Lifelong Learning Blogs

Monday, August 15, 2011

My Philosophy of Education

The role of education in our society is to provide the building blocks of life to children. They will then take these blocks and assemble them in a way that will allow them to be successful, compassionate and innovative contributors to our society. A sturdy education provides all children with a base of knowledge and skills that will prepare them to move successfully through life. In order for children to grow and be a better person is through the development of different learning skills in accordance with their individual needs, abilities, and interests. On this basis, my philosophy of education is that “Each child is unique. They learn in different ways at different pace and needs”
I believe that each child has the capacity to accomplish any goal that is set for them as long as they feel connected to what they are learning. That every child has his/her own capacity and speed of learning.
Anchored by this philosophical foundation, it is my vision to optimize the utmost potential of every learner. To be able to attain this vision, each learner is expected to develop the basic learning skills (Reading, Writing, Calculating), as well as the art of critical thinking. Creating a challenging learning environment wherein the child develops motivation, independence and most of all the love of learning. To facilitate the attainment of my personal vision and mission, my objectives are as follows: to introduce every learner to diverse situations in order to create a motivation towards free expression of ideas, development of self-confidence and the practice of critical thinking, to provide different opportunities for the discovery and development of the learner’s talent and skills in order to acknowledge individual achievements and successes.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Emerging Trends in ICT Education in Public Schools

Just as technology is influencing and supporting what is being learned in schools, so too is it supporting changes to the way students are learning. Through technology-facilitated approaches, contemporary learning settings now encourage students to take responsibility for their own learning. In the past, students have become very comfortable to learning through transmissive modes. The growing use of ICT as an instructional medium is changing and will likely continue to change many of the strategies employed by both teachers and students in the learning process.
According to former Deped Secretary Hon, Jesli A. Lapus, “The 21st century is an era of the globalization of the enabled, empowered and enjoined individual. It is characterized by a dynamic force for individuals to collaborate and compete in a world which is driven by technology and information and operates in a global community.” Every learner needs to develop habits of lifelong-learning to fully participate in the information age. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are diverse set of technological tools and resources used to communicate, to create, disseminate, store, and manage information, such as computers, the Internet, radio, television, telephones, and audiovisual equipment. Recognizing the potential benefits of integrating ICT in the educational system, DepED created the National Strategic Planning Initiative for ICT in Basic Education. The Plan sets the parameters and articulates the goals and strategies for ICT integration in Philippine basic education curriculum.
During our class with Dr. Janry Colonia, we visited some public schools in Cagayan de Oro city, Misamis Oriental, and in Bukidnon as well. I was able to witness and experience how the public school system adopted the integration of ICT as part of their media and methodology in teacher-student learning processes. ICT tools are already being utilized and adopted by public school teachers to cope with the technological trends of our modern society. Computers and audio visual technology were among the most common ICT tools. Interactive white board, LCD projectors, computers, and educational software are just some of the modern facilities that were showcased to us by Jasaan Central School in Misamis Oriental. The school has put forth noble efforts to acquire their own ICT room “E-Classroom” that is fully equip with the above mentioned facilities wherein the students can greatly benefit. The teachers and pupils are exposed to new avenues of learning and will no longer have to rely solely on printed books and other materials for their educational needs. Many of the teachers are also using social networking sites on the internet, just like facebook and twitter to establish linkages among colleagues and even their administrators as well. Manolo Fortich Niational High School in Bukidnon, utilized their computers not only for student learning, but also for storing valuable data and information. MFNHS has its own computer laboratory and has employed a computer technician to maintain the facilities. They also make use of computers to back up files in their Educational Management Information System (EMIS) which has gained national recognition by DepEd as outstanding EMIS for several consecutive years. Mobile communication devices such as, cellular phones and alike, allows teachers in MFNHS to establish communication and effective dissemination of information.
The development and integration of ICT into our public schools is progressing. Some school administrators seem to be content with what the government can provide in terms of numbers of computers and connectivity, while others are being highly innovative, attempting to capitalize on the benefits that ICT has to offer. As we move forward towards the 21st century, ICT becomes embedded in the everyday learning practices in schools, drawing on a range of technologies to support learning, teaching, and attainment.
ICT integration is a good investment towards meeting the goals of our educational system both in public and private schools. The profit may not be seen right away but one thing is vivid, this big leap in embracing what is latest in technology will become a bridge that any of our future learners will successfully cross.

