Using the Scottish experience to study the effects of offshore oil development on the school system in Newfoundland and Labrador

Hewlett, Marina Elizabeth (1983) Using the Scottish experience to study the effects of offshore oil development on the school system in Newfoundland and Labrador. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

The purpose of this thesis was to examine the potential impact of the development of offshore oil and gas on the structure and process of the public education system in Newfoundland and Labrador. To accomplish this, it was decided to study the effects of the North Sea oil development on the educational system in the Grampian, Shetland and Orkney regions of Scotland. This information was intended to be used as background data when examining the Newfoundland situation. -- The data were collected through a case study method. The author travelled to Scotland and interviewed a number of key personnel at different levels of the Scottish education system. The results of the investigation were divided into four areas: Administrative Planning; Learning Climate; Teacher Supply; and Vocational Development. -- The effects of the North Sea development on education in Scotland were very localized and differences were found within the three geographical regions impacted by development. Administrative planning in both the Grampian and Shetland areas was disrupted by the significant influx of new students associated with population movements. Large scale school construction was necessary. In the area of learning climate, changes had taken place in the classroom environment to accommodate a multicultural population. Changes had also taken place among the local Shetland students. Teacher supply shortages in particular subject areas were found to be more a function of career choice and had little to do with offshore oil development. Population increases in the affected areas helped to stabilize school enrolments. The oil development did not affect the school retention rate, but it did open up new occupational choices for Scottish youth. -- The Newfoundland and Labrador Education system is different from that of Scotland since there is in existence a denominational education system. The distribution of finances and the allocating of resources to several separate school boards within the same district adds a complexity which did not have to be dealt with in Scotland. A remedial approach evolved in Scottish schools to accommodate incoming students; there is some question as to whether this approach could be implemented in Newfoundland due to a much higher pupil teacher ratio. Changes may be necessary on the part of some teachers to meet the needs of a heterogeneous population. This will depend to a large degree on the rate and size of any offshore related development. -- From the information compiled on teacher supply, it can be concluded that Newfoundland does not have the specialist teaching force or the teacher mobility to react to a large influx of students as did Scotland. Secondly, few jobs are available for teachers in the oil industry unless they are highly specialized or willing to retrain. While the oil development did not affect the school retention rate in Scotland, it cannot be predicted that there will be no effect in Newfoundland since many high school youth feel school is unsuited for them when they perceive legitimate employment opportunity. Newfoundland high school youth will need to be sensitized to the world of work and will need to be educated and qualified to fully benefit from offshore oil development.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/4445
Item ID: 4445
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 117-121.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1983
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador; Scotland--Grampian; Scotland--Shetland
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Offshore oil industry--Social aspects--Newfoundland and Labrador; Offshore oil industry--Social aspects--Scotland; Education--Scotland--Grampian; Education--Scotland--Shetland; Education--Newfoundland and Labrador

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