Monday, September 23, 2013

Prof. Shizumi Shimizu
Pioneering educators and researchers from Japan, Vietnam, and the USA lead invited speakers in the National Conference in Science and Mathematics Education on 22-24 October 2013. Prof. Shizumi Shimizu of Japan will keynote the conference which has for its theme: “Empowering Teachers for the K to 12 Curriculum through Lesson Study.”

Others speakers and their topics include Dr. Tran Vui of Vietnam (“Using ICT in Promoting Skills on Inquiry in Science and Problem Solving in Mathematics”); Dr. Masami Isoda of Japan (“Developing Mathematical Thinking Through Problem Solving”); Dr. Hideo Ikeda of Japan (“The Processes of Science Inquiry: The Difference Between Cookbook and Active Hands-On”); Dr. Yutaka Saburi (“Lesson Study in Science”); and Dr. Francis Molina of the USA (“Spiraling the K to 12 Curriculum: Learning Progressions”). The Philippines’ DepEd Secretary Br. Armin A. Luistro, FSC, will deliver the first plenary talk on “Science and Mathematics in the Milestone K to 12 Curriculum “ while NISMED Director Dr. Soledad A. Ulep will speak on “The Philippines Involvement in the APEC Lesson Study Project” as she has been actively participating in APECsponsored lesson study conferences in the region for several years now.
Dr. Masami Isoda

Elementary and high school science and mathematics teachers, faculty of teacher education institutions, graduate students, principals, supervisors and superintendents, curriculum developers, and researchers are invited to attend and/or share their experiences in lesson study, present papers or posters on lesson study or on any of the following sub-themes: inquiry-based science teaching, teaching mathematics through problem solving, and ICT tools and strategies.

Br. Armin A. Luistro
Paper and poster presenters need to submit 1-page abstracts or about 300 words with their name(s), title of paper or poster, institution, and postal or email address by 31 August 2013. Email abstracts to 2013ncsme@gmail.com or mail them to The Conference Secretariat, NCSME 2013, UP NISMED, Quirino Ave., Diliman, Quezon City 1101.

The registration fee is PhP 5,500.00 (early bird rate until 15 August). Regular rate is PhP 6,000.00. It covers food (6 snacks and 3 lunches) and a kit which includes a book on lesson study.

All accepted presenters are required to register and pay the conference fee.

Forms of payment: cash, check or postal money order payable to FPSMER or deposit to account name FPSMER, account number 275-830-668-5, PNB UP Campus branch.

For more information, view the conference website: http://ncsme2013.nismed.upd.edu.ph.
NISMED envisions itself to be the center of research and innovation in science and mathematics education in the Asia-Pacific region at the basic and teacher education levels. The vision, mission, and goals of NISMED are laid out in a 5-year strategic plan for the years 2013-2017. Strategic initiatives, objectives and programs/projects are also outlined, providing a guide and map for the Institute’s academic and administrative staff. Specific outputs for every year of the plan per goal are targeted.

The NISMED plan is aligned with UP’s own Strategic Plan. It may be accessed through the NISMED‘s website http://www.nismed.upd.edu.ph.
Two hundred thirty eight (238) trainers of Grade 8 science from all over the country attended the Training of Trainers (TOT) held at NISMED in April 2013. The TOT comprised of two batches. Batch 1, which was participated in by 117 trainers from the Visayas and Mindanao cluster, was held on 15 to 19 April 2013. Batch 2, which was composed of 121 trainers from the Luzon cluster, was held on 22 to 26 April 2013. Participants for this year’s TOT were a combination of returning and new trainers.

The TOT aimed to explain the rationale, philosophy, and features of science in the K to 12 curriculum; explain the spiraling of concepts within a science discipline and across disciplines; apply inquiry-based teaching of science in Grade 8; and demonstrate how content and inquiry skills are interwoven in the teaching of specific science concepts using the Learner’s Module and Teacher’s Guide written for Grade 8.

