Citation

Promoting citizenship in a post-colonial state: Secondary teachers' perceptions and practices in Jamaica

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Abstract:

Evidence suggests that the values, attitudes and skills teachers emphasize in preparing students to participate in democratic society are informed by the meanings teachers ascribe to citizenship and these meanings can in turn be traced to the contexts of teachers’ lives. However, few studies have examined teachers’ beliefs about citizenship. This qualitative case study explores the ways in which a group of secondary school teachers in Jamaica think about and understand citizenship and examines their perceptions of their role in promoting citizenship. The study utilizes post-colonial theory and literature on beliefs, including belief formation as a means of framing and analyzing teachers’ ways of thinking about citizenship. This reliance on post-colonial theory is premised on the notion that a concern with the ways in which the post-colonial state is constructed must be central to questions of citizenship within the Caribbean since this has implications for individuals’ ways of viewing themselves, others, their relationship with others and by extension their sense of belonging. The study employed semi-structured interviews with 11 secondary level teachers from a mix of inner-city schools, primarily serving the needs of lower socio-economic status students, and traditional grammar schools whose student populations are predominantly from the middle, upper-middle and upper-class segments of society. School and classroom observations were also employed. The study illuminates the connections among: (i) teachers’ views about citizenship and about their students’ needs, abilities, and life trajectories; (ii) teachers’ lived experiences; and (iii) traditional race and class hierarchy in pre- and post-colonial Jamaican society. The findings highlight the ways in which teachers (consciously or unconsciously) hold views that may be a product of this post-colonial heritage and the ways in which some teachers see their role as powerful agents of change tasked with making a difference in their students’ lives.

Author's Keywords:

Teacher Beliefs
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Association:
Name: 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society
URL:
http://www.cies.us


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p492393_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Williams, Dierdre. "Promoting citizenship in a post-colonial state: Secondary teachers' perceptions and practices in Jamaica" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Apr 30, 2011 <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p492393_index.html>

APA Citation:

Williams, D. , 2011-04-30 "Promoting citizenship in a post-colonial state: Secondary teachers' perceptions and practices in Jamaica" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p492393_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Evidence suggests that the values, attitudes and skills teachers emphasize in preparing students to participate in democratic society are informed by the meanings teachers ascribe to citizenship and these meanings can in turn be traced to the contexts of teachers’ lives. However, few studies have examined teachers’ beliefs about citizenship. This qualitative case study explores the ways in which a group of secondary school teachers in Jamaica think about and understand citizenship and examines their perceptions of their role in promoting citizenship. The study utilizes post-colonial theory and literature on beliefs, including belief formation as a means of framing and analyzing teachers’ ways of thinking about citizenship. This reliance on post-colonial theory is premised on the notion that a concern with the ways in which the post-colonial state is constructed must be central to questions of citizenship within the Caribbean since this has implications for individuals’ ways of viewing themselves, others, their relationship with others and by extension their sense of belonging. The study employed semi-structured interviews with 11 secondary level teachers from a mix of inner-city schools, primarily serving the needs of lower socio-economic status students, and traditional grammar schools whose student populations are predominantly from the middle, upper-middle and upper-class segments of society. School and classroom observations were also employed. The study illuminates the connections among: (i) teachers’ views about citizenship and about their students’ needs, abilities, and life trajectories; (ii) teachers’ lived experiences; and (iii) traditional race and class hierarchy in pre- and post-colonial Jamaican society. The findings highlight the ways in which teachers (consciously or unconsciously) hold views that may be a product of this post-colonial heritage and the ways in which some teachers see their role as powerful agents of change tasked with making a difference in their students’ lives.


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