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Rizal Technological University

Boni Avenue, Mandaluyong City

Trends in Teaching and Learning

A Term Paper

Presented to Prof. Jules Meneses

By Hanna Fey P. Loyola


Education is essential for everyone. It is the level of education that helps

people earn respect and recognition. It is indispensable part of life both
personally and socially. However, the unequal standard of education is still a
major problem that needs to be solved.
The importance of education is undeniable for every single person. It goes
without saying that education has a positive effect on human life. All people need
to study. Only with the advent of education can people gain knowledge and
enlarge their view over the world. For example, learning by watching TV or
reading books gives people a huge amount of information about anything they
are interested in such as mathematics, current news, exchange rates, other
countries' cultures and so on. Apparently, people may become more useful and
civilized if better educated. In areas where residents are not able to receive an
appropriate education, life cannot be as thriving and prosperous as locations
where there is a high standard in education.

Secondly, education plays such a rudimentary role on our society that we cannot
even imagine a life without it. It is a determined element for the civilization of
human society. Not only does It help us develop healthy surroundings but it also
generates an advance community. As a matter of fact, everything we create
today is based on the knowledge that we obtain throughout our life by way of
education. This assists scientists in inventing equipment and devices, resulting in
a high technology nowadays. The more developed life become, the more
necessary education is for everyone.

The relation between teaching, instruction and childrens learning arises

whenever models of the teachinglearning process are discussed or whenever
problems of learning occur. Despite massive research efforts we still know little
about how differences in learning activities are related to students learning. The
primacy of teachers and teaching as the primary subjects of research has
contributed to a rather limited understanding of what goes on in schools and
classrooms. Few studies of teachers and teaching have examined the extent to
which differences in teacher effectiveness are related to differences in teachers
subject matter knowledge, and there is still a tendency to discuss issues of
teaching and learning in general terms separated from the content that has been
taught. In this article the author argues for the need to bridge studies of teaching
and learning with studies of the subject involved to establish a conversation
between didactics and classroom studies. An analytical design and framework
able to bridge the teachinglearning gap needs to be developed. Emerging
technologies in video/audio documentation provide one chain of investigations for
bridging how different thematic patterns are linked to instructional activities and
interaction formats in classrooms.

Although education has a significant influence on life, the average education is

not the same in different areas. As a result, strategies are being made to resolve
the problems. Problem- Based Learning, Outcomes- Based Learning, Multigrade
Teaching and Spiral Approach in Teaching and Learning, this four trends in
teaching and learning has been a significant topic in making a better curriculum.
Problem-Based Learning

Every quarter faculty are faced with determining how to present course
material so that students not only gain knowledge of the discipline, but also
become self-directed learners who develop problem-solving skills they can apply
in future courses and in their careers. In problem-based learning (PBL) courses,
students work with classmates to solve complex and authentic problems that
help develop content knowledge as well as problem-solving, reasoning,
communication, and self-assessment skills. These problems also help to
maintain student interest in course material because students realize that they
are learning the skills needed to be successful in the field. Almost any course can
incorporate PBL, and most faculty and students consider the benefits to be
substantial. This issue of Speaking of Teaching identifies the central features of
PBL, provides some guidelines for planning a PBL course, and discusses the
impact of PBL on student learning and motivation.

