A Qualitative Evaluation of the Lower Secondary SEMP Science Curriculum of Trinidad and Tobago

Authors

  • Dorian Barrow The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus
  • Jerome De Lisle The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus

Keywords:

Secondary School Teachers, Science Teachers, Lower Secondary Schools, Teacher Attitudes, Secondary School Curriculum, Secondary School Science, Curriculum Evaluation, Curriculum Implementation, Trinidad and Tobago

Abstract

Timely and systemic evaluations of educational innovations continue to be two challenges faced by education reforms in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T). This paper is, therefore, an attempt to counter this pattern by placing in the public domain a report of a small-scale evaluation of 24 randomly selected science teachers in T&T. A focus group interviewing technique was used to evaluate the teachers' stages of concerns and their levels of use of the new lower secondary science curriculum - a curriculum initiative launched in 2002. Using the Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM) and grounded theory as the theoretical framework, an analysis of the focus group interviews of the science teachers revealed that these teachers had very high levels of concerns with the innovation, that is, they had thought critically about some of the major issues surrounding the innnovation, but had very low levels of use. However, because the study involved a small sample of science teachers' views (n = 24), the findings should, at most, be considered exploratory, and therefore must be subjected to later verification using some quantitative or mixed methods curriculum evaluation techniques on more samples of science teachers.

Author Biographies

Dorian Barrow, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus

School of Education, Lecturer in Science Education

Jerome De Lisle, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus

School of Education, Lecturer in Educational Administration

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