chapter  8
22 Pages

DILEMMAS OF INSIDER RESEARCH IN A SMALL-COUNTRY SETTING: TERTIARY EDUCATION IN ST. LUCIA Pearlette Louisy

When I first set out to conduct a case study of the Sir Arthur Lewis Commu-

nity College, I was responding to a recommendation emanating from a Pan

Commonwealth meeting on post-secondary colleges in the small states of the

Commonwealth that was held in St. Lucia in 1988 by the Human Resource

Development Group of the Commonwealth Secretariat. I was then associated

with the host institution in an administrative capacity, and was therefore a

member of the group that was enjoined to prepare a practical handbook on

the establishment and development of multipurpose colleges. This would be

based on the findings of the meeting and include case studies drawn from the

participating countries (Commonwealth Secretariat, 1988). As a national re-

searcher, therefore, the main issue seemed to me to be one of raising questions

about familiar topics. I had envisaged a study that would draw upon the views,

perceptions and perspectives of those persons who were intimately involved

in the planning, establishment and development of the national tertiary insti-

tution. Inquiry would be structured around themes or focus areas, along the

same lines as those used by participants at the Commonwealth meeting. This

would provide a common framework for future comparative analyses across

the range of small states, should the call for case studies of national colleges

be taken up by other researchers.