Features of Problem-Based Learning

While the content and structure of PBL courses may differ, the general goals
and learning objectives tend to be similar. PBL begins with the assumption that
learning is an active, integrated, and constructive process influenced by social
and contextual factors (Barrows, 1996; Gijselaers, 1996). In their review of the
literature, Wilkerson and Gijselaers (1996) claim that PBL is characterized by a
student-centered approach, teachers as facilitators rather than disseminators,
and open-ended problems (in PBL, these are called ill-structured) that serve as
the initial stimulus and framework for learning (pp. 101-102). Instructors also
hope to develop students intrinsic interest in the subject matter, emphasize
learning as opposed to recall, promote group work, and help students become
self-directed learners. Learning is student-centered because the students are
given the freedom to study those topics that interest them the most and to
determine how they want to study them. Students should identify their learning
needs, help plan classes, lead class discussions, and assess their own work and
their classmates work (Gallagher, 1997; Reynolds, 1997). [S]tudents develop a
deeper awareness and ownership of important concepts in the course by working
on activities, a basic tenet of the constructive approach to learning (Seltzer, et
al., 1996, p. 86). In addition to emphasizing learning by doing, PBL requires
students to be metacognitively aware (Gijselaers, 1996). That is, students must
learn to be conscious of what information they already know about the problem,
what information they need to know to solve the problem, and the strategies to
use to solve the problem. Being able to articulate such thoughts helps students
become more effective problem-solvers and self-directed learners. Initially,
however, many students are not capable of this sort of thinking on their own. For
this reason, the instructor must become a tutor or cognitive coach who models
inquiry strategies, guides exploration, and helps students clarify and pursue their
research questions (ArmbulaGreenfield, 1996). The instructor plays a critical
role in helping students become self-directed learners and must create a
classroom environment in which students receive systematic instruction in
conceptual, strategic, and reflective reasoning in the context of a discipline that
will ultimately make them more successful in later investigations (Gallagher,
1997, p. 337). Gallagher (1997) also suggests that teachers give voice to
metacognitive questions and insert them into the classroom dialog so that
students learn to attend to them, appreciate their utility, and then adopt their use
as they become increasingly independent and self-directed (p. 340).
Groupwork is also an essential aspect of PBL for several reasons. First,
groupwork helps develop learning communities in which students feel
comfortable developing new ideas and raising questions about the material
(Allen, Duch, & Groh, 1996). In addition, groupwork enhances communication
skills and students ability to manage group dynamics. Finally, groupwork is
interesting and motivating for students because they become actively involved in
the work and are held accountable for their actions by group members (Cohen,
1994). For these reasons, groupwork can enhance student achievement.
However, groups do not always work effectively without guidance. Usually the
instructor facilitates and monitors group interactions because many students
have not been taught how to work effectively in groups (Bridges & Hallinger,
1996; Wilkerson, 1996). Welldesigned, open-ended problems that require the
input and skills of all group members also are essential to positive groupwork
experiences (Cohen, 1994). As noted, in PBL literature the term ill-structured
is used to describe open-ended problems that have multiple solutions and
require students to look at many methods before deciding on a particular
solution (Shelton & Smith, 1998, p. 21). Educationally sound, ill-structured
problems help students learn a set of important concepts, ideas, and
techniques (Gallagher, 1997, p. 338) because they provoke group discussion
and give students experience solving problems encountered by experts in the
field. Students recognize these problems as professionally relevant. Therefore,
students are more likely to be motivated to work on them (as opposed to discrete
problem sets or textbook exercises), not only because they realize that the
knowledge they gain by thinking about these problems will be useful in the future,
but also because students are typically given significant opportunities for
creativity and flexibility in solving PBL problems.

OutcomesBased Education

Outcomes are frequently discussed when a new educational program, or a

new curriculum, is being discussed. It is quite likely that in early planning
meetings discussion will at some point focus on what students are expected to
be able to do at the end of the period of schooling, or at the end of the program
of study: What should our students be able to do? Discussion is also likely to
develop about the qualities that students should possess when they graduate
from the school or program: What sort of people do we expect our graduates to
be? In both of these sets of discussion the focus is on outcomes. Curriculum
planners could then proceed to plan the school curriculum or the program of
study by working backwards from t hos e primary objectives. This is what we
want to achieve, so what do we need to do t o r each t hose objectives? Indeed,
at some point in the design of a curriculum it would be very difficult to avoid these
Although this approach to curriculum design does seem to reflect the recent
influence of Spadys emphasis on the importance of considering the outcomes of
education, it is also closely related to the widely used system of curriculum
design advanced by Ralph Tyler in 1950.11 The starting point in Tyler s
approach was specification of objectives, followed by the selection and
arrangement of learning experiences relevant to those objectives, and the
evaluation of the extent to which the objectives had been met.

