Date of Award

Spring 3-2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Graham Weir

Second Advisor

Dr. Owen van den Berg

Third Advisor

Dr. Susan Isenberg


Developing countries are constantly trying to improve their educational systems because research suggests that increased education can have benefits for individuals and countries in terms of better health, higher wages and increased stability. The most recent change in educational policy in some of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) including St. Lucia is the implementation of Universal Secondary Education (USE) to provide secondary school access to all students. There has been little research on the perceptions of teachers from the various islands about the introduction of USE. This study sought to identify the perceptions of the secondary school teachers in St. Lucia about various aspects of the introduction of USE in 2006. The study sought the teachers’ perceptions on their involvement in the planning and implementation process; the availability of professional development opportunities; the availability of resources; curriculum and assessment modifications, the availability of student support services; the effect on school culture, and the effect on the educational system in St. Lucia. A qualitative design was selected utilizing document analysis; a researcher-designed questionnaire; and interviews with teachers, former and current Ministry of Education officials and other key informants. The results indicated that teachers had generally negative perceptions of almost all of the aspects of the introduction of USE studied, except their ability to teach diverse learners. Analysis of the interviews revealed there were similarities in the perceptions of the teachers, ministry officials and other key informants on some aspects of USE including the lack of preparation of teachers, but that there was disagreement on the level of involvement of teachers in the planning and implementation process. The result of this iii study sheds light on the importance of involving teachers in the change process to help ensure the success of the new policy. Recommendations based on the findings in this study are made, for policy implementation in St. Lucia with an emphasis on teacher involvement in the educational process and also on improving USE policy to better achieve its goals.


Copyright 2011