All posts by Alvior, Mary G.

Dr. Mary Gillesania Alvior has a PhD. in Curriculum Development from West Visayas State University. She earned her Master of Arts in Teaching English Language at De La Salle University, Manila as a scholar of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) in the Philippines. She is a retired senior faculty of the Graduate School at the Palawan State University and a former Director of the Curriculum and Instructional Materials Development Office. From August 2013 to June 5, 2016, she worked as an English instructor at Jubail University College - Female Branch. She had also an opportunity to be a member of the committee that evaluated and developed a PYP English curriculum for all the sectors under the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu, Saudi Arabia, namely: Jubail Technical Institute, Jubail Industrial College, and Jubail University College (male and female branches). Currently, she works as a lecturer at the St. Theresa International College, Thailand.

Use of RAFTS Prompt in Rhetorical Context and Writing Traits in CBLI

This article highlights the result of a research on the the effectiveness of the RAFTS prompt. RAFTS stands for role, audience, format, topic and strong verb, in order to make writing assignments more enjoyable and fulfilling to the students.

With the implementation of Content-Based Language Instruction (CBLI) in Palawan State University, English teachers found content-based lessons difficult to prepare. Writing in particular requires collaboration among teachers to provide students meaningful writing tasks. However, it has been observed that students have writing difficulties. They have poor writing traits. Also, they can hardly address the rhetorical context or the situation that surrounds their act of writing.

It is in this line of thought that the researcher embarked on an action research. The study aimed to determine the effectiveness of RAFTS prompt in addressing the rhetorical context and in improving the writing traits of students.

Specifically, this study sought to answer the following questions:

  1. Did the scores of students improve after using the RAFTS prompt in addressing the rhetorical context?,
  2. Was the use of intervention effective in improving the writing traits of students?,
  3. In what manner, did the intervention become effective? And less effective?, and
  4. Was there a significant relationship between the students’ scores in their writing traits and in their mid-term grades?

The researcher used purposive sampling in selecting the participants of the study because this is a classroom-based research. The sample consisted of 40 freshmen from the Department of Computer Science.

Data were gathered from the written works of students and scored using rubrics taken from the official website of the Nevada Writing Project. Further, the researcher used t-test and Pearson r for the analysis of data.

She also used written feedbacks and interviews to reflect better on the effectiveness of RAFTS prompt in content-based language instruction.

It was found out that RAFTS prompt was very effective in addressing the rhetorical context. The result of t-test for related samples using SPSS v10 indicated a significant p-value of 0.000. However, RAFTS prompt was not effective in improving the writing traits of students (p-value = 0.083).

In view of the findings, RAFTS prompt can only be effective in addressing the rhetorical context. The students can assume roles that they need to portray in writing. They can also write to a given audience, follow the format, develop a topic, and use strong verbs.

However, RAFTS prompt alone cannot improve their writing traits. If they are poor in grammar, spelling, transitions, accuracy, fluency, word choice and others, these mistakes can be repeated in their written works. This scenario implies that RAFTS prompt is a writing technique in the pre-writing stage.

In addition, there must be more writing strategies to employ in order to develop the writing traits. Teachers should focus not only on the context but most importantly to the language, tasks and evaluation criteria in order to improve the writing traits of students.

Thus, it is recommended that another action research be undertaken to determine the effectiveness of connecting the writing traits to RAFTS prompt in the writing stage.

References

Kroll, B. (2006). Teaching english as a second language of foreign language. (3rd ed.) (M.C. Murcia, ed.). Philippines: Cengage Learning Asia Pte Ltd.

McCallister, C. (2004). Writing education practices within the reconceptualized curriculum.

Northern Nevada Writing Project at http://writingfix.com

Nunan, D. (2009). Second language teaching and learning. Philippines: Cengage Learning Asia Pte Ltd.

