Building conditions and students' attainment in Jamaica

ROPER, O'Neil Ryan (2014). Building conditions and students' attainment in Jamaica. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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Abstract

A growing body of research has established that there is a link between building conditions and students' academic performance--if the condition of the school facility is good the academic scores of students are likely to be higher than those schools that are in a bad state. However, there have been no previous studies into the relationship between building condition and students' attainment in countries like Jamaica; countries that are tropical, and have fast growing populations, low GDP, and where a poor performing economy is the norm. The aim of the study was to examine the findings of previous researchers to determine if the same variables they found that were associated with student attainment were also associated with students’ low academic performance in the Jamaican education system. The sample was 83 public high schools that taught Mathematics, English Language, Principles of Business, Principles of Accounts, Social Studies and Visual Arts. The survey instrument used was based on that developed by Cash (1993), however it was modified for use in the Jamaican context. After pilot testing, the high school principals were given the revised Commonwealth Assessment of Physical Environment (MCAPE) to assess building conditions. Their assessments were validated via a number of visits. Student achievement was measured by final examination scores collected from the Ministry of Education and derived from Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate Examination (CSEC) results. The variables were analysed using descriptive statistics, non-parametric tests, and multivariate analysis which were used to address the research questions. The important findings were that six of seventeen variables relating to school facilities showed strong, and usually statistically significant at p < .10, correlations with attainment, as did five of the six variables relating to noise generating facilities. There was an unexpected finding with regards to building age: an original contribution to knowledge of this research is that, contrary to studies in developed economies, it is older schools in Jamaica that tend to be in better condition; a finding school principals attribute to the assistance of Past Student Associations. The main issue now facing the Jamaican education system is that students’ academic performance are extremely low overall. This has challenged school administrators to determine the cause with a view to correcting this problem. This research will aid in solving the problem by highlighting possible factors that are associated with poor performing schools in Jamaica. The findings of this research will help to address built environment related problems in the education system. The research suggested other areas that could be researched and therefore can be used to determine the design and maintenance needs that have the greatest influence on the learning process.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Business School Research Institute > Service Sector Management
Depositing User: Ilfryn Price
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2015 14:37
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2016 00:12
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/11072

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