NCSME 2013: A big success

The National Conference in Science and Mathematics Education held on 22-24 October 2013 at the Dolores F. Hernandez Hall, Science Teacher Training Center, UP NISMED drew 376 participants from all over the archipelago composed of elementary and high school science and mathematics teachers, faculty of teacher education institutions, graduate students, principals, supervisors, curriculum developers, and researchers.

A total of 48 papers were presented across elementary and high school science and mathematics education topics such as lesson study, curriculum, assessment, inquiry-based science teaching and learning, problem solving in mathematics teaching and learning, and ICT integration.

Dr. Shizumi Shimizu delivers his keynote address after the opening ceremony.

The theme of the conference was “Empowering Teachers for the K to 12 Curriculum through Lesson Study.” The conference objectives included: 1) promotion of lesson study as a professional development model to enhance the capability of teachers in implementing the K to 12 Curriculum for Mathematics and Science; 2) promotion of the teaching of science through inquiry and teaching of mathematics through problem solving in lesson study; 3) providing a forum for discussing and sharing of experiences and research results related to lesson study; and, 4) initiation of a local network on lesson study.

The keynote speaker of the conference was Prof. Shizumi Shimizu of Teikyo University (Japan) who focused on the importance of enhancing the capability of teachers to develop scientific and mathematical proficiency of students through activities that provide opportunities for construction of knowledge by learners and sharpen their communication skills. The other plenary speakers and the titles of their papers are shown below:

Dr. Masami Isoda
University of Tsukuba, Japan
Developing Mathematical Thinking: How to develop it in the classroom
Dr. Tran Vui
 Hue University, Vietnam
Developing Experimental Environments for Students-with-Computers: Investigating School Mathematics through Dynamic Visual Representations
Dr. Levi E. Elipane
UP Institute of Mathematics
Integrating the Essential Elements of Lesson Study in Pre-Service Mathematics Teacher Education
Dr. Hideo Ikeda
Hiroshima University, Japan
Innovations in a Science Classroom: Teacher’s Questions and Students’ Reactions
Dr. Francis I. Molina
National Science Digital Library, USA
Learning Progressions for the K to 12 Curriculum: Enhancing Teacher Professional Development
Dr. Yutaka Saburi
Fukui University, Japan
A Science Lesson and a School Reform

UP Diliman Chancellor Dr. Caesar A. Saloma welcomed participants to the conference on the first day, 22 October 2013. He cited the K to 12 curriculum as a major educational reform with the university who is set to play its role to make Filipino youth competitive in the global arena. The First Secretary of the Political Section of the Embassy of Japan also delivered a congratulatory message to NISMED and the participants during the opening program. 

A novel feature of the conference was the conduct of “open classes,” both in mathematics and science. Two “open classes” were implemented—one by Prof. Mitsuo Nobuchi a Japanese teacher from Mito Eiko Elementary School with 20 Grade IV Filipino pupils from Commonwealth Elementary School (for mathematics) and the other one by Ms. Malou Fajardo from Sta. Lucia High School, Pasig City with 4th year high school students (for science). Salient features of the lesson study process, incorporating the inquiry-based approach in teaching science and the problem-solving approach in mathematics were demonstrated to the participants. 

Post-lesson discussions were held after each open class with the teacher first reflecting on the implementation of the lesson followed by comments from a panel consisting of experts from among the speakers/paper presenters and NISMED staff who served as “knowledgeable others.” 

On the last day of the conference, Dr. Amelia Punzalan and Ms. Lydia Landrito initiated the network on lesson study among the participants during a brainstorming session which drew positive responses. Mr. Shinichiro Kato, Researcher and Adviser of the Japan Information and Culture Center also invited the participants to apply as scholars of the government of Japan in various types of scholarship programs.

Dr. Rosario I. Alonzo, Dean of the College of Education officially closed the conference on 24 November 2013. In her parting message, Dean Alonzo related how, as a young professional, she eagerly attended conferences and seminar-workshops, too, for her own professional development. She exhorted the participants to go forth and make use of what they learned to enhance their knowledge and skills in their noble profession as educators.