1978-79. Although pre-project surveys gave some indications of students' reading levels, data on quality of teacher preparation, quality of the teaching of reading in the schools, and organizational matters were not available. The model for the Remedial Reading Project (RRP) did allow for maximum use of trained personnel available through the multiplier effect. Evidence indicated that RRP reached many teachers and students and that it ensured that accepted tenets of curriculum development and formulation were observed. Development of teaching materials and aids was coordinated with teacher education and experimental teaching. Some aspects of management, such as class size, militated against the success of the project; some principals were only marginally concerned, and project teachers did not always have their effective support. Communication with the central directorate was difficult. No reliable assessment of the extent to which teaching levels in the schools were raised was made, but the data available showed reasonable improvements. Overly large classes, organizational difficulties in the schools, and external variables adversely influenced the project. The most significant results were realized in the teachers' colleges where, with one exception, the levels of teacher preparation were systematized. Good results were achieved in the preparation of teaching materials and aids. Joint efforts of the Ministry of Education, teachers' colleges, and CUSO volunteers resulted in a well-structured programme for inservice teacher education. One or two colleges had developed strong community outreach projects. Many project teachers felt that more emphasis could have been placed on primary schools. RRP is a good example of the type of cooperation that should be fostered between developed and developing societies for their mutual benefit


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