Training of Teachers and Instructional Leaders of Legazpi and Tabaco City: Engaging Learners in Communicating and Reasoning Mathematically

As part of the extension and research arm of the University of the Philippines, the National Institute for Science and Mathematics Education Development (UP NISMED) conducts training courses for science and mathematics teachers to enhance their instructional and content knowledge in these domains. NISMED recently concluded its online course for 25 mathematics teachers and instructional leaders of the Schools Division Offices of Legazpi and Tabaco City titled “Math Talk Matters: How to Engage Learners in Mathematics Discourse” last 2, 4, 8, and 10 August 2023. 

To start the training, Dr. Sheryl Lyn C. Monterola, UP NISMED Director, and Dr. Danilo E. Despi, SDO Legazpi City Schools Division Superintendent, gave their welcome messages to the attendees. Education Program Supervisors for Mathematics, Dr. Charles Asagra from SDO Legazpi City and Dr. Dioleta B. Borais from SDO Tabaco City were also present to introduce the participants. The trainer, Dr. Erlina R. Ronda, and the facilitator, Mr. Ralph Ian M. Robles, provided an overview of the training and led the opening program, respectively.

In the synchronous sessions, Dr. Ronda emphasized that mathematics is a specialized type of discourse with distinct components such as learning objects, representations and symbols, keywords, routines, and rules. The distinction between everyday and scientific knowledge was also explained, underscoring the importance for teachers to create opportunities for learners to actively engage in mathematical discourses. Dr. Ronda also stressed the importance of purposefully designing lessons, enabling teachers to cohesively weave all learning episodes to achieve the intended object of learning. The discussion also highlighted the Mathematics Discourse Framework, which offers a new perspective on how thinking and communicating mathematically can be integrated into the instructional process.

The participants are all smiles after the successful presentation of their lesson analysis using the MDL Framework.

As a final output, the participants were grouped and tasked to analyze a lesson transcript in terms of the quality of mathematics using the Mathematics Discourse Framework. Each group presented their suggestions for improving the lesson and shared insightful reflections regarding the project.

After the training course, the group of teachers is set to participate in Course 2: Enhancing and Researching the Quality of Mathematics Teaching through Lesson Study, scheduled for September this year. The conduct of the series of courses is supported by the University of the Philippines Extension Grant (Project No. 232304 UPD-EG) awarded to Dr. Ronda, who serves as the project leader and main resource person for the training courses.