Constructit and Castor Collins Insurance

National Health Care Spending in Trinidad and Tobago
Anand Chatoorgoon
May, 23rd, 2011
Steve Linerode National health care spending in Trinidad and Tobago
???One of the most important questions facing health care economists and policy-makers in general is, how much of a nation??™s wealth should be devoted to health care. One problem that plagues any attempt to address national health care policy is the time it takes for health care spending to respond to major economic changes, such as a drop in gross domestic product (GDP) or inflation. Policy makers attempt to control costs by imposing regulations on the health care system, but because of the slow pace of economic change, it is difficult to know whether regulations are necessary or even effective. An added problem is that most health care spending is for labour, so cost containment measures often involve cutting wages or laying off personnel, which are always unpopular actions??? (Getzen and Allen, 2007, p. 300). Health and development are intimately connected. Good health is central to human happiness and well-being, and makes an important contribution to national progress. ???Health care costs so much because people place so much value on their health??? (Getzen & Moore, 2007, p. 13). ). All stakeholders involved in health care spending today must take into consideration such important factors, inter alia, as the country??™s current financial status, budget constraints, the prevailing global economic depression, patient??™s rights, needs versus demands, cost-benefit ratios, scarcity and choice, for at the end of the day, ???money still determines health??? (Getzen & Moore, 2007). This paper takes a look at some of the factors pertinent to national health care spending in Trinidad and Tobago, a twin-island Republic in the West Indies with a population of 1.3 million people and an area of approximately 2,000 square miles, and provides a forecast of the future economic needs of the health care system in this island, of why these needs must be addressed, and the vision by which these needs may be financed.
Trinidad and Tobago (T&T)
Trinidad and Tobago, a Caribbean parliamentary democracy and former British colony, became independent in 1962. In May 2010, Kamla Persad-Bissessar and her People??™s Partnership coalition won 29 of 41 seats in parliament, ousting a government weakened by soaring crime and allegations of public corruption. Robust foreign investment since 1990 has made Trinidad and Tobago the Western Hemisphere??™s largest supplier of liquefied natural gas and one of CARICOM??™s largest and most industrialized economies. Its economy has doubled in size since 2002, with hydrocarbons accounting for more than 45 percent of GDP in 2008. However, the rate of growth slowed substantially in 2009??“2010.
T&T??™s health care system
Trinidad and Tobago? operates under a? two-tier health care? system. That is, there is the existence of both private health care facilities and public health care facilities. The Ministry of Health is responsible for leading the health sector. Responsibility for the provision of health care services in Trinidad and Tobago was devolved from the Ministry of Health to five Regional Health Authorities (RHAs) with the passing of the Regional Health Authorities Act No. 5 in 1994. The Ministry allocates resources to the RHAs (four in Trinidad and one in Tobago) to finance their operations. Citizens can access free health care at public health care facilities where health insurance is not required. However, the government is developing the National Health Service in which a package of services is to be determined, as well as a financing strategy. Public health care is free to everyone in Trinidad and Tobago and is paid for by the Government and taxpayers. Recently, the government launched? the Chronic Disease Assistance Program (CDAP), which provides all citizens with free prescription drugs and other pharmaceutical items, available in more than 250 pharmacies throughout the country, to combat a variety of health conditions. ???Trinidad and Tobago has moderate taxes. The top income tax rate and the standard corporate tax rate are 25 percent. Petroleum company profits are taxed at up to 50 percent. Other taxes include a value-added tax (VAT), a motor vehicle tax, a property tax, and a health surcharge. In the most recent year, overall tax revenue as a percentage of GDP declined significantly to 19.4 percent??? (Index of Economic Freedom, 2011). Health care services are offered on a? walk-in? basis. There are five major hospitals throughout the country as well as smaller health centres and District Health Facilities located regionally throughout.
Health care expenditures in T&T
The global economic crisis has been felt in Trinidad and Tobago, evidenced by shrinking income, international funding and remittances; increased unemployment; and the review of social programmes. The economic crisis is a threat to health care in several ways. In particular, there is reduced funding for health care infrastructure and initiatives for both the state and non-governmental organizations as well as civil society. In addition, there is the threat of increased poverty within the population exacerbating living conditions which can lead to additional health risks??”for example, poor diet. It is to be borne in mind that the economic downturn can lead to an increased demand for state health services which are free to the public but which the current system may not be able to meet. The allocation of 4.3 billion Trinidad and Tobago dollars out of a total projected expenditure of 49 billion dollars, by the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago to the Ministry of Health for the financial year 2010/201, has been deemed insufficient and inadequate by the four RHAs to meet the escalating costs of state-of-the-art health care in the public health care facilities. ???The 2011 budget calculation was based on a real GDP growth of 2%, an average inflation rate of 7%, an oil price of US $65 per barrel and a gas price of US $2.75 per mmbtu??? (Dookeran, 2010, p. 27). In his budget statement 2011, the Minister of Finance, Mr. Winston Dookeran acknowledged that ???Trinidad and Tobago is still way behind providing adequate and timely health care to most of our people. We are still short of hospitals. The capacity of existing health care is insufficient to meet our people??™s needs. Waiting times for surgical and testing procedures are still far too long. Even primary health care is insufficient??? (Dookeran, 2010, p. 5).
Future economic needs of the health care system in T&T
In Trinidad and Tobago, life expectancy has increased. Males born today can expect to live to 68.3 years and females can expect to live to 73.68 years. The elderly population age 60 years and over has expanded over the years. The social implications of this phenomenon revolve around the provision of health and other support services including old age pensions, insurance schemes, housing, transportation and long term care of the elderly. Heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death since the 1990??™s. Injuries and Violence has been the top reason for hospital admissions over the last three decades. Expenditure on Public Health as a percentage of GDP in 2009 was 2.41%. In its 5-year strategic plan, 2011 -2016, the government plans to construct more primary care centres, to upgrade and expand existing ones, and to construct five new modern hospitals equipped with state-of-the-art equipment. It is also currently undertaking a comprehensive costing of health services in the public and private health sector, plans to bring on-stream in the very near future the national insurance system, plans to conduct a National Health Needs Assessment and is currently looking at a new approach to working with the private sector, non-governmental organizations and other key stakeholders. The dire shortage of human resources for the health sector, which impacts both operations of the health system and the quality of the services offered at the health institutions, is believed to be linked to the level of remuneration afforded to health care professionals. Economists say that Trinidad and Tobago cannot, in the present economic climate, afford to pay higher wages to health care professionals working in the public health care facilities.
There is an urgent need to find sustainable ways to finance public health care. It is vital that stakeholders be engaged on the issues of financing of health care, in particular members of the public, who must embrace and contribute to the system. To this end, consumers must be clear on the benefits that will accrue to them, bearing in mind the low level of confidence in the current system. Health care providers can cut costs by avoiding wastage of drugs and equipment, unnecessary tests, unnecessary admissions to hospitals and unethical practices in the management of patients. ???One possible goal of health care is the prolongation of life??? (Garrett, Baillie, McGeehan & Garrett, 2010, p. 85). ). Though currently there is now a wide variety of means to extend life, such life-prolonging efforts are tremendously expensive. ???For example, one-quarter of all Medicare funds in the US are spent during the last year of a person??™s life, and most of that is spent during the last month. Much of this money is spent prolonging dying, and represents scarce resources that could be used to maintain and improve health??? (Garrett, et al, 2010, p. 86).
The introduction of occupational health and safety (OSH) legislation and systems, the adoption of a preventative approach and the vigilant monitoring of OSH requirements in Trinidad and Tobago can ease the burden on the health care system from workplace accidents and illnesses, and thereby lead to a reduction in health care spending. The government has also embarked on programs to encourage persons to take responsibility for their health and to adopt healthy lifestyles, thereby reducing the financial burden on the health care system.
The Government of Trinidad and Tobago, a country where the number of persons living below the poverty line is still significant (estimated at 17% in 2007), recognizes health as a fundamental human right and sees itself as a guarantor of quality health care services for all its citizens from birth to death. In its noble ambition to provide quality health care free of charge to all who attend the public health care facilities, it is challenged by the escalating costs of modern-day quality health care and a global economic recession. This paper reviewed some of the many factors affecting health care spending in Trinidad and Tobago and took a look at how the future economic needs of the health care system of this small island can be addressed and financed. References
Dookeran, W. (2010, September 8). Budget Statement 2011, facing the issues, turning the
economy around, Government of Trinidad and Tobago. Retrieved from
Garrett, T. M., Baillie, H. W., McGeehan, J. F., & Garrett, R. M. (2010). Health Care Ethics: Principles and Problems (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Getzen, T. E., & Allen, B. H. (2007). Health Care Economics. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Getzen, T. E., Moore, J. (2007). Health Care Economics: Principles and Tools for the Health
Care Industry (1st ed.). John Wiley and Sons
Index of Economic Freedom (2011). Promoting economic opportunity and prosperity??”a
product of the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal

