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I. SOME PERENNIAL ISSUES IN EDUCATION
• • • • • • • • • Lack of facilities in public schools School year Number of years Medium of instruction Subjects Gender issues Drop-out rate Quality of proficiency of the teachers Rising cost of Philippine education of sending a child to school
Trends in teacher Education
Education in all disciplines are getting a big push through the products of the technology and its accompanying technical know-how. This century poses increasingly difficult challenges for all in various realms of life – political, economic, social, ecological and spiritual. There is heightened concern for quality teacher education. The UNESCO reports an important trend towards the development of a culture of lifelong learners.
Professional Problems upon curriculum
Connection to Student Learning. The ultimate goal of professional development is to improve student learning (Speck, 1996). "Teachers value increased student achievement as an outcome of professional development more than any other variable and judge the value of their professional development activities by how much they see a leap in student learning," notes Lockwood (1999, p. 13). Hands-On Technology Use. "Teachers who received technology training in the past year are more likely than teachers who hadn't to say they feel 'better prepared' to integrate technology into their classroom lessons," notes Fatemi (1999). "They also are more likely to use and rely on digital content for instruction, and to spend more time trying out software and searching for Web sites to use in class." Variety of Learning Experiences. "To help teachers incorporate technology in ways that support powerful instruction requires an array of professional development experiences quite different from traditional workshops and how-to training sessions," notes David (1996, p. 238). Professional development for effective technology use can come in a variety of forms, such as mentoring, modeling, ongoing workshops, special courses, structured observations, and summer institutes (David, 1996; Guhlin, 1996). Curriculum-Specific Applications. If technology is to be used to produce improvements in student achievement, teachers must see a direct link between the technology and the curriculum for which they are responsible (Byrom, 1998). Professional development for technology use should demonstrate projects in specific curriculum areas and help teachers integrate technology into the content. New Roles for Teachers. Technology encourages teachers to take on new and expanded roles, both inside and outside of the classroom. Within the classroom, technology supports student-
centered instruction. The teacher assumes the role of coach or facilitator while students work collaboratively (Jones, Valdez, Nowakowski, & Rasmussen, 1995; Kupperstein, Gentile, & Zwier, 1999). Outside of the classroom, technology supports teacher collaboration. Instead of working in isolation, teachers can work together on schoolwide programs. Collegial Learning. A professional development curriculum that helps teachers use technology for discovery learning, developing students' higher-order thinking skills, and communicating ideas is new and demanding and thus cannot be implemented in isolation (Guhlin, 1996). In addition to working in pairs or teams, teachers need access to follow-up discussion and collegial activities, as required of professionals in other fields (Lockwood, 1999). Active Participation of Teachers. If technology is to be used equitably for all students, a majority of teachers should be included in the professional development program. One strategy to motivate teachers to spend the time and energy necessary to develop technology competency is to mandate participation in technology professional development. Another strategy for encouraging teachers to participate in professional development for technology use is creating incentives for technology use. Ongoing Process. A high-quality professional development program is conducted as an ongoing process, not a one-shot approach. Teachers need continued practice to become comfortable with and to implement change, especially in technology use. In evaluating the best practice in professional development, Speck (1996) concludes: "Professional development takes time and must be conducted over several years for significant change in educational practices to take place. Substantial change in school practice typically takes four to seven years, and in some cases longer" (p. 35). Sufficient Time. An effective professional development program provides "sufficient time and follow-up support for teachers to master new content and strategies and to integrate them into their practice," notes Corcoran (1995). For any professional development activity, teachers need time to plan, practice skills, try out new ideas, collaborate, and reflect on ideas. Acquiring technology skills and becoming proficient at new ways of teaching in which technology is appropriately integrated requires additional time (Brand, 1997; David, 1996 Technical Assistance and Support. Another important component of effective professional development for technology is access to on-site technical support personnel who are responsible for troubleshooting and assistance after the technology and lessons are in place. When teachers are trying to use technology in their classrooms and they encounter difficulties, they need immediate help and support. Technology that is not easily accessed and implemented will not be used.
II. CURRICULAR REFORMS IN THE PHILIPPINES
Reform implementation The reforms were implemented after project preparation was undertaken (with the assistance of a foreign-funding organization). Two major initiatives were launched. Both were geared towards overall quality, access and efficiency improvements in education sector performance—during and beyond the project cycle. New curricula, with mass training of teachers, were components of the Program for Decentralized Education (PRODED) and the Secondary Education Development Program (SEDP) which focused on the elementary and secondary levels, respectively. The PRODED was funded with a loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). Outcomes The reforms at the elementary and secondary levels have been implemented over the last fifteen and nine years, respectively. Current indicators are that PRODED and SEDP have indeed succeeded in improving the quality of basic education and in making the sector more effective and efficient in the delivery of basic educational services. As for outcomes related to the
implementation and management of reform, the PRODED and SEDP have meant those involved— from policy makers to program implementers and target beneficiaries. The curriculum is continuously undergoing refinement ensure its relevance to changing needs and demands. The ongoing basic education curriculum review has provided for more indepth indigenization/ localization of the curriculum and integration of information technology or multimedia resources in the teaching/learning process. Benchmarking has provided valuable and reliable data about school and student performance. At this point in time, significant improvements in the learners’ and schools’ performances have been recorded. Future prospects In the context of international assessments, the educational performance of the Philippines still needs a lot of improvement. The need for the curriculum to develop students who are globally competitive is another factor with which the educational sector will have to contend in the future.