During the plenary session on Science in the K to 12 Curriculum, Dr. Marlene B. Ferido provided the framework on which the selected activities for each quarter of Grade 8 were anchored. The session emphasized how the concepts and skills at each grade level develop with increasing depth. Mr. Joseph Jacob of the Bureau of Secondary Education, DepEd explained the evaluation process of students’ performance using DepEd’s levels of proficiency. Ms. Sylvia Garde shared how Intel could be a support system for K to 12 trainers in their respective regions. Dr. Corazon Salumbides on the other hand had a short demo of Philippine Foundation for Science and Technology (PFST) Lab in a Box for Microscale Chemistry. For the second day of the TOT, Dr. Paraluman Giron explained the Program Milestones of the Enhanced Basic Education (K to 12) Program as well as an overview of facilitation skills. On the last day of the training, before going back to their respective regions, Dr. Beatriz Torno gave an inspirational message and challenged the trainers to actively participate in the mass training of science teachers in their respective regions.

The participants had the opportunity to perform the activities found in the learner’s module for Grade 8. The actual inquiry-based lessons were performed by the participants to model and discuss what is involved in inquiry learning. The activities in each module start with a key question that would trigger inquiry among students. There are also questions embedded in each activity that facilitate the learning or understanding of science concepts and the development of science process skills. These activities and strategies help teachers to explain better or draw out from their students the essential concepts, processes, and principles in science. Students on the other hand are provided with opportunities to develop their critical thinking, communication, and science process skills.

Actual performance of Grade 8 activities involving science concepts and principles gave the teacher-trainers confidence to enable them to guide the teachers in the regional training on how inquiry skills could be developed among students. The participants experienced how to implement inquiry-based activities so that students are actively engaged in the learning process.

In Grade 8, teachers guide students to a higher level of explaining ideas and concepts beyond their sensory perceptions. In each quarter of Grade 8 Science, the first lesson starts with determining the prior knowledge of students. The understanding of these concepts and skills are deepened through varied hands-on and minds-on activities using inquiry-based teaching. The lessons highlight the relevance of the science topics with real life and the connections across disciplines. This approach prepares students in tackling more difficult science concepts in higher grade levels.

The conduct of the training of trainers was able to demonstrate the spiral progression of concepts within a quarter, across quarters of Grade 8, and across grade levels in Science. It was also able to demonstrate the following inquiry-based strategies: use of simulations, analogies, multimedia resources, photo analysis, probing techniques, concept mapping, representing ideas through illustrations/drawings, construction of a setup (e.g., electrical circuits) without describing a step-by-step procedure but simply giving a set of materials for learners to use, and short guided investigations.

The participants expressed their realization that to explain a science concept, it had to be related and scaffolded with concepts learned in chemistry, physics, and biology. Part of the training design was a trip to the Science Centrum, Riverbanks, Marikina for a short visit. This was included to expose participants on how a science museum is managed and how it helps promote scientific literacy among the public.

The training team and facilitators for the TOT on Grade 8 science are as follows:




Lesson Study: Planning together, learning together

The book is the first of a 2-part lesson study publication of NISMED which aims to address the on-going search for a sustainable model of professional development of Filipino science and mathematics teachers facing numerous challenges such as large classes and lack of resources. The book documents actual learning experiences of university researchers, teachers, and students in science and mathematics classes through lesson study.

Lesson study is a form of reflective teaching cum lesson development through collaboration of teachers and researchers or “knowledgeable others” in a systematic assessment of classroom practices. It is a well-established strategy that promotes positive gains for both teachers and students from preschool to university levels.
Two NISMED staff conducted a 2-day visit cum mentoring for the science teachers of Ligao National High School on 15-16 January 2013. The school requested for a 4-day seminar workshop on lesson study held at NISMED in August 2012 for 16 science teachers of Ligao National High School. In 2011, their mathematics teachers also had a 4-day seminar workshop. Lesson study has helped the science teachers to collaboratively prepare lessons and increase learning gains for both teachers and students.
The High School Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry Groups, and partner schools have completed the 3rd cycle of the 3-year lesson study project that began in 2010. The corresponding research lessons were implemented in the classrooms twice. In the case of the Elementary School Mathematics Group, two research lessons were completed. One lesson was implemented at least three times and the other only once. In summary, eight (8) study groups were able to conduct 3 complete cycles: 5 in mathematics, 2 in chemistry and 1 in physics.
Early this year, NISMED had been invited to participate in the 7th APEC Tsukuba International Conference. The conference was the third of a series and is part of a project that began in 2012 and will end in 2014. The long-term goals of the project are to save schoolchildren from disasters with the use of visual materials; to share scientific materials which should be taught in schools; and to develop teaching materials using data which are necessary to scientifically understand the mechanism and effects of disasters.

