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School Leadership in the Caribbean
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School Leadership in the Caribbean

perceptions, practices, paradigms


2013 paperback 204 pages, £34.00, ISBN 978-1-873927-81-6

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About the book

Successful school leadership is an issue currently being debated up and down Caribbean territories. Key issues in the ongoing debate include: students’ outcomes and participation in the regional Caribbean Secondary Examinations (CSEC); teacher recruitment and retention; teacher training and continuing professional development (upgrading); and parental involvement. These issues point to leadership at various levels, whether in its exercise or in its influence, and are examined within and across national and regional education systems. Particular attention is given to debates around improving outcomes for students, teacher development and the role of the principal in leading school improvement.

A source of debate about practice of school leadership in the Caribbean surrounds the issue of gender. Where are men in teaching? Where are men in leadership positions and positions of responsibility? Unlike in some countries where, for example, men tend to hold more leadership positions than women, especially at the secondary phase of education, in the Caribbean this is not the case: there are more female teachers at every level and more female teachers occupy leadership positions at every level. Within this book, gendered leadership as practised and enacted in the Caribbean is examined from religious, social, historical and political positions, pointing to a clear political dichotomy. There is no unitary definition of what can count as school leadership in the Caribbean, despite clear similarities of practices and approaches. What this volume argues, however, is that within the Caribbean region there are many similarities of experience for the practice and exercise of school leadership which draw on a common framework of teacher training, a common language and a common socio-political history that existed well before the formation of CARICOM through British colonisation. This book does not dwell on the period of British colonisation but discusses the extent to which this period in Caribbean history has influenced the practice of school leadership today, most notably in areas such as curricular and teacher training models. Education in emergency situations, such teaching and learning in severe weather conditions such as hurricanes, is also spotlighted. 

As a whole, the themes in this edited volume proffer an evidence-based approach to contemporary issues in school leadership in the Caribbean and extend the current literature in the field. 


Foreword. Peter Earley

Paul Miller. School Leadership in the Caribbean: approaches and development

Gertrude Shotte. School Leadership for Sustainable Education: reflections on Montserrat

Launcelot Brown & Jennifer Lavia. School Leadership and Inclusive Education in Trinidad and Tobago: dilemmas and opportunities for practice

Raj Beepat. From Management to Leadership: the case for reforming the practice of secondary education in Guyana

Disraeli M. Hutton. High-Performing Jamaican Principals: understanding their passion, commitment and abilities

Dian McCallum. Teachers as Leaders: building the middle leadership base in Jamaican schools

Charmaine Bissessar. Leadership and Staff Development: a tool kit for Caribbean principals

Paulette Watson. Every Click Matters: leadership and followership in ICT education in Jamaica

Livingston Smith. Together We Can: sharing the burden of leadership

Paul Miller. The Political Dichotomy of School Leadership in the Caribbean: a multi-lens look

Notes on Contributors


Peter Earley is Professor of Educational Leadership & Management at the Institute of Education, University of London, United Kingdom. Peter is also Director of Academic Affairs and Head of Leadership and Management in the London Centre for Leadership in Learning.

Paul Miller is Professor of Educational Leadership in the School of Graduate Studies, Research & Entrepreneurship at the University of Technology, Jamaica. Before his appointment at UTech, Paul was Senior Lecturer in Education and Early Childhood Studies at Middlesex University, London, where he was programme convenor and leader of the Doctor of Education (EdD) and MA Education: Leadership, Management and Change. Paul has membership in the London Centre for Leadership in Learning (LCLL); National College for School Leadership (NCSL) and British Educational Leadership Management and Administration Society (BELMAS). He is a Board Member of the Commonwealth Council for Educational Administration and Management (CCEAM) and is President of the Institute for Educational Administration & Leadership–Jamaica (IEAL-J). Before moving to higher education, Paul taught for 13 years at the secondary level both in London and in Jamaica. He received his PhD in Educational Policy from the Institute of Education, University of London.

Gertrude Shotte is a lecturer in the School of Arts and Education at Middlesex University, United Kingdom. She holds a MA and a PhD in Education (Lifelong Education and International Development and Education Foundation and Policy Studies) from the Institute of Education, University of London, United Kingdom. She was a primary head teacher in Montserrat. Her teaching career spans primary, secondary and tertiary levels and her research interests include: inclusion, identity, migration and leadership in teacher education.

Launcelot Brown is an Associate Professor of Educational Statistics and Chair of the Department of Educational Foundations and Leadership at Duquesne University. He earned his PhD in Educational Research, Evaluation and Policy Studies from Virginia Tech. Dr Brown is a former teacher, special educator and principal of a school for students with emotional and behavioral difficulties, and a school for deaf children. He has served on many national educational boards in Trinidad and Tobago, including the National Advisory Committee on Special Education. His research interests are in the area of school leadership, student achievement and school effectiveness. While his research focuses on the English-speaking Caribbean, his interest includes academic achievement of all students from the African diaspora. In conducting his research, he utilizes both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. Dr Brown has been invited speaker and presented his work at several international, national, and regional conferences. He served as an Associate Editor for the journal Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice from 2006 to 2009 and is an active member of the American Educational Research Association where he serves on the executive of the Caribbean and African Studies in Education SIG.

