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«REPORT ON CANDIDATES’ WORK IN THE SECONDARY EDUCATION CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION JANUARY 2012 SOCIAL STUDIES GENERAL PROFICIENCY EXAMINATION Copyright ...»

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Strategy 2: Arrange special packages such as lower room rates for the family and day passes to encourage residents to use the facilities at the hotels...

A relevant, feasible and well-explained justification for Strategy 1 was:

Residents will see direct benefits from the tourist industry and will no longer believe that tourism is for the “rich”. This will encourage greater appreciation for the industry and thus greater desire to participate...

Recommendations Overall, the performance on this paper was less than satisfactory. This reflected a high level of unpreparedness and lack of knowledge to answer questions effectively. The candidates must understand that the questions require knowledge and understanding of concepts and the application and analysis of the information.

Candidates

Most candidates had low scores for the questions on CARICOM, especially Question 6. This reflects a lack of knowledge and understanding of issues pertaining to CARICOM. Candidates are advised to use the objectives for the regional integration section, the CARICOM website, newspaper articles and other media reports on CARICOM to help to improve their performance on the questions.

The application, evaluation and problem-solving section requires that candidates use an informed position and principles based on fostering responsible behaviour and the promotion of democratic values and attitudes in proposing suggestions for social problems. The strategies should be relevant and feasible. Also, candidates must be aware that some suggestions may not be applicable to some groups.

The essay-type questions are structured to guide candidates in organizing their responses. There are too many cases where responses are disorganized and sections of the questions are located in various parts of the essay. Candidates are thus advised to organize their responses based on the format of the question.

The use of the word suggest implies that the strategy, measure or action recommended must be well developed and clearly explained. For the strategy, there must be a description as well as an explanation of how it will be implemented.

The definition of concepts continues to pose problems for candidates. Candidates are advised to use concept mapping techniques to develop an understanding and application of the concepts.

–  –  –

The aim of this examination was to test candidates’ knowledge of the research process and their ability to apply research concepts and skills to respond appropriately to questions. The paper consisted of five structured questions. To be successful on this examination, candidates must be exposed to regular instruction relevant to research. The mean was 19.49 or 49.72 per cent of the total score.

Question 1 required candidates to select a research topic from the two that had been provided.

The more popular choice was Views of residents in my community towards criminal activity.

In Part (b) the majority of candidates could not appropriately complete a problem statement that had been started. An example of an appropriate completion statement was: This study will show what residents in my community think about criminal activity. This is appropriate for a problem statement because the problem statement shows what the main focus of the research will be.

Candidates demonstrated adequate knowledge of the concept of research instruments; this was an improvement over past performance. In Part (e), the majority of candidates was able to identify possible problems a researcher could experience when conducting interviews.

Question 2

Candidates were unable to formulate/write one research question. Writing research questions, like any other skill, requires frequent practice to develop proficiency. It requires the researcher to think clearly about what he/she hopes to find out about the topic and to state these ideas in question form. These questions are expressed broadly as they focus on the general theme of the research.

An example of a well formulated research question supplied by a candidate was:

What are the effects of criminal activity on residents in my community?

Some research questions presented were not followed by a question mark.

When writing research questions consider the following:

 clarity — the question must be clearly stated  question format should be used — there should be a question mark at the end  avoid questions which may be answered by a yes/no response  avoid asking personalized questions such as ‘What do you think about criminal activity?’ Question 3 This question tested candidates’ knowledge of sampling in research. Candidates did not know the concept. Very few were able to describe their sampling method and state the reason why they chose that method. Candidates could not give a valid reason for the chosen sampling method.

Some acceptable responses from candidates for sampling methods were as follows:

Random Sampling:

 The names of each student will be written on slips of paper and placed in a bag; fifteen names will be pulled out of the bag. This is to ensure that each person has an equal chance of being selected.

 There are seventy five households in the community so I visited every third house to distribute a questionnaire. This is to ensure that each household has an equal chance of being selected.

Purposive sampling — select from the population only those who meet the necessary criteria to provide the necessary information.

For Part (e), the majority of candidates could state two ways in which the researcher can protect information provided by the sample.

Question 4 This was a case study. Performance on this question was good as the majority of candidates could interpret the data provided in the case; they could also state two important findings.

Question 5 Generally, candidates were able to calculate the percentages to complete a table using data provided in the case study from Question 4. Many of them were also unable to answer Part (a) ii which required them to display the data in the table as a comparative bar graph.

The other area of poor performance on this question was the recommendations in Part (b).

Recommendations are suggestions that can be made to solve a problem; therefore the recommendations must be relevant to the findings of the study. To improve performance on this

question the following guidelines could be considered:

 Read the entire case study carefully  Note the problem statement in the case  Pay close attention to the new information the researchers found (findings) about the problem being investigated  Recommend or suggest/state the best ways to solve the problem/s.

Suggestions to Candidates  Candidates can improve their performance on this examination. To do this they must prepare thoroughly for the exam. The performance on the paper demonstrated that candidates enter this examination unprepared.

 Candidates should engage in small, supervised research projects that will focus on the basic concepts being tested in the examination. As with any other skill, practice is necessary to achieve efficiency.

 Candidates must seek adequate tuition that will allow them to prepare thoroughly for the exam.

 Candidatesand should utilize the CSEC Manual for Private Candidates on the Alternative to School-Based Assessment component.



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