"Bear in mind that the wonderful things you learn in your schools are the work of many generations, produced by enthusiastic effort and infinite labor in every country of the world. All this is put into your hands as your inheritance in order that you may receive it, honor it, add to it, and one day faithfully hand it to your children. Thus do we mortals achieve immortality in the permanent things which we create in common." - Albert Einstein

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Experiential Learning at Sagada National High School

Sagada National High School in the Philippines maintains a blog for its school paper "Hillside Echoes". Last month, it published an editorial on DepEd's K to 12. The editorial noted that last year, the school witnessed three different curricula in the school. Fourth year students were still in the 2002 Revised Basic Education Curriculum while both second and third year high school students were with the unfinished 2010 Curriculum. First year students were facing the new K to 12 curriculum. The editorial describes reactions by parents to the K to 12 curriculum in the following manner:

"...Feedback from parents of affected and will-be affected parents and guardians were heard during the General Assembly of the school’s Parents and Teachers Association. A mixed reaction was obviously seen and heard. Some said that this might only be an experimentation stage that might possibly be changed with the election of another President. Situations of universities and colleges would be undertaking during the two year transition period were also questioned. On the other side, comments of additional learning on the part of the students with the implementation of the K+12 were also highlighted. 
With all explanations and videos, it’s a reality that some are contented and many are not...."
What caught my attention, however, is the following photo that came with the editorial:

Downloaded from http://sagadanationalhighschool.wordpress.com/2012/12/21/editorial/
Original Caption: The K-12 Curriculum for Grade 7 requires an Experiential Learning for each subject area one hour a week. Photo shows the Grade 7-Graphite students of Mr. Innocencio Estangki doing research at the cemetery for their Araling Panlipunan subject. photo courtesy of Graphite
I inquired about what the students were doing in the cemetery and to this question, I received the following response from the paper:
"I was able to talk with the history teacher in-charge of the Grade 7 students(in the picture).  Accordingly, they were discussing the topic about primary sources of information. Apparently, there was no research question during the 1-hour experiential learning they had in the cemetery. Since the lesson was all about primary sources of information (which includes observation and learning by discovery), it was solely on the students' discretion and experience. For example, the picture you saw of the students in the cemetery. They were looking at each and every tombstone and picking up details and bits of information about Sagada's history such as past Mayors, pre-war soldiers and Japanese ancestry, and other important individuals."
Experiential learning engages the student. The following is a report that talks about "deeper learning" in some schools in the United States:




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