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Current Problems in Philippine Education

When I started teaching, I began to gradually comprehend the essence of education and recognized it to be the best social leveler. I can say that it is the very answer to poverty, corruption, hate, and ignorance especially in our country today. Many people believe that education is the knowledge of putting one's potentials to maximum use. Other people can also safely say that a human being is not in the proper sense till he is educated. If it really is what I deemed just like many people believe it is, then the study of the key educational issues in the Philippines is a significant endeavor that needs serious pair of eyes, ears and hands.

I think the problems and issues in our educational system cannot be an utterly fault of our government alone. It takes the whole country, government and private entities to work hand-in-hand to resolve these issues. Our government is trying its best to deliver relevant and quality education that is accessible to all, as etched vividly in the Constitution. But for many, it seems its best efforts are not good enough. And it is difficult to argue with these people, because of the eminent scenario of a dwindling quality and accessibility of education in which our country is facing right now. We always blame the government for the kind of system that governs us, but sometimes we tend to forget that we are part of that bureaucracy.

Education in the our country may be summarized into the following issues;
1. The Quality of education, 2. Accessibility of Education, 3. Government Budget, 4. Education Mismatch. Despite the efforts of DepEd, the facts still remain that the quality of education in our country is declining. There is also a big disparity in educational achievements across social groups. The socio-economically disadvantaged students have higher dropout rates, especially in the elementary level. And most of the freshmen students at the tertiary level come from relatively well-off families. There is a large proportion of “mismatch” between training and actual jobs. It’s the cause of the existence of a large group of educated unemployed or underemployed. Here, also to consider is the degenerating educational mindset of working abroad or of working for employment no matter what it takes, with no regard to other more valuable intentions like social work, inventiveness and entrepreneurship leading to public service and better self-actualization. Are these issues been unnoticed by the government or DepEd? If you are going to ask DepEd officials they would surely lay bundles of memorandums and programs based on results in educational planning and evaluation. And these are brilliant plans and programs intended for the commitment of delivering quality education that is accessible to all. The big question is, “Are these programs been implemented”, if so, “HOW?” and WHO are the people involve in putting these plans to action?

In my opinion, the problems and issues in our education system is deeply rooted to the people who are running the bureaucracy. It is distressing to say that corruption is the cause of these problems. Corruption is everywhere and I fear that it has already become a part of our way of life. But are we going to let ourselves be victims of corruption? Can we just let our hard-earned money be placed on the wrong hands? Can we afford to see our children befall for the kind of education they are getting? Government officials should focus their time and attention to the real problems of the country instead of spending their whole time arguing each other for power. They always accuse their co-officials of corruption, but what are they doing? Are they really doing something to eliminate the main problem? I don't think so. But then again, we cannot just simply point fingers because as citizens, we have our own role to play in society. As teachers, we can make a difference. And I believe it is not too late for CHANGE.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Better Education For A Brighter Filipino Future

Increasing the educational cycle to 12 years basic education

This is to to give children a chance at succeeding. It aim to uplift the quality of education and graduates the Philippines will produce to be able to be globally competent. As the only counrty in Asia which has only 10 years of basic education cycle, President Aquino believes that by applying the K+12 system will help Filipino children achieve the best basic education possible.

Universal pre-schooling for all

The Aquino campaign proposes the establishment of a real pre-school system that makes the pre-school available to all kids regardless of their parents’ income. Noynoy Aquino proposes that all public school children will have pre-schooling as introduction to the formal school system by school year, 2016.

Madaris Education as a sub-system within educational system

Filipino Muslims have asked for an Education System that respects their beliefs and culture that goes side-by-side with the formal educational system. A Madaris Education can be included to help keep Filipino Muslim children in schools.

Technical Vocational Education as alternative to high school senior

Technical, vocational education must be reintroduced into public high schools with accompanying trade tests and skills so as to provide high school graduates the quickest path to work upon graduation.

