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An Inquiry into Teachersand#8217; Perception of At-Risk Students in Jamaica: A Phenomenological Approach | OMICS International| Abstract
ISSN: 1522-4821

International Journal of Emergency Mental Health and Human Resilience
Open Access

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  • Research Article   
  • Int J Emerg Ment Health 2018, Vol 20(2): 402
  • DOI: 10.4172/1522-4821.1000402

An Inquiry into Teachers’ Perception of At-Risk Students in Jamaica: A Phenomenological Approach

Devon Crossfield1 and Paul Andrew Bourne2*
1Institute for Excellence in Leadership and Teacher Development, Church Teachers’ College, , Mandeville, Jamaica
2Quality Management and Institutional Research, Northern Caribbean University, Mandeville, Jamaica
*Corresponding Author : Paul Andrew Bourne, Jamaica, Email: [email protected]

Received Date: Jan 01, 1970 / Accepted Date: Jan 01, 1970 / Published Date: Jun 30, 2018

Abstract

This was a qualitative study designed as a hermeneutical phenomenology to explore and understand the central essence underlying the meanings and anatomy of the lived experiences of teachers dealing successfully with at risk students. The purpose of this study was to discover how teachers perceive their purpose and how they view their readiness to teach at risk students in schools. It intended to explore the challenges faced by teachers and understand how these teachers view the current challenges they face, to identify and suggest programs, policies and strategies that should prove effective in diminishing the school-related factors putting students at risk that inhibit their achievement in Jamaica. The random purposive sample used consisted of three All Age School ASTEP teachers and one principal and all participated wholeheartedly in the one-on- one interview processes which lasted for one half hours each, which were used to collect data for this study. The strategies of coding and themes using an iterative and inductive cycle of analysis were used to analyze the data and adequate measures were taken to ensure validity and reliability of the study. The findings revealed that student’s readiness, academic identity, experience levels of numeracy and literacy achievement, a culturally responsiveness classroom, love and respect are foundational to the achievement of at risk students and are key pre-requites to their learning experiences. It was also found that low expectations of boys, stereotyping, learning and behavioral challenges affect students learning experience and technical and vocational based programmes are needed to improve curriculum relevance to at risk students. Also, it was found that mentorship, school safety and creation of an environment conducive for all students learning is foundational in catering for at risk students; teachers of at risk students must be servant teachers who advocate for students, and Music, arts, differentiated approach to in-seat and on-task behavior in the classroom add value to teacher’s effectiveness. Data driven administrative decisions, effective instructional supervision, fiscal prudence is fundamental to school success. Access to pre-service teacher education of all teachers to ensure; (a) Access to continuing professional development activities that provide modern knowledge and skills needed to teach students with diverse educational needs, and (b) The strategy concerning continuing opportunities to use emerging new methods, forms of assessment are needed. Therefore, it was recommended that meaningful, useful job-related and job-embedded professional development activities are provided for teachers of at risk students. Building a data-driven to track best practices, student achievements and teacher effectiveness with an aim at establishing a relevant, education model, which is responsive to the educational needs of all students. It was also recommended that an aggressive program be embarked upon to develop stakeholder partnerships aimed at encouraging parents to participate more in their children’s education.

Keywords: At-Risk students, Mental disorders, Mental health, School

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