Vol. 17 (2010)

Special Schools and the Search for Social Justice in Trinidad and Tobago

Dennis A. Conrad
State University of New York at Potsdam
Nicole Paul
Cascade School for the Deaf, Port of Spain
Margaret Bruce
Wharton-Patrick School, Port of Spain
Suzanne Charles
Wharton-Patrick School, Port of Spain


  • Special Education Teachers,
  • Teacher Attitudes,
  • Inclusive Education,
  • Cascade School for the Deaf,
  • Wharton-Patrick Special School,
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • ...More

How to Cite

Special Schools and the Search for Social Justice in Trinidad and Tobago. (2015). Caribbean Curriculum, 17, 59-84. https://journals.sta.uwi.edu/ojs/index.php/cc/article/view/586


This study shares the perspectives and experiences of members of staff from two established special education institutions in Trinidad and Tobago on the issue of how they are responding to national calls for inclusive educaton. Methodology within the case study tradition included narrative analysis of responses to open-ended questions, observations, document analysis, and the critical experiences of the co-researchers. Findings reveal resilience as one characteristic displayed by the staff of special schools in addressing inclusive education. There is also a concern about whether social justice is possible with an inherited elitism. Staff identified challenges, which include building and sustaining collaborative relationships, resourcing and utilizing technology for education, culturally responsive teaching, early identification and intervention, and teacher preparation. Recommendations for moving forward include more local and Caribbean-wide practices that address culturally responsive curricula, action research-based interventions, a continuum of professional development systems targeting teacher dispositions, and public mobilization regarding the role of education in social justice.