Thursday, July 23, 2015

Capping four years of science training in the new K to 12 curriculum, 429 science trainers participated in the National Training of Trainers (NTOT) for Grade 10 teachers held at the National Institute for Science and Mathematics Education Development (NISMED) on 12-17 April 2015 (for the first batch) and 27 April to 2 May 2015 (for the second batch). The first batch was composed of 208 science trainers from the nine regions of the Visayas and Mindanao; the second batch was composed of 221 science trainers from the eight regions of Luzon. 

A group of teachers collaboratively doing their assigned task in one of the workshop sessions. 

The five-day training focused on building the capacity of the trainers to enable them to train Grade 10 science teachers in their respective regions. The NTOT also gave the participants the opportunity to become familiar and conversant with the rationale, philosophy, content and performance standards, and learning competencies of the science curriculum. Moreover, the training emphasized the spiraling of science concepts as well as the development of science inquiry skills in the science curriculum.

The NTOT consisted of plenary sessions, break-out sessions, and simulation sessions. Plenary sessions were conducted to equip the participants with facilitation skills for the mass training of Grade 10 science teachers. The break-out sessions provided the participants with a walk-through for each of the four science areas which involved an explanation of spiral progression—a key feature of the K to 12 science curriculum. After the walk-through, the participants engaged in inquiry-based activities for each of the four science areas. The simulation session was a collaborative activity during which participants had the opportunity to present one of the activities they performed during the break-out sessions and to critique their selected activity and its simulation.

The participants commented very favorably on the training program. Most of the participants gave a positive feedback on the walk-through sessions of the four science areas. In fact, the most suggested improvement for future training programs is the allotment of more time for the walk-through sessions of the different science areas.
UP NISMED, in cooperation with the Bureau of Elementary Education of the Department of Education (DepEd) conducted the National Training of Trainers (NTOT) for Grade 4 Science and Mathematics. The training for 502 trainers was held at the Dolores F. Hernandez Hall, Science Teacher Training Center, UP NISMED.

Ms. Edna G. Callanta, one of the chief trainers, discussing a lesson in mathematics

The trainers were divided into two batches. The first batch of trainers was from Luzon and had their training on 7 – 12 April 2015. The second batch, consisting of trainers from Visayas and Mindanao, had their training on 19 – 24 April 2015. The training was intended to: (1) provide participants with a concrete understanding of the grade 4 curriculum, the learning standards and competencies, assessment, and teaching approaches; (2) provide the participants opportunities to acquire and demonstrate the cognitive and affective competencies they need in the effective implementation of the Grade 4 curriculum for Science and Mathematics; and, (3) ensure that the participants are properly equipped with capabilities to perform various tasks in the effective delivery of the curriculum and their role as facilitators of learning.

DepEd Secretary Br. Armin A. Luistro, FSC, welcomed the participants in a video message during the opening program. He encouraged the participants not to lose heart in the face of criticisms of the K to 12 Program, reminding them that they are now so near the “finish line.” Dr. Marilyn D. Dimaano, Director of the BEE oriented the participants about the details of the training with the support of the UP NISMED staff. The opening program was capped with a video of Undersecretary for Programs and Projects Dr. Dina S. Ocampo who gave updates on the K to 12 basic education program.

There were plenary and breakout sessions for both Science and Mathematics during the six – day workshop. Sessions consisted of discussions on the K to 12 curriculum framework for Science and Mathematics; a walk-through of learning modules and teacher’s guides; an introductory lecture on teaching Science through inquiry and teaching Mathematics through problem solving; lectures on assessment using the TIMSS framework; workshops on developing assessment items; and, critiquing/presentation of test items developed by the participants. Another plenary session on classroom assessment and rating system was held before the closing program in line with the DepEd Order No. 8 s. 2015 on “Policy Guidelines on Classroom Assessment for the K to 12 Basic Education Program.” 
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
As part of NISMED’s activities for its Golden Anniversary Celebration, the NISMED teacher training caravan went to two places during the month of February 2015. The first training was held on 10-12 February 2015 at Lucena West I Elementary School, Lucena City, Quezon Province. It was participated by 99 elementary and high school science and mathematics teachers from the Division of Lucena City, Division of Tayabas, and Division of Quezon. The second training, which was participated by 60 elementary and high school science teachers from the Division of Nueva Vizcaya, was held on 27 February - 1 March 2015 at the Bintawan National High School, Bintawan Sur, Nueva Vizcaya. Both training caravans were sponsored by the BPI Foundation, Inc.

