Breaking the silence: Using journals to stimulate self-evaluation toward change in the Trinidad primary school system

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Date

2004

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

School of Education, UWI, St. Augustine

Abstract

Attempts at Caribbean education reform have traditionally suffered from lack of implementation and resistance to change. This paper argues that in Trinidad and Tobago, the slow march of education reform is compounded by the culture of silence that is institutionalized in the teaching profession. It posits that unless teachers become articulate about themselves, their students, and their practice in the classroom, recurrent top-down reforms are destined to fail. Against the background of a discussion of the cultural contexts of education in Trinidad and Tobago, and the fact that primary school teachers are subjecting themselves to repeated training with little apparent effect on the system, the paper evaluates the journals and the responses to journaling of 14 teachers enrolled in a Language Arts teacher education programme. The paper suggests that breaking the code of teacher silence could stimulate empowerment from within. With support, this empowerment could propel a tradition of documented Caribbean best practice toward building a base of regional educational research, generated by insights from the people in the trenches

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Table of Contents

Keywords

School of Education, UWI, St. Augustine, Journals, Primary school teachers, Student teachers, Teacher participation, Educational reform, Self evaluation, Trinidad and Tobago

Citation

James, C. (2004). Breaking the silence: Using journals to stimulate self-evaluation toward change in the Trinidad primary school system. Caribbean Curriculum, 11, 85-113