News: Education Reform
February 4, 2015
On Jan 28-29, 2015, the Caribbean Science Foundation (CSF) and the Caribbean Academy of Sciences (CAS) collaborated to host the first in a series of STEM training workshops for Regional primary school teachers. The workshop took place at the Methodist Church Hall in Kingstown, St. Vincent, and was made possible by grant funding from the Embassy of the United States of America to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean and the OECS, as well as through the cooperation of the Ministry of Education of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The aims of the workshop were to: (1) have teachers expand their understanding of the nature of science, science education and how students learn science, (2) identify strategies, resources and activities for Inquiry and STEM-based science teaching, and (3) increase the confidence of teachers in their planning, teaching and assessing inquiry based approaches. Identification of further knowledge and skills needed to feel competent in the teaching of inquiry based science was an additional focal point. It was also anticipated that a network of colleagues would be further developed, in order to provide support in innovation regarding the teaching of science.
Twenty teachers from Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines took part in two exciting days of stimulating lectures, interactive and engaging hands-on experimentation using readily available materials, and were introduced to the use of UNESCO micro-science kits, which provide miniature versions of functional science lab apparatus. The training they received was delivered by facilitators: Professor Winston Mellowes - Professor Emeritus, UWI St. Augustine, Professor Theodore Lewis - Professor Emeritus, UWI St. Augustine, Mrs. Petal Jetoo - National Science Coordinator Ministry of Education Guyana, Dr. Bhuall Kumar- Professor, Columbia University, and chief facilitator Dr. Rowena Kalloo - University of Trinidad and Tobago.
It is anticipated that when these teachers return to their home countries and school communities, they will serve as ambassadors and share their knowledge with their colleagues and students. Feedback from the participants indicated that they found they found the sessions informative, relevant, productive, thought provoking and fun.
Future workshops are planned for Antigua, Barbados and Jamaica. For more information please visit http://caribbeanscience.org/projects/stem_teacher_training_workshops.php
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Founded in 1843 Macmillan - Caribbean is one of the largest publishing houses in the United Kingdom for the Caribbean and about the Caribbean. With resources such as free downloads for teachers, a major selection of science series for primary and secondary schools including interactive CD-ROMs, Macmillan has proven why over the past fifty years they have and continue to have a strong imprint on the Caribbean.
For more information visit MACMILLAN - CARIBBEAN
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Since the closing of Prof. Cardinal Warde's 36th Sir Winston Scott Memorial Lecture on "Science Technology and Business Reform in the Caribbean" the government and society of Barbados have been responding to Prof. Cardinal Warde's views on the need for education reform within the island.
- In BGISMedia News in an article titled "Changes In Education System Already On Stream," Minister of Education Ronald Jones welcomed the sentiments of Prof. Warde on the need for change in the island's education system.
- The Barbados Advocate has produced three articles related to Prof. Cardinal Warde's Lecture:
• On December 1, 2011 an article titled "International Partnerships Important" dealt with the issue of business development in Barbados, in particular with respect to science and technology. This was in response to Prof. Warde's statements that international partners are necessary in the development of pharmaceuticals drugs in the Caribbean.
• In the 4th of December 2011 article "Straight to the Point: 11-plus removes class/colour bias" there was some expected push back where the author, Mr. John Blackman, said that "... A significant number of people calling for the abolition of the examination have failed to appreciate how it has leveled the playing field over the past 30 to 40 years."
• On the 5th of December 2011 in the article "Multifocal learning is key", Minister of Education Ronald Jones responds to the question posed by Prof. Cardinal Warde on the need for reform in the island's secondary entrance examination by stating "...the Ministry responsible for education will look towards pushing for a more holistic approach to learning for its students."
- The Nation News also carried articles on the lecture on November 23rd, 2011 titled "11-Plus reform a must" and a November 27th, 2011 titled "Curriculum shift 'a must': Prof sees this as best for Caribbean." According to to first article, Professor Warde stated, "What we need in this region is the will to change it [the 11-Plus]" and in the second article "...the 11-plus places limitations on slow learners, thwarting their desire to realize their true potential,"