The participants of the teacher training caravan during the opening ceremony
at the Conference Hall of Lucena West I Elementary School, Lucena City

The NISMED teacher training caravan was designed to enhance instructional competencies of science and mathematics teachers in teaching science through inquiry and teaching mathematics through problem solving. The caravan project targeted science and mathematics teachers who have not attended any training for the last five (5) years.

The elementary school science participants of the Division of Nueva Vizcaya
during the presentation and constructive critiquing of their inquiry-based lesson plan.

In each of these trainings, the participants were grouped according to the grade levels they were teaching. To develop teachers’ instructional capacities, each group was assigned specific outputs. For elementary school science, the trainers modelled an inquiry-based science lesson which exposed the teachers to the five features of inquiry. This was followed by a workshop on collaborative development of an inquiry-based science activity, constructive critiquing, and revision. For elementary school mathematics, the participants were introduced to TIMSS-based assessment using items featured in the newly launched assessment book in mathematics of NISMED. The high school science teachers were given supplementary training on teaching science through inquiry for Grades 7 and 8.
As a continuing activity for NISMED’s Golden Anniversary celebration of NISMED, the first public lecture for the year 2015 was held on the 14th of May at the Dolores F. Hernandez Hall, UP NISMED. The lecture was attended by 387 participants, most of whom were science and mathematics pre-service and in-service teachers. The activity was the 5th in the series of public lectures held from the kick-off for the 50thAnniversary. The public lecture series aims to promote scientific and mathematical literacy and contribute to the professional development of science and mathematics teachers in the country.

The lecture was titled “Teaching and Learning Mathematics through Origami” and was delivered by Dr. Patsy Wang-Iverson, the Vice-President for Special Projects at the Gabriella and Paul Rosenbaum Foundation in the United States. Her lecture was interspersed with hands-on sessions which exposed participants to origami. Her presentation also enabled the participants to examine how origami helped students perform better in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) assessment items. 

Dr. Patsy Wang-Iverson answering participants’ questions after her lecture.

Dr. Iverson is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and was deeply involved in disseminating lessons learned from international studies, including TIMSS, the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), and Progress in International Literacy Studies (PIRLS).

She is the U.S. representative to the APEC Lesson Study Project directed jointly by Thailand and Japan. She co-edited the books “Building our Understanding of Lesson Study,” “Origami 5,” “Lesson Study: Challenges in Mathematics Education (to be published in 2015), and is working on “Origami 6.”
The Institute continues to go on air to reach a greater audience in science and mathematics education through its regular radio program, Go Teacher Go! Broadcasted over DZUP 1602 kHz AM band, which is the University’s official radio station, the program aims to provide instructional strategies to help science and mathematics teachers. 

As the program continues to run at 4:00 to 5:00 PM every Thursday, it covers topics that are aligned to the competencies of science and mathematics of the K to 12 Enhanced Basic Education Curriculum.

Mathematics teachers from Commonwealth Elementary School sharing
their experiences on lesson study.

Now on its ninth season, NISMED’s subject area specialists take turns in acting as resource persons and co-resource persons of the Go Teacher Go! Ms. Ma. Lourdes S. Agad and Ms. Lolita M. Mondigo of the Audiovisual Group alternately host the program. Watch out for Season 10 which will run from August 2015 – January 2016. This program can be accessed by the general public via live streaming at
A total of 578 teachers and students from both public and private schools were able to participate in one of the eight overnight stargazing sessions conducted at the NISMED Observatory from 9 January to 20 March 2015. As part of NISMED’s extension program, this activity was facilitated by the members of the High School Earth/Environmental Science (HSES) along with some members of the UP Astronomical Society.

Among the features of the stargazing activity is the opportunity for the students and teachers to view the night-sky with the aid of one of the Philippines’ largest telescopes which is housed at the NISMED Observatory. Using this telescope, the participants were able to view the craters of the moon, the planet Jupiter and its moons, and the beautiful rings of the planet Saturn. Lectures aligned to the K to 12 Earth and Space Science topics such as constellations and comets were also delivered by the facilitators.

A group of pupils viewing the planet Jupiter using the NISMED’s telescope.