The objective of this year’s conference may be apparent from the rather long title—Innovation of  Mathematics Education through Lesson Study – Challenges to Mathematics Education to Emergency Preparedness (Learning from Experience, Science of Disasters, and Preparing for the Future (II) Focusing on Flood and Typhoon). The conference was held in Tokyo, Japan on 14-17 February 2013.

Upon the recommendation of NISMED Director Dr. Soledad Ulep, Dr. Masami Isoda of the University of Tsukuba invited Dr. Mahar Lagmay of the UP National Institute of Geological Sciences to serve as one of the keynote speakers. Dr. Lagmay talked to an audience largely consisting of mathematics educators about natural disasters in the Philippines, and Project NOAH (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards). The other keynote speaker, Dr. Somporn Chuai-Aree of Prince of Songkla University, shared mathematical tools for flood simulation and visualization for the management of floods.

Education specialists from the different APEC economies presented the products of last year’s lesson study using dbook, an application designed for developing digital textbooks. The short ebook presented by the Philippines, entitled Understanding Earthquakes, is the result of collaborative work between NISMED and Sta. Lucia High School in Pasig City. To encourage the production of more ebooks, Dr. Isoda conducted a workshop on how to use dbookPro, the latest version of the computer program.

One of the highlights of the conference involved a demonstration of the implementation of a lesson in an elementary school mathematics class. The participants joined hundreds of teachers from all over Japan in observing the schoolchildren as they manipulated squares in order to find out the different ways that one can form a cube. Class demonstrations are held yearly and are always well-attended, but this session was quite significant because it is Lesson Study’s 140th anniversary.
NISMED has taken a significant role once again in the Enhanced Basic Education Curriculum Program as eleven (11) Science academic staff and other invited science writers were tapped to develop the Teacher’s Guide (TG) and Learner’s Modules (LM) for Grade 8 Science. These LMs were divided into four major domains or strands, namely: “Force, Motion, and Energy,” “Earth and Space,” “Matter,” and “Living Things and Environment.” Concepts and skills in these major topics are spiralled by connecting the prerequisite concepts learned in Grade 7 to related deeper concepts in Grade 8. In this way, students gain a deeper understanding of science concepts and principles. Moreover, just like the Grade 7 LMs, the Grade 8 LMs were developed in such a way that students come to see the connections across the disciplines of Science: Physics, Earth Science, Chemistry, and Life Sciences.

Aside from showing spiral progressions, the LMs are learner-centered and inquiry-based. Activities in each quarter of the Grade 8 Science hone students to ask questions and use evidence to answer them. Students actively construct explanations on a particular science concept. On the other hand, the teacher as the facilitator of these activities is guided on how to carry out these activities through the Teacher’s Guide.

The development team for these Learner’s Modules are: Ms. Cerilina M. Maramag, Ms. May R. Chavez, Mr. Rolando M. Tan, Dr. Letecia B. Catris, and Dr. Marie Paz E. Morales for “Force, Motion and Energy”; Mr. Eligio C. Obille, Ms. Digna Paningbatan, and Ms. Pia C. Campo for “Earth and Space”; Dr. Marlene B. Ferido, Dr. Shirley R. Jusayan, and Ms. Jacqueline Rose M. Gutierrez, for “Matter”; and Dr. Rodolfo S. Treyes, Dr. Maria Helen dH. Catalan, Dr. Ian Kendrich C. Fontanilla, Ms. Ma. Dulcelina O. Sebastian, and Mr. Michael Anthony B. Mantala for the last quarter about “Living Things and Environment.”

