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Principals' and Teachers' Experiences and Perceptions of School Inspection in Primary Schools in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

James, Godwin E. (2016) Principals' and Teachers' Experiences and Perceptions of School Inspection in Primary Schools in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. EdD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract This study aims to give voice to principals and teachers by interrogating their experiences and perceptions of the newly enacted phenomenon of school inspection (SI) in primary schools in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG). It was a qualitative case study within the constructivist/interpretive paradigm, which grew out of my interest in school improvement issues. I utilised one-on-one interviews to unearth the experiences and perceptions of principals and teachers of four primary schools, and combined this with observations and document analysis to arrive at the findings. Since SI was enacted in the context of globalisation in education, I used the lens of postcolonial perspectives together with a theory of SI to critically analyse the experiences and perceptions of my participants. This case study supports the large body of literature that views SI as a means of accountability and school improvement in education. There is a pervasive perception that SI can bring about school improvement. However, the colonial re-enactment of its top-down implementation concerns the study’s participants. Despite SI’s potential to lead to school improvement, it revealed experiences of negative unintended consequences on school staff. Though SI confirms that leadership and management in primary schools is ineffective, there is some evidence that school leaders can make a substantial difference in primary schools operating in challenging circumstances. There is a predominance of traditional teacher-centred methods of teaching which can be linked to the historical development of primary education. While inspectors make recommendations for improving schools, their implementation is limited to those that are easy to enact. At the same time, the primary schools face challenges in implementing the recommendations that are likely to have the greatest impact on change in school culture. A bespoke system of SI may be enacted based on principals’ and teachers’ experiences and perceptions. However, whether SI is the most appropriate method of school improvement for primary schools in SVG remains to be determined.

Item Type: Thesis (EdD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.698308
Depositing User: Dr. Godwin E. James
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2016 16:44
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2018 09:31
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/15754

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