Every Child a reader by Grade 1

The Aquino Campaign recognizes that the core problem to learning problems is the inability to read. The educational policy of an Aquino Administration aims to make every child a reader by grade one at the end of its tenure in 2015-2016.

Science and Math proficiency

Noynoy Aquino pledges to bring science and math club movements with elementary and high school science and math fairs.  Noynoy Aquino also pledges to build a strong science and math curriculum that begins in Grade 1.

Assistance to private schools as essential partners in basic education

The Aquino Administration proposes to expand Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education (GASTPE) to aim for 1 million private HS students every year through education service contracting (ESC).  It likewise pledges to remove the wasteful education voucher system of the Arroyo Administration.

Medium of Instruction rationalized

Noynoy Aquino supports the UNESCO tried and tested formula of mother tongue instruction before moving on to English for higher grades.  From Pre-school until grade 3, the Aquino Administration’s policy will be an education taught in the mother tongue, with English and Filipino as subjects. As grade level go higher, English will be increasingly used for science, and math while social studies will be in Filipino.

Quality Textbooks

Text books under an Aquino Administration will be judged by: Quality, better quality, and more quality.

Covenant with Local Governments to build more schools

In areas where there are no public or private schools, the Aquino Administration will enter into a covenant with local government units to build smaller populations so teachers and students and parents can form a real learning community.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

21st Century Education

Our world is marked by increasing change, evolving technologies, and the phenomenal growth of information.  21st century education needs to be different because the rate of change is so rapid that just keeping up-to-date in any domain is considered as a challenge. We need to make sure that our skills will not become obsolete and that we are able to make the most of the new opportunities. How we teach must reflect how our students learn and the world in which they will emerge.

Twenty-first-century learning exemplifies an approach to teaching that merges content to skill. Without skills, students are left to memorize facts, recall details and relegate their educational experience to passivity. Without content, students may engage in problem-solving or team-working experiences that fall into in consequentiality, into relevance without rigidity. A 21st century teacher has the initiative to motivate, thus moulding learners to take intellectual risks, foster learning dispositions, and nurture school communities where everyone is a learner.

One of the most essential skills needed in order for students to be successful in the 21st century is critical thinking, reasoning, and problem-solving skills. Simply being able to read books or do math computations would be worthless unless students are given the capability of digesting the information and the ability to apply that accumulated knowledge in their daily life. Other essential skill includes the ability to be self-disciplined and responsible in setting and assessing goals. Assuming the responsibility for their education will be enough for them to be self-motivated in making choices concerning their education and accepting the consequences of their action or inaction. Giving the students the tools needed to always continue learning. Education should be a life long pursuit and building a strong foundation so that they can continue building it all throughout their lives. And, if we hope to succeed as a country, we should give that opportunity to all, not just to those that can afford a quality education. The key to 21st century education is to leave classic education behind or to modify it to be at par with the ever changing times. Today’s education system faces irrelevance unless we bridge the gap between how students live and how they learn. In today’s modern society, students have access to rich information and global communication where teachers support, facilitate, encourage, and collaborate with each learner. Students use technology in every facet of their lives, therefore the instructional day should incorporate that same technology seamlessly into the curriculum and the way we educate them.

I believe that in order to transcend from a 21st century teacher, I must become a learner myself to be able to understand and apply different learning styles. I should continue to absorb experiences and knowledge and stay current to be able to adapt a teaching method inclusive of different modes of every learner.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Educational Leadership and Management in an Age of Accountability

Many believe that the source of hope in alleviating poverty specially in third world countries like the Philippines, rely on the quality of education which teachers and educators provide students with the fundamental skills and knowledge that will last a lifetime. Parents would like to have every advantage, including the best possible education they can possibly give for their children. Despite the vigorous effort of our government to strengthen our educational system, the path towards achieving the goal is seemed unclear. Unfortunately, our educational system is continuously challenged, crammed with social, economic, and political factors which hinder the course of development and global competency of our nation.