Use of outcome statements in local curriculum documents is therefore not a

radical move. While it might, implicitly or explicitly, reflect the influence of OBE, it
also reflects the influence of earlier theories of curriculum design that have
encouraged designers to focus on what should be achieved at the end of the
program or period of schooling. There are however, elements of OBE that have
stimulated quite a lot of debate.

Multigrade Teaching

Multigrade teaching occurs within a graded system of education when a

single class contains two or more student grade levels. It is contrasted with the
usual pattern of classroom organization in graded systems where a single
classroom contains students of only one grade level. In many graded systems,
age and grade are congruent, so a grade level is also equivalent to a particular
age group of students. However, this may not be the case in systems where
grade level repetition and acceleration are common. There are three important
reasons why multigrade teaching may occur in both developed and developing

First, multigrading is often associated with 'small' schools in remote and sparsely
populated areas. In such schools, there may be only one, two or three teachers,
yet they offer a complete cycle of primary education. If that cycle consists of eight
grade levels, then each of these teachers must deal with multigrade classes.
These 'small' schools are also sometimes referred to as 'multigrade' schools.
Multigrade schools have attracted attention in the developing country context
because of their potential to increase primary school participation rates. By
bringing the school closer to the community, they encourage more children,
especially girls, into school.

Second, multigrade teaching is also common in larger urban and

suburban schools. In some countries, it is a response to uneven student
enrollment. For example, a school with a two and a half grade entry may have to
combine two grade levels to make up class sizes. Also, in countries where
teacher absenteeism is high, and there is no 'cover', grades may be combined to
avoid having a class with no teacher present. A single teacher then has to deal
with two grade level groups together. While the latter problem is not well-
documented in the literature, it is probably a regular occurrence in countries in
both Africa and the Caribbean.

Third, multigrade teaching may be a deliberate response to educational

problems. In developed countries, this is linked to the multiage perspective.
Proponents of mixed age grouping argue that there are sound pedagogical
reasons for placing students of different ages together in the same classroom.
Mixed age classes, it is argued, stimulate children's social development and
encourage greater classroom cooperation. These arguments are seldom raised
in the developing country literature, although several commentators take the view
that multigrade organized classes are potentially a cost effective means of
providing quality education in difficult to reach areas.

In much of Africa, a major rationale for multigrade education is probably its

potential to increase access to the full cycle of primary education in areas where
this is currently not available. It has been used for these purposes in Zambia and
Burkina Faso, for example. In the Caribbean, the question of access is not so
crucial as in most of the region there is already full access to primary education.
Rather, multigrading may be seen as an approach to increasing the quality of
schooling by introducing innovative approaches to teaching and learning (World
Bank, 1993).
Training programmes for multigrade teaching

