An analytical study of teacher education in Jamaica

Date of Completion

January 1997


Education, Teacher Training




The major focus of educational reform in Jamaica is improving teacher education which will in turn improve all levels of the educational system. Attention has turned, therefore, to teacher education and the teacher's role.^ This study examines the current situation in teacher preparation in Jamaica and how it has changed from 1975 to 1993, with respect to internal forces. For example, admission requirements, certification requirements, governance and placement. In addition, external forces such as countries that influence teacher education in Jamaica, socio-economic conditions, cost to the government and regulations governing teacher education are presented. Areas where significant changes could help to improve teacher education are also discussed.^ The literature relevant to teacher education in Jamaica is presented. It also disclosed some of the countries that are influencing teacher education reform. The central focus of the literature is on new directions in teacher education and what can be done to improve teacher preparation in the future.^ The significance of the study is mainly two fold. First the study is important because it can be seen as an attempt to assist the process of education innovations which have been set in motion in Jamaica. The model serves as a frame of reference to facilitate the continuing attempt to recognize and reform teacher education in Jamaica. Secondly, it contributes to a more adequate understanding of present thinking and practices in teacher preparation and to the problems and issues that Jamaican educators face today for planning for the future.^ Twelve research questions are addressed in this study. They concerned the current changes and developments in teacher education and also as discussed the programs that remained the same from 1975 to 1993.^ An interview schedule was used to collect information from selected teacher educators and administrators. Findings from the interview data showed most respondents are pleased with the new directions in teacher education. They also believed that, if provided with a sound teacher education, the necessary training tools, support and incentives, it is the teachers who can reverse falling literacy and numeracy levels and lead Jamaica to a greater measure of social well-being and economic prosperity. ^