Students and teachers of education in the Caribbean have long relied on ethnographic research from North America to enrich their understanding of life in schools and classrooms. Based on actual experiences from the perspectives of both students and teachers, this collection of ethnographic research articles provides the first up-close view of Jamaican schools and classrooms. Hyacinth Evans and her research team used careful, well-executed interviews and participant observation methods. The result is an insightful view of the ways society's tensions are played out in educational settings, the ways personalities are shaped and identities formed in face-to-face interactions, and the ways circumstances and experiences in the Jamaican setting affect teaching and learning.
The articles examine - Student-teacher interaction - Teacher authority - how it is maintained, nurtured, or eroded - The social construction of student interest and attention versus disruptiveness and apathy - Consequences of streaming children in perceived ability groups - Standard Jamaican English (SJE) methods and their effectiveness in teaching Creole-speaking students - Teaching and learning in schools where materials and resources are limited - Career decisions for teachers This book is an essential addition to the body of education texts used throughout the Caribbean, geared for undergraduate and postgraduate students, classroom teachers, and anyone interested in schools and education.
Hyacinth Evans is Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Education, University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica. Her research interests include teacher development and the process of teacher change, teaching and classroom environments. She has published numerous books, articles and reports in these areas.