Slagle, P. (1997). Getting real: authenticity in writing prompts. Quarterly. vol.19, no.3. Retrieved from www.scribd.com An encyclopedia for parents and teachers, ed. J.L. kincheloe and D. Weil, CT: Greenwood Press.

© 2015 January 14 M. G. Alvior

Reflective Journal: A Sample of Professional Development Plan

This article illustrates how you can plan for your professional development as a teacher. A reflective journal being featured is a result of a research finding. Read the steps and a sample on how you can use this professional activity to advance yourself professionally.

Steps in Using the Reflective Journal

If you are a teacher, and would want to use a reflective journal as your professional activity for self-direction, here are steps you can follow:

  1. Have a notebook and a ball pen for the journal;
  2. Think of a particular problem that you have, for example, a pronunciation problem;
  3. Identify the reasons why that problem exists;
  4. Look for strategies or activities that can improve your pronunciation skill such as listening to native speaker or to someone who is good at pronouncing words, using a speech laboratory or imitating and producing the sounds correctly, using audio and video tape analysis, among others;
  5. Use or apply the pronunciation activity/ies chosen; and
  6. Evaluate or assess your progress or improvement in pronunciation.

Sample Plan of Professional Development using Reflective Journal

Now, take a look at this sample.

Date: January 19, 2011

Topic: Improving My Pronunciation Skill

Questions to Ponder:

  1. What are the words I cannot pronounce well?
  2. How did I know that I mispronounced them?
  3. How would I correct my pronunciation?
  4. What do I need in order to improve my pronunciation? Should I listen to a friend who is good at pronunciation or would I go to a speech laboratory in order to hear how I produced the sounds and check them there?
  5. Are the strategies effective in improving my pronunciation? What are the indicators that my pronunciation skill has improved? What assessment tools should I utilize?

Reflections:

In this part, you may now reflect as to how you progress in your activities. You may also indicate the effectiveness of reflective journal as a self-directed professional development activity.

With the example given, the teacher may start writing a journal using the suggested format below:

Date:

Topic:

Questions to ponder on:

Reflections:

Since you already have an idea on how to write a reflective journal, you may start planning for it. For example, you may talk to your principal or department head that you would like to engage in this activity by writing a weekly journal for a period of 3 months. Or, you can have it daily for a longer period of time, say 6 months or one year. But your plan should be realistic. Just do only what you can do without giving yourself much pressure.

This activity can give you more benefits. Aside from helping yourself, you can also make this as your action research. So, try this professional development activity soonest and see the results!

© 2015 January 12 M. G. Alvior

How to Use the Grammar Translation Method

This article briefly explains the goals and characteristics of Grammar Translation Method (Villamin et al., 1994). It also includes some ideas in teaching English as a second or foreign language.

Goals of Grammar Translation Method

  1. To read literature in a target language.
  2. To memorize grammar rules and vocabulary of the target language.

Characteristics of Grammar Translation Method

  1. The major focus is on reading and writing with little or no systematic attention to listening and speaking.
  2. Vocabulary words are chosen from the reading text used. Teachers teach vocabulary words through memorization, bilingual word list, and dictionary.
  3. The basic unit of teaching and language practice is the sentence. Most of the lesson is in sentence translation from and into the target language.
  4. Deductive method is used in grammar. Rules are presented and studied. Then, students will practice through translation exercises.
  5. New grammatical or vocabulary items in the target language are explained in students’ native language in order to have a comparison between the target language and the students’ native language.
  6. Students are expected to attain high standards in translation. They must be accurate in translating the sentences into their target language and vice-versa.

Some Ideas in Teaching

With the goals and characteristics of this method, the following activities can be done in the classroom:

  1. Ask the students to take 5 vocabulary words from their favorite song and then translate it in English.
  2. In teaching a particular lesson in grammar, ask the students to memorize the rules, and they should give their own sentences as samples.
  3. Ask the students to take down the conversations of their friends in their native language, and then translate it in English.
  4. Ask students to write 10 verbs from the article assigned to them, and then they should give the synonyms and antonyms.
  5. Ask students to memorize at least 5 words per day in English and give their native language equivalent.