In addition to the Commonwealth Secretariat materials written for the

Caribbean, there are four other important manuals that give specific guidance for
multigrade teachers. These are listed below, together with a brief annotation for
the content of each. UNESCO/APEID (1988) Multiple class teaching in primary
schools: a methodological guide This is a synthesis of material from guides
produced separately in India, Japan, Malaysia and Nepal. Although full of
practical advice on teaching in multi-grade classes, it is probably not intended for
use as a primary teachers' handbook as such, but rather as a resource for the
production of such a book, or other teacher materials, in other countries.
Principles and practical suggestions are presented on school and classroom
organisation, teaching strategies and techniques, materials production, and
assessment and record-keeping. Many of the suggestions are generally
applicable rather than being purely of relevance to multigrade classes. It adopts
the position that multi-grade school organisation is a response to difficulties and
shortages rather than being a practice to be recommended on educational
grounds, but it does list advantages of the approach as well as disadvantages
and difficulties. Miller (1989) The multigrade classroom: a resource handbook for
small rural schools This handbook was written to review current research on
multigrade instruction, to identify key issues faced by multigrade classroom
teachers, and to offer novice teachers a set of resource guides for improving
instructional quality. The first chapter reviews previous research on multigrade
instruction. It addresses questions regarding the effect of multigrade instruction
on student performance and the training needed to teach in a multigrade
classroom. The other chapters of the handbook cover topic areas considered
essential for effective multigrade instruction: (1) classroom organisation; (2)
classroom management and discipline; (3) instructional organisation and
curriculum; (4) instructional delivery and grouping; (5) self-directed learning; and
(6) planning and using peer tutoring. Each chapter presents background
information, basic concepts and principles, sample schedules, classroom layouts,
instructional strategies, and further resources for multigrade teaching. In addition,
each chapter contains a list of pertinent references, which together amount to
approximately 100 entries. Collingwood (1992) Multiclass teaching in primary
schools: a handbook for teachers in the Pacific A book full of practical
suggestions for teachers, intended for use as a handbook in a five-day in-service
workshop for multiclass teachers. The second part is actually intended for the
organisers of such a workshop and suggests a timetable for the coverage of the
first part of the book. This first part begins with a brief review of the difficulties
and advantages of multiclass teaching, but consists mainly of seven chapters of
excellent advice, illustrated profusely with concrete examples. This covers school
and classroom organisation, planning, classroom routines, grouping, peer
teaching, and use of the local community. Many of the suggestions are simply
good teaching practice, multi-grade or not, and the book would be of practical
use to all teachers, with or without the intended workshop. Birch and Lally (1995)
Multigrade teaching in primary schools A monograph, providing a theoretical
overview of multigrade teaching as well as practical guidance. The document
draws on Vietnam as its context, but has wider application to Asia and the
Pacific. In its overview, it stresses the political nature of all education and
promotes a paradigm shift in educational thinking, teacher education, the role of
pupils, parents and the community in multigrade teaching and in issues relating
to quality and evaluation. The monograph then addresses the following practical
issues, giving a theoretical introduction to each section: organising the
curriculum, in which the author stresses flexibility and integration; teaching-
learning strategies; materials development; and teacher training. It provides
discussion of educational politics and multigrade teaching, the function and role
of the multigrade teacher, future orientations for multigrade teaching and
alternative scenarios. The monograph concludes with a statement of the need for
more research into the methods and techniques of multigrade teaching.

Good multigrade practice

There are five key areas which are generally the focus of training
packages for multigrade teachers. These encompass the following features.
Classroom management techniques Managing a multigrade classroom is difficult
because there is more than one grade level in the classroom. Hence, the teacher
must be skilled in managing instruction to reduce the amount of 'dead time'
during which children are not productively engaged on task. This means that
teachers must be aware of different ways of grouping children, the importance of
independent study areas where students can go when they have finished their
work, and approaches to record keeping which are more flexible than those
prevalent in the monograde classroom. Students may need to be taught the
value of independence and cooperation by involving them in classroom decision
making. These are seen as a key to improving the quality of teaching and
learning in the multigrade classroom. The promotion of approaches that increase
the level of student independence and cooperative groupwork tend to be
suggested. These involve a change in the role of the teacher from 'giver of
information' to 'facilitator'. This is to ensure that time spent away from the teacher
is spent productively. Three important strategies are peer instruction, in which
students act as teachers for each other, cooperative groupwork, which involves
small groups engaging in collaborative tasks, and individualized learning
programmes which involve the student in self-study. Planning from curriculum
National curricula are typically produced for the monograde classroom. Each set
of grade level material is typically placed in a separate booklet, which may
include specific content to be taught as well as guidelines on how to teach it.
Such curricula are difficult for the multigrade teacher to use because they tend to
require plans to be written for each grade level separately. This is not only time
consuming, but may also result in ineffective instruction. Teachers need to be
taught how to plan across grade level objectives, or how to amend the curriculum
to make it more suitable for their setting. Similar observations may also apply to
the school timetable. Instructional materials These also tend to be written for the
monograde classroom. Consequently. They are produced as grade level
textbooks and are designed to be delivered by the teacher to the children. More
suitable materials include a self-study element. This might be in the form of
workbooks with a self-correction key, or a small classroom library that can be
accessed independently by the children. Teachers need to be shown how to
produce such self-study materials in a cost effective way. Materials relevant for
one country situation may not be appropriate in another. Birch and Lally (1995)
include several examples of materials developed in Asia and the Pacific. School
and community Multigrade schools are often located in remote and difficult to
reach areas. They may be far from the educational center and receive little
pedagogical support. The communities in which they are located may not see the
value of education, and may speak a different language to the 'official' one of the
school. For these reasons, it is essential that the community be involved in the
life of the school. Parents can be asked to come in to act as a resource, the
curriculum of the school might extend out into the community, or the community
can be asked to support the school in other ways. Multigrade teachers should be
trained in approaches that help to develop relations between the school and the