Preservice students and faculty of Xavier University School of Education,
DepEd elementary school teachers and NISMED staff pose for a group photo

Two NISMED staff successfully facilitated a 3-day Seminar-Workshop on Lesson Study last 27-29 June 2013 held at Xavier University Ateneo de Cagayan, Cagayan de Oro City. The seminar-workshop was participated in by 16 participants from the Xavier University School of Education faculty and eight (8) preservice students, and three DepEd Grades 4, 5 and 6 elementary teachers from Macasandig Elementary School and Calaanan Elementary School and two high school science and mathematics teachers from Pedro “Oloy” N. Roa Sr. National High School. The seminar-workshop was hosted and organized by Dr. Charity Rose B. Absin, Dr. Lorie Anne R. Moreno and Ms. Michele T. Suazo whose ongoing research entitled “Developing Inquiry-based Teaching Skills through Lesson Study” has been awarded a grant by the Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) under the Strengthening the Capacity of Future Pillars of Science and Mathematics Project.

The five DepEd teachers acted as the knowledgeable others during the one-cycle planning, implementation, reflection-revision of four research lessons. The Presentation and Critiquing during the demo-teaching part was the most challenging and helpful among the preservice teachers – according to the participants. A general positive response about lesson study as a collaborative teaching practice anchored on students' thinking and learning and an avenue to engage in research was expressed.

The teachers wished that another seminar-workshop on lesson study be also facilitated for more DepEd teachers in the Cagayan de Oro area.
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.”
In the Grade 7 science series, NISMED drew attention to classroom implementation and featured teachers as presenters in the final two sharing webinars held on 25 January and 22 March. The Grade 8 series started on 28 June.

The January webinar centered on the sharing of experiences and learnings in implementing the Third Quarter modules on Energy in Motion. Ms. Vivian B. Intatano of Cayetano Arellano High School in Manila presented her experiences both as a science teacher and as a Grade 7 regional and division trainer. Other webinar attendees also contributed implementation experiences in the guided Open Sharing that followed. The sharing focused on (a) teachers’ use of and feedback on the NISMED-developed modules and teaching
guide, (b) challenges encountered and how they were addressed, (c) description of the current Grade 7 science class in comparison with those in previous years, and student feedback, (d) teachers’ self rating
of the effectiveness of their implementation, and (e) teachers’ key learnings about the philosophy, features and goals of the K to 12 science curriculum. Attendees from Teacher Education Institutions also hinted at their institutions’ K to 12 plans and initiatives.

The March webinar featured the implementation experiences, reflections and insights of Ms. Juana D. Luyun of Cagayan National High School in Tuguegarao City and Ms. Christine May A. Torres of Columban College-Barretto in Olongapo City. Focusing on the Fourth Quarter modules on Earth and Space, both teachers talked about (a) how they facilitated the learning activities and gave feedback on the modules, (b) advantages of the K to 12 curriculum over the previous curriculum, (c) challenges that they and their students encountered and how those were addressed, and (d) key learnings and insights about teaching science derived from teaching one year of the K to 12 science curriculum.

Coinciding with the start of SY 2013-2014, NISMED launched the Grade 8 science series in its June webinar with an overview of the Grade 8 science curriculum and presentation of Unit 1: Force, Motion, and Energy. Dr. Marlene B. Ferido, Chair of the High School Chemistry Group and DepEd’s Consultant in K to 12 Science, presented the overview. Ms. May R. Chavez of the High School Physics Group discussed Module 1: Forces and Motion and Module 2: Work and Energy, while Mr. Rolando M. Tan of the Elementary School Science Group discussed Module 4: Electricity. The remaining modules will be
presented in a special webinar on 18 July.

