Macmillian Focus Group To Improve Relevance Of Texts 

PR – A representative of Macmillan Education Caribbean recently visited Grenada to conduct focus groups with educators aimed at increasing the relevance of their texts in the Caribbean. 

Development Editor of Caribbean Publishing Christian Ashton explained the objective and  activities conducted during the visit. 

“I’m here to talk to Ministry officials and teachers with regards to what they need, what they would  like us to improve upon in our future and current titles,” he said. “We’ve had some very substantive  – very fruitful – discussions for Computer Science, for HFLE, Agricultural Science and, in general,  TVET subjects; some fascinating, information which I wasn’t aware of before, which is all very  useful; some things for me to go away and discuss with our team – how we can better improve on  our offerings for Grenada and the wider Caribbean, obviously the OECS states.” 

Ashton said Macmillan is in the process of writing and will soon be editing a computer science  course text, for primary and lower secondary levels.  

He said, “The discussions with some of the computer science teachers, yesterday, came up with  suggestions for what kind of features they might find useful for activities and how best to go about  implementing them, for example using smartphones rather than just computers or tablets,  obviously trying to do things offline as well, where internet or technological issues may arise.” 

Additionally, he said the discussions suggested a move away from the perception of Agriculture  as hard labour and more towards the business and economic areas that present it as a viable career. One of the participants in the workshops, Louise Dabreo, shared her thoughts on the exercise.

“They are going to create a website whereby students can get their information as well as put notes  on the same site to do their assignment and it will become easier for teachers too, because teachers  will be able to correct their children’s work there and the children will get their feedback right  away,” she said. “This afternoon in textile and clothing, a lot was discussed, whereby we can use 

the material that we have around us to incorporate in our learning, to improve teaching and  learning.” 

Grenada’s agent and consultant for Macmillan Education Caribbean, Cheryl Bernabe, Ph.D., said,  “Because Macmillian wants to ensure that we satisfy our customers, we thought it was best to visit  a couple of the islands – Grenada, certainly – and to meet with focus groups – small groups of  teachers, in various subject areas, to find out how are our texts so far in terms of usage. Are we  meeting the needs are we relevant enough and is there any way we can enhance those books to get  better learning outcomes.”