Showing posts from May, 2013

Understanding Learning Styles

The first distinctive feature and guiding principle of the Philippines' DepEd K to 12 basic education program is its emphasis on the learner: "The learner is the very reason of the entire curriculum system. Who the learner is in his/her totality, how he/she learns and develops and what his/her needs are were highly considered in the making of the K to 12 curriculum framework.The holistic learning and development of the learner is its primary focus. A teacher creates a conducive atmosphere where the learner enjoys learning, takes part in meaningful learning experiences and experiences success because he/she is respected, accepted and feels safe even if in his/her learning exploration he/she commits mistakes. He/she learns at his/her own pace in his/her own learning style. He/she is empowered to make choices and to become responsible for his/her own learning in the classroom and for a lifetime." ( The K to 12 Basic Education Program, March 12, 2012 ) All of these sentenc

Philippines: Global Competitiveness (2013)

Last year, a post entitled " Philippines: Global Competitiveness " pointed out important details regarding the ranking of the Philippines in global competitiveness made by the  International Institute for Management and Development (IMD) : Presented here are snapshots of the rankings including some detailed data pertaining to the Philippines (posted here with permission from the IMD). The Philippines fell two notches (from 41 to 43) in the recent rankings (59 countries are included in the rankings). What is highlighted here is the perennial low ranking of the country's infrastructure. Over the past five years, the Philippines has ranked 48, 56, 56, 57, 55 in this criterion. The country's competitive landscape is clearly pulled back by its low scores on basic infrastructure (56), science infrastructure (58) and education (57). The last table in this post shows in more detail what is involved in the education score. These are the 2012 numbers, which provide a go

Solon decries shortage of high schools, Calls for one high school in every barangay

Reposted from Reference: ACT TEACHERS Party-List Representative Antonio Tinio (09209220817) Solon decries shortage of high schools Calls for one high school in every barangay “Yes, we will still have a serioius shortage of classrooms for this school year. But it’s time we talk about a far more serious shortage—that of high schools.” ACT TEACHERS Party-List Representative Antonio Tinio lamented that due to the gross shortage of public secondary schools, 4.6 million high school-age youth from 12 to 15 years old are not enrolled in high school. They make up a significant portion of the country’s 6.24 million out-of-school youth. This school year, the Department of Education expects an enrolment of 7.45 million in public and private high schools nationwide. Citing Deped figures, the legislator noted that there were 7,268 public high schools throughout the country i

Teachers on Pnoy’s K-to-12 and” bright future” for Filipino children, “wishful thinking”

Reposted from Reference: Mr. Benjie Valbuena, ACT Chairperson (09162294515) Media Liaison: Ms. Zeni Lao (09198198903,09174998608) Teachers on Pnoy’s K-to-12 and” bright future” for Filipino children, “wishful thinking” President Aquino recently signed a law on adding three extra years to the country’s 10-year basic education curriculum in a bid to make Filipino students at par with their peers in other countries. Aquino said Republic Act No. 10533 institutionalizes a system of education that “truly imbues our youth with the skills they need to pursue their dreams.” By signing this bill into law, we are not just adding two years of additional learning for our students; we are making certain that the coming generations are empowered to strengthen the very fabric of our society, as well as our economy,” he told lawmakers, Cabinet officials, diplomats and students.

Solon doubts “zero backlog” in teachers, classrooms

Reposted from Reference: ACT TEACHERS Party-List Representative Antonio Tinio (09209220817) Despite proud announcements from the Aquino administration of a “zero backlog” in teachers and classrooms, ACT TEACHERS Party-List Representative Antonio Tinio lamented that public school children will still be facing severe shortages in these basic inputs this school year. According to Department of Education Secretary Armin Luistro, the teacher and classroom shortages will be erased “by the end of 2013″ with the help of interventions from local governments, the private sector, and foreign assistance. DepEd and administration officials told media that the teacher shortage was 145,000 in 2010, with 36,923 hired as of February and 61,510 others to be hired starting this month. Since 2010, government has constructed a total of 33,956 classrooms, which is still short of the total backlog of 66,800 classroom. “

Science and Math Education: Content versus Skills

Science and math education requires both mastery of content and acquisition of skills. Unfortunately, education programs usually neglect one of these two, placing greater emphasis only on one. Skills required for scientific work also come in two flavors. Collection, presentation and organization are useful skills but these are oftentimes superficial. The connection between skills and content manifests in a student's ability to arrive at sound explanations and valid conclusions. Science is not just a thinking process. And so is math. There are things that are correct and there are things that are deemed incorrect.  Back in 1999, the National Center for Education Statistics in the US recruited mathematicians and mathematics education experts to view mathematics lessons taught in Japan, Germany and the US grade 8 classrooms , and the following graph summarizes the evaluation of these experts: Above figure downloaded from With the above fi