How Do the Effects of Psychoactive Drugs Help Us to Understand the Neurochemistry of Human Beings

How do the effects of psychoactive drugs help us to understand the neurochemistry of human behaviourWhy is neurochemistry so important
Neurochemistry to my understanding is more specific to the study of neurochemicals and neuro-active drugs, focusing on effects they have within the central nervous system (C.N.S) in addition to behavioural change. Not only this Neurochemists tend to look at what effects psychoactive drugs have, which are chemical substances that act primarily on the C.N.S Which is for the most part what I will be discussing. Looking at cause and effect is essentially what Neurochemists do, I feel that understanding the C.N.S is highly important because in essence is the most important part of the nervous system, especially for maintaining and producing behaviour. So knowledge of specific neurons and lack their of could help prevent or cure certain diseases. Such as …. * If we didn??™t have the knowledge of C.N.S or drugs in general we wouldn??™t be able to prevent or cure certain diseases that are affecting people modern day
* It explains peoples behaviour.
* Talk about freud, not understanding certain symptoms.
THERE A NUMEROUS AMOUNTS OF NEUROTRANSMITTERS WITHIN THE BRAIN WHICH AL DO VARIOUS THINGS, I WILL GO ON TO TALK ABOUT A NUMBER OF NEUROTRRNASMITTERS SUCH AS…generally say something about the ???logic??™ of understanding behaviour by looking at drug effects. You can then illustrate your answer throughout by reference to concrete examples of how some drugs impact on our neurochemistry * Why is neurochemistry important
* Pick 2-3 examples of neurotransmitters
* For each you could describe their purported roles and provide an example of studies which have indicated how these neurochemicals relate to such behavioural indices
* dopamine release during rewarding behaviours such as eating, thinking about loved ones, changes in the brains of gamblers or other addicts ??“ highlights function in pleasure (and pain too)
* 5-HT has a role in eating, mood, sleep and cognition ??“ what happened when you lower 5-HT levels

Constructivism in Teaching

1. At this website, go to the videos and view classrooms where the constructivist approach is being used. Compare the classroom activities and environment to a traditional classroom. Post your findings on blackboard. In one particular video with the parachute, the activity and materials were hands-on and visual which gave students a better way to relate rather than reading about it in a textbook and answering questions in a workbook. Many of the videos showed interactive learning which was wonderful. The students were building on what they had previously learned or knew. Examples: Relating what students knew about spiders to sharks and parachutes landing in relation to people landing with parachutes. A traditional approach would just be repetition of the information which leads to memorization not actual learned knowledge. Lastly, I noticed students were mostly sitting in a large group with the teacher which makes the environment more inviting and warm so students are more willing to open up and share their ideas. 2. At this website, go to exploration and read this section. Describe how you could implement constructivism into your class room. Everything about the constructivist approach sounds effective and great. I have been trying to implement using partner talk and groups in many lessons for 100% engagement. I have seen a tremendous boost in understanding and confidence in my students. I do know that I need to create situations for more reflecting and questioning so my students are able to develop and assess their understanding. I would like to implement principle 3 and 5 of the constructivist approach into my classroom. At times, my students do seem threatened and embarrassed to share in the class discussions. I would like more open-ended questioning, but I feel like our curriculum does not allow enough time for first graders to share like they need to. We all know how much first graders love to share even if it has nothing to do with the subject matter. I would also like to allow more time so that I can implement authentic assessments that show me overall what my students know. This would be more of a challenge for me since our parish requires 6 paper and pencil grades each 9 weeks. Our current assessments are very traditional in which 3, sometimes 4 tests are given every Friday which is overwhelming for first graders. When test are returned then students are either overjoyed or devastated by the ???letter??? grade. I definitely feel like the constructivist approach would be better for my students when it comes to assessments.