Curricular Reforms in tertiary level
Dubbed as the Philippine Main Education Highway, the reforms in the tertiary level will be implemented in two phases, following the adoption of the 10+2+3 formula. Accordingly, after the completion of 10-year basic education (6 years primary and 4 years secondary education), students may opt to go to technical schools or take a 2-year pre-university program before finally pursuing the 3 years specialization courses. Under the proposed curricular reforms, phase I shall take effect starting next school year (20092010) formalizing into 5-year program all existing courses that require licensure examination administered by Professional Regulation Commission (PRC). Angeles, also the deputy chair of Presidential Task Force on Education (PTFE), said these courses, namely, Education, Nursing, Accounting, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Pharmacy shall follow the 10+2+3 system under the Bologna accord. The Engineering and Architecture programs, on the other hand, shall follow the 10+2+(3 or 4) system in accordance with the Washington Accord, APEC Registry for Engineers and Architects and other international accrediting bodies. Phase II, on the other hand, will take effect on school year 2010-2011 for all 4-year board and non-board programs following the 10+2+3 system. Angeles said graduating high school students will continue to take current National Career Assessment Examination (NCAE) administered by the Department of Education (DepEd). The NCAE measures not only the academic and scholastic aptitude but also the technicalvocational knowledge and skills as well as the entrepreneurial inclination of the student. Angeles, however, said, for academic year 2009-2010 CHED will use the scholastic aptitude test (SAT) domain of the NCAE as a guide in admitting students to degree programs. SAT will eventually conduct a mandatory examination for students who wanted to pursue college education while those who wanted to enter the polytechnic programs does not require SAT. Those who graduated from polytechnic programs and wish to pursue higher education however must undergo equivalency/validation test.
The 2 years pre-university or the so-called pre-specialization program is composed of general education courses which will develop competency/occupational skills. Starting school year 2010-2011, Angeles said SAT shall be conducted by the National Educational Evaluation and Testing System (NEETS) which would eventually be a mandatory examination in pursuit of college education. Angeles said the proposal to reform the curricular requirement in tertiary level were only among the various recommendations made by Presidential Task Force on Education (PTFE) in benchmarking the country’s professional programs to conform to international standards.
III. FUTURE OF EDUCATION IN A CHANGING WORLD
The Change Is Coming Thomas Frey, founder of the DaVinci Institute, has a vision. He sees a radical shift beginning in the world of education within two years--which would be 2009. While many are debating vouchers, No Child Left Behind, teacher shortages, grading systems, teacher certification, parental involvement, truancy and dropouts, Frey is thinking out of the box..."Star Trek type" out of the box. Frey believes that in two years private funding will cause disruptive education systems to emerge. And, in 5 years, there will be dramatic changes...dramatic. Courseware-Builder This is a $100 word that can be confusing. What is it? Frey believes that technology will drive the future and that items like iTunes and Amazon will determine the vehicle for education. Courseware-Builder will be the software that makes education possible on any conceivable topic. Frey believes that many companies will compete for the market but that one will come out the winner. Then, the consumer will select an education that suits personal needs. Blast From The Past Mathematics is a critical component in a successful society. Greek civilization was famous for math--Archimedes, Pythagoras, Euclid, Hipparchus, Posidonius and Ptolemy all furthered math concepts. When the Romans became the dominant force on earth, they did not focus on mathematics. The Romans had the Roman numerals system which made little sense. It prevented the Romans from furthering the mathematics that the Greeks built. Unfortunately, the Romans were not aware that their "system" was holding back progress. Fast Forward To Today Frey points out systems that we have today that prevent our society from achieving great things. Like the Romans, we have systems today that are holding us back. • Income Tax System. Frey states that our present income tax system is the anchor that prevents a boat from sailing...the elephant in the living room...the albatross around our necks. The tax code is approximately 64,000 pages long and chokes the brightest and the best to a grinding halt. • Half-Implemented Metric System. With the rest of the world on metric, we cling to our feet, yards, and gallons. Why? • Keyboards. Frey maintains that computer keyboards are highly inefficient. The most used keys should be placed in different locations. Having the most used keys placed randomly on the keyboard is highly ineffective.
• Laws. The U.S. has more laws on the books than any other country in the history of the world. No one really knows how many laws we have on the federal level, state level, local level, ordinances, rules and regulations. It is enough to choke any society.
U.S. Is Not Alone Another society that is not moving forward as it could is China. The Chinese alphabet has 47,035 characters. So much time is spent learning all the characters, that time is wasted. It could be used more effectively learning other things. Foresight on Philippine education The quality of public school education is generally considered to have declined since the post-war years, mainly due to insufficient funds. The Department of Education aims to address the major problems affecting public education by 2010. Private schools are able to offer better facilities and education, but are also much more expensive. There is a wide variety of private schools, including all-boys’ and all-girls’ schools, religious schools, non-sectarian schools, Chinese schools, special schools, and international schools. Due to economic difficulties, there has been a recent increase in the popularity of home schooling and open universities in the Philippines According to Vladimir Kinelev in his Paper presented at the Second International Congress "Ethical, Legal and Societal Challenges of Cyberspace"at Monte-Carlo, Principality of Monaco, on 1-3 October 1998 It is my opinion that the key features of the evolving educational system shall be: • Switching over from 'teaching' to 'education'. • Stronger bias towards fundamental knowledge and development of an individual's creative potential. • Utilization of new information technology in the selection, accumulation, systematization, and transfer of knowledge.
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