An assessment of the degree of professionalism associated with the teaching of English in the secondary schools of St. John's, Newfoundland

Okoye, Paulinus Nwogbonna Christopher (1971) An assessment of the degree of professionalism associated with the teaching of English in the secondary schools of St. John's, Newfoundland. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

This study attempted to assess the degree of professionalism associated with the teaching of English in the secondary schools of St. John's, Newfoundland. The data were obtained by means of questionnaires and an interview schedule. The questionnaires were completed by principals, heads of English departments and individual English teachers from the thirteen secondary schools in the city of St. John's. The interview schedule was used in interviewing school superintendents. All the instruments were geared to the ten criteria for professionalism in English identified by the investigator. The study attempted to ascertain the extent to which the teaching of English in the secondary schools of St. John's met the conditions implicit in the ten criteria. These criteria are: professional autonomy for teachers of English, the requirement of special training and knowledge in English, professional monopoly which requires that, as far as possible, only qualified English teachers teach English in secondary schools, career commitment, the inservice education of English teachers, involvement in research and development, group consciousness and integration in the form of an association of English teachers, an equitable workload for the teacher of English, special classrooms for English instruction, and the secondary school English department. The main findings of the study indicated that there was a gap between what participants accepted as constituting criteria for professionalism in English on the one hand, and on the other the extent to which these criteria were being met in the study schools. Analysis of the findings suggested several facts among which were the following: (1) The restrictions implicit in the provincial Education Act placed English in the same category as other subjects thereby making it difficult for the English teacher to teach English as he considered appropriate to his particular situation. (2) By the standards of the criteria used in this study, there appeared to be a scarcity of qualified English teachers in the study schools. (3) Analysis of data indicated apparent lack of commitment, on the part of English teachers, to English instruction as a career. The major recommendations arising from the study include the following: (1) Teachers of English in each school should be allowed more responsibility over the English programme and should, as far as possible, be free to teach in the way they consider appropriate to their individual situations. (2) Teachers of English in St. John's should set up a system to foster contacts among themselves as a professional group. (3) Consideration should be given, by the school administrators in St. John's, to the conditions under which the English teacher works, for example, an equitable work load that takes special note of the demands which English instruction makes on the teacher, and classrooms designed and equipped specifically for the teaching of English.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7124
Item ID: 7124
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves [142]-145.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1971
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador--Avalon Peninsula--St. John's
Library of Congress Subject Heading: English language--Study and teaching--Newfoundland and Labrador--St. John's; English literature--Study and teaching--Newfoundland and Labrador--St. John's

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