How Do We Develop Our Ethical Positions on Eugenic Actions

Alexander Washburn
How do we develop our ethical positions on eugenic actions
Just over a century and a half ago Charles Darwin published his timeless book The Origin
of Species in which he discussed his theory of natural selection and a paradigm of hereditary
progress known as evolution. Since his theories were published much controversy has arose over
their validity and application. One application that has emerged is the concept of eugenics.
Eugenics is defined as ???The study of methods of improving the quality of the human race,
especially by selective breeding??? (Collins). Eugenics application consists of allowing human
intellect, rather than the environmental forces of natural selection, to guide the course of human
evolution. In the past eugenics applications have been bias toward ethnicity as desirable traits
and have left the field of study a taboo. Now with the study of genetics and the completion of
the human genome project, forms of potentially helpful medical research and treatment, both to
the individual and the community, are sometimes viewed as unethical. If we as a species wish to
use our knowledge to advance ourselves forward we need to critically evaluate the ethical
boundaries of eugenic applications now possible with emerging technologies. An analysis is
needed of how we develop our ethical positions on eugenic actions.
Many ethical conflicts occur over eugenics. A simple way to understand some of the
ethical issues regarding eugenics is to look at specific applications. Pregnancy termination based
upon genetics screening, predictive genetic screening for hereditary health problems, DNA
databases, euthanasia, and forced sterilization are some of the applications of eugenics at have
raised ethical questions. Each of these applications hold lucrative benefits of a eliminating
genetic diseases, significantly reducing medical expenses, reducing crime, improving
productivity, and accelerating evolution respectively. As alluring as the benefits are, they fall
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outside the reach of realization due to ethical limitations. In our gut we often feel that these
eugenic applications are immoral without analyzing this feelings origin or considering the
benefits. How do these gut feelings emerge and influence our conclusions about eugenic actions
A sociologist named Dr. Jonathan Haidt has done substantial research on moral reasoning
and developed a model for how we arrive at a moral decision. Dr. Haidt calls his moral reasoning
model the Social Intuitionist Model (SIM) which postulates a quite different reasoning system
then previous rational models. Dr. Haidt writes ???The central claim of the social intuitionist model
is that moral judgment is caused by quick moral intuitions and is followed (when needed) by
slow, ex post facto moral reasoning??? (Haidt 817). Dr. Haidts claim is quite revolutionary because
his social intuitionist model stresses the importance of intuitive reasoning and that rational
reasoning comes after when prompted. Rational reasoning is not the source of ones moral
reasoning but comes after when an individuals stance is questioned. The individuals stance is
already established intuitively and rational reasoning simply verbally justifies the intuitive
reasoning but does not affect it. Haidt elaborates by stating ???…intuition occurs quickly,
effortlessly and automatically, such that the outcome but not the process is accessible to
consciousness, whereas reasoning occurs more slowly, requires some effort, and involves at least
some step that are accessible to consciousness??? (Haidt 818). He explains that intuitive reasoning
is desirable in many cases because it is effortless and a conclusion is arrived at with no conscious
effort. The two forms of reasoning are separated by their relation to consciousness; distinctly the
effort exerted and availability of reasoning. According to Haidts SIM our moral stance is arrived
at by intuitive reasoning, which is quick and effortless, and defended by rational reasoning when
In 2009 Paul van der Zande, a sociologist from the Netherlands, conducted a study
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identifying moral reasoning in genetic education. His study was designed to determine to what
degree moral reasoning was addressed in education and how this affected students views on
certain applications of genetics technology, chiefly genetic testing and screening. When he
published his study van Dr. Zande asks ???Do the emotions that established an intuition in the past
still mirror their present values??? (van der Zande 3) Van der Zande reference to the past can be
explained by a Haidts SIM. Haidt also makes clear that ???feeling and thought are to some extent
separate systems with separate biological bases??? (Haidt 819). His statement reflects the fact that
feeling, emotion and empathy come from one part of the brain while logical reasoning and
rationalization comes from a distinctly different part of the brain. Haidt also explains in an
interview with the New York Times that ???We have a complex animal mind that only recently
evolved language and language-based reasoning. No way was control of the organism going to
be handed over to this novel faculty??? (1). Haidt very simply put that the emotional region of the
brain is theorized to have developed much earlier in our evolution then the rational region. A
simple example would be to look at the behavior of a rabbit. Rabbits live by running around
scavenging for food to nibble on, running from danger, and looking for places to sleep. These
tendencies are instinctual to the rabbit. They come effortlessly and without conscious effort. This
is the rabbits intuitive reasoning and it is the only reasoning skill a rabbit possesses. It alone
allows the rabbit to survive based a very complex system of stimuli and intuitive responses. In a
similar fashion to the rabbit; humans relied on intuitive reasoning to survive before we evolved
language based reasoning skills. Because the emotional region of the brains ability to make
effortless intuitive decisions is a contributing factor to human survivability it was a integral part
of our evolution and our current state. Van der Zandes question regarding the emotions that
established an intuition in the past still mirroring their present values is quite engaging. It
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questions whether the intuitive reasoning we evolved in the past is accurately responds to the
present, particularly to genetic technology.
During Van der Zandes study the high school students gave predominately anit-eugenic
statements. Here Van der Zande gives an example of student responses: “Not only do I know
something about Downs children, but it would be my child! I will not let it be taken away; it
would be my child” (van der Zande 5). This student, like the majority in the study, responded
with anti-eugenic attitudes. Van der Zande comments on this quote: ???other strong motive was: I
will not let it be taken away; it would be my child. A consideration she did not explain further, as
for her it did not need any further explanation. This was labeled intuitive reasoning…??? (van der
Zande 5). When concluding the study Zande stated that ???all students used emotive and intuitive
reasoning as well as rationalistic reasoning, although they were not aware of this.??? Van der Zande
statement shows concern for the lack of awareness as to how one creates his decisions. Haidt
states that ???the roots of human intelligence, rationality and ethical sophistication should not be
sought in our ability to search for and evaluate evidence in an open and unbiased way??? (821).
Haidt statement is simpler then it may seem; that human intelligence and ethics stem not from
rational reasoning but from the intuitive reasoning region of the brain that has been honed by
years of evolution. Haidts statement and Van der Zandes study both reveal how the students
ethics stemmed from intuitive reasoning.
Isaac Rabino, a professor at Empire State College, conducted a different survey in 2003.
Rabino sent a questionnaire to over 1200 scientists who were members of the American Society
of Human Genetics. In his survey Ranino assessed the attitudes of the scientists as to their views
on genetic testing and screening. Based on his survey results, Rabino informs us of those
working more then ten years in the field of genetics 85% agree with pregnancy termination if
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likelihood of severe retardation, 64% agree if likelihood of severe childhood disease, and 39%
agree if likelihood of mild retardation (Rabino 395). Rabinos survey shows that the majority of
scientists working in the field of genetics agree in genetic screening for genetic defects. The view
of genetic scientists towards genetic screening is quite different from that of Van der Zandes
survey of students in secondary education. Rabinos study also shows of those working more
then ten years in the field of genetics that 56% agree with precautionary surgery (Rabino 394).
Compare this to the average response of Van der Zandes survey when asked about preventative
mastectomy ???When you get it, you can always try to operate then. To do it up front, I think is a
bit exaggerated??? (Van der Zande 5). Van der Zande shows that on average the students do not
agree preventative surgery. Between Rabino and Van der Zandes surveys we can see that those
working in the field of genetics have quite different moral reasoning on genetic testing and
screening then those learning about the field in secondary education even though both groups
have the same moral reasoning system according to Haidts SIM. To discover how these groups
have diverging conclusions from moral reasoning we will have to look to the past.
Van der Zande shows us that ???there are increasing indications that we make our moral
decisions based on intuition and emotion. We use our arguments only to justify our position after
this position in taken intuitively??? (Van der Zande 1). Van der Zandes proposition, like Haidts
SIM, is quite revealing and might lead to a way of overcoming ethical barriers concerning
eugenic action. Our moral decisions are based on our impulsive emotive and intuitive responses.
Our logical arguments form in accordance after our decision has been made in our mind.
According to Haidts SIM and van der Zandes research all humans for decisions in this manner.
This insight is quite useful when trying to understand how other could act in ways that seem
parallel to human social intuitive reasoning. In regards to the holocaust Geoffrey Scarre, a
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philosopher studying the moral phenomenology of the Third Reich, had this to say ???If the Nazis
had a real belief that the Jews posed a threat to Germany, then their persecution of the Jews takes
on aspects of a (tragically misguided) program of self defense??? (429). Scarres statement doesnt
attempt to justify the Nazis actions but rather help us understand the root of their moral
reasoning. Because the German population viewed the Jewish population as a threat from years
of propaganda their reasoning is not based in logic or emotional care-based reasoning, but from
an intuitive reasoning. The German population and the Nazi regime formed their ???logical???
reasoning for their persecution after this stance was clearly rooted in their intuitive response.
This shows a clear but grim example of how the emotional and intuitive reasoning that forms our
modern ethics were subverted to allow eugenic action.
The moral phenomenology of the Third Reich is very important to understand because
the aftermath of Nazi actions changed the ethical boundaries of eugenics for the duration of the
twentieth century. Many countries, including the United States, had national eugenic programs
implemented until the Nazi regime called into question the validity of the field of science. Scarre
also addresses this issue by stating ???Himmlers basic problem may have been not that his
morality was bad but that his relevant factual beliefs were false??? (Scarre 429). Scarre make a
very necessary distinction when considering how people make moral decisions. Scarre illustrates
that Himmers beliefs and actions came intuitively when presented with information and
Himmler did not reflect on the validity of these beliefs and actions or their origins. During the
height of the Third Reich, Himmler found himself in the position of leading the S.S. in hunting
down and exterminating the Jewish population. There is a troubling lack of self-inquiry on
Himmlers part as to how he arrived in such a position.
Van der Zande shared this concern when conducting his survey of genetics education. The
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primary goal of his survey was to determine the extent, if any of moral reflection in genetics
education. Van der Zande explains ???Due to reflection on this ex-post facto reasoning, people may
be capable of changing their intuitions either through private reflection, for instance initiated
through role play, or through social persuasion, when they get feedback from people they
respect??? (Van der Zande 3). Van der Zandes statement explains that while our intuitive reasoning
is effortless and unconscious our conscious mind can, through a variety of ways, alter our
intuitive reasoning response. Haidts SIM also addresses moral reflection, though its basis is
intuitive reasoning, he acknowledges that the language based reasoning skills we posses can
affect of intuitions. Haidt states ???A person comes to see an issue or dilemma from more than one
side and thereby experiences multiple competing intuitions. The final judgment may be
determined either by going with the strongest intuition or by allowing reason to choose among
the alternatives on the basis of the conscious application of a rule or principle??? (Haidt 819).
Haidt goes on to remark ???Ever since Plato wrote his Dialogues, philosophers have recognized
that moral reasoning naturally occurs in a social setting, between people who can challenge each
others arguments and trigger new intuitions??? (Haidt 820). Haidt illustrates how when multiple
intuitions compete our default intuitive reasoning can change. These competing intuitions can
stem form a debate amongst peers and also from private reflection on a moral dilemma. In both
cases exposure to new competing intuitions can cause a changing in intuitive reasoning.
In the case of Himmler and the Third Reich a lack of moral reflection lead to what would
be considered unethical eugenic actions. In Van der Zande study he reports an overall antieugenic
response when presenting students with the ethical issues of genetic testing and
screening. In Rabinos survey of those working in the genetics field the majority of those
surveyed supported eugenic actions such as genetic screening and testing. Van der Zandes
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survey shows us the extent to which moral reflection is incorporated into genetics education. Van
der Zande concludes ???Teachers did not report planned moral reflection, but spontaneous
discussions with moral dimensions??? (Van der Zande 7). Van der Zande goes on to say ???To the
best of our knowledge, this kind of reflection on moral reasoning is not currently being practiced
in secondary education??? (Van der Zande 8). Van der Zandes study quite conclusively expresses a
lack of moral reflection in genetics education. Consider back to Rabinos survey of those
working in the genetics field. From his survey Rabino states ???The majority of respondents accept
the idea of therapeutic abortion in response to test results indicative of serious disease or disorder
but find it ethically unacceptable to terminate a healthy fetus on the basis of discovered traits or
characteristics deemed more or less desirable??? (Rabino 396). All the individuals Rabino surveyed
have worked in the field of genetics for more then ten years. These individuals are not only more
familiar with the practical applications of the field but also have been exposed to the moral
dilemmas of the field for at least ten years. Dr. Haidts explains ???People are capable of engaging
in private moral reasoning, and many people can point to times in their life when the changed
their minds on a moral issue just from mulling the matter over by themselves??? (Haidt 819). Dr.
Haidts statement tells us that our subconscious intuitive reasoning response can change given
enough time to consciously reflect on it. The scientists from Rabinos study have at least ten
years of moral reflection, from debates with colleagues to internal personal reflection,
represented in their responses. The extreme difference in the responses from secondary education
students and genetic scientists to the same moral dilemmas can be directly attributed to the
amount of moral reflection the individual has been exposed to.
From the contrasting studies conducted by Van der Zande and Rabino it is clear how vital
moral reflection is on forming our opinions on ethics of eugenic actions. When concluding his
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study Van der Zande states ???In short, these findings can be used to aid moral reflection so as to
teach the students how to improve their moral reasoning and, by doing so, empower them for
dealing with future moral dilemmas such as those concerning genetic tests??? (Van der Zande 8).
He makes clear moral reflection is a necessity in dealing with bioethics and eugenics and needs
to be improved in genetics education. Comparatively when concluding his study Rabino states a
need for, ???A more genetically literate public to deal effectively with their own genetic health care
as well as to be informed about the scientific, legal, and social issues in the public debate about
human genetics??? (Rabino 397). Rabino stresses the need for genetically literate public which
implies both education and moral reflection on eugenic issues as to contribute the creation of
rational ethical boundaries. Both Van der Zande and Rabino call for an increase in moral
reflection, either through internal thought or open debate, and reform in genetics education to
create rational ethical boundaries towards eugenic applications in the field of genetics.
Eugenics promises many advantages to individuals and the population as a whole. Haidts
social intuitionist model reveals how we form our ethics from intuitive moral reasoning and how
this reasoning has allowed our race to advance. Scientific advancement has been a recent change
supported by rational reasoning. Studies have shown that people do not perform moral reflection
to ensure that their intuitive reasoning is also rational in the situation. Because of this internal
conflict between our intuitive reasoning and rational reasoning ethical conflicts occur and define
the degree to which science can progress. It seems apparent that ethical conflicts can only be
overcome by moral reflection. It is clear how we form our ethics on eugenics and that a vast
increase in moral reflection is necessary to overcome the ethical barriers that stand in the way of
scientific progress.
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Works Cited
Collins. “Eugenics.” Def. 1. Collins English Dictionary. 30th Anniversary Edition ed.
HarperCollins, 2003. Print.
Haidt, Jonathan. “The Emotional Dog and Its Rational Tail: A Social Intuitionist
Approach to Moral Judgment.” Psychological Review, 108.4 (2001): 814-834.
Rabino, Isaac. “Genetic Testing and Its Implications: Human Genetics Researchers
Grapple with Ethical Issues.” Science, Technology, & Human Values, 28.3 (2003): 365-402.
Scarre, Geoffrey. “Understanding the Moral Phenomenology of the Third Reich.” Ethical
Theory and Moral Practice, 1.4 (1998): 423-445.
van der Zande, Paul, Mieke Brekelmans, Jan Vermunt, and Arend Jan Waarlo. “Moral
Reasoning in Genetics Education.” Journal of Biological Education, 44.1 (2009): 31-36.
Wade, Nicholas. “Is Do Unto Others Written into Our Genes.” New York Times, (2007):