Some school administrators or teachers may disagree with the idea of using the native language in explaining vocabulary words or grammar rules because they want the students to be exposed only with the target language in order to effectively acquire and master it.

However, there is no hard and fast rule of what is the best method or strategy. It would be best if the teacher will use different ways and find out what is suited to his/her students by conducting an action research.

So, for those who would like to work on this as an action research, what are you waiting for?

Reference

Villamin, A.M., Salazar, E.L., Bala, E.C., & N.R. Sunga (1994). Innovative strategies in communication arts. Quezon City: Phoenix Publishing House, Inc.

© 2015 January 10 M. G. Alvior

Four Major Foundations of Curriculum and their Importance in Education

This article explains the four major foundations of curriculum and their importance in education. Examples are provided to stress the importance of curriculum in the academe.

Read on and reflect on some of the experiences you have had in school to match it with how philosophy, history, psychology and sociology influence those experiences of yours.

The Influence of Philosophy to Curriculum

Educators, curriculum makers and teachers must have espoused a philosophy or philosophies that are deemed necessary for planning, implementing, and evaluating a school curriculum. The philosophy that they have embraced will help them define the purpose of the school, the important subjects to be taught, the kind of learning students must have and how they can acquire them, the instructional materials, methods and strategies to be used, and how students will be evaluated.

Likewise, philosophy offers solutions to problems by helping the administrators, curriculum planners, and teachers make sound decisions. A person’s philosophy reflects his/her life experiences, social and economic background, common beliefs, and education.

When John Dewey proposed that “education is a way of life”, his philosophy is realized when put into practice. Now, particularly in the Philippines, Dewey’s philosophy served as anchor to the country’s educational system.

History and Its Influence to Curriculum

The history of one’s country can affect its educational system and the kind of curriculum it has. If we are going to trace the formal beginning of curriculum, we get back in time to Franklin Bobbit’s book entitled, “The Curriculum” which was published in 1918.

From the time of Bobbit to Tyler, many developments in the purposes, principles and contents of the curriculum took place. Please read the Six Famous Curriculum Theorists and their Contributions to Education for more information.

The Influence of Psychology to Curriculum

Curriculum is influenced by psychology. Psychology provides information about the teaching and learning process. It also seeks answers as to how a curriculum be organized in order to achieve students’ learning at the optimum level, and as to what amount of information they can absorb in learning the various contents of the curriculum.

The following are some psychological theories in learning that influenced curriculum development:

1. Behaviorism

Education in the 20th century was dominated by behaviorism. The mastery of the subject matter is given more emphasis. So, learning is organized in a step-by-step process. The use of drills and repetition are common.

For this reason, many educational psychologists viewed it mechanical and routine. Though many are skeptical about this theory, we can’t deny the fact the influences it had in our educational system.

2. Cognitivism

Cognitive theorists focus on how individuals process information, monitor and manage their thinking. The basic questions that cognitive psychologists zero in on are:

  • How do learners process and store information?
  • How do they retrieve data and generate conclusions?
  • How much information can they absorb?

With their beliefs, they promote the development of problem-solving and thinking skills and popularize the use of reflective thinking, creative thinking, intuitive thinking, discovery learning, among others.

3. Humanism

Humanism is taken from the theory of Gestalt, Abraham Maslow’s theory and Carl Rogers’ theory. This group of psychologists is concerned with the development of human potential.

In this theory, curriculum is after the process, not the product; focuses on personal needs, not on the subject matter; and clarifying psychological meanings and environmental situations. In short, curriculum views founded on humanism posits that learners are human beings who are affected by their biology, culture, and environment. They are neither machines nor animals.

A more advanced, more comprehensive curriculum that promotes human potential must be crafted along this line. Teachers don’t only educate the minds, but the hearts as well.