Jennifer Lavia is Director, Academic Services at UWI/ROYTEC in Trinidad. She was recently a lecturer and Director of the Caribbean Programme at the School of Education, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom. She is a member of the Editorial Boards of the international journals Disability and Society and Qualitative Research. She is also joint coordinator of the Discourse, Power and Resistance (DPR) Caribbean Community and Conference with affiliations to DPR in the UK, Poland, Australia and South Africa. Her research focus is in examining how postcolonial theories might contribute to understandings about current educational debates. Having worked with whole-school change for many years in the Caribbean she is also interested in examining transformative approaches to leadership, management and learning that lead to the development of inclusive schools and learning systems. She is a former national officer, First Vice President of the Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers’ Association.

Raj Beepat has spent the last 20 years in secondary education as teacher in Guyana and the United Kingdom. He received his early schooling in Guyana culminating in a Bachelors degree in Technical Education from the University of Guyana. Raj also has a Bachelor of Education (BEd) from Middlesex University, London, United Kingdom and a MA in Education from London South Bank University, United Kingdom. Whilst in Guyana he worked at two senior secondary schools teaching Industrial Arts and also worked as a teacher trainer at the Cyril Potter College of Education, Guyana’s premier teacher training institution. He was also part of several teacher training projects sponsored by international donor agencies, most notably the Guyana Basic Education Teacher Training (GBETT) project funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). His interests are varied with backgrounds in sport coaching and education, gender and technology, and school leadership within the school system.

Disraeli Hutton is Vice-President, Institute for Educational Administration & Leadership – Jamaica, an affiliate of the Commonwealth Council for Educational Administration & Management. He holds a PhD in Education Administration and Supervision in Higher Education and a MA in Supervisory Management and Training and Development. His work experience spans both the private and public sectors. This includes teaching in the public school system for many years. Dr Hutton taught at the College of Arts, Science and Technology (CAST), now the University of Technology, Jamaica, and he also lectures in the Human Resource Development (HRD) programme currently being offered by the Department of Sociology, Psychology and Social Work, University of the West Indies (UWI). Dr Hutton worked at Jamalco as the Training Director and the HEART Trust/National Training Agency as Chief Technical Director. He has done consultancy work with various government and private entities in the areas of training and education, programme design and implementation, production system evaluation, among others. During 2006, Dr Hutton worked as Executive Director of the Educational Transformation Team (ETT), which is responsible for the restructuring of the public education system in Jamaica. Two years ago, he worked with a team of consultants from the UWI to address the problem of absenteeism affecting over 100 primary and all-age schools in Jamaica. Currently, he is involved in consultancy work related to the education system in a number of countries in the region. His substantive post is lecturer in the Department of Educational Studies, School of Education, Faculty of Humanities and Education, University of the West Indies.

Dian McCallum is a lecturer in History and general education as well as practicum coordinator in the School of Education, the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus. Her research interests include: the nature of the field experience (practicum), beginning teachers’ experiences of learning to teach, teacher induction and mentoring, and the improvement of classroom teaching and assessment of history.

Charmaine Bissessar is the Academic Development Coach at Hugh Wooding Law School, Trinidad. Her main research interests include: emotional intelligence, motivation and transformational leadership, women in leadership and politics, and social justice. She has presented at several international conferences and has published widely in leading international journals. She is author of a book of short stories, Grains of Sands.

Paulette Watson is an ICT consultant offering advice, guidance and training for secondary and primary schools. This includes strategic advice on improving the use of ICT across the curriculum. This can include, for example, school-based workshops and in-service education and training; helping the senior leadership team develop a strategy for improving ICT across the school; and leading on an innovative ICT-focused project with Key Stages 3 and 4. Prior to her consultancy role, she held posts as Assistant Dean at an international school, and head of department and head of faculty in several London secondary schools. Paulette has an MBA in International School Leadership (Institute of Education, London, United Kingdom) and an MA in ICT Education (Institute of Education, London, United Kingdom).

Livingston Smith is an Associate Professor at the University College of the Cayman Islands (UCCI) where he is Director of Research and Publication and Chair of the Social Sciences Department. Dr Smith also chairs the Editorial Board of the Journal of the University College of the Cayman Islands. Prior to joining UCCI, he was a tutor in the Department of Government, University of the West Indies and lecturer and administrator at the Northern Caribbean University, Jamaica. Dr Smith is a recent Visiting Professor at the Centre of Values and Ethics (COVE), Carleton University, through a CARICOM/Canada scholarship. He currently reads for the LLB degree in Public International Law offered by the University of London, United Kingdom. 

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