NISMED conducts training for ARMM science teachers

A total of 50 Grade 8 and 65 Grade 2 science teachers from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) participated in a four-day training program dubbed as Support for the Management of an Improved Learning Environment (SMILE).

Mathematics interactive courseware training and pilot testing

The Elementary School Mathematics (ESM) Group together with the High School Mathematics (HSM) Group conducted a four-day training program on the use of interactive courseware...

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Sixteen Indian educators completed a five-day study visit and a workshop on science education concepts at UP NISMED from 9-13 November 2013.

Friday, August 1, 2014

A total of 50 Grade 8 and 65 Grade 2 science teachers from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) participated in a four-day training program dubbed as “Support for the Management of an Improved Learning Environment (SMILE).” The training of Grade 8 science teachers was held at UP NISMED on 24-27 February 2014, while the training of Grade 2 science teachers was conducted at the Pinnacle Hotel in Davao City on 4-7 March 2014. The program was intended to serve as supplemental training on science for elementary and high school trainers under the support of the Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao (BEAM - ARMM) of the Department of Education of ARMM (DepEd-ARMM) and the Australian Agency for International Development (Australian AID).
Participants arrange the bottles based on the pitch of the
sound created when struck with a spoon.
The objectives of the training conducted were to (1) explain the rationale, philosophy, and features of science and mathematics in the K to 12 curriculum; (2) show spiraling within science concepts and interconnections across concepts; (3) apply inquiry-based teaching in science, and; (4) demonstrate how content and inquiry skills are interwoven in the teaching of specific science concepts using the training modules written for Grades 2 and 8.

The training program helped to further orient ARMM trainer-participants on the new curriculum and its features, with emphasis on spiral progression and teaching science through inquiry. To develop inquiry skills that will facilitate meaningful learning of related concepts, Grade 8 teachers performed selected hands-on activities on various areas of science like Earth Science, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics, while Grade 2 teachers participated in the modeling sessions of inquiry-based science activities on selected topics like Sense Organs, Sounds, Weather, and Solids. NISMED trainers also had an opportunity to address misconceptions arising from the discussions and emphasize features of inquiry from the modeled science activities.

The trainer-participants are expected to conduct roll-out training sessions among all Grade 2 and 8 science teachers in various divisions in the ARMM region within the year.
The Elementary School Mathematics (ESM) Group together with the High School Mathematics (HSM) Group conducted a four-day training program on the use of interactive courseware in mathematics on 27-30 January 2014, at the DepEd Regional Education Learning Center (RELC), Marikina City. 
Grade 2 pupils answering the activities in the courseware during pilot testing.
Fifty teachers (30 Grades 2-4 and 20 Grades 5-6) from 20 schools from the various regions of the country attended the training. These teachers were divided into two groups, one group explored lessons for Grades 2 to 4, while the other group explored lessons for Grades 5 to 6. The group consisting of Grades 2 to 4 teachers participated in a workshop where they planned a lesson incorporating the use of the courseware, and implemented the lesson on the last day of the program. 

The courseware’s pilot testing was conducted from 5 February 2014 until 19 March 2014, with observers from UP NISMED, DOST-SEI, and DOST-ASTI. In some regions, some DepED personnel also joined the observations. 

The use of digitized materials in teaching and learning mathematics, particularly at the elementary school level, has been found effective. Pupils who used the technology package markedly showed interest and enthusiasm towards the lessons compared to those who did not use the technology.
NISMED Director Dr. Soledad A. Ulep and Earth Science Specialist Eligio C. Obille Jr. participated in the 8th APEC-Tsukuba International Conference held in Tokyo, Japan, on 12-17 February 2014. The conference was part of a three-year-long project that aims to ‘identify the best practices that ensure students are learning the foundation of mathematics and science, and applying this learning to real-world issues, such as preserving the environment, reducing damage due to disasters, and achieving green and sustainable growth.’ 

Since 2012, the project has been developing programs (e.g., booklets on e-textbook format with teaching materials) for APEC economies to educate teachers and children about disasters and how to save themselves from disasters such as tsunami and earthquakes, typhoons and floods, and fires and volcanic eruptions. This is achieved through the use of visual materials, sharing of essential evacuation strategies, and using actual data which are necessary to scientifically understand the mechanism and influence of disasters. These materials, developed through Lesson Study, are currently being used by APEC lesson study project institutions. 

