NISMED Kick-starts K to 12 Science

Bro. Armin A. Luistro (Center) joins National Trainers as they
inspect features of the globe during the Earth Science Workshop.
Two hundred twenty-four (224) national trainers from all parts of the country weathered the sweltering heat of summer and trooped to UP NISMED to participate in a weeklong National Training of Trainers (TOT) for Grade 7 Science in preparation for the initial implementation of the K to 12 curriculum this school year 2012 to 2013. UP NISMED conducted two batches of the TOT. The first batch, which was held from 18 to 22 April 2012 was participated in by trainers from Luzon. The second batch was comprised of trainers from Visayas and Mindanao. This was held the following week from 24 to 28 April. Those who did not make it to the first batch were accommodated in the second batch. During the plenary sessions of the first day of training, Joseph S. Jacob and Marivic D. Abcede, both of the Department of Education, Bureau of Secondary Education (DepED-BSE), talked about the implementing guidelines for Grades 7 to 10 as well as the Standards-based Assessment and Rating System in the new curriculum.

The trainers explained the rationale, philosophy, and features of science in the K to 12 curriculum, illustrated the spiraling of concepts within a science discipline and across disciplines, exemplified inquiry-based teaching of science in Grade 7, and demonstrated how content and inquiry skills are interwoven in the teaching of specific science concepts using the student modules written for Grade 7. The training highlighted spiral progression, which is a way of arranging the content within and across grade levels involving an iterative revisiting of topics, subjects, or themes and gradual deepening and building on what was previously learned.

The TOT underscored the teaching of science through inquiry. To get a better perspective of how these modules were designed to encourage the teaching and learning of science through inquiry, the participants were asked to perform the activities and answer the questions in the student worksheets. The activities themselves were replete with questions designed to help students build their own understanding of scientific concepts, processes, and principles. In this manner, the participants experienced how to implement inquiry-based activities so that students are actively engaged in the learning process.

The training demonstrated how processing of student data and results should be done. It emphasized how teachers could effectively process results of students' activities through the use of a series of questions that result in conceptual understanding and clarification of misconceptions where there are any. It was during these parts of the training sessions that interaction was encouraged and to which the participants obliged.

The training also underscored the importance of making assessment authentic, i.e., embedding the assessment task in a context that has some meaning or purpose beyond school or beyond the bounds of the classroom lesson or unit.