4. Sociology and Curriculum

There is a mutual and encompassing relationship between society and curriculum because the school exists within the societal context. Though schools are formal institutions that educate the people, there are other units of society that educate or influence the way people think, such as families and friends as well as communities.

Since the society is dynamic, there are many developments which are difficult to cope with and to adjust to. But the schools are made to address and understand the changes not only in one’s country but in the world as well.

Therefore, schools must be relevant by making its curriculum more innovative and interdisciplinary. A curriculum that can address the diversities of global learners, the explosion of knowledge through the internet, and the educational reforms and policies recommended or mandated by the United Nations.

However, it is also imperative that a country must have maintained a curriculum that reflects and preserves its culture and aspirations for national identity. No matter how far people go, it is the country’s responsibility to ensure that the school serves its purpose of educating the citizenry.

Now, it is your time to reflect. Can you think of your experiences in which the major foundation of curriculum can explain it?

Try to ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Why should I take history, philosophy, psychology or even PE subjects in college?
  2. Why is it that there is K to 12 and the mother tongue-based curriculum being implemented by the Department of Education?
  3. Why is there institutional amalgamation?
  4. Why is there “One UP” (One University of the Philippines) now in the Philippines?
  5. Why is there a need for a globalized higher education?

These questions imply that change will take place in the near future. So, brace yourself for the many changes that will take place in education!

Reference

Bilbao, P. P., Lucido, P. I., Iringan, T. C., and R. B. Javier (2008). Curriculum development. Quezon City: Lorimar Publishing, Inc.

© 2015 January 9 M. G. Alvior

Cite this article as: Alvior, Mary G. (January 9, 2015). Four Major Foundations of Curriculum and their Importance in Education. In SimplyEducate.Me. Retrieved from http://simplyeducate.me/2015/01/09/4-major-foundations-of-curriculum-and-their-importance-in-education/

Five Characteristics of an Effective Communication Arts Teacher

This article deals with the five characteristics of teachers who would like to be effective in teaching communication arts subjects. In addition, this article tackles the three levels of conceptualization and organization in language teaching, namely: the approach, method and technique.

Are you a student majoring in English? Or perhaps, you have been teaching English for so long, but is still interested to hone your craft in teaching? To begin with, you must be familiar with the characteristics of an effective communication arts teacher.

Five Characteristics of an Effective Communication Arts Teacher

1. A competent user of the language.

This means that aside from your ability to express your ideas in English through oral and written communication, you must have a good academic preparation particularly on how to teach English. Identifying the knowledge and skills that students need to learn can help you conceptualize the structure and functions of language that must be organized and chunked into lesson-sized experiences. In addition, you should also have a communicative competence in which you have the ability to use your ideas in a right place, in a right manner, at a right time, and to a right person.

2. Ability to interact with students

You should have the ability to interact with students. Interacting successfully with students means that you have stimulated their interest and have motivated them to learn.

Interacting is not just simply asking low level type of questions where the students give their responses from a book. A good interaction is when students give their answers by relating what they have learned to their own experiences or current issues. Or when they give their opinions or ask thought-provoking questions to their classmates.

Thus, there is a need for you, as a teacher, to diagnose your students’ needs and interests and plan for activities that will improve their critical thinking ability.

3. Interested in literature

You need to have a healthy interest in literature. A teacher must be a bookworm.

There are great books and literary pieces to read about and share to your students. Literature is the best way to educate the heart and mind of students.

Teach your students not only of the knowledge that they need for work but teach them how to be more compassionate with others and live life without prejudices or biases due to skin color and religious affiliations. After all, we are all human beings who need to love and be loved.

4. Adopts a positive attitude towards communication arts

As a teacher, you should have a positive attitude towards the communication arts curriculum. There’s no perfect curriculum.

Sometimes, you may not like a particular subject matter or activity to teach in class, but if that subject matter or activity is mandatory, you still have to show your enthusiasm and interest in teaching it; for interest begets interest.

