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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Gangs in Our Schools
"He had to take knives to defend himself, and screwdrivers. He had razors and he told me, 'Mom, I'm going to defend myself with them, but it's not going to be enough.' Police have not confirmed a motive for the killing, but said Chicas and several members went to a meeting at the clique leader's home in the 7000 block of Varnum Street in Landover Hills on March 8. "During the meeting, a violent attack took place where our victim was stabbed as many as 100 times," said Major Brian Reilly with the Prince George's County Police Department." These are excerpts from a news report this past Friday on NBC Washington 4. News like this one is extremely disturbing. But the news really hit home when I read "Chicas was a student at Falls Church High School". This is the school my son is scheduled to attend a year from now. And it only hurts even more when I read in the comment section of an Annandale blog the following: "I agree this is a fact of life here, unfortunately. I makes me so sad to see this scourge in our schools. And unfortunately, this is the reason I am opting for private schools for my kids."
Yes, we need to be thoughtful and aware of our perceptions. Perceptions are only perceptions. However, perceptions have real consequences. Research has repeatedly shown that how we perceive a school affects how that school performs. In a paper published in 2016, researchers concluded, "Our results confirm a recent study by Peguero and Bracy (2015) that found adolescent perceptions of school disorder as well as school-level disorder are aspects of a detrimental school environment and can contribute to the likelihood of dropping out of school". Worth noting is that this study also found that minority children, those who are already showing achievement gaps, were affected more. Unfortunately, research is mute on what needs to be done. Disturbing instances lead to negative perceptions. Negative perceptions lead to an undesirable school climate, which feeds more into disorder and violence. It is a downward spiral. And I am profoundly worried at this point.
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…
People have strong opinions about almost anything and the issue of education is no exception. How these opinions have been formed needs to be examined. This is what good research does. It informs and guides. A myriad of factors influence education and oftentimes, these factors are not independent from each other. Factors interact, sometimes these add, and other times, these subtract. General notions therefore need to be carefully drawn. Writing articles on education can also be quite challenging. When problems in basic education involve an inability to think critically, it is difficult to reach the audience and convey the correct message. Oftentimes, sarcasm is lost so such style of writing needs to be avoided. For people who are convinced of their wisdom and understanding of how education works, profound messages from basic research can be often easily lost.
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…