At the start of 2015, NISMED catered 65 students and teachers from two schools who visited the observatory. The Learning Tree School Child Growth Center, Quezon City brought a total of 40 students and teachers and spent their early evening (7:00 – 9:00 PM) of January observing the night sky. On the other hand, a total of 25 pupils, teachers, and parents from Albay Central Elementary School, Legaspi City visited and experienced a similar activity on 27 February 2015. For further details and reservations, interested parties may contact Cecile with the following:; Tel. No.: (02) 9818500 locals 3901-3910 or (02) 928-3545.
Ms. Sally B. Gutierez, a member of the Elementary School Science Group received an International Publication Award (IPA) from the Office of the Vice-President for Academic Affairs for two of her papers published in Scopus-indexed international journals. This award is given to all faculty members and REPS of UP who are authors of an international peer-reviewed (Thomson Reuters-listed [formerly ISI] or SCOPUS-listed) publications. Project researchers and thesis students who work on UP projects and indicate UP as their affiliation in their publications are also eligible for the IPA.

Ms. Sally B. Gutierez poses with the journal copy where her article was published

The first paper titled “Integrating Socio-Scientific Issues to Enhance the Bioethical Decision-Making Skills of High School Students,” was published in the journal International Education Studies of the Canadian Center of Science and Education in January 2015. The paper explored the focal points and the teaching models of the ethical dimensions of socio-scientific issues and how these may be integrated in science lessons to enhance the critical thinking and decision-making processes of students. It was stressed in the paper that the exposure of students to a constructive argumentation on socio-scientific issues provided opportunities for the students to actively evaluate both the advantages and disadvantages of science in their lives.

In May, the second paper titled “Collaborative Professional Learning through Lesson Study: Identifying the Challenges of Inquiry-based Teaching” was published in the journal Issues in Educational Research of the Australia's Institutes for Educational Research in New South Wales, Northern Territory, South Australia, and Western Australia. The paper showed how lesson study was able to identify the current challenges of inquiry-based teaching and that through the collaborative processes of planning, implementation, observation, post-reflection and discussions (PRDs), these challenges may be gradually minimized, thereby, developing the necessary components of an effective inquiry-based lesson. Data for this paper were obtained from the on-going Collaborative Research Lesson and Development (CLRD) Project of NISMED—a professional development project which aims to strengthen the instructional capacities of science and mathematics teachers through lesson study and promote teaching science through inquiry and teaching mathematics through problem solving.

The complete citations of these papers are as follows:

Gutierez, S.B. (2015). Collaborative professional learning through lesson study: Identifying the challenges of inquiry-based teaching. Issues in Educational Research, 25 (2), 118-134.

Gutierez, S.B. (2015). Integrating socio-scientific issues to enhance the bioethical decision-making of high school students. International Education Studies, 8(1), 142-151.
Ms. Gutierrez together with other foreign delegates discussing how to design
 a professional development program for new teachers that focuses on
inquiry-based science education.

Ms. Jacqueline Rose M. Gutierrez of the High School Chemistry Workgroup attended the 6th La main à la pâte (Lamap) International Seminar from 1 to 6 June 2015 held at the Centre International d’Etudes Pèdagogiques (CIEP) in Sèvres, France. The seminar focused on professional development programs promoting inquiry-based science education. It included sessions on the inquiry-based and interdisciplinary approaches in teaching science, relationship between language and science teaching, and strategies for in-service teacher’s development program and support; a visit to the Institute of France Académie des sciences (French Academy of Sciences) and La Maison des Sciences (Lamap’s pilot centers for teachers); a talk on brain science by Professor Olivier Houde, a member of the Académie des sciences and professor of psychology; and classroom observations in the école maternelle (kindergarten), école élémentaire (primary school) and collège (middle school) levels. It also provided several opportunities for casual interaction such as the official dinner formally welcoming the participants; a cultural night showcasing the delegates’ local delicacies and artistic heritage; and a gourmet dinner aboard a glass-covered boat affording the participants a captivating view of Paris from the River Seine.

Ms. Gutierrez with Professor Yves Quéré, one of the founders
 of the La main à la pâte Foundation, taken during the seminar’s official dinner.

Dr. Amelia E. Punzalan, the former Chair of the High School Chemistry Group was given the Gawad Chanselor sa Natatanging Research, Extension, and Professional Staff (REPS). The awarding ceremony was held at the Institute of Biology Auditorium on 8 May 2015. The award is UP’s way of appreciating and valuing the contribution of REPS to the growth of the University, the generation of knowledge, development of skills, and exemplary service to the development of the country. In recognition of their contributions to UP Diliman, the most outstanding members of the REPS are given the Gawad Chanselor, one of the University's most prestigious awards.

As an academic staff, Dr. Punzalan was noted for her contribution not only to the growth of NISMED as an institute but for her service to the country as well. She had been in the frontline in the promotion of Lesson Study as a professional development model to enhance the teaching capacities of public and private, tertiary, secondary, and elementary school science teachers. She was also a strong advocate of the mother tongue-based multilingual education (MTB-MLE) in the Philippines. As a commitment to work and professional growth to inspire teachers, she had shared lots of evidenced-based advantages of lesson study and MTB-MLE over the NISMED’s regular radio program, “Go” Teacher Go.” 

