The purpose of this qualitative case study was to demonstrate how adult education enabled the process of economic and social change, and national development in Jamaica through a critical review of two cases of adult education provisions in Jamaica since the country gained independence in 1962. Content analysis of various documents from primary and secondary sources as well as interviews with key informants related to the institutional sites provided the data that was used to answer the following research questions. 1) How has adult education enabled the Jamaican society to adapt to social changes and development of the country since it gained independence in 1962? 2) How have societal changes informed the adult education programs and practice in Jamaica since independence? 3) What development themes have created the animating vision that has guided adult education theory and practice in Jamaica since it gained independence? and 4) What adult education programs have emerged based on the perceived purpose of adult education within the Jamaican society at various points in the period under review? Both within case and cross-case analyses were conducted to identify various categories and themes from which a number of assertions related to the relationship between adult education, social change and development were made. The key findings showed six main ways in which adult education enabled the Jamaican society to adapt to social changes and development. Adult education: served to build the human capital needed to drive Jamaica's economic development; fostered upward social mobility of thousands of Jamaicans; was critical in moving hundreds of thousands of Jamaicans from illiteracy to literacy; enabled the personal development of disadvantaged Jamaicans and empowered them to contribute to their society in meaningful ways; increased the capability of thousands of individuals to access education resources for their continuing education; changed the education system in Jamaica and in so doing fostered a more educated society. As it relates to social changes that informed adult education, the study found that: as Jamaica moved from an agrarian society to an industrial society the nature and type of adult education provision changed; as the country became more technologically advanced the provision of computer and technology related programs became more evident; changes in Government commitment and support as demonstrated in policy and funding emerged as a critical factor impacting the provision of adult education. In term of the dominant development themes, the study revealed that: industrialization was a dominant development theme impacting adult education in Jamaica, democratic Socialism influenced both the content and practice of adult education at one point in time, and liberalization foregrounded the kind of skills and knowledge that adult education engendered in Jamaica. Finally as it relates to the types of adult education programs the study found that education for work was the dominant type of adult education program with education for life presenting almost like a sub theme in both the cases studied. Together these findings suggest that adult education played a critical role in facilitating the process of economic and social change and nation building in Jamaica.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. January 2014. Major: Work and Human Resource Education. Advisor: Rosemarie Park. 1 computer file (PDF); ii, 231 pages, appendices A-H.
Barrett, Shermaine Ann Marie.
Adult education, social change and development in Post-Colonial Jamaica.
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