The recording for each webinar is available for viewing at the following URLs:

25 January Webinar: Sharing of Implementation Experiences (Grade 7 Science Quarter 3)
http://engageteachers.adobeconnect.com/p3l23ai84gf/

22 March Webinar: Sharing of Implementation Experiences (Grade 7 Science Quarter 4)
https://engageteachers.adobeconnect.com/a816142044/p2e60rw5ahe/

28 June Webinar: Overview of Grade 8 Science and Unit 1: Force, Motion and Energy (Part 1)
http://engageteachers.adobeconnect.com/p6yn3mwdp5r/
The participants collaboratively work in developing their research lesson.
The Marikina Shoe Exchange, through the leadership of Dr. Victoria B. Villa sponsored a seminar-workshop for science and mathematics teachers of Commonwealth Elementary School (CES) on “Assessment and Collaborative Lesson Lesson Planning.” The Elementary School Mathematics (ESM) and Elementary School Science (ESS) Groups of NISMED conducted this on 27-31 May 2013. Thirty teachers of each subject area of each grade level, except for Grade 2, attended the seminarworkshop. The seminar-workshop included construction of TIMSS-based assessment items in mathematics and science, collaborative development of lessons incorporating the inquiry approach in science and the problem solving approach in mathematics, presentation and critiquing of outputs.

The seminar-workshop started with an opening program attended by Dr. Victoria Villa, President of MSE, Mr. Rodolfo Modelo, Principal of CES and the NISMED academic staff. During the opening program, Dr. Villa delivered a short message on the importance of professional development; Mr. Modelo primarily thanked Dr. Villa and NISMED for always tapping their school in such efforts; and Dr. Ulep emphasized the importance of developing inquiry skills and hands-on teaching and learning.

There were plenary and parallel sessions for the mathematics and science groups of teachers. The first two days were devoted to workshops on TIMSS-based multiple-choice and constructed response test item
construction. Before the workshop, NISMED staff presented some TIMSSbased assessment items aligned with the appropriate behavioral skills. Each group of teachers constructed and presented their test items, critiqued by the other teachers and the NISMED trainers. Revisions of the test-items were done after the critiquing sessions.

On the third day of the activity, Dr. Levi Elipane, an expert on Lesson Study, delivered a plenary session on the Lesson Study method and its importance in professional development among teachers and in quality
learning among students. This was followed by a modelling of an inquirybased science and problem-solving based mathematics lesson by NISMED staff in parallel sessions. Each group then engaged in goal-setting where the participants set goals that are “pupil-centered, relevant to real-life situations.” This goal guided their lesson development. Each group of teachers in grade levels represented were able to come up with a research lesson. These were presented and critiqued by other groups of teachers and NISMED staff before revision and submission of the same as their final outputs.

The seminar-workshop promotes collaborative lesson development among teachers. The outputs are planned to be implemented by the teachers in their respective grade levels in the second phase of the
program. The lessons are expected to be further improved based on initial implementation and pupils’ feedback into the delivery of the lesson.

This activity ended with a closing program where certificates of participation were distributed and a couple of participants shared their impressions. Closing messages from Dr. Villa and Dr. Ulep highlighted the challenge to all teachers to help each other in improving inquiry and problem solving skills among their pupils.
The High School Mathematics Group conducted a Training-Workshop on Teaching Mathematics through Problem Solving held at the Science Teacher Training Center, UP NISMED, UP Diliman on 28-30 May 2013. The training-workshop was participated in by 10 teachers from PAREF Woodrose, Inc. and 6 teachers from PAREF Rosehill, Inc.

The objective of the training-workshop was to equip the participants with the knowledge and skills to teach mathematics through the problem-solving approach. The NISMED facilitators familiarized the participants with the approach by modeling a lesson where the participants acted as students.

The participants were also given open-ended problems to solve. They came up with different solutions, and identified how these open-ended problems can be used to introduce a lesson.

