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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Pandemic May Lead to the Rise of Shadow Education in the US
With most schools preparing for one hundred percent virtual classes this coming Fall, parents may begin looking for alternatives. Before the pandemic, students in the United States have already been participating in private supplementary education. COVID-19 may therefore catalyze a rise in this shadow educational system which may exacerbate existing gaps in education. A study that looks at about 18,000 ninth grade students back in 2009 already shows a significant number of students (about 18 percent) participating in out-of-school programs. With parents anxious about their children being left behind, these numbers are likely to increase. The study finds that Blacks and Hispanics attend these private programs for "catching up" while Asians generally "aim to get ahead".
Whenever a new market arises, of course, there are opportunities. A Martial arts school in Fairfax county, for example, tries to respond to this expected demand.
As educators, we must be vigilant with factors that may easily jeopardize our quest for equity in education. When education becomes purely a capitalist playground, "education for all" becomes unreachable.
With the new K to 12 curriculum in the Philippines, various tracks are now offered in the last two years of basic education. The various options available obviously make it possible for students to find themselves later unprepared for the courses they decide to take in college. A student, for instance, who finishes the accounting business management (ABM) strand in the senior high school academic track, is now required to take additional courses if the student chooses to enroll in a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) major in college. These additional courses which are now called "bridging programs" are either taken during the first year of college or over several weeks in the summer before college starts.
There are bridging programs in the United States, but these are different from the ones that are now appearing in colleges in the Philippines. In Coldwater High School in Michigan, for example, the "bridging program" is an option for students…
Science education is challenging. To some, science seems like a mere collection of facts waiting to be memorized. Not surprisingly, skills scientists exhibit are often emphasized in teaching science in primary and secondary schools. Since science does deal with a large amount of information about the world we live in, generalizations are greatly sought. Explanations that apply to a multitude of cases are theories worthwhile to both teach and learn. In high school, it is the deductive reasoning that is most often used to teach science. General rules are first taught and are applied to specific cases until a conclusion is reached. This is often called "top-down" logic. Drawing a hypothesis, performing experiments and making observations, and explaining the results is a common description of the scientific method. But scientists do not always work in this direction. There is likewise inductive reasoning or "bottom-up" logic. The difference between deductive and induct…
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…