Graduates’ Perception of History Education in Jamaican High Schools Schools



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Walden University


Researchers have shown that history education is valuable, but it is not a popular subject of choice among secondary and post-secondary students in several parts of the world. In Jamaica, fewer students have taken the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examination in history education in the decade beginning in 2010 than in the decade before. The threefold purpose of this basic qualitative study was to investigate the perception of graduates of Jamaican high schools about what influenced their decision when they selected or deselected history education at the CSEC examination level, what career decision making factors they perceived influenced their decision, and what they think schools should do to improve the decision making regarding the selection of history education at the CSEC examination level. The study used a conceptual framework based on Super’s life-span, life-space theory and Krumboltz and Mitchell’s social learning theory of career decision making. Data were collected through telephone interviews from 10 participants who graduated from Jamaican high schools from 2014 to 2019. Data were coded by hand and resulted in four key findings, which indicated that career path, experience with teachers in history classes, and writing and reading skills were the main influential decision making factors, and that improvements should be made in pedagogical innovations as well as to explore careers to improve the uptake of history education. The findings of this study could contribute to positive social change by helping educators design history curriculum that students perceive as relevant to their career portfolio. It could also influence the wider society to begin creating jobs that make use of the content and skills learned in history education.



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History education, Jamaica, High schools, Graduates