In the APEC-Tsukuba International Conference, mathematics is considered as ‘the major literacy subject necessary for economic developments.’ Instead of simply solving hypothetical mathematics problems, the project promotes teaching mathematics in the context of natural disasters. Through lesson study, the project aims to produce an interactive textbook (e-book) that will help students prepare for an emergency, with emphasis for fires and volcanic eruption this year. The results will be presented in September 2014 at Khon Kaen University, Thailand. 
Through lesson study, specialists from the Asia-Pacific region identify ways to effectively
teach mathematics in the context of natural disasters
(Photo credit:
The conference was attended by various APEC economies such as Brunei, Chile, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, United States, and Vietnam. The three-year-long project is led by Dr. Maitree Inprasitha of the Center for Research in Mathematics Education, Khon Kaen University, Thailand and Dr. Masami Isoda of the Center for Research on International Cooperation in Educational Development, University of Tsukuba, Japan. 

Part of the week-long conference was a field trip to Nikko World Heritage Site. Due to heavy snowfall, the trip was cancelled and participants went instead to the Edo- Tokyo Museum, and Tokyo National Museum and National Museum of Nature and Science at Ueno.
Dr. Aida I. Yap of the Elementary School Mathematics Group and currently the Deputy Director for Administration attended the 27th UNESCO-APEIDHiroshima Seminar on Innovation and Reform in Teacher Education in the Asia-Pacific Region held at Hiroshima University, Japan on 30 March-1 April 2014. This annual seminar that started in 1987 aims to examine the problems and issues related to teacher education and development in the Asia-Pacific Region and to exchange experiences concerning the efforts to develop teacher competencies and design national and international cooperation frameworks and action plans to improve them. 
Representatives from Asia-Pacific countries during the 27th UNESCO-APEID seminar
held at Hiroshima University, Japan.
This year’s seminar focused on identifying the issues and trends in lesson studies around the world, particularly in nine Asia-Pacific countries: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Each country representative reported on the current status of lesson study in his or her country. Dr. Yap presented NISMED’s efforts in promoting lesson study in the Philippines. The other representatives were Dr. Sumar Hendayana of Indonesia, Oyunaa Purevdorj of Mongolia, Dr. Christine Kim Eng Lee of Singapore, and Dr. Narumol Inprasitha of Thailand. Prof. Takuya Baba and Prof. Kinya Shimizu presented the current status of lesson study in both Bangladesh and Cambodia respectively. In addition to country reports, a special report on JICA’s programs and projects in Africa was presented by Mr. Atsushi Matachi. 

The Vice President of Hiroshima University Prof. Masaki Sakakoshi, the Dean of the Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation (IDEC), Hiroshima University Prof. Akimasa Fujiwara, the Chairperson of UNESCO-APEID Hiroshima University Project Committee Prof. Hideo Ikeda, and the Program Officer of UNESCO-APEID, Bangkok Dr. Lay Cheng Tan delivered messages during the opening ceremony. Prof. Eiji Kozuka and some foreign students of IDEC also joined the seminar as observers. 

As an output of this project, a book on lesson studies in the Asia-Pacific Region will be published. The expected date of its publication is January 2016. Editors of the book are Takuya Baba, Kinya Shimizu, Christine Kim Eng Lee, and Lay Cheng Tan.
As part of the activities in celebration of NISMED’s 50th anniversary, this year, Dr. Rogel Mari D. Sese, one of only three astrophysicists in the Philippines and the government’s focal person for space education, gave a public lecture on 6 March 2014 at the NISMED Auditorium before 143 science and mathematics teachers coming from various places in Metro Manila, Luzon, and Mindanao. Dr. Sese expounded on the different fields under space science, its many applications, as well as the challenges of space science education in the country. He also stressed the need to inspire young students to engage in this exciting field and to train science teachers in astronomy, physics, and related science courses so that they can encourage college students to major in these fields. 

After the open forum, a 15-minute orientation of the available scholarships for teachers and students from the Japanese government followed. The public lecture was organized in collaboration with the Embassy of Japan and the Philippine Association of Japanese Government Scholars. The lecture series aims to promote scientific literacy and contribute to the professional development of science and mathematics teachers.