Dr. Punzalan also taught courses at the UP Open University (UPOU) on science education, chemistry education, and philosophy of education aside from being a regular adviser to doctoral students. She was also constantly tapped as co-adviser, and panel member of master’s and doctoral students at the UP College of Education.

Asite-specific sculptural installation entitled, “Via Crucis: A Synecdochal Rendition of the Way of the Cross,” is now on display at the Parish of the Holy Sacrifice in UP Diliman. This installative art is a thesis project for the Master of Fine Arts degree (UP CFA) of Ms. Maria Laura V. Ginoy, head of the Art and Desktop section of NISMED. The work features the new version of the 14 Stations of the Cross using hand-casts as primary image, which according to Ginoy is a synecdochal representation “part for the whole and whole for the part.” She added that “the hands represent the whole body or the corpus, which in Christian tradition is the vessel of the Holy Spirit. The representation is indexical because the sculptures were cast from the hands of selected parishioners in the UP community, the church being as much the community of worshipers as it is the edifice.” Since the parishioners are part of the church, the models for the hand sculptures were various people representing different sectors of the UP community.

Ms. Maria Laura Ginoy (left) with her panelist, Dean
Nestor Vinluan, during her Academic Exercise.
In the abstract, Ms. Ginoy wrote: "The various narrative possibilities of gestures and expressive representation of hands are explored in order to articulate each of the micro-narratives, with each vignette intended to be haptic and tactile. In this way, accessibility will not only be a matter of contemplating forms in space but also a matter of embodied experience, which transposes liturgical practice into a more personal and intimate encounter.”

The Via Crucis' 14 Stations of the Cross

Regardless of how anyone would consider the liturgical art, the sculptures invite the public to touch them during their personal devotion and encounter with the Lord. As it now becomes a permanent landmark at the chapel, this art would surely become an indelible image in the UP community. This work was previously featured by the ABS-CBN News in 02 April 2015. Click the link below for the complete feature article.

Dr. Monalisa T. Sasing and her husband

Two NISMED staff joined the list of 2015 graduates of the University of the Philippines Diliman on 28 June 2015. Dr. Monalisa T. Sasing of the Information Science Group earned her Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics Education at the UP College of Education in July 2014. She was a recipient of the Department of Science and Technology – Science Education Institute Accelerated Science and Technology Human Resource Development Program in the entire duration of her study. Her dissertation was titled “Teacher Mathematical Pedagogical Knowledge, Disposition, and Experience: Influence on Student Attitude and Performance in Mathematics.” Dr. Ma. Nympha B. Joacquin served as her dissertation adviser. Part of her dissertation was presented at The 7th International Conference in Mathematics Education – East Asia Regional Conference on Mathematics Education (7th ICMI - EARCOME) on 11-15 May 2015 at the Waterfront Hotel, Cebu City.

On the other hand, Ms. Angelie S. Domingo of the Property Section earned her Diploma in Public Management at the National College of Public Administration and Governance.

The Institute celebrated and paid tribute to the services of four of its retired staff at the NISMED inner garden. Graced by their family and friends, and other guests, a simple program was held in honor of the dedicated and long service of the staff. During the celebration, Dr. Soledad A. Ulep gave each of the retirees a plaque of recognition as a symbol of NISMED’s gratitude to them.

The first in the list was Ms. Narcisa P. Gandeza who served the Institute for 42 years. She held an Administrative Officer IV position and was a member of the General Services Section. She officially retired on 18 March 2015. She is often called Ate Nancy by the rest of the staff. Her retirement celebration was held on 17 March 2015.

Ms. Alejandra P. Abaya’s retirement effectivity followed on 01 May 2015. She served NISMED for 39 years. Also a member of the General Services Section, she held an Administrative Assistant I. Most NISMED staff call her “Mommy Linda” although she has no children of her own.

On the last day of the May, Ms. Erlinda A. Ostalle joined the list of retirees. Just like Ms. Gandeza and Ms. Abaya, Ms. Ostalle was also a member of the General Services Section where she served as Administrative Aide IV.

Joining the list is Mr. Felix G. Pio from the Printing Section who logged 41 years in service as of the date of his retirement on 30 May 2015. He held the position of Administrative Aide V. He is popularly known as “Boy” to the NISMED staff.

The celebration for the last three employees was held on 19 May 2015 with a Flores de Mayo theme.