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Title: Teachers and the social transformation process in Guyana
Author: Misir, Premnarine
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 1977
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Moving from a colonial dependency to achieve republican status, the social structure of Guyana is now in the process of social transformation by means of co-operative socialism. In this transitional process, each major social, political, economic, and cultural institution, will have to play its role, not least by formulating and implementing policies on a cooperative basis. Education as a social institution has been used as the focus of investigation in this study; the school system has a particularly essential task in a developed society, but more so in a developing one because the schools, and more precisely the teachers, work in the dynamic process of fashioning the human product; the types of product the school produces will determine the success or failure of co-operative socialism; at the operational level, the teachers become the main focus for researching the contribution that the school system can make towards the effective transformation of the social structure. In this investigation, the teachers' aspirations, career patterns, level of commitment, career stages and innovativeness have been considered, to find out how effective the school system is or the teacher's role can be in making a contribution towards introducing co-operative socialism in Guyana. East Indian, Negro, and Mixed teachers comprise the sample used in this study. The East Indian and Mixed teachers, on balance, relate to an aspirational model, and in the discussion, this means that these two groups perceive themselves as having a subordinate status; unlike Negro teachers who perceive themselves as having a dominant status. The teachers exhibit two career patterns: (1 early entrant, and (2) horizontal mobility - it indicates expressions of communalism. The hypothesis, that the more coercive power is used by the school head, the more there will be low to mild commitment among teachers, is accepted. The hypothesis, the higher the aspirations, the higher the level of commitment, is rejected because the aspirational model is, on balance, more likely to be highly emphasised by the subordinate group, while the provision of teacher valuables, used to establish the level of commitment, is the responsibility of the dominant group. How then, can aspirations influence the level of commitment to teaching and to the co-operative ideals. Also, to have found that aspirations determine commitment would have meant that the investigation excludes an analysis of power types and congruent and incongruent compliance structures. The low level of commitment can be explained by the two crisis career stages of teachers: (1) the school head's relationship with teachers, and (2) the centralised relationship between teachers and the education ministry. Innovativeness occupies a central place in any transformation programme in respect of curriculum changes that will be introduced. The following types of teachers would facilitate the implementation of curriculum changes, very= quickly, not only because their rural identification makes them aware of the strategic location of their residential environment, since agriculture is used as the base for economic take off in the struggle to achieve co-operativism, but also because their compliance level, as discussed by Etzioni, is positive: (1) rural (2) 36-46 and 47-57 age groups (3) trained non-graduates (4) married Before the school system can make a useful contribution to the transformation process, it is essential to implement the following (1) creating social conditions which would make East Indian and Mixed teachers feel and know that they are part of the dominant group in the society; (2) appointments of teachers in their home areas to reduce or even eliminate communalism; (3) bringing the co-operative principles to the urban areas; (4) adopting a central co-ordinated system with a congruent compliance structure (that is, a social partnership between shool heads, teachers, parents, education ministry officials, and pupils), and so severing the centralised relationship between the education ministry and teachers, and removing the school head's directive supervisory style (that is, the exercise of coercive power) over teachers; in effect, this approach would tend to remove the incongruent compliance structure found in the school system.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available