Vol. 23 (2015)

Can the "Gown" Act as a Bridge Between the "Town" and the School? An Analysis of the Operations of the PEEPS Project in Trinidad

Phaedra Pierre
The University of the West Indies (UWI), St. Augustine Campus
Juliana Alexander
Maureen Taylor-Ryan
Trinidad and Tobago National Council of Parent-Teacher Associations Inc. (NPTA)


  • Performance of Students Project,
  • Pilot Projects,
  • Project Evaluation,
  • Parent Participation,
  • Parent Student Relationship,
  • Urban Areas,
  • University School Cooperation,
  • School of Education,
  • UWI,
  • St. Augustine,
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • ...More


This paper critically assesses the pilot phase of a project mounted at the School of Education, The University of the West Indies, Trinidad campus, (the "gown"), which was designed to enhance the ability of urban parents of primary school children (the "town") to be involved in their children's education. Using three theoretical lenses - ecological systems theory, social capital, and "knotworking," the paper identifies challenges faced, gains accrued, and lessons learnt in the conduct of workshop sessions  with parents/guardians of Standard 3 children (aged 9-10 years) at an urban primary school. While highlighting the potential of the strategy for enhancing the development of urban students, the paper suggests that future work should explore the use of community spaces for such workshop sessions, in the quest for fuller use of parents' social capital.