Friday, August 1, 2014

A total of 50 Grade 8 and 65 Grade 2 science teachers from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) participated in a four-day training program dubbed as “Support for the Management of an Improved Learning Environment (SMILE).” The training of Grade 8 science teachers was held at UP NISMED on 24-27 February 2014, while the training of Grade 2 science teachers was conducted at the Pinnacle Hotel in Davao City on 4-7 March 2014. The program was intended to serve as supplemental training on science for elementary and high school trainers under the support of the Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao (BEAM - ARMM) of the Department of Education of ARMM (DepEd-ARMM) and the Australian Agency for International Development (Australian AID).
Participants arrange the bottles based on the pitch of the
sound created when struck with a spoon.
The objectives of the training conducted were to (1) explain the rationale, philosophy, and features of science and mathematics in the K to 12 curriculum; (2) show spiraling within science concepts and interconnections across concepts; (3) apply inquiry-based teaching in science, and; (4) demonstrate how content and inquiry skills are interwoven in the teaching of specific science concepts using the training modules written for Grades 2 and 8.

The training program helped to further orient ARMM trainer-participants on the new curriculum and its features, with emphasis on spiral progression and teaching science through inquiry. To develop inquiry skills that will facilitate meaningful learning of related concepts, Grade 8 teachers performed selected hands-on activities on various areas of science like Earth Science, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics, while Grade 2 teachers participated in the modeling sessions of inquiry-based science activities on selected topics like Sense Organs, Sounds, Weather, and Solids. NISMED trainers also had an opportunity to address misconceptions arising from the discussions and emphasize features of inquiry from the modeled science activities.

The trainer-participants are expected to conduct roll-out training sessions among all Grade 2 and 8 science teachers in various divisions in the ARMM region within the year.