Moreover, during the workshop, the participants used some open-ended problems to collaboratively develop lessons using the teaching through problem-solving approach. The lessons were then demonstrated and post-lesson discussions were conducted. In the post-lesson discussions, lessons were critiqued by the facilitators and the other participants. The final outputs consisted of the revised lessons applying the problem-solving approach which they will implement in their schools.
Outdoor activities while answering the guide questions.
Twelve Science teachers from Commonwealth Elementary School attended a three-day seminar-workshop titled “Development of Inquiry-Based Science Activities” on 23-25 October 2012. Two teachers from each grade level starting from Grade I attended.

During the seminar-workshop, the teachers first shared how they conduct Science classes, then they examined sample Science activities, before discussing the features that would make an activity inquiry-based.

Subsequently, there were two modeling sessions and a demonstration conducted by Mr. Koji Hase of the Embassy of Japan showing attractive and appealing setups that engage pupils’ interest and encourage them to ask questions.

Prior to the workshop session, the teachers reviewed the literature on inquiry-based science activities through a Powerpoint presentation. For the workshop, they worked in pairs, coming up with one inquiry-based science activity per pair.

The culminating session was the presentation of outputs followed by peer critiquing. NISMED Director Dr. Soledad A. Ulep distributed the certificates.
David Niguidula, Ed.D., gave a lecture on the US Standards and Student Work: How the Common Core is Changing Assignments and Assessments on 27 February 2013 at the NISMED’s STTC Conference Room. Teachers from the UP Integrated School, Commonwealth Elementary School, Old Balara Elementary School, Balara High School, and TechFactors Inc. joined NISMED staff in the said lecture.

In his lecture, Dr. Niguidula gave a brief overview of the “Common Core” standards that have been adopted by 46 of the 50 states in the US since 2010. The standards are an answer to the essential question: What should a student, at each grade level, know and be able to do? Schools at the local level, in turn, need to address the question: How do we know if students have achieved those standards? Dr. Niguidula also discussed how “standardsbased reform” is affecting the kinds of assignments that students are asked to do–and the way teachers assess them. He presented common rubrics that help schools provide more consistent feedback to students. Towards the end of his talk, Dr. Niguidula showed how technology tools, from websites to camera phones, help schools keep track of student progress and help students create a richer picture of their achievements.

Dr. Niguidula is the founder of Ideas Consulting, an educational technology and professional development group based in the US. He has been a researcher in the field since 1983, and led the first major research project on Digital Portfolios for the Coalition of Essential Schools at Brown University. He has also been involved in research and curriculum development at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He likewise served as a volunteer project staff of the NISMED’s Microcomputing Workgroup, forerunner of the Information Science Workgroup. He is a contributing author to Curriculum 21: Essential Education for a Changing World (ASCD, 2010). Dr. Niguidula received two bachelor’s degrees, one in computer science and another in education, at Brown University. He earned his doctorate at the Teachers College, Columbia University.
DOST–SEI, in cooperation with NISMED, conducted a three-day workshop last 2-4 May 2013. The workshop was participated in by sixteen high school science and mathematics teachers who were informally implementing management innovations for large classes. The workshop was designed to provide an avenue for critiquing and revising project proposals on innovative practices in managing large classes to improve and increase their chances of qualifying to the “2013 Search for Innovative Practices in Managing Large Classes.” Out of the sixteen project proposals, nine qualified. The proponents will be implementing their innovations during the second and third quarters of SY 2013-2014.

Dr. Soledad A. Ulep, Mrs. Lydia M. Landrito, Dr. Amelia E. Punzalan, and Dr. Maria Helen D. Catalan served as the critiques and evaluators during the workshop.
Participants from Assumption College, connecting the
principal stars to form a stick figure of their constellations.
Watching the beauty of the Philippine night sky has been a very popular extension activity in NISMED since 1991 with the acquisition of a telescope. Students visit the Institute particularly the observatory that houses one of the largest telescopes in the country which for most of them is a “once in a lifetime experience.” For this year’s skywatching sessions, an introduction to constellations served as a warm-up activity. In this activity, students use a map of the sky to connect the principal stars with lines to form a stick figure. After this, they create a story about their constellation.

