Dr. Merle C. Tan bags the 2011 Gawad Chanselor sa Natatanging REPS

On her third and final term as Director of the National Institute for Science and Mathematics Education Development (NISMED), University of the Philippines-Diliman awarded Dr. Merle C. Tan the Natatanging REPS sa 2011 Gawad Chanselor (Extension Category). The Search Committee consisted of Dr. Luis G. Sison (Chair), Vice Chancellor for Research and Development, Dr. Miguel D. Fortes of the Marine Science Institute, Dr. Leticia S. Tojos of the College of Social Work and Community Development, and Dr. Benedicta O. Lascano of the Office of Counseling and Guidance. The ceremonies were fittingly held at the NISMED Auditorium. It was a well-deserved honor to cap a long and fruitful career in science education.
Dr. Tan with former UP-Diliman Cancellor Sergio S. Cao 
and UP College of Education Dean Dina Joana S. Ocampo

The citation that was read during the awarding rites summed up in a nutshell what Dr. Tan has achieved in the four decades since she joined NISMED: Para sa kanyang ambag sa pagpapabuti ng edukasyong pang-agham sa pamamagitan ng pagbuo ng isang balangkas ng curriculum pang-agham, na gabay sa pagsisiyasat para sa batayang edukasyon. Para sa kanyang aktibong papel sa pagbuo ng ugnayan sa iba’t ibang institusyon at sa pagdudulot ng mga yaman upang mapalaganap ang kakayahang pang-agham sa publiko. At para sa pagtataguyod ng pagtulong sa mga guro upang maimulat ang mga mag-aaral mula sa tradisyonal na “Nauunawaan ko” sa mas makapangyarihang “Nauunawaan ko kung paano ito.”

The award recognized Dr. Tan’s advocacy for educational reforms, her being a tireless educator, always on the go, cooking up countless projects to advance the cause of science and mathematics education, not only here in our own country but abroad as well. In the past three years alone prior to the award, Dr. Tan has led the Institute in holding two conferences and one seminar-workshop: Meeting the Challenges in Science and Mathematics Education: Innovations in Action (International Conference, 2008); Let Children Shine, Theme: Assessment for Learning (National Seminar-Workshop, 2009); and Assessing Learning: Innovations and Practices (International Conference, 2010).

The accolade also expressed appreciation for Dr. Tan’s role in the development of resources not only for students and teachers but also for policy- and decision-makers. In 2008, together with Dr. Vivien M. Talisayon of the UP College of Education, she edited the book Science Education for Sustainable Development. In the same year, she was one of the editors of Addressing Misconceptions in Mathematics and Science, a book designed ‘to overcome the proliferation of misconceptions.’ In 2009, she was the project coordinator in the revision of the Department of Education (DepED) textbook Integrated Science. And most importantly, Dr. Tan labored mightily as chair of the technical working group that produced Teach Less, Learn More, Proposed Science Curriculum Framework for Basic Education, and Raising the Bar for Science Teachers, Proposed Framework for Science Teacher Education with Standards of Performance.

Undoubtedly, the success of Dr. Tan’s varied undertakings depended greatly on her extensive network within the science education community and beyond, having worked with the Environmental Management Bureau - Department of Environmental and Natural Resources, the Science Education Institute and Philippine Science High School System, both of the Department of Science and Technology, the Bureau of Elementary Education and Bureau of Secondary Education, both of DepED, and the Commission on Higher Education. Overseas, Dr. Tan has also served as Academic Adviser at the Hiroshima University International Development in Education and Cooperation Graduate School.

There is no off position on Dr. Tan’s educator switch. She sees learning opportunities everywhere, especially at home where she has to play babysitter now and then to a growing number of apo. She is known to lighten up otherwise prim and proper meetings by recounting teachable moments involving her grandchildren. Given the slightest excuse, Dr. Tan would quote Mica’s incredulous question again, for the nth time. “You mean I’m an animal, Lola?” The Gawad Chanselor Award could not have gone to a more worthy recipient.


Anonymous said…
Belated Congratulations Dr. Merle Tan for an excellent job! From Rudi & Linda (Belgium)