How Does Animal Farm and Shelly??™s Ozymandias Construct a Representation of Power

Both animal farm and the Ozymandias poem are similar because they express the negative effects of power. Napoleon is defined by his determination and abuse of power, while Ozymandias has achieved power but time has destroyed his empire.Physical (Napoleon)
Orwell constructs Napoleon as a powerful figure by describing him physically as ???a large, rather fierce boar???. This creates an image of Napoleon being colossal and more intimidating compared to the other animals, making him feel superior. Words (Napoleon)
Having a reputation for getting his own way, Napoleon uses his persuasive words as an advantage of manipulating the animals into following his demands. He also convinces the animals to know that he is always right ???if comrade Napoleon says it, it must be right???- Boxer. Therefore he is able to have control over the farm and the animals People think (Napoleon)
As Napoleon became superior and gained power over, he was referred to in a formal style by the animals as ???our Leader or Comrade Napoleon???. At first the animals were manipulated by Napoleons mighty power and accomplishments, they were over how he treated them with his actions and superiority. Physical (Ozymandias)Shelly??™s text of Ozymandias illustrates descriptive language as it describes the physical features of the statues appearance and location ???trunkless legs of stones stand in the desert??? and ???colossal wreck, boundless and bare??? portray the state the statue is currently in, how large his statue is and it represents the power and pride of a leader, who throughout time has been forgotten and buried just like the statue.Words (Ozymandias)
???My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!??? announces that he did not only have restraint and power over his people but also ruled the kings. As he tells us to look upon his prideful words and achievements, they have been overlooked and have ended in despair. People think (Ozymandias)
???The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.??? Symbolises how Ozymandias treated his kingdom. You can imagine his people been given life through his cruel passions and intensions. It represents a powerful statement of a once great kings proud boast that has been ironically disproved by his people.

