Monday, September 23, 2013

The Elementary School Science Group conducted a seminar-workshop titled “Development of Inquiry-Based Science Activities” for 15 Grade 3 science teachers of three elementary schools in the Division of Taguig-Pateros on 15-17 May 2013. The schools were: Tenement Elementary School, R.P. Cruz Sr. Elementrary School, and Upper Bicutan Elementary School. The teachers were joined by the Division Science Supervisor Dr. Leticia E. Andor, Division Education Program Supervisor for Science, and Dr. Aurora L. Perez, school head of Bagong Tanyag Elementary School and Principal Science Adviser of Taguig, District 2. The seminar-workshop which is sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) under its Project HOTS which stands for “Hands-on Teaching and Learning of Science through Inquiry.” This activity was designed to enable teachers to reflect on their own teaching, recognize features of inquiry in a science activity, and collaboratively develop inquiry-based science activities that will in turn, develop the inquiry skills as well as the correct science ideas and concepts among their pupils.

Ms. Amparo Olarte, Project Manager of the Project HOTS,
challenges the participants during her opening remarks.
On the first day of the seminar-workshop, Ms. Amparo Olarte, Science Research Specialist of DOST-SEI, the project manager of Project HOTS, presented the objectives and the overview of the project. According to her, this seminar-workshop on inquiry teaching and learning is just one component of the project as the latter requires a follow-through in the form of implementation of the inquiry-based lesson/activity by the teacher-participants in their respective schools.

Highlighted in this activity is the modelling of an inquiry-based science activity by the NISMED staff and the collaborative development of inquiry-based science activities by the teacher-participants. The outputs were subjected to peer-critiquing at the end with major criteria being the presence of inquiry features in concept development, accuracy in the content, and development of the appropriate science process skills as embedded assessment in the activity/lesson. The NISMED and SEI staff also made suggestions for improvement. All the comments and suggestions were noted by the lesson study team of each school and these were incorporated in the revised versions submitted as outputs of the workshop.

The teacher-participants as they perform an inquiry-based
science activity.
“This activity is far different from the usual seminar-workshops that we attend because we are all engaged and participative in most of the activities”, said Mrs. Quilinguin of R.P. Cruz Sr. Elementary School during the sharing of insights on the last day of the seminar-workshop.

When asked about the overall training activity, most of the participants gave positive responses regarding the training process. According to Dr. Leticia E. Andor, Science Supervisor of the Division of Taguig-Pateros, “the critiquing part is one of the best features of the seminar-workshop because everybody was involved in giving their constructive comments and suggestions regarding the lesson development.” She even stressed to look forward in the lesson implementation as the trainers and the SEI staff will be involved in the observation and post-lesson discussion of the research lessons which were developed during the seminar-workshop.

The teacher-participants, the NISMED training team and the SEI staff pose
with Dr. Soledad Ulep during the awarding ceremonies.
According to the training team, it is hoped that all lessons developed and critiqued in the seminar-workshop be collaboratively improved and revised by the research teams in each school incorporating the features of inquiry in preparation for the lesson-implementation. The seminar-workshop ended with the awarding of certificates of participation and a challenge from Ms. Olarte when she said, “Together, let us help each other in developing scientifically oriented students for a better nation.”

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