Evidence of impact of multigrading In this section, evidence of the

cognitive and non-cognitive effects of multigrade organised classes will be
considered. Studies are included that have been conducted in only developing
country contexts.
Cognitive effects Escuela Nueva (new schools) in Colombia is a project in
support of small rural schools. It includes inputs in the areas of teacher training,
curriculum development, and instructional materials. The effects of the project
have received two independent evaluations. Psacharopoulos et al (1993)
compared achievement in Spanish language and maths in the new schools with
achievement in 'traditional schools'. They found significant achievement
advantages in the new schools for students in both grades 3 and 5, although the
effect was reduced for grade 5. A subsequent study (McEwan, 1998) obtained
similar results from a different data set. In Belize, Nielsen et al (1993) surveyed
the population of 85 multigrade schools in order to gather information on
multigrade teaching and learning. On average, the schools had fewer than 60
pupils, were located in rural areas, and were quite far from main towns. About
half were one room schools. A comparison was made between academic
achievement in multigrade schools and monograde schools. The test used for
comparison was the promotional examination for entry into high school. The
scores are based on percentile rankings. Using school averages over a four-year
period (1988-1991) the multigrade schools received a composite ranking of 31.75
meaning that, in general, student achievement was in the lowest third of the
country's schools. However, there was much variation in achievement scores
from individual schools. Jarousse and Mingat (1991, 1992) studied achievement
in French language and maths of students in multigrade classes in Togo and
Burkina Faso. In both countries, they found that students in the multigrade
classes outperformed those in the monograde classes. These differences were
significant for students in both grades two and five. The multigrade classes were
mostly located in rural areas, indicating that they were probably in multigrade
school type contexts. Lungwangwa (1989) studied the impact of a pilot
multigrade teaching project in Zambia. Case studies were conducted in the four
schools. As part of the evaluation, the end of primary school test results in the
schools were analysed. Lungwangwa reports that the proportion of student
passing the test in the four schools is at least comparable to the national
average, and in three of the schools well above it. There was also reported to be
a reduction in drop out from the schools and an increase in enrollment. Project
inputs included in-service training for teachers, the provision of instructional
materials, and regular school supervision. Berry (2001) studied student
achievement in the primary school system of the Turks and Caicos Islands in
pursuit of a doctorate. He focused on reading score data obtained during a three
year in-service teacher education project conducted in TCI between 1993-1996.
The project focused on the support of teaching and learning in all primary
schools. The data analysis shows that pupils in multigrade schools in TCI have
significant advantages over pupils in monograde schools. This applies
particularly to low achieving students. High achievers, on the other hand, tend to
have a slight advantage in monograde classes. Non-cognitive effects Little
(1995) reviews the literature pertaining to the evidence of non-cognitive effects in
multigrade organized classes. She cites research from Colombia, Indonesia, and
countries in the Asia and pacific region. In Colombia, Psacharopoulos et al also
examined the effects of Escuela Nueva on measures of creativity, civic
behaviour, and self-esteem. Positive effects were found for civic behaviour, but
not creativity or self-esteem. In Indonesia, positive effects were found for
multigrade organization on study habits, self confidence, initiative and
cooperation. A UNESCO/APEID study from twelve countries in the Asia and
Pacific region lists four advantages of multigrade teaching, all of them non-

Students tend to develop independent work habits and self-study skills

Cooperation between different age groups is more common resulting in

collective ethics, concern and responsibility

Students develop positive attitudes about helping each other

Remediation and enrichment activities can be more discreetly arranged than in

normal classes
Although these four advantages are not grounded in systematic study, they do
suggest the kinds of non-cognitive effects that a well-organized multigrade
classroom can promote.