Both animal farms ???Napoleon??? and Ozymandias represent the negative effects of power and domination. Their superiority and corruption have either been overruled, forgotten or buried, along with the pride and achievements that have resulted in humiliation. However this proves that no matter how much power you have or want it will always end, but power will always exist.

How Do You Say..

What would happen if you woke up one day and suddenly found yourself in a world where you could not communicate with anyone I am an English language teacher. In June 2004, I accepted a job in a rural area of Japan called Niigata and found myself faced with this language problem. One event in particular stands out as an example of my inability to express my ideas to the people around me due to my lack of vocabulary. I had been in Japan only a few days, and I was feeling restless. I wanted to make some fresh bread, so I set out for the store with the seemingly simple intention of buying some flour. I had taken some Japanese language classes before I arrived in Japan. Although I knew my Japanese skills were limited, my lack of knowledge didnt stop me from going to the store to buy flour. I thought that I would locate the section where the grains were displayed and find the bag that had a picture of either bread or flour on it. The small town where I lived had only one tiny store. I wandered around the store a few times, but I did not see a bag of anything that appeared to be flour. In the United States, flour usually comes in a paper bag with pictures of biscuits or bread on it, so this is what I was looking for I finally found a few clear plastic bags that had bread crumbs inside, so I thought that four might be located nearby. No matter how many bags I examined, I could not find any flour. I desperately wanted to ask one of the three elderly women clerks where the four was, but I could not do this simple task. I knew how to ask where something was, but I did not know the word for flour. I tried to think of how to say four using different words, such as white powder or the ingredient that you use to make bread, but I did not know powder and I did not know ingredient. Just then, I saw one of my students in the parking lot. I rushed outside to his car and explained that I needed to know a word in Japanese. “How do you say flour” I asked. He quickly replied, “Thats easy.” He then told me the word was hana. I rushed back into the store, which was about to close for the evening. I found one of the elderly clerks and asked in my best Japanese, “Sumimasen. Hana-wa doko desu ka” or “Excuse me. Where is the hana” The petite old woman said something in Japanese and raced to the far right side of the store. Finally, I thought, “I am going to get my four and go home to make bread.” However, my hopes ended rather quickly when I followed the clerk to the produce section. I saw green onions, tomatoes, and even pumpkins, but I could not understand why flour would be there. The woman then pointed to the beautiful yellow chrysanthemums next to the green onions. enough to know that people in Japan eat chrysanthemums in salads. I was standing in front of the flower display, not the flour display. When I asked my student for the Japanese word for flour, I did not specify whether I meant flour or flower because it had never occurred to me that grocery stores, especially small ones, might sell flowers. I did not buy any chrysanthemums that night. I was not able to find the flour, either. My lack of knowledge about Japanese cuisine and my very limited knowledge of the Japanese language caused me to go home empty-handed that night. However, I learned the often-underestimated value of simple vocabulary in speaking a second language. For me, this event in a small store in rural Japan opened my eyes to my lack of vocabulary skills.

How Does Arthur Conan Doyle Lead Readers to Expect Villainy Where It Is Not and Overlook It Where It Exists

How does Arthur Conan Doyle lead readers to expect villainy where it is not and overlook it where it exists Arthur Conan Doyle??™s tale ???The Hound of The Baskervilles??™, the most famous of his long stories, and the most gothic of all his books, was inspired by the West Country legend of a mythical hound. It features events of a seemingly bizarre and supernatural nature at every turn and quickly sets up a scenario filled with mystery and intrigue for the reader. The curse of the Baskervilles establishes the theme that continues to run throughout the rest of the narrative – that of the contrast between the natural and supernatural, and also of myth and reality. The narrative instantly reveals the curse of the ???Hound of the Baskervilles??™, ???a great, black beast??™ that has plagued the Baskerville family for several centuries. When Dr Mortimer presents Sherlock Holmes with this case it leads Holmes to wrestle with his appliance of scientific logic to such an ostensibly initially supernatural situation. As with any detective story, the misplacement of information is key to add depth and subtleties to the narrative. I aim to show the techniques the Conan Doyle employs through the book.
One way that Conan Doyle creates the illusion of villainy in an essentially innocent situation is through his description of the Notting Hill Murderer, Seldon, who is rumoured to be running wild on the moors. He describes the convict as having ???small, cunning eyes which peered fiercely from right to left through the darkness??™. The physiognomy within the description immediately emphasises the assumption that the convict??™s physical appearance matches his personality and temperament; despite the fact he is actually a very benign character who has been lobotomised. This description also expresses a classist sentiment, where the uneducated, and lowly criminal looks like a ???crafty and savage animal??™ and Stapleton, the evil yet noble man, looks just like everyone else. As Selden is presented to the reader soon after Watson arrives at Baskerville Hall, an aura of mystery and secrecy, emanating from his character, is immediately associated with the place, emphasising the mystery to come.
Again Conan Doyle creates illusions of villainy in the misinterpretation of Barrymore??™s signaling to Seldon. Initially suspicion is created when the cries of Mrs. Barrymore are heard at night, Mr. Barrymore??™s denial of this event despite his wife seemingly appearing with ???red rimmed eyes??™, exacerbates the suspicion further. After briefly tailing Barrymore, Watson comes to the possible conclusion that he is having an affair with the woman from the village; this account allows the reader to immediately misinterpret the event as benign occurrence that simply adds depth to the narrative rather than a diversion from it. The Barrymore??™s story is elaborated further as it is revealed that they are in fact signaling to Seldon, the convict on the loose, who is Mrs. Barrymore??™s brother. This realization provides the reader with the belief that possibly the mystery had been resolved and creates a placid feeling of relief that the worst is over, again diverting the reader from the real culprit, Stapleton.
One final example of Conan- Doyle employing this technique further is at the very beginning of the book when Dr Mortimer comes to visit Holmes to alert him to the case. He had left a cane from when he had previously dropped by but Holmes was out. The cane was seen to have some sort of bite marks on which Holmes later determined to be a ???curly, haired spaniel??™, this unsubtle link to the title immediately suggests to the reader that Mortimer is a suspicious character despite his seemingly amicable nature, a view that the reader may uphold right until the very end.
However, in contrast, Conan Doyle also lets the reader overlook such villainy, underplaying events as random and irrelevant, despite the fact that they encompass extremely relevant and significant details. For example when he first mentions the theft of one of Sir Henry Baskerville??™s (???a small, alert, dark-eyed man about thirty years of age???) new boots in chapter 3, Holmes dismisses the incident as unrelated and therefore the reader does to, as surely if Sherlock Holmes, whom Conan Doyle created as an omniscient genius who is portrayed as being an incredibly trustworthy protagonist when it comes to fact and logic, ignores something, it is totally irrelevant. However the theft of the boot is actually crucial to the central mystery later on in the story. In this way Conan Doyle convinces the reader to overlook such an event by gaining the reader??™s full trust in Holmes, so he can deceive the reader on such instances.
Conan- Doyle repeats this technique when he first characterizes Stapleton. He is portrayed a loving and kind ???man of science??™ despite his inner villainy, quickly misleading the reader into believing he is a friend not a foe. The fact that he was the one to examine first Sir Charles further reinforces Stapleton??™s outwardly innocent demeanor, he also parallels many of Holmes more logical explanations rather than the more supernatural fanatic ones of Mortimer that the reader is less likely to believe. When Stapleton introduces himself to Watson he declares that, ???Here on the moor we are homely folk???, breaking the previously conceived notion that the moor was just a ???god-forsaken corner of the world??™, but actually a friendly and civilized place.
One final example of Conan Doyle??™s employment of this technique is by removing Holmes from much involvement in the story. This suggests that Holmes has more important things going on and therefore does not need to be present at an equally unimportant event. Although Watson steps into Holmes??™s boots, his power and judgment over the situation seems less potent that Holmes??™s, perhaps reflecting the reader??™s own understanding of Holmes. When Holmes therefore does appear and announces that he wanted Watson to believe that he was in London, not observing the situation unfold inconspicuously on the moors, Watson retorts by saying, ???”Then you use me, and yet you do not trust me!??™ which shows how Holmes has actually always had power over the situation and it is only now that the reader realises he has always been present throughout the tale. For instance when the ???tall, thin man??™ appears on the moor and the food is discovered in the cave, we realise it was Holmes, loitering on the edge of both the narrative and the moor like an omniscient and divine presence.
To conclude, as in all Sherlock Holmes stories, the solution to the mystery is found through Holmes??™s observation of tiny details. As Holmes says to Watson, ???The world is full of clear things which nobody notices.??™ Conan Doyle is easily able to manipulate readers using several varying techniques to make the reader believe in what is not and ignore what is. In this way Doyle makes the ending exciting yet comforting in its closure. He is able to create a detective novel so intricate and elaborate in its narrative that it has been able to find a permanent place in English consciousness, synonymous with the gothic and also the reassuring assertion of logic over the supernatural.


