If there’s one thing we learned in the last few years, it’s the need to stay alert to the potential for new scenarios to arise. And indeed, there are emerging pressures not only in the education sector but also in other sectors of society that need to be addressed in a more innovative and comprehensive way.
So no matter how inspiring the comments are from our clients about what UP NISMED has been doing, we are making some changes in our organizational structure and the way we deliver our services to meet changing demands, given many constraints.
The NISMED reorganization is currently focused on the academic groups involved in research, curriculum, and professional development. Recognizing the need to articulate the basic education curriculum, the academic teams at the Institute will be made up of science and mathematics education specialists and associates distributed across three disciplines: biological, physical, and earth and environmental sciences and not by educational level background (elementary or secondary school). This new grouping will help us conduct activities with more efficiency and dynamism and enable us to complete our flagship program labeled ‘Collaborative Lesson Research and Development.’
A major innovation in the conduct of the research cum professional development project is the active participation of school partners. The CLRD Program promotes vigorously the practice of ‘teaching science through inquiry’ and ‘teaching mathematics through problem solving’ to as many stakeholders as possible to reverse the trend of poor performance of students. Our experiences tell us that given the right motivation, challenge, and instructions from teachers, young boys and girls can solve problems in different ways and investigate problems in real life.
To complete as many milestones as possible at NISMED, we are going to practice ‘distributed leadership’ knowing that each staff has a particular strength and expertise. This year and onwards, we will stretch over the leadership practice to two or more staff over time. This means that a task is coenacted by two or more leaders—working together or independently, to conduct more inquiry-based teacher training, publish more HOTS-based instructional materials, improve and make the communication system within NISMED and with our clients more efficient.
The decision to make changes in the way we work as an Institution and the activities we run is based on many factors and may have been the easy part. Getting our clients to consider our findings and recommendations and get out of their comfort zones is much more difficult. Our challenge Is to convince DepED, CHED, and other education stakeholders that the changes we suggest in the basic education curriculum and the professional development model we offer are for the better.