Vol. 10 (2003)

Examining the Conceptual Framework, Perceptions, and Practices of Teachers in the Eastern Caribbean: The Case of Social Studies

Anthony D. Griffith
The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus


  • Primary School Teachers,
  • Social Studies,
  • Teaching Methods,
  • Eastern Caribbean


This paper examines the conceptual framework of social studies as held by a sample of primary school teachers, as well as their perceptions and classroom practices. A modified Social Studies Perception Scale (SSPS) was employed with a sample of 98 primary school teachers in seven islands of the Eastern Caribbean. Using percentages, means, and t-tests, it was found that: 1) while the majority of the teachers indicated a clear preference for the reflective inquiry approach to the teaching of social studies, their actual classroom practices appear to be at odds with their perceptions of the subject; 2) while younger teachers are initially reflective in their approach and practice over time they increasingly become didactic knowledge transmitters, and 3) male teachers are far more likely to exhibit a reflective approach and practices than female teachers. The t-tests also reveal some significant differences between male and female teachers, and between younger and older teachers. These findings may have implicationos both for the selection of social studies teachers and for teacher preparation programmes in the Caribbean.