Even if you wouldn’t tell the students of your attitude in teaching, they could discern if you are interested or not in imparting knowledge to them. So, you better adopt a positive attitude and always wear a smile while teaching them.

5. Applies various teaching approaches

A good communication arts teacher should apply the various approaches, methods, or strategies in teaching. Since you will be teaching students from different backgrounds, interests and needs, it is therefore important to have a repertoire of approaches, methods, techniques and strategies of teaching to meet your students’ individual needs.

Approach, Method, and Technique

Now, there are three levels of conceptualization and organization in language teaching as identified by Anthony (1963) as cited by Villamin et al. (1994). These are the approach, method and technique which are hierarchically arranged.

The approach refers to the assumptions and beliefs about what your students must learn in a particular subject. For example, you should know the nature of a subject matter from language specialists or researchers. Based on the selected approach, you have to think of a method to demonstrate it. A method is an over-all plan as to how you will organize and present your lesson. Once you have a method in mind, think about how you will implement it in class. The classroom procedures or techniques you have learned can help you carry out the plans.

At this point, it would be easier for you to choose a teaching strategy that is best suited to your purpose and to your students’ needs.

So, why don’t you apply this information, and find out if you can use the Total Physical Response Method in your class?

Reference

Villamin, A.M., Salazar, E.L., Bala, E.C., and N.R. Sunga (1994). Innovative strategies in communication arts. Quezon City, QC: Phoenix Publishing House, Inc.

© 2015 January 8 M. G. Alvior

Seven School Curriculum Types and their Classroom Implications

This article describes the 7 types of curriculum and their classroom implications. Upon reading this article, you will realize the complexity of the term “curriculum” as I discuss each type, along with the examples. Read on and find out the different types.

Allan Grathon (2000), as cited by Bilbao et al. (2008), describes the seven types of curriculum as follows:

  1. Recommended CurriculumPerhaps you have asked these questions: Why should I take all these subjects and follow the course flow religiously? Why is there a need to implement the K to 12?The answer is simple! The Ministry of Education, the Commission on Higher Education, or any professional organization can recommend and implement a curriculum.

    In the Philippines, for example, what is being implemented by the Department of Education (DepEd) or the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd), is an example of a recommended curriculum.

    In some cases, a law making body like the congress and the senate, or a university or a school can recommend a subject, a course, or any academic program which is deemed necessary for national identity and security, for environmental protection and sustainable development, among others.

  1. Written CurriculumThis refers to a lesson plan or syllabus written by teachers. Another example is the one written by curriculum experts with the help of subject teachers. This kind of written curriculum needs to be pilot tested or tried out in sample schools to determine its effectiveness.
  1. Taught CurriculumThis is about the implementation of the written curriculum. Whatever is being taught or an activity being done in the classroom is a taught curriculum. So, when teachers give a lecture, initiate group work, or ask students to do a laboratory experiment with the their guidance, the taught curriculum is demonstrated. This curriculum contains different teaching styles and learning styles to address the students’ needs and interests.
  1. Supported CurriculumInstructional materials, such as textbooks, audio visual materials, blogs, wikis, and others are examples of support curriculum. Other examples are playgrounds, zoos, gardens, museums, and real life objects. It is called supported curriculum because it helps teachers implement a written curriculum thus enables the students to become life-long learners.
  1. Assessed CurriculumWhen students take a quiz or the mid-term and final exams, these series of evaluations are the so-called assessed curriculum. Teachers may use the pencil and paper tests, and authentic assessments like portfolio and performance based assessments in order to know if the students are progressing or not.
  1. Learned CurriculumThis type of curriculum indicates what the students have actually learned. This can be measured through learning outcomes. A learning outcome can be manifested by what students can perform or do either in their cognitive, affective or psychomotor domains. The learning outcome can be determined by the results of the tests, and it can be achieved by the students through the use of learning objectives.
  1. Hidden CurriculumThis refers to the unplanned or unintended curriculum but plays an important role in learning.