Page NumberIntroduction 3
Historical perspective of Constructivism 4-5
Defining Constructivism 5-8
Major Theorists of Constructivism 9-12
Guiding Principles of constructivism 12
Constructivism in Education 13
Constructivism in Education in Trinidad and Tobago 14-15
Advantages and disadvantages of Constructivism 16-17
Conclusion 17
Bibliography 18
Appendix 19
Constructivism has emerged as one of the greatest influences on the practice of education in the last twenty-five years. Constructivism is hardly a new school of thought. In a variety of post-structuralist theoretical positions, constructivism emerged as a prevailing paradigm.
The meaning of constructivism varies according to ones perspective and position. Within educational contexts there are philosophical meanings of constructivism, as well as personal constructivism as described by Piaget (1967), social constructivism outlined by Vygtosky (1978), radical constructivism advocated by von Glasersfeld (1995), constructivist epistemologies, and educational constructivism (Mathews, 1998). Social constructivism and educational constructivism (including theories of learning and pedagogy) have had the greatest impact on instruction and curriculum design because they seem to be the most conducive to integration into current educational approaches.
Constructivism is one of the hot topics in educational philosophy right now and potentially has found implications for how current traditional™ instruction is structured. This research paper seeks to address the basic tenets of constructivism and its implication on education.Historical perspective of Constructivism
Although constructivist theory has reached high popularity in recent years, the idea of constructivism is not new. Aspects of the constructivist theory can be found among the works of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle (ranging from 470-320 B.C.) all of which speak of the formation of knowledge. Saint Augustine (mid 300s A.D.) taught that in the search for truth people must depend upon sensory experience. This of course left him out of balance with the church. More recent philosophers such as John Locke (17th to 18th centuries) taught that no mans knowledge can go beyond his experience. Kant (late 18th to early 19th centuries) explained that the “logical analysis of actions and objects lead to the growth of knowledge and the view that ones individual experiences generate new knowledge” (Brooks & Brooks, 1993, p.23.). Although the main philosophy of Constructivism is generally credited to Jean Piaget (1896-1980), Henrich Pestalozzi (1746-1827), also from Switzerland, came to many similar conclusions over a century earlier.
However, Piaget is regarded as the father of constructivism and provided the foundation for modern day constructivism.
In Piagets view, intelligence consists of two interrelated processes, organization and adaption. People organize their thoughts so that they make sense, separating the more important thoughts from the less important ones as well as connecting one idea to another. At the same time, people adapt their thinking to include new ideas, as new experiences provide additional information. This adaptation occurs in two ways, through assimilation and accommodation. In the former process, new information is simply added to the cognitive organization already there. In the latter, the intellectual organization has to change somewhat to adjust to the new idea (Berger, 1978. p. 55).Defining Constructivism
“Constructivism is not a theory about teaching, it is a theory about knowledge and learning, the theory defines knowledge as temporary, developmental, socially and culturally mediated, and thus, non-objective.” (Brooks & Brooks, 1993, p. vii). Martin Brooks and Jacqueline Grennon Brooks articulate here a description of the central role that learners™ mental schemes play in their cognitive growth.
Basically defined, constructivism means that as we experience something new we internalize it through our past experiences or knowledge constructs we have previously established. Resnick (1983) states that “Meaning is constructed by the cognitive apparatus of the learner” (p.477). Saunders (1992) explains that “Constructivism can be defined as that philosophical position which holds that any so-called reality is, in the most immediate and concrete sense, the mental construction of those who believe they have discovered and investigated it.
In other words, what is supposedly found is an invention whose inventor is unaware of his act of invention and who considers it as something that exists independently of him; the invention then becomes the basis of his world view and actions.These past experiences are also referred to as our world view.
Another researcher states that Constructivism is a type of learning theory that explains human learning as an active attempt to construct meaning in the world around us. Constructivists believe that learning is more active and self-directed than either behaviourism or cognitive theory would postulate.
Educational psychologists study constructivism as a theory of learning and consider the implications of this theory for teaching. According to (Brandsford et al.,2000, Bruning et al ., 2004), through the constructivism method, learners create their own knowledge rather than having that knowledge transmitted to them by some other source such as, another or something they read. It also adds to our own understanding of learning.
One of the common threads of constructivism that runs across all these definitions is the idea that development of understanding requires the learner actively engage in meaning-making. In contrast to behaviorism, constructivists argue that “knowledge is not passively received but built up by the cognizing subject” (Von Glasersfeld, 1995). Thus, constructivists shift the focus from knowledge as a product to knowing as a process.
Within constructivist theory, knowledge isnt something that exists outside of the learner. According to Tobin and Tippins (1993), constructivism is a form of realism where reality can only be known in a personal and subjective way. Von Glasersfeld notes that constructivist theory acknowledges reality but he goes on to say, “I define to exist only within the realm of our experiential world and not ontologically¦” (Tobin, 1993, p. 4). While constructivism takes on different philosophical meanings with different theorists and contexts, the over arching concept hinges itself upon the nature of knowing and the active role of the learner.
In essence constructivism is seen as an educational philosophy which holds that learners ultimately construct their own knowledge that then resides within them, so that each person™s knowledge is as unique as they are. It can be helpful to think of two branches of constructivism: cognitive and social. In the cognitive version of constructivism, emphasis is placed on the importance of learners constructing their own representation of reality. Learners must individually discover and transform complex information if they are to make it their own. Social constructivism emphasizes the importance of social interaction and cooperative learning in constructing both cognitive and emotional images of reality.
Some of the key tenets or precepts of Constructivism are:
Situated or anchored learning, which presumes that most learning is context-dependent, so that cognitive experiences situated in authentic activities such as project-based learning.
Cognitive apprenticeships, or case-based learning environments result in richer and more meaningful learning experiences.
Social negotiation of knowledge, a process by which learners form and test their constructs in a dialogue with other individuals and with the larger society. Major Theorists of Constructivism
Jean Piaget is a Swiss psychologist who began to study human development in the 1920s. His proposed a development theory has been widely discussed in both psychology and education fields. To learn, Piajet stressed the holistic approach. A child contructs understanding through many channels: reading, listening, exploring and experiencing his or her environment
Piagets work has identified four major stages of cognitive growth that emerge from birth to about the age of 14-16. A child will develop through each of these stages until he or she can reason logically.
Piaget asserts that the learner is advanced through three mechanisms.
1. Assimilation – fitting a new experience into an exisiting mental structure(schema).
2. Accomodation – revising an exisiting schema because of new experience.
3. Equilibrium – seeking cognitive stability through assimilation .
Lev Vygotsky, a Russian psychologist and philosopher in the 1930s, is most often associated with the social constructivist theory. He emphasizes the influences of cultural and social contexts in learning and supports a discovery model of learning. this type of model places the teacher in an active role while the students mental abilities develop naturally through various paths od discovery.
Vygotskys theory presents three principles:
1. Making meaning – the community places a central role, and the people around the student greatly affect the way he or she sees the world.
2. Tools for cognitive development – the type and quality of these tools (culture, language, important adults to the student) determine the pattern and rate of development.
3. The Zone of Proximal Development – problem solving skills of tasks can be placed into three categories: Those performed independetly by the learner. Those that cannot be performed even with help. Those that fall between the two extremes, the tasks that can be performed with help from others.
Jerome Bruner (1915 -) is an American psychologist and culture-interested educator. His work on perception, learning, memory and other aspects of cognition in young ones has influenced the American educational system; he has been at the forefront of what is often called the Cognitive Revolution. Bruner holds that a theory of instruction should address four major aspects:
1. Predisposition towards learning.
2. The ways in which a body of knowledge can be structured so that it can be most readily grasped by the learner.
3. The most effective sequences in which to present material.
4. The nature and pacing of rewards and punishments.
Bruner™s view postulates that good methods for structuring knowledge should result in simplifying, generating new propositions, and increasing the manipulation of information. He believes that instruction must be concerned with the experiences and contexts that make the student willing and able to learn (readiness), instruction must be structured so that it can be easily grasped by the student (spiral organization), and instruction should be designed to facilitate extrapolation and or fill in the gaps (going beyond the information given).
John Dewey is often classified as constructivist. His beliefs about education and ways of knowing included the premise that knowing is not done by an outside spectator but is instead constructed by a participant, with society providing a reference point or theory for making sense of the experience (Oxford 1997). Dewey expanded on the notion that all knowledge is constructed by the knower by including the idea that there is a relationship between the individual, the community, and the world mediated by socially constructed ideas (Oxford 1997).
Guiding principles of constructivism
Learning is a search for meaning. Therefore, learning must start with the issues around which students are actively trying to construct meaning.
Meaning requires understanding wholes as well as parts. And parts must be understood in the context of wholes. Therefore, the learning process focuses on primary concepts and not isolated facts.

