Date of Conferral







Karine Clay


AbstractThe vision of the first postcolonial leader of Trinidad and Tobago was to build a nation of citizens who were educated. Education for All drove the new post-independence government in 1962 with a focus on free and equal education. This was achieved by using a three-year double shift schooling system to provide two school cycles in the morning and afternoon. This system was implemented in the early 1970s but was fraught with challenges. After achieving its Education for All mandate, the government de-shifted the three-year double shift schools and converted these to five-year full day schools by 2008. This study reviewed the impact of the de-shifting initiative on the academic achievement and psychosocial wellbeing of at-risk students in these schools through a theoretical lens of educational change and self-determination. An evaluative mixed methods case study approach was used to address the effectiveness of the rollout of the initiative, factors that could support academic achievement and wellbeing, and making change initiatives more effective. Five administrators from three schools were interviewed, and 13 teachers completed online surveys. Interview responses were coded and responses from surveys were analyzed manually. There were no significant changes in terms of academic achievement of these students, and while stigma persists, many of these students have experienced agency using the new five-year school system. Due to challenges faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, this study should be repeated with a larger sample to include perceptions and opinions of students expected to benefit from changes. Positive social change can occur by promoting community awareness and full stakeholder inclusion in decision-making.