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Apr 21, 2016

Sixth Edition of UB’s Research Symposium Hosted in Belize City

The sixth edition of the University of Belize’s Research Symposium was held today at the Radisson in Belize City. UB promotes and facilitates research and disseminates its findings on a number of national issues.  Research papers have become a requirement for graduating students. News Five’s Duane Moody reports on some of the interesting findings.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Acknowledging research as an integral element of tertiary education is the focus of the sixth annual research symposium of the University of Belize.  Today at the Radisson, UB students as well as faculty and staff gathered to discuss the findings of months of research and professional development. According to Doctor Bernard Watler, the conference highlights practical and policy oriented research on a broad range of issues and topics of national importance.

 

Bernard Watler

Dr. Bernard Watler, Dean, Faculty of Management and Social Sciences

“The whole idea behind doing research is just not to do research for research sake but rather to ensure that at the end of the day, you are adding to the existing body of knowledge that exists in your country. When you look around the world, you find that all the emerging economies are built on a strong culture of research. And we continue to talk about economic development and we continue to talk about social development, but we are not going to get very far until we begin to embrace what research has to offer.”

 

Among the presentations made was the analysis of the impact of Chinese businesses on Belize’s economy. It’s a paper by Belizean-Chinese student, Dong Hun Cho, who wanted to understand what the Asian community is doing to make them competitive.

 

Dong Hun Cho

Dong Hun Cho, Impact of Chinese Businesses on Belize’s Economy

“Some particular stuff that they do, best practices let’s call it that makes them so competitive in this area is that they learn to work together. That’s one of the more important factors at the end of the day; family members are working together seven days a week, ten hours a day or more. They spend little and make a lot; they save. Sometimes we as Belizeans it is very difficult to save that money, especially when weekend time comes around. So it is hard; you have to try to save that money. Third is that you need to be able to secure cheaper sources of products and finance. With them they get money from maybe their granny, their uncle and then they say hear what we will help you get this money for right now to start up the business. We have loans in Belize, yes—I am not hitting on anyone—but it is a little bit more expensive because from family members we get it for free. So it helps them in that beginning to start up.”

 

Another study focused on the effectiveness of physical education program in primary schools, but what about teacher efficacy? It’s the ability of a teacher or lecturer to produce a desired or intended result in the classroom. Does it have an impact the productivity and grades of students? That’s what UB 2015 graduate and primary school teacher, Shilpa Jones, investigated.

 

Shilpa Jones

Shilpa Jones, Teacher Efficacy and Its Effect on Student Achievements and Attitudes

“I dealt with about fifty teachers and my finding is that teachers that rated themselves with a high efficacy do have students that perform well and they do have students that perceive them well. Teachers who have medium efficacy have students that perceive them at a medium range and their grades were just a little bit lower with teachers with high efficacy. What I found is that teachers who graded themselves with low efficacy, meaning that they feel like they are not strong or thing, the students perceive them high still and their scores were just a little bit lower than the students from the teachers with medium efficacy, about three points lower. Because I am a south side teacher, I dealt mostly with school on the south side of Belize and my research took me three months from beginning to end.”

 

The research projects are part of the graduation requirements for their degrees. Duane Moody for News Five.

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