A blog that tackles issues on basic education (in the Philippines and the United States) including early childhood education, the teaching profession, math and science education, medium of instruction, poverty, and the role of research and higher education.
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University Outreach: Higher Education Supporting Basic Education
Teachers in both elementary and high schools barely have the time to innovate and explore. Teachers at these levels, however, especially the experienced ones, know a lot regarding classroom management. On the other hand, faculty in universities as well as graduate students are generally quicker in finding resources for learning in primary and secondary schools. Graduate students and faculty in the sciences are likewise expected to be more enthusiastic regarding their fields of study. Although scientists in universities are expected to have a greater and deeper mastery of their subjects, they are not expected to be as aware as the teachers in basic education are of the basic education curriculum. Thus, a complementary relationship holds between higher education professors and basic education teachers. However, university outreach, even in the United States, where there are plentiful graduate programs in the sciences, still requires institutional support. Although it is obvious that higher education needs to support basic education, outreach activities supporting basic education need to be incorporated in tenure and promotion decisions in universities for these to become rewarding and not punishing especially to starting faculty members. In the United States, the National Science Foundation has been emphasizing for some time now broad impact in its funding decisions. This has led to a significant increase in outreach activities of scientists. Barbara M. Moskal and Catherine K. Skokan of the Colorado School of Mines have recently described an example of an outreach activity that is based on recommendations of experts in basic education. In this example, though the university brings its expertise into the classrooms, the respect and recognition towards elementary and high school teachers is evident. Providing 15 hours a week of direct classroom support throughout the academic year is not a token effort. The abstract of the paper is as follows:
TANONG: ANO ANG KTO12 PROGRAM? SAGOT: Ang Kto12 Program ng gobyerno ng Pilipinas ay tumutukoy sa pagkakaroon ng mandatory o required na kindergarten at karagdagang 2 taon sa dating 10-year Basic Education Cycle. Kung noon, pagkatapos ng anim na taon sa elementarya at apat na taon sa hayskul (kabuuang 10 taon) ay maaari nang makapagkolehiyo ang mga estudyante. Sa ilalim ng Kto12, bago makapagkolehiyo, kailangan pa nilang dumaan sa karagdagang 2 taon pagkatapos ng apat na taong hayskul. Sa bagong sistema, tinatawag na senior high school o junior college ang karagdagang 2 tao…
Congestion means overcrowding. In simple terms, there is too much in too little space or time. To avoid congestion one can either increase space or time, or reduce whatever is taking space or time. In introducing K to 12 to the Philippines, the Department of Education made the claim, "...the sad state of basic education can be partly attributed to the congested basic education curriculum." A closer examination of DepEd's K to 12, however, reveals not a decongestion, but a reduction of instructional hours across the first ten years of education.
Here are the changes for elementary school:
There is a reduction in both languages and mathematics of about 10 percent in instructional time. Below are the changes in secondary school:
Here, the decrease in instructional hours is even greater. Science, for instance suffers a 33 percent reduction. Adding two years to basic education may indeed look good on paper as a way of decongesting the curriculum. However, if the first ten yea…
There is information to be gained from data. Tests in schools can be informative. Scores of students provide a quick glimpse of the current state of education. Thus, it is useful to have these numbers. These numbers may not tell everything in detail with high accuracy. Nevertheless, test results allow for a useful perspective. The National Achievement Test administered by the Department of Education (DepEd) in the Philippines, a set of standardized tests addressing the major subjects taught in school, is an example. These tests are given to Grade 3 where students are assessed in both English and Filipino (These two subjects comprise two thirds of the exam) and Math and Science (These two account for the remaining one third). A different set of tests is given to Grade 6 pupils where each of the following 5 subjects is assigned 40 items: (Science, Math, English, Filipino and Social Studies). Another set is administered to fourth year high school students (This is currently the last year…