Textbooks and teacher decision-making

The case of Jamaican teachers using sociology textbooks in the sixth form

  • Jeniffer Anne Mohammed The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus
Keywords: Textbook pedagogy, Teacher decision-making, Textbook competence, Sixth-form


Textbook pedagogy and the textbook competence of teachers are relatively new areas of inquiry in Caribbean countries. This study investigates the decisions teachers made in how they used textbooks in the sixth form where mastery of complex content is required for high-stakes examinations at the end of secondary school. Another line of inquiry pertained to calls for the development of the ideal Caribbean citizen by regional bodies and explored whether a textbook dependent pedagogy could meaningfully address the broader goals of education. Sixty four sociology teachers participated in this qualitative study using focus groups and questionnaires in Jamaica. The findings revealed that the print textbook was an integrated core resource (Horsley, Knight and Huntly,2010) and that teachers displayed conceptions of the curriculum as either fidelity to the textbook or drawing upon it (Remillard, 2005), even though the textbook was too costly for most students and many were reluctant readers.

Author Biography

Jeniffer Anne Mohammed, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus

Dr. Jeniffer Mohammed is a lecturer at the School of Education, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus, Trinidad & Tobago. She lectures in the Teaching of Social Studies, the Sociology of Education and Qualitative Research.