In order to teach well, we must understand the mental models that students use to perceive the world and the assumptions they make to support those models.

The purpose of learning is for an individual to construct his or her own meaning, not just memorise the “right” answers and regurgitate someone elses meaning. Since education is inherently interdisciplinary, the only valuable way to measure learning is to make the assessment a part of the learning process, ensuring it provides students with information on the quality of their learning.
Constructivism in Education
The recent interest in constructivism in education follows an almost religious dedication to behaviorist pedagogy by administrators and educational psychologists in the United States (Duit & Treagust, 1998; Jenkins, 2000). Constructivisms success may be due in part to the frustrations that educators experienced with behaviorist educational practices. Beginning in the 1960s, behaviorism swept from the arena of psychology into education with an air of authority that was startling. Schooling became structured around the premise that if teachers provided the correct stimuli, then students would not only learn, but their learning could be measured through observations of student behaviors.
Following the legacy of behaviorism, constructivism has been welcomed as a theory of knowing that more fully explains the complexity of the teaching-learning process. Constructivism offers teachers instructional approaches that are congruent with current research on learning. By viewing learning as an active process, taking students prior knowledge into consideration, building on preconceptions, and eliciting cognitive conflict, teachers can design instruction that goes beyond rote learning to meaningful learning that is more likely to lead to deeper, longer lasting understandings.
Constructivism in Education in Trinidad and Tobago
Efforts by successive governments of Trinidad and Tobago to reform the education system to meet the challenges of contemporary society have resulted in the implementation of several educational innovations. These include the Continuous Assessment Programme (CAP), the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) examination, and the Secondary Education Modernisation Programme (SEMP). However, these educational innovations require teachers to engage in a paradigm shift from traditional methods to new approaches to curriculum delivery.
The Curriculum development division of the Ministry of Education has taken this initiative by revising the Mathematics and Science Syllabi for Primary Schools which has placed a major focus on the Constructivist approach. The new revised Science Syllabus for primary schools provides a focus on both the processes and content of Science. A series of Regional workshops and School-Based Coaching Activities were held to orient educators toward the Constructivist approach to teaching. The document stated that via this approach the previous knowledge and experience of the pupils are used to build upon or restructure so as to achieve stated objectives.
It is the view of the Ministry of Education that this approach will be geared to strengthen many of the skills used by students in their everyday lives, such as, creative problem solving, critical thinking, working co-operatively in teams and using technology effectively.
How Constructivism Impacts Learning
Curriculum: Constructivism calls for the elimination of a standardized curriculum. Instead, it promotes using curricula customized to the students prior knowledge. Also, it emphasizes hands-on problem solving.
Instruction: Under the theory of constructivism, educators focus on making connections between facts and fostering new understanding in students. Instructors tailor their teaching strategies to student responses and encourage students to analyse, interpret, and predict information. Teachers also rely heavily on open-ended questions and promote extensive dialogue among students.
Assessment: Constructivism calls for the elimination of grades and standardized testing. Instead, assessment becomes part of the learning process so those students play a larger role in judging their own progress.Advantages of Constructivism
One of the biggest advantages of constructivism is that the learner will learn to apply their knowledge under appropriate condition.
Use of scaffolding, provided by teacher or group, for individual problem solving (Wilson & Cole, 1991)
Learners will be able to develop metacognitive skills (Savery & Duffy, 1995)
Learners will get support via cognitive apprenticeship in the complex environment rather than simplifying the environment for the learner (Savery & Duffy, 1995).
Disadvantages of Constructivism
One of the biggest disadvantages of constructivism is that the learner may be hampered by contextualizing learning in that, at least initially, they may not be able to form abstractions and transfer knowledge and skills in new situations (Merrill, 1991) In other words, there is often, during the initial stage, confusion. and even frustration.
Learners will enjoy this new approach of discovering learning, but do not always actively construct meaning and building an appropriate knowledge structure (Merrill, 1991) [they simply copy what the better students do]..
Much of the interest in constructivism today relates to its application in the teaching and learning practices. As stated earlier, constructivism is first and foremost a philosophy of knowing. As a Primary school teacher, this researcher has evaluated the merits of this approach to teaching and learning and as a method of self-regulation to improve her practice has a Constructivist Checklist (see Appendix 1).
This researcher holds the view that; we must look at the impact constructivism has as a philosophy of knowing on teaching and learning and for it to be implemented effectively we must recluse ourselves from being the sage on the stage™, but rather the guide on the side™.BIBLIOGRAPHY
1. Abdal-Haqq, Ismat, 1998-Constructivism in Teacher Education
2.Brooks, J. & Brooks, M. (1993). The case for a constructivist classroom
3. Hoover Wesley,1996- The Practice Implications of Constructivism
4. Douglas-Mangroo Sharon,2002- Republic of Trinidad and Tobago Primary School Science Syllabus.
5. Retrieved on the 5th January, 2011
6. 1
1. Did pupils use manipulatives
2. Were they actively involved in the lesson
3. Did they have opportunities for discussion
4. Were they given time for reflection
5. Were pupils allowed to explain their knowledge
6. Did pupils work in groups
7. Were there opportunities for pupils to give more than one response
8. Were pupils allowed to negotiate meaning
9. Did groups come to a general consensus
10.Was there reporting in a Whole class session

