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Origins of The Joint Board of Teacher Education

In 1945 the West Indies Committee of the Commission on Higher Education in the Colonies [British] recommended that within the proposed University College of the West Indies (UCWI), a strong department should be established to train secondary school teachers, granting them a post-graduate diploma in education on completion of a one-year course.

Although this department would not be able to train elementary school teachers as well (they were then being trained at pre-university level in teachers’ colleges throughout the region), the proposed department would support that effort by setting examination papers, conducting examinations, and issuing a Certificate in Teaching to successful graduates of teachers’ colleges. This certificate would be recognized throughout the Caribbean.

In 1952 the Department of Education was established at the UCWI and the training of university graduates for teaching (at the secondary level) began. In 1955, with funding from the Carnegie Foundation, the Centre for the Study of Education was established within the Department of Education to carry out the support work with the teachers’ colleges that trained teachers at the elementary level.

Boards of Teacher Training
Among the Centre’s achievements were the Boards of Teacher Training established at the request of Ministries of Education in Jamaica and other Caribbean territories. These Boards were designed to advise the governments on the training of teachers and to administer teachers’ college examinations. Dr. Elsa Walters was Chairman of the Board of Teacher Training in Jamaica for eight of the nine years of its existence.

Institute of Education Established
The Department of Education found it difficult to combine the work of training secondary school teachers within the University College with the work of moderating standards for colleges training primary school teachers throughout the region. It soon became clear that the structural relationship between the Department and the Centre was hampering thework of both. The governments by then began clamouring for more assistance from the fledgling University College for primary education and teacher training. In 1961 the governments and the University College reached an agreement that an Institute of Education should replace the Centre for the Study of Education.

The Institute of Education was established in 1963 within what had now become the University of the West Indies (UWI), with funding from the Ford Foundation. The Institute was established as a separate entity from the Department of Education. Its mandate was to:

1. Promote, facilitate and support teacher training throughout the Caribbean
2. Undertake indigenous research
3. Report on teacher training needs

Institute Board of Teacher Training
Two years later, in 1965, most of the Ministries of Education of the participating countries abolished their Boards of Teacher Training and devolved their functions to the Institute Board of Teacher Training, which became the certifying body for teacher training in the region. The exceptions to this were Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago, which retained their Boards of Teacher Training.The secretariat of the Institute Board was housed in the Institute of Education, and the staff of the Institute assumed the academic, professional and administrative tasks formerly carried out by the Ministries of Education. The transfer was announced by the Minister of Education of Jamaica at a ceremonial meeting of the Board of Teacher Training held in the Council Chamber of the UWI on January 22, 1965. Dr. Hugh Springer (later to become Governor General of Barbados, and former University Registrar) became the first Director of the Institute and Chairman of the Institute Board.

Joint Board of Teacher Education
In 1971 the name of the Institute Board of Teacher Training was changed—it became the Joint Board of Teacher Education (JBTE) to better reflect the partnership between governments, the colleges, the Institute of Education and the teachers’ organizations, which were all represented on the Board.

Institute of Education
For more than 40 years the Institute of Education (IOE) (known as the Teacher Education Development Department from 1972 to 1996) has provided leadership in teacher education in the teachers’ colleges throughout the Western Caribbean, viz., Jamaica, The Bahamas and Belize, and more recently, the Turks and Caicos Islands. Before the establishment of the Cave Hill and St. Augustine campuses of the University of the West Indies, the remit of the Institute was Caribbeanwide, and in the early years the Institute supported the establishment of teachers’ colleges in several Eastern Caribbean islands. Major activities of the Institute of Education are:

1. Research on issues and problems in education.

2. Development of curricula for teacher education in concert with teachers’ college faculties.

3. Analysing and making recommendations on teacher education policies.

4. Certifying teachers from the colleges through the Joint Board of Teacher Education, formerly the Institute Board of Teacher Training.

5. Managing projects for new initiatives in teacher education and other education sectors.

6. Promoting teacher educators’ professional development through workshops and the provision of graduate programmes.

7. Publishing textbooks, handbooks, and course modules to support the teachers’ college curricula and school curricula. The research work of the IOE academic staff is published in a variety of local and overseas journals and books. IOE itself publishes the Institute of Education Publication Series, which replaces the earlier series, the IOE Annual, and the theme books, such as Dimensions of Teaching and Learning and Transforming the Educational Landscape Through Curriculum Change. The IOE also manages the publication of the Caribbean Journal of Education on behalf of the School of Education. The research work
published in this journal has served to inform educational decision making in the Caribbean.

A Symbiotic Relationship—Institute of Education & Joint Board of Teacher Education
The Institute of Education, through the mechanism of the Joint Board of Teacher Education, carries out its examination, accreditation and curriculum development activities in teacher education. The activities of the IOE and the JBTE are facilitated through the structural relationship between the two entities, which was retained when the Institute Board was renamed the Joint Board of Teacher Education. The relationship has the following features:

• Like the IOE, the JBTE is a part of the UWI.

• The Director of the IOE or his/her nominee is the Chairperson of the JBTE.

• Members of staff of the IOE serve as Chairpersons of the two standing committees of the JBTE, the Curriculum Committee and the Examinations/Accreditation Committee. They also serve as members of the Boards of Studies, and as Chief External Examiners in setting and grading external examination papers for student teachers, and for examining their teaching performance.

• The Secretariat of the JBTE is a part of the IOE, and is supported for the most part from the IOE budget.

Institute of Education (IOE) and Joint Board of Teacher Education (JBTE) Structural and Functional Relationships:

The Joint Board of Teacher Education
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