The Excelsior Sixth Form Teacher Training Pilot Project 1970-1972, Jamaica - A study in change

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The Excelsior Sixth Form Teacher Training Pilot Project was established in 1970, by the Jamaican Ministry of Education, to offer students who had passed four General Certificate of Education (GCE) O'Level subjects the opportunity to continue sixth form studies concurrently with a teacher training programme in a prestigious high school. The purpose was to encourage academically better qualified candidates to enter the teaching profession. This study sought to evaluate the progress of the pilot project from September 1970 to January 1972, and to identify those of its features that triggered change by persuading the teachers' training college to adopt its essential components. Among the major findings were that: 1) offering Advanced Level courses concurrently with professional courses in education constituted a powerful inducement for recruitment; 2) the Advanced Level and professional course requirements, taken concurrently, placed too heavy a burden upon most, but not all clients; 3) clients had to be taken beyond Excelsior for group teaching so that they would be perceived as teachers; 4) the master teachers proved to be highly competent; 5) professional tutors needed the experience of the first year before preparing final syllabi; 6) too many leaders of educational agencies failed to participate cooperatively; 7) a secondary school was an inefficient base from which to launch such a project; and 8) the project effectively contributed to Jamaica's drive to increase teachers' salaries


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