A gathering of the country’s best teachersBy Queena N. Lee-Chua
Philippine Daily Inquirer
In light of the Kindergarten to Year 12 (K to 12) reform, the Metrobank Network of Outstanding Teachers and Educators (Noted) will convene the Fourth National Tri-Level Conference for elementary, secondary and tertiary teachers and administrators. I daresay even those in graduate school can benefit from the conference.
The three-day meeting starts on Sept. 27 at the Century Park Hotel in Manila. It aims to “provide updates and directions for educational innovations in view of K to 12, enhance the teaching and learning skills of teachers for the 21st century, and promote networking among those in the academe,” says Noted vice president and conference chair Josefina A. Tuazon.
Drawing from the work of Partnership for 21st Century Skills (www.p21.org), Noted believes that, for students to succeed in this millennium, they need to master core subjects and integrate into their learning interdisciplinary themes like “global awareness; financial, economic, business and entrepreneurial literacy; civic literacy, health literacy, environmental literacy.”
To help students, teachers need to uphold high standards, and provide effective assessment, curriculum, instruction and learning environments.
Students are expected to become creative and innovative critical thinkers and problem solvers, with good communication and collaboration skills. In a technologically driven world, they hopefully will acquire information, media and technological literacy skills, to prepare them for further studies, career and beyond.
Keynote speakers are Education Secretary Armin A. Luistro, Commission on Higher Education Commissioner Cynthia Rose Bautista, Technical Skills and Development Authority Deputy Director Irene M. Isaac and University of Melbourne (UOM) Assessment Center director Patrick Griffin.
UOM deputy director Esther Care, The Manila Times College president Isagani R. Cruz, University of the Philippines (UP) professor Graciano Yumul Jr. and I are plenary speakers.
Care will discuss assessment and life skills; Cruz, the general education curriculum; Yumul, weather and floods; and I, the interplay of innovation and technology.
The best teachers from all over the country will do parallel sessions and workshops. Dean Evelina M. Vicencio of the University of the East (UE) College of Education will talk on creative teaching; director Marilyn U. Balagtas of the Philippine National University (PNU) Center for Research and Development in Education on standards-based assessment; sociology professor Ricardo G. Abad of Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) on critical thinking; Intel’s Cynthia L. Diaz, trainer of the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization, on teaching with multimedia.
To help teachers implement K to 12 well, Felicitas E. Pado, coordinator of Mother Tongue-based Multilingual Education, will provide updates on beginning literacy; former Education Secretary Fe A. Hidalgo on edukasyon sa pagpapakatao; principal and coordinator of languages Edizon Fermin of Miriam College High School on language; professor Vanessa L. Oyzon of the UP College of Education on araling panlipunan; PNU department chair Larry Gabao on physical education; and UE’s Vicencio on health.
Other subject updates will come from former director Merle C. Tan of the National Institute for Science and Math Education (science), ADMU associate professor Ian June L. Garces (mathematics), coordinator of languages Ani Rosa Almario (Filipino), K to 12 consultant director Imelda B. Taganas (technology and livelihood education), National Commission for Culture and the Arts’ Alice A. Pañares (arts) and UE professor Mauricia D. Borromeo (music).
Noted president Arturo P. Casanova says the conference is the group’s contribution to the celebration of National Teachers’ Month.
Contact Tuazon at email@example.com or Noted treasurer Evelyn B. Caja at firstname.lastname@example.org or 9297907.
Handling smaller classes is a lot easier than dealing with those classified as large (50-70) or extra-large (more than 71 students). According to the Department of Education, an average class in the country has 54 students. Multiple shifts in schools double or even triple the burden of teachers.
In July 2011, the Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute (SEI) decided to tackle the problem of large classes head on.
“Many schools experience [student] clogging,” SEI director Filma Brawner says. “While interventions are being done … this is [our way to] introduce an alternative solution.”
Schools around the country submitted proposals to SEI on innovative teaching for big classes. Six were chosen to implement them. Initially awarded P50,000, they got an equal amount at the start of the third quarter.
Students were later assessed to determine the effectiveness of the innovations.
Bacong National High School in Zamboanga del Norte; Looc National High School in Calamba, Laguna; Andres Bonifacio Integrated School in Mandaluyong City; and San Isidro National High School in Makati City deal with large classes, while Las Piñas East and Navotas National High Schools manage extra-large ones.
Winners were announced in August. Bacong National won for its “Bacong Developmental Instruction that harnessed classroom activities [using] the facilitative mode of teaching.”
Looc National was recognized for its “Flock Program” in teaching math to third-year students. Instead of teaching the large class, teachers dealt with smaller groups or flocks.
Student performance improved in both cases.
DOST Undersecretary Fortunato de la Peña hopes “innovative thinking will be in our back packs from now on.”
E-mail the author at email@example.com.
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