Brain-Targeted Teaching

Science teaches in so many ways. Research informs. With the findings provided by neuroscience research, the question is how to apply these studies to improve learning. Dr. Mariale Hardiman, co-founder and director of the Johns Hopkins University School of Education's Neuro-Education Initiative , has been working over the past decade to connect brain research with effective teaching. Her model is called " Brain-Targeted Teaching:®  A Comprehensive Model for Classroom Instruction and School Reform ", illustrated in the following figure: Above figure downloaded from To help explain the above six targets, several examples of lessons have been provided by Hardiman on the BrainTargetedTeaching  website . One example is for first grade students, submitted by Alysson Eno, " Where We Are in Place and Time ".  Lesson: Different Landforms Figure downloaded from  Where We Are in Place and Time Presentation The fi

Deped K to 12 Modules for Sale, in 2013?

Someone posted the following on my Facebook timeline: Mga kapwa-guro, magulang at mag-aaral: Noong nakaraang taon laganap ang Bentahan ng MODULE ng Grade 7.... dahil walang module na natanggap ang ibang subject area.... ngayon ang mga Grade 8 bumalik galling ng K -12 Seminar ng walang dalang Module para sa mga bata.... It says, "Fellow teachers, parents and students: Last year since there were no modules provided, widespread selling of modules for Grade 7 happened.... This year, teachers who recently attended a K-12 seminar also did not return with modules for Grade 8. So the sign says, "Do not make vendors out of teachers, A module should be free and not for sale." It is troublesome if indeed modules are not going to be available again this year. I am reposting an article from this blog which questions not just the availability of the modules but also their quality and accuracy: No, this blog is not selling modules for DepEd K to 12. Although, it is notewo

Video Games for Science Education

My six-year old son is currently fascinated with the Wild Kratts  section of PBSKids. With my son's interest in wild animals, Wild Kratts  clearly provides a learning platform for science concepts that is combined with adventure and fun. In the adventure, my son tries to collect all sorts of creature powers. After getting all these resources, he then proceeds to the final challenge of rescuing entire habitats: Above picture captured from Throughout the games, a wild animal is featured, highlighting its physical features and abilities. For each animal, the habitat is likewise touched upon, revealing its defining characteristics and the adaptations of its creatures. The following are the learning goals of this program ( ): The learning goals of Wild Kratts are to: Teach six to eight-year-old viewers natural history and age-appropriate science by building on their natural i

Early Childhood Education in Math and Science

Like other institutions of higher learning in the United States, Georgetown University has a child daycare - preschool program on campus. The challenge, of course, is availability of slots. Early childhood programs are in great demand that high quality day care centers are usually full and the waiting list is especially long. The high subscription for these services come from the fact that both parents are usually working. With the relatively small size of US families, daycare centers also provide a social setting for young children who may not have siblings. Good early childhood programs usually incorporate activities commonly regarded as interesting to young minds and hands like arts, crafts and music. These are certainly beyond mere baby-sitting. Incorporating math and science into these programs may appear challenging, but is certainly feasible. Lillian Mongeau  at EdSource  notes in " Pasadena center at forefront of early math programs for young children "   that while

Digital-Literacy Skills

Resources and learning are two different things. The internet indeed offers greater access to information on any topic. The depth and breadth of information it provides at anyone's fingertips is simply astonishing. Internet usage in countries is continuously increasing over the years. Access and speed are both improving. Its penetration among youth is usually higher. The internet is quite different from television and radio, from cable or network broadcasts. The information in these older media is limited in scope and variety compared to what is stored on the world wide web. Without doubt, the internet provides a treasure of resources for education. One can read a newspaper, an encyclopedia, a journal. One can chat with friends, share videos and photographs, without leaving home. The Philippines is no exception. The following are data compiled by the Asia Digital Marketing Association for internet usage in the Philippines: Unfortunately, quantity does not usually mean qua

Spiral Curriculum: When and How? Redundant versus Progressive?

Republic Act 10533 of the Philippines, otherwise known as the " Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 ", not only adds two years to basic education and reiterates universal kindergarten, but also prescribes the standards and guidelines the Department of Education must follow in developing curriculum. One item under this prescription is: " The curriculum shall use the spiral progression approach to ensure mastery of knowledge and skills after each level." The following is an example taken from a presentation given by Merle Tan , illustrating how chemistry is integrated into the new DepEd K+12 curriculum: In the same presentation, it is also mentioned that "Science curriculum framework of high performing countries (Australia, Brunei, England, Finland, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, New Zealand, USA (3 states)) follow a spiral progression and integrated approach at least up to G9". The presentation, however, fails to cite that in Singapore,