“Mother’s love, Trizzie, Potas, Nobi, Luna’s ring, and Altaireon Griffin”, are just a few of the names invented by students during the session on how constellations got their names. Along with these are the stories and images of their constellations, which are also conceptualized by them.

Some of the constellations prepared by the students.
During the sharing of their work, none of the groups have the same name and stories, only similar figures. From the class discussion, it is revealed that creativity and imagination vary in every individual. Their answers also show that in science, creativity and imagination are very essential to the development of concepts. The students also learn that the origins of the names of the constellations are rooted in the culture that created them rather than on the properties of the stars.

The Stellarium, a planetarium software, is then used to extend the familiarization and identification of constellations in the night sky. They become more interested as the lecturer manipulates the software, through zooming in and the celestial objects.

Students are fascinated by the gigantic size of the reflecting telescope inside the observatory. In groups of five, students take turns in peeping into the eyepiece of the telescope. Each student is completely awed into silence as he/she gets a chance to view the images of Jupiter, Saturn, and the Moon.

Schools who participated for this sky watching activities were Maria Montessori Children’s Foundation, Village School of Parkwoods, The Learning Tree, Assumption College, St. Scholastica’s College, and Bacoor National High School.

The High School Earth/Environmental Science Group of NISMED regularly conducts an overnight sky watching activity during the months of December, January, February, and sometimes March. For further details and reservation, interested parties may contact Cecile, tel. 9283545.
A new education research partnership between the Philippines and Australia was launched on 2 May 2013 at the UP College of Education. The Assessment, Curriculum and Technology Research Centre (ACTRC), a partnership of the University of the Philippines College of Education and the University of Melbourne Assessment Research Centre, was established at the UP College of Education with the generous support of Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID). The Centre seeks to advise and inform the Philippine educational system through conducting research on curriculum, assessment and technology with relevance to the implementation of the K to 12 curriculum.

With this significant mission of ACTRC, two NISMED staff are involved in the Centre’s research team. Dr. Marlene B. Ferido, Chair of the High School Chemistry Group, is the Program Leader for Curriculum. Dr. Alan Williams is her counterpart Program Leader for Curriculum from the University of Melbourne. Initially, Dr. Ferido and her team will conduct research on implementation of the Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MTBMLE) and on the alignment of the intended, implemented, and assessed science curriculum focusing on inquiry skills. Other NISMED Science staff will also be involved in the research focusing on science inquiry skills. On the other hand, Dr. Aida I. Yap, Deputy Director for Administration, is a member of the Assessment in Education research team. Their initial activity is to develop assessment tools focusing on Grade 1 Mathematics to be administered in three provinces of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)—Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, and Tawi-Tawi. The assessment tools to be developed will be translated into languages of these provinces.
Dr. Ferido receives her award.
The Philippine Federation of Chemistry Societies (PFCS) awarded Dr. Marlene B. Ferido the 2013 PFCS Awards (Chemistry Education Category). The awarding ceremony was held at the Negros Oriental Convention Center in Dumaguete City on 10 April 2013. The PFCS Awards are given to individuals with outstanding contribution to chemistry. The awards aim to (1) inspire youth to take up chemistry; (2) recognize outstanding contribution of chemistry to development of discipline; and (3) recognize outstanding and exemplary contributions to society through chemistry.

The PFCS recognized Dr. Ferido for her “outstanding contribution to the teaching of chemistry such as the development of innovative approaches/ tools to the teaching of chemistry researches in chemistry education.” As a Science Education Specialist V at NISMED, she has spearheaded a number of research studies about the country’s current education system and has selflessly shared her knowledge with fellow teachers as resource person, reviewer, trainer and lecturer in various national and international programs such as National Training of Trainers for Grades 7 and 8 Science in preparation for the DepEd K to 12 Program, Program for Scholars in Residence of the University of Education, Pakistan, overall coordinator for various NISMED projects, among others. She has also written research based articles in refereed journals, evidence of her good writing and investigation skills. At present, she serves as Convenor for Science in the K to 12 Curriculum including finalization of the Curriculum Guide, development of Learning Modules for students and accompanying guides for teachers, and dissemination workshops for the spiral progression curriculum. Her commitment and love for the country is seen in her various works to improve science education program in the Philippines.”