How Does Beatrix Potter??™s the Tale of Peter Rabbit Use Picturebook Techniques to Tell a Story

How does Beatrix Potter??™s The Tale of Peter Rabbit use picturebook techniques to tell a storyThe Tale of Peter Rabbit is a true picturebook in that you need both picture and text to tell the intended story. It is a book that I think Beatrix Potter intended both parent and child to read together. The pictures, rather than the text, dominate the page. A child could look solely at the pictures and get an idea of the story but the text adds more detail and fills in the gaps. The print is linear, uniform in size and quite small in comparison to the pictures. The illustrations support the text but do not tell the whole story. An example of this is the simple picture of Peter walking through Mr McGregor??™s garden. The text explains further that Peter was ???feeling rather sick??™ and that ???he went to look for some parsley.??™ You would not get all this information from the picture alone.
The idea that the illustrator helps the reader to extract the intended meaning is something discussed by Parkes who states that ???signs are embedded in the illustrations??™ and that ???illustrations compliment and extend the written language bringing characters, settings and events to life??™1.
The illustrations have a very real feel to them; the soft pastels used are realistic colours that are true to nature. We know straight away that there are different types of birds in the story; a robin, sparrows and blue tits. The birds share Peter??™s adventures and a repeated theme in the pictures throughout the book is the idea that all the birds are Peter??™s friends, especially the robin. They are always pictured close by in the adventure; encouraging Peter not to give up when he is caught in the net, showing him the way to the gate and gathering around the captured blue coat and shoes that Mr McGregor is using as a scarecrow. This seems to be the moment that Peter reverts back to behaving like a wild rabbit running on all fours. The anthropomorphic mixture of rabbit and human seen all the way through the book in the use of the blue coat and shoes, among other things, comes to an end.
On only a couple of pages are we given an idea of the vastness of Mr McGregor??™s garden. In these instances the feeling of space and Peter being dwarfed by this space are used to great effect to create a tension in the story. This feeling of suspense and that something terrible could happen to Peter is a technique used to great effect throughout the book. The first example is seeing Peter squeeze himself under the gate ??“ when we??™ve already been told the fate of Peter??™s father in the same garden. We see Peter upside down, tightly caught by his foot and buttons in a net. We are also shown his narrow escape from Mr McGregor when we see how close the sieve gets to him and how near Mr McGregor??™s boot is to a fleeing Peter. The way the pictures seem to zoom in on the important action and white out the periphery is a very clever way to draw in and include the reader in Peter??™s narrow escapes and heightens the tension.
(Word count 548)BIBLIOGRAPHY
J. Doonan, Looking at Pictures in Picture Books (Glos: Thimble Press, 1993)
1Brenda Parkes, in What??™s in the Picture , ed. by Janet Evans (London: Sage, 1998), p. 46.

Constructivist Theory

Interest in constructivist education has been sweeping the country and while teachers across the nation are implementing this approach, it is still far from common. In brief, constructivist education appeals to children??™s interests, engages them in experimentation with phenomena of the physical world and fosters cooperation between teacher and child,(student) and among children (DeVries & Kohlberg, 1987/1990). The most valued assessments of children??™s knowledge are found in their work rather than in tests. The constructivist teacher is a mentor who takes a cooperative attitude in relation to children and uses natural and logical consequences as alternatives to authoritarian discipline. The two most central conceptions underlying constructivist education are;
1) Children construct knowledge.
2) Children cannot become autonomous intellectually or morally in authoritarian relations with adults.Let??™s take No 1) A child??™s subjective experience must be taken into account in all educational efforts because the child is understood as the active constructor of knowledge, personality and morality. This comes from Jean Piaget??™s theory that children construct these characteristics. ( for example, Piaget, 1932/1965; 1936/1952; 1929/1960) Shows that children have many ideas that are not taught to them. A three-year-olds often use their intelligence to reason that their shadows go inside themselves when they cannot see them. Five-year-olds often believe their shadows are under their beds or covers at night time. (DeVries, 1986; Piaget, 1929/1960) Even 9- year-olds do not believe that shadows are transitory. Rather, they are convinced that unseen shadows are still there somewhere (DeVries, 1986). No one ever taught these ideas. These are the product of thinking about courses that are not easily observed. No amount of direct teaching of any facts can convince the child otherwise because these are beliefs about non-observables that cannot be disproven. If a teacher requires children holding such beliefs to verbalize the correct answers would short-circuit the constructive process. This may make the child learn that, what adults say makes no sense and that adults want them to parrot what is meaningless to the child. This could make the child lose confidence in his or her own thinking and take on a passive Intel lectured attitude. To go back children construct their knowledge about shadows over a long period from age two through adolescence. Correct ideas about shadows are the result of logical deductions of the time which allows the child to correct erroneous ideas. This does not mean the teacher can do nothing to promote knowledge about shadows. Constructivist teachers do not simply wait till the child is ?????™ready??™??™. They may give the children many experiences in which they experiment with making shadows; this will test their ideas and develop reasoning power and confidence in the power of their reasoning. The biggest question a teacher can ask is; WHAT DO YOU THINK WILL HAPPEN IF??¦. To produce a disequilibrium ??“ a contradiction between what children expert and what actually happens. Teachers can facilitate discussions in which children invariably have differing ideas about shadows phenomena and this encounter further disequilibria. This in time will take them down the path of scientific truth, from a constructivist perspective; such reasoning leads children to become more intelligent. Constructing knowledge, referrer??™s both to the content of knowledge (foe example, properties of objects or relative values of numbers) and to the structure of knowledge (example, the understanding of relationships such as transitivity, serration and correspondence) Constructivists take the view that it is through active reasoning that both content and structure are constructed simultaneously, they are also constructing knowledge about their own competencies and in competencies, the reliability of others and how to relate to others.No 2) Piaget??™s (1932/1965) research and theory convinces constructivist educators that a particular type of adult-child relationship is necessary for children??™s optimal development and learning. Piaget proposed a conception of two types of morality, heteronymous and autonomous and two parallel types of adult-child relations, coercive and cooperative, that differ in their effects on children??™s learning and development. Heteronymous morality is a morality of abedience in which the individual simply accepts and follows rules given by others. Autonomous morality is following moral rules with a feeling of personal necessity, conviction and commitment. Piaget defined the heteronymous or coercive relationship as one in which the child is regulated by the adult who gives ready-made rules and instructions for behaviour. In this relationship, the adult uses the power of authority to control and instruct the child and the child??™s reason for behaviour is outside his or her own reasoning and system of personal interests and values. In contrast, the autonomous or cooperative relationship is one in which the adult builds on a foundation of mutual affection to encourage the child??™s self-regulation and the construction process of moral rules and values that guide behaviours.
Constructivist educators take the view that autonomous morality results from self-regulation as children deal with social, moral and intellectual problems in their lives and find out what happens when they take certain actions. Self-regulation is therefore considered to be necessary for optimal development and learning. Heteronymous, coercive control by adults results in intellectual passivity when children submit mindlessly to adults. Thus, according to Piaget (1932/1965):
If he (the child) is intellectually passive, he will not know how to be free ethically. Conversely, if his ethics consist exclusively in submission to adult authority and if the only exchanges that make up the life of the class are those that bind each student individually to a master holding all power, he will not know how to be intellectually active. (p.107)