Dr Joan James Has A Passion For Education

Jamaica Observer-The science educator and educational consultant for curriculum development, implementation and evaluation has remained steadfast in her role since she emigrated to Jamaica 34 years ago to occupy a teaching position.

The Guyanese-born native, now a seasoned educator, instructs aspirants to the profession in her role as a part-time lecturer and practicum Supervisor in science education at The University of the West Indies (UWI).

But that to her is not enough, as she has opted to move from a full-time lecturer at the UWI to part-time to forward her voluntary work — of course in education.

With an aim to improve the education sector, James has developed a programme through which she goes into schools to assist teachers with the curriculum and their difficulties and encourages them to embrace new approaches to education. It also addresses professional development.

“I believe that the current one-size-fits-all workshops that are now used by the Ministry of Education are ineffective. Research evidence has shown that the quality of teacher education has failed,” she told the Jamaica Observer.

This she said is because it neither allows the teacher to translate effectively the principles and theories of teaching into classroom nor achieve the curriculum’s intent by raising student performance.

James passionately explained

“Effective science curriculum implementation cannot be achieved until teachers form themselves into professional learning communities and learn to teach on the job, because that’s where teachers learn to teach, within the context of their own classrooms, where the issues arise [and] where the curriculum goes into use”

With the support of her husband Anand James, Director/consultant at Caribbean Flavours and Fragrances Limited, and Archbishop Emeritus Donald Reese, James has offered her services at the St Richard’s Primary School and St Patrick’s Primary School in Kingston and St Andrew.

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