Spiral Progression Approach

What is the spiral progression approach?

Inspired by Bruners model of the spiral curriculum, spiral progression means

developing the same concepts from one grade level to the next in increasing
complexity and sophistication.

Students continually return to basic ideas as new subjects and concepts are
added over the course of a curriculum

Done in order to solidify understanding over periodic intervals for students to

learn, rather than simply memorizing equations to pass a test.

Revolves around the understanding that human cognition evolved in a step-by-

step process of learning, which relied on environmental interaction and
experience to form intuition and knowledge

In simpler terms, one learns best through the repeated experience of a


Aligned with Bruner's theory of discovery learning, which posits that students
learn best by building on their current knowledge.

The spiral progression approach is applicable not only for science and math
subjects (as often misunderstood) but for all subjects.

The spiral progression approach is used from Grade 1 to Grade 10. This
means that the curriculum is not divided into elementary school and high school,
the way it used to be. There is now vertical articulation, or a seamless
progression of competencies.

The seamlessness may actually be up to the university curriculum.

Why Spiral Progression?

Avoids the major disjunctions between stages of schooling; provides the basis
for continuity and consistency; Compartmentalization inhibit transfer of learning
across topics; students who exit school early do not have the basic functioning
skills across requisite areas of science (University of Melbourne, Curriculum
Comparison Study, 2011)

Allows learners to learn Science topics and skills appropriate to their

developmental/cognitive stages;
Shows the interrelatedness of Science topics with each other and their
connections across topics;
Strengthens retention and mastery of topics and skills;
Enables DepED to benchmark Filipino students with their counterparts in
other countries.
Reduce overlapping and jumping sequence of topics in different grade
Reduces decongestion
Emphasis on formative assessment (A4L)
Simplifies how science content and processes can be intertwined.
Promotes learner- centered rather than teacher- centered instruction


Spiral Progression Approach

These differences between curricula of countries, however big, may still

not be the explanation behind student learning outcomes. Human learning
requires steps. We learn to walk before we run. Coherence in curriculum is
therefore a must. Coherence in a curriculum can be a given with instructors who
are specialized to teach a particular subject. A teacher who has an education
degree specializing in chemistry, with or without a curriculum, would know what
to teach first. This, in fact, is one major difference between teachers in Singapore
and those in the United States. Teachers in Singapore, even in the elementary
years, are subject experts. Teaching science in an integrated approach requires
specific training. Drawing a curriculum that recognizes the hierarchical nature of
topics within a discipline not only provides the conditions helpful to learning, but
also facilitates the required teaching abilities. A spiral curriculum that deals with a
mile-wide range of topics on various disciplines requires too much from any
teacher. A spiral progression approach must consider the resources available.
There is no point in introducing a curriculum that cannot be possibly implemented

Multigrade Teaching

Thomas and Shaw (1992: 23), in their review of the issues in multigrade
schools make the following comments as regards decentralization of the
educational administration

"A decentralized education system lends itself to building effective multigrade

schools. Such a system encourages teachers and local education officers to
actively participate in managing schools, developing learning materials, and in
making decisions regarding curriculum and pedagogical methods. In short, it
fosters independent learning and development of decision making skills in
teachers and local administrators."

