|On-the-Job Training: Pre-Service Teacher Training in Trinidad & Tobago (CIE, 2000, 35 p.)|
The investigative techniques used were primarily qualitative in nature, consisting of interviews of trainees and personnel involved in the organisation and design of the programme, analysis of documents, and limited field observations.
In-depth interviews were conducted with personnel from the Ministry of Education who were involved in the design and conduct of the programme. These included present and past administrators and their assistants, three District Coordinators (DCs), four tutors, eight mentor teachers, and three principals. Interviews were also held with five primary school trainees, three secondary school trainees, and three graduates of the programme.
Curriculum booklets, graduation reports, reports on interviews and trainee selection, students' records, and correspondence files were the major documents used for analysis. These documents were subjected to content analysis procedures.
· The curriculum reports outlined the course content and scheduling over the year.
· The graduation reports contained information on the programme rationale, an outline of the curriculum, the procedure for selection, developments in the programme, and a synopsis of the problems affecting the trainees and the programme.
· There were files containing students' records which included the following: application forms and related application documents; evaluation forms and other certification information; claim forms (for stipends due); attendance forms; and information on the appointment of trainees in schools.
· There were also in-coming and out-going correspondence files. The in-coming files contained letters from students to the administration concerning matters such as payments of stipends, reasons for absence, and so on. These in-coming files also contained correspondence to the Programme Coordinator (PC) from the Chief Education Officer (CEO) and the Assistant Programme Coordinator (APC).
· The out-going files held mainly responses to the in-coming mail, the programme's proposed budgets, and directives to the DCs of the programme regarding the structure of the programme and processes for its administration.
There are eight Education Districts in Trinidad and Tobago. Limited field observations of Saturday classes (described later) were done at one centre in each of three Education Districts which had been randomly selected. The tutors, principals, mentor teachers, and trainees who were interviewed belonged to these three Districts.
The data collected from analysis of documents, interviews, and field notes were thoroughly scrutinised in an attempt to discern any themes that would illuminate the nature and function of the programme.
There were some limitations to the data collection process. Time did not always allow for follow-up interviews. Also, not all persons targeted for interviews were in fact interviewed because of industrial action being taken by some teachers at the time of the investigation. In addition, the Tobago Education District was not included in the investigation because of the limitations of time and funding.