In a time of high educational expectations and professional accountability, today's educational leaders need to have a broad array of skills that enable them to function contentedly and effectively in changing environments and under highly politicized conditions. Such a situation can only be managed smoothly by enhancing educational leadership building skills. Educational leadership is in many ways the ability to understand the balance that is desired in a school. Running a school in today's environment is a tough job. Success depends on balancing the needs of the leaders of the academe, parents, and the students. Various models of educational leadership are conceptualize and recognized which are significant factors in enhancing educational leadership skills.

Managerial Leadership

Managerial leadership focuses on increasing the individual leadership capacity of a person, honing their abilities to affect organizational growth and transformation. It also focuses on managing existing processes and resources effectively rather than creating visions for further growth and development of an organization. This type of a leader is more like a director who would tell his followers what is expected to them. He would give specific time and schedules work to be done, and gives guidance as how to accomplish tasks. This kind of leadership follows a hierarchical process and is suitable for bureaucratic form of government. However, it has its disadvantage. The excessive centralization and bureaucratization will eventually create conflict to the role of teachers which is to be innovative and the openness for change.

Participative Leadership

At the core of participative leadership is democracy. Being a participative leader means involving your team in making decisions. This is most important when creative thinking is needed to solve complex problems. People are more committed to actions where they have involved in the relevant decision-making. When people make decisions together, the social commitment to one another is greater and thus increases their commitment to the decision. “Many heads are better than one”. Several people deciding together make better decisions than one person alone. The nature of this leadership style tends to function better with smaller groups of individuals that can offer an educated opinion, as it can be difficult to gain a consensus with a larger group. It is important for the participative leader to develop guidelines concerning participative leadership. Not every idea is a good idea, or can be utilized in every decision. These guidelines would concern how the ideas will be utilized in the decision making process.

Interpersonal Leadership

Getting along with others and pro-actively developing rapport building cooperative relationships. Effective interpersonal leadership skills help influence
others, guiding towards rewarding outcomes and their growth into success-driven leaders in the future.

Transactional Leadership

People are motivated by reward and punishment. When people have agreed to do a job, a part of the deal is that they cede all authority to their manager. The prime purpose of a subordinate is to do what their manager tells them to do. The relationship is based on the level of exchange. Exchange need not be money or material; it can be anything. The more exchange the stronger the relation. It is something done to anyone based on the return of this exchange. In politics, leaders announce benefits in their agenda in exchange to the vote from the people. In business, leaders announce rewards in turn to the productivity. This type of relation is all about requirements, conditions and rewards (or punishment).

The style of leadership taken by any administrator as a leader can be predetermined by the personality and motivational values of that person. It provides a strong influence on the way they lead and communicate with colleagues and the stakeholders. I believe that one of your greatest calls as an educational leader is to empower others. Encourage them to share their ideas, opinions, suggestions and take part in decisions to promote the determination and development of potential leaders. If you treat people with reverence and empower them to do great things, they will honor and respect you for that.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Effective Management through Efficient Leadership

What does it takes to be a leader? How does leadership correlates with management? Can managing be also at the same time leading? There has been much debate on this topic, particularly regarding its role and contribution in attaining success toward a vision and common goal of an organization. Leadership and management are seen very differently by diverse people. Some individuals see these terms as synonyms and often use them interchangeably throughout phrases and sentences. Others consider them as extreme opposite, so extreme; in fact, that they would argue that you cannot be a good manager and a good leader at the same time. Leaders focus more on people, while managers focus more about processes and systems. They both have goals and expectations. The key difference is that leaders make their own, while managers follow the goals and expectations of a leader making sure that it’s on the right track.
I see management as a skill or knowledge you obtained, something that you can learn and practice. Whereas, leadership is a talent that can be honed and nurtured. I think a manager’s ability to be great rests on inherent leadership proficiency coupled with a great plan that is in line with the goals to be taken along the way as any problem arises. Leaders focus is on aligning the people involved in meeting and understanding the vision and making sure that the people are committed to it.
According to John Kotter, “Strong leadership with weak management is not good and is sometimes actually worse than the reverse. The real challenge is to merge efficient leadership and effective management and use each to balance the other. One is not better than the other as both are essential for success. Knowing and understanding the relationship of the two will help managers to lead and get clarity about what is expected of them so they can be successful managers and leaders in their positions.