Dr. Ferido is the current Chair of the High School Chemistry Group at NISMED. She was formerly Deputy Director for Research and Extension and Deputy Director for Administration of the Institute.
Ms. Sally B. Gutierez
NISMED staff, Ms. Sally B. Gutierez of the Elementary School Science Group and Ms. Ivy P. Mejia of the High School Earth and Environmental Science Group earn their master’s degrees from the University of the Philippines College of Education (UP CoE) on 28 April 2013.

Ms. Gutierez, with a degree of Master of Arts major in Biology (M.A.Ed Biology), was granted with a thesis grant from UP College of Education Scholarship Committee and has concentrated on her study entitled “Bioethics Integration: Effects on Critical Thinking Skills and Decision Making skills in High School Biology.” Dr. Rosanelia Yangco served as her thesis adviser. Part of her thesis is included in Eubios Journal of Asian and International Bioethics Vol. 22 No. 5.

Ms. Ivy P. Mejia
On the other hand, Ms. Mejia has a Master of Arts in Education major in General Science (M.A.Ed General Science). With thesis grants from the Commission on Filipino Overseas (CFO), University of the Philippines Human Resource and Development (UP HRDO), and UP College of Education Scholarship Committee (UP CEdSC), she was able to finish her study “Metacognitive Group Discourse: Effects on Preservice Teachers’ Scientific Epistemological Views and Instructional Practice.” Her study was also awarded as the Most Outstanding Thesis during the College Commencement Exercises on 26 April 2013. Dr. Sheryl Lyn C. Monterola served as her thesis adviser.
Ms. S. Sagun (left), and Ms. N. Gandeza
Ms. Soledad P. Sagun and Ms. Narcisa P. Gandeza were honored during the annual Parangal sa mga Retirado at Gawad Paglilingkod held on 21 February 2013 at the STTC Auditorium, UP NISMED. The two were among the 14 UP Diliman employees who received this year’s Gawad Paglilingkod. Each awardee received a plaque of service recognition with own photo taken during the awarding, a UP medallion, and a cash incentive of P20,000.

Plaque of service recognition
Now on its fourth year, Gawad Paglilingkod is a special award given to employees who are still in active service, for continuously serving the University for 40 years without any leave of absence without pay.
Effective 9 January, Ms. Sally B. Gutierez became a member of the team of science and mathematics education staff of NISMED, specifically the Elementary School Science Group as a Science Education Associate.

She earned her bachelor’s degree at UP Los Baños in 2004 and her master’s degree in Education major in Biology in UP Diliman as a UP Presidential Scholarship Grantee in 2012. As a full-time student of the scholarship program, she spent most of her time doing research both in biology and in education-related areas of study. While still a graduate student, she attended various national and international conferences where she presented papers or posters. Even before she finished her thesis for a master’s degree, she was given the opportunity present the initial data at the Asian Bioethics Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in August 2012 and at the International Conference on Moral Education at the UP College of Education in November 2012.

Before joining NISMED, Ms. Gutierez was a volunteer teacher of the UP Ugnayan ng Pahinuńgod under the Gurong Pahinuńgod Program. According to her, this one-year volunteer teaching experience opened her eyes to the realities of the educational system especially in the remote areas of our country. Among the biggest problems she noticed in the school where she was assigned were poor classroom facilities, scarcity of books, lack of teacher expertise, insufficient number of teachers, and crowded classrooms. After a year as a Gurong Pahinuńgod, she joined a private school where she gained more expertise in the teaching profession.

“Finishing my master’s degree in two and a half years and the publishing of a paper in an international journal are two of my biggest achievements to date effective 9 January 2013,” she states.

As a new member of the science academic staff, she envisions learning more and being adept at inquiry teaching techniques in science, collaborative lesson development, and the different facets of teacher training. Welcome to NISMED, Sally!