Instructions for Preparation of School Based Assessment
The School Based Assessment section of Caribbean Studies accounts for 40% of the final grade. This section of the paper is internally assessed and externally moderated. This section of the examination gives candidates the chance to maximize their performance on the final examination. To this end, candidates are encouraged to explore possible topics to choose from the syllabus. At the back of the syllabus (pgs. 42-44) there are a number of broad topics that can be used to explore in the school base assessment.
Beginning the Research Process
1. First look at your immediate surroundings for issues you would like to discuss, or better yet, choose an issue you feel passionately about. In identifying a research problem one should keep the following in mind: * It should be of interest to you;
* It should be within your expertise;
* It should be worthwhile or significant;
* It should be ‘do-able’;
* It should be manageable.
(Source: Leacock, Coreen et al, (2009). Research Methods for Inexperienced Researchers. Jamaica: Ian Randle Publishers.
2. The next step is to gather as much information as possible on the topic (literature). There are several sources where you can find information; you can first start by looking at some books, journals, etc. In the age of the electronic media, the internet is the most popular place you may want to look. There may be a number of persons in your community you may want to talk to on the subject matter. Depending on the nature of the study, you may be fortunate enough to visit a website based on the subject you may be doing research on. Ensure that for the subject matter you have chosen there is enough material around for you to build your research. If this is not the case, do not give up, choose another topic. 3. After you have decided on a broad topic that you would like to research, you need to start the more difficult part of the paper which is narrowing the topic. Very often students have very interesting topics but they fail to obtain a comfortable grade due to the fact that their topic would have been too wide. Owing to the limitation on length, students must be very selective as to how they choose their area so as to maximize on the word limit. Please note that candidates would be penalized for exceeding the word limit. 4. The next step is to formulate a PROBLEM STATEMENT. The problem statement identifies the intent of purpose of the research (Leacock et al, 2009). This process involves thinking, discarding and re-formulating the problem so that it meets the criteria necessary for a researchable problem (Caribbean Studies, Study Guide, 2004). Therefore, the problem statement refers to a logical and concise sentence which expresses the topic that the researcher is investigating. 5. Below are examples of problem statements. Please note how the topics are narrowed: a. The economic effects of increased gang-related activities in the McKnight community in St. Kitts. b. The effects of the rise in the pre-school population upon the pre-school system in Charlestown, Nevis. c. Rastafarian children in the Basseterre area face unfair discrimination in school. OR
d. Do Rastafarian children who attend school in Basseterre face discrimination in school? e. There is a significant relationship between the age of voters and their preference of political party, [ in St. Kitts] , ( Leacock et al, 2009) A well written problem statement usually identifies the variables, in which you are interested, the specific relationship between those variables that you are examining, and where possible, the types of participants involved (Leacock et al, 2009, pg. 26). Note in the above topics the focus is very specific. First of all the geographic location is identified and a very specific area of the topic is chosen. The possibilities are...
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