University of Leicester
2019HARRYSNPhD.pdf (6.55 MB)

The Implementation of the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) Communication Studies curriculum innovation in Secondary Schools in Trinidad and Tobago: Teachers’ Perspectives

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posted on 2019-07-30, 11:11 authored by Sharmila N. Harry
The Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) replaced the Cambridge Advanced Level Examination in 1998 in sixteen Caribbean territories and in Trinidad and Tobago in 2003. However, there has been meagre attention paid to how any of the CAPE syllabi, one of which is Communication Studies, has been implemented. The purpose of this study is to explore teachers’ perspectives of the implementation of the CAPE Communication Studies curriculum innovation in secondary schools in Trinidad and Tobago. It also seeks to investigate how teachers are implementing the innovation in their classrooms and the factors that impede and facilitate the implementation of it. To address the study’s overarching purpose, research objectives, and research questions, a qualitative approach was utilized. A case study design was employed, using interviews, documents and classroom observations. The findings revealed that there are gaps between the intended curriculum and how teachers are actually implementing it in the classroom. Teachers were not implementing many aspects of the innovation although they had positive orientations towards it. The CAPE Communication Studies innovation is still facing many obstacles which undermine its success. The challenges that teachers face in their implementation of it are due to several factors. However, school-contextual and external-contextual factors had the most profound influence. The findings pointed to a few factors that facilitated teachers’ implementation. Unfortunately, there are more barriers working against implementation than for it. The study suggests that careful attention needs to be paid to the implementation stage by policy makers and that the assumptions of the innovation must be compatible with the local context. Well-intentioned curriculum innovations cannot achieve their intentions if the curriculum process is not effectively planned and managed.



Busher, Hugh

Date of award


Author affiliation

School of Education

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD



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