Highly centralized systems tend to marginalise schools at the periphery, and it

may be beneficial to strengthen the regional and district presence of the
education administration. In Belize, for example, district education offices have
been given more autonomy and are now charged with at least some of the
responsibility for delivering the pre-service teacher training programme.
Consequently, more control over decisionmaking has been given to the districts.
This gives them more freedom to tailor programmes to meet the needs of the
communities in their immediate area.

Problem Based Teaching

Through problem-based learning students learn to become partners in the

teaching/learning process where they accept responsibility for much of their
learning, work successfully as a team member, deal with new and changing
situations and develop lifelong learning skills. Problem-based learning then, can
help students think critically, analyze and solve real world problems that will
better prepare them for careers outside the classroom.

Outcomes Based Learning

If your school or district has already decided to take an outcome-based

approach, no matter which model you choose, careful planning is essential to the
process. The following section will help you examine your own existing system,
determine where you are on the continuum, and lay the foundation for success.
Charles Schwahn poses the essential questions and outlines the steps educators
need to take in planning to implement outcomes-based education.


Problem Based Learning

Behavioral engagement covers observable student actions and has three areas:
positive behavior (i.e., following the rules and not distracting others), participation
in class activities (i.e., answering and asking questions), and involvement in
school activities such as athletic teams.20 Behavioral engagement has been
linked to several positive outcomes, particularly higher grades across several
populations (i.e., gifted, low income, minority).20 Strong behavioral engagement
has been associated with several positive outcomes in elementary and middle
school students and has been a strong predictor of academic growth. 22,23,24

Emotional engagement has been defined as student affect during class such as
happiness, anxiety, excitement or sadness. 20 Like behavioral engagement,
emotional engagement has been linked with several positive student outcomes,
such as students enthusiasm for their work, decreased likelihood of dropping
out, and academic growth.22,25

Cognitive engagement has several dimensions that covered internal

characteristics including how much students valued what they were learning, the
amount of effort students put forth, their motivation to learn the material, and if
they regulated their behaviors in order to get their work done.20,21 Cognitive
engagement has been linked with higher achievement, positive attitudes, and
less behavior problems in class.20,26 Despite the vast literature described above
that illustrated the importance of student engagement, little has been examined
on engagement in PBL contexts, particularly in math or with primary age

In terms of engagement in PBL, little has been done, but evidence is positive for
helping undergraduates engage in cooperative learning and motivation among
elementary students in science.8,27 While studies on PBL in K-12 settings are
emerging, there were clear areas lacking in the current body of literature.
Methodologically, few studies utilized elementary aged populations or employed
randomized control trials.

Outcomes Based Learning

This future-focused approach to OBE both invited and challenged educators to

look far beyond the curriculum and system structures in which they were
currently immersed, to examine the kinds of performance abilities required of
successful adults in this world, and to design and model their efforts on this
dynamic and expansive template. Only then could they ensure that the education
their students were getting was actually aligned with the realities and challenges
they faced in a world of continuous discovery and constant change. In so doing,
they would add a third critical dimension to the OBE learning model: content,
competence, and contextthe actual settings and conditions in which
performance abilities are ultimately tested.

Multigrade Teaching

The use of multi-grade teaching methods provides a flexible way to meet

the needs, interest and the levels of the development of each child. A child's
development is assessed across a few years focusing on the social, emotional
and gross motor, cognitive and intellectual development (Forbush & Morgan,
2004). Equality of educational opportunity is conceived as not only providing
access to education but also creating conditions of success for the millions of
learners living in remote, sparsely populated mountain regions, deserts, islands,
lagoons, plains and other in accessible areas. Efforts to provide comprehensive
access to elementary education led to the establishment of a large number of
primary schools with low enrolments where normal teacher: pupil ratio norms are
just not operative and the number of teachers is less than the number of grades.

Spiral Progression Approach

K to 12 will strengthen Science and Math Education

Avoids disjunctions between stages of schooling Allows learners to learn

topics & skills appropriate to their developmental/cognitive stages Strengthens
retention & mastery of topics & skills as they are revisited & consolidated

Science concepts & skills are integrated in Health, Languages, Math, and other
subjects in Grades 1-2
Focus on literacy & numeracy for K to Grade 2 provides stronger foundation to
acquire more sophisticated competencies in latter grade levels.

