IN THE KNOW: Dynamic Learning Program
MANILA, Philippines — Couple Christopher and Maria Victoria Bernido, who became recipients of the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award in 2010, introduced a revolutionary way of teaching as far back as 2002 that they called “Dynamic Learning Program (DLP).”
“Learning by doing” is part of the DLP, which the two applied at a private high school owned by Christopher Bernido’s mother, Central Visayan Institute (CVI), in Jagna, a port town 63 kilometers east of Tagbilaran City, Bohol province.
At the DLP’s core is a technique developed by the Bernidos called parallel learning, where teachers spend only 20 percent of class time introducing a lesson to students. The remaining 80 percent of the time is allotted for students to answer questions on worksheets based on the lesson that their teachers have discussed for only 15 to 20 minutes.
By the end of a school year, DLP students would have answered up to 6,000 questions in science, math, economics, history and other subjects.
And because so much work is already done in class, there is no more need to do assignments at home. The no-homework policy enables students to do chores at home, have family time and sleep early.
The program also allows students a “strategic break” from academics every Wednesday, when they focus on physical education, music and arts classes.
Teachers can plan and prepare the activity sheets for the whole school year before classes start using DLP modules designed by the Bernidos. Even those who teach multiple classes may find it easy to follow the program.
The method limits teacher participation by devoting a considerable part of class time to student-driven activities built around clear learning targets, aided by well-designed learning plans, and performance-tracking tools.
The program uses locally available teaching aids and a “parallel classes scheme,” in which three simultaneous classes are handled by one expert teacher with the help of facilitators. It resulted in students showing radical improvement in their performance on national scholastic aptitude and university admission tests.
It has since been improving the academic performance of students in more than 1,000 public and private schools nationwide.
The Bernidos, who both earned doctoral degrees in physics from State University in New York, received the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 2010.
The Ramon Magsaysay Foundation cited the Bernidos for their “purposeful commitment to both science and nation, ensuring innovative, low-cost and effective basic education even under Philippine conditions of great scarcity and daunting poverty.” —INQUIRER RESEARCH
Sources: Inquirer Archives
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