Mother tongue, Filipino, English and additional languages education for upper
year levels

Mother tongue as starting point for literacy development Simultaneous

development of language skills in listening & speaking for both Filipino & English

Competencies spiraled across grade levels, with greater emphasis on reading

comprehension of various writing, study & thinking strategies in HS for critical
thinking development

Orthography, phonological guides, literacy program sequences, common

utterances for each language part of Teachers Guide

Includes age-, context-, and culture-appropriate print & electronic texts


Learning progressions have captured the imaginations and rhetoric of school

reformers and education researchers as one possible solution for getting K-12
education on track (Corcoran et al.s cited metaphor, 2009, p. 8). Indeed, the
train has left the station and is gathering great momentum in the education
reform and research communities. Even more, I fear that learning progressions
will be adapted to fit various plans made by researchers and reformers bringing
the light of day to education reform. I believe that learning progressions and
research on them have the potential to improve teaching and learning; however,
we need to be cautious because they are especially vulnerable to data fitting as
captured by a recent cartoon in Non Sequitur (Figure 1). A moments reflection
leads to the recognition that there are promises and pitfalls associated with a
learning-progression reform agenda. Moreover, I fear that the enthusiasm
gathering around learning progressions might lead to giving heavy weight to one
possible solution when experience show single solutions to education reform
come and go, often without leaving a trace. As the saying goes, the best of
intentions can go awry.


Problem Based Learning

The current study found that elementary students who experienced PBL
reported working with and helping their peers more than students in traditional,
teacher directed instruction, suggesting that this instructional approach can have
similar outcomes that have been found with older populations. Despite the
current study findings that PBL did not impact student value, interest, investment,
or enjoyment, findings contribute knowledge about an understudied population in
this area and suggest PBL can positively impact student collaboration.

Outcomes Based Learning

It is found that both learning strategy and learning motive have been
transferred under the experience of OBTL. The analysis on transference of
students learning approach should link the transference process/reason of both
learning motive and learning strategy.

Students learning motive is switched with the characteristics based on

hypothesized comment Under OBTL, the assessment is based on the
comparison between the students work with the designated assessment criteria.
Also, the outcomes are agreed as the curriculum guide about what is taught and
what is accessed and are always emphasized throughout the teaching and
learning process. With the assessment criteria being clearly specified (the
information costs are lowered) of and the outcomes being frequently emphasized
(they are amply reminded about the benefits); it may induce some students with
surface and deep motive to become more willing to compete for higher grades.

Multigrade Teaching
Cognitive outcomes of multi-grade compared with mono-grade suggests
that children perform no better and no worse in multi-grade classes. Pratt (1986)
reviewed thirty experimental studies conducted between 1948 and 1983 in the
United States of America and Canada. In view of the high degree of congruence
in North American schools between age and grade the multi-grade classes were
described as multi-age classes. All the multi-age classes contained an age range
of 2-3 years and the achievement variables studies were usually reading and
mathematics scores on standardised tests. Pratt notes that many of the studies
suffer from imperfect control of differences between teachers and schools which
elected or rejected multi-age grouping. Too few of the studies reported sufficiently
complete data to allow more than a counting procedure for summation of the

Spiral Progression Approach


Trends in Research on Teaching and Learning in Schools: didactics meets

classroom studies
KIRSTI KLETTE University of Oslo, Norway


Dr Chris Berry

Barell, J. (2007). Problem-based learning: An inquiry approach. (2nd ed.).

Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, Inc.

Landsberger, J. (2011). Problem-based learning.

Savin-Baden, M., & Howell Major, C. (2004). Foundations of problem-based

learning. Birkshire, England: The Society for Research into Higher Education &
Open University Press.

Stanford University Newsletter (2001). Speaking of Teaching. Problem-Based

Learning. Center for Teaching and Learning Web site: pdf