Now, let’s discuss some classroom implications of the different types of curriculum by taking the following situation as example.

Let’s assume that you are a college student taking up Bachelor of Secondary Education, major in English. Your course or degree program is a recommended curriculum prescribed by CHED. The syllabi given to you by your teachers are the written curriculum. When your teachers start to teach, that is a taught curriculum. And when they ask you to use the internet and search information about a given topic, this is a supported curriculum.

Furthermore, teachers need to evaluate your performance. So, when you are given a test or exam that is the assessed curriculum. The results of the assessed curriculum will determine what you have actually learned – and that is the so-called learned curriculum. However, the hidden curriculum can affect what will be taught and assessed by your teachers, and eventually may affect what you will learn.

To sum it up, curriculum is not only about a course or a simple listing of subjects but it is the total learning experience of students as indicated by the seven types of curriculum.

Reference

Bilbao, P. P., Lucido, P. I., Iringan, T. C., and R. B. Javier (2008). Curriculum development. Quezon City: Lorimar Publishing, Inc.

© 2015 January 7 M. G. Alvior

Cite this article as: Alvior, Mary G. (January 7, 2015). Seven School Curriculum Types and their Classroom Implications. In SimplyEducate.Me. Retrieved from http://simplyeducate.me/2015/01/07/seven-school-curriculum-types-and-their-classroom-implications/

How to Teach Using the Total Physical Response Method

 This article briefly discusses the what, why, and how of the Total Physical Response method in teaching English as a second or foreign language.

To start with, the originator of this method is Dr. James J. Asher. He developed the approach through laboratory research for a period of 30 years. It is internationally known as TPR, a stress-free approach for second language acquisition.

If you are a teacher or a student-teacher who wants to apply this approach, you need to be aware first of the goal of this method. The intention of this method is to promote an enjoyable learning experience among students with minimum stress. So, in designing a lesson, you must consider your purpose and the goal of the teaching method that you will use in the classroom. Thereafter, be aware of the characteristics of the method.

The book entitled, “Innovative Strategies in Communication Arts” has enumerated 7 characteristics of Total Physical Response Method as follows:

  1. Teachers give the command and the students do or follow it. For example, a teacher instructs students to write a note to their seatmates.
  2. Games, skits, and other fun-filled activities are given.
  3. There is an interaction between the student and the teacher or between the student and another student with the assistance of the teacher.
  4. Oral communication is given emphasis. There is a need to consider the lifestyle and the culture of native speakers.
  5. The actions executed by the students can determine if the meaning of the vocabulary, phrase, or sentence in the target language is correct.
  6. Committing errors is expected from the students especially when they begin to speak. So, teachers need not check minor errors. If there is a major error, then it can be corrected in a discreet manner.
  7. Students’ actions are observed as a form of evaluation. However, if it is a formal evaluation, the teacher may give series of commands and the students should perform them. The performance of the students can be graded individually, by pair or by group.

Now, upon reading the background of TPR, how can you apply this in teaching? Here are sample activities:

1. For vocabulary, repeat a word for at least 3 times. Students will act it out according to the command given. For example, the word is “stand”. The teacher will say:

  • Stand near the door.
  • Stand in front of the class.
  • Stand behind your classmate.
  • 2. For simple question, repeat the question but in different forms or structures. Then, the students will point their fingers to the person. For example, the question, “Who is _____?”, the teacher will say:

  • Who is noisy?
  • Who is always late?
  • Who is the most active in this class?
  • 3. For grammar with a beginning level of students, a teacher may bring some objects or use the objects inside the classroom. For example, the use of “there is” and “there are”, the students may pinpoint the object/objects and construct sentences using “there is” and “there are”.

    4. For grammar with students who are advanced, the teacher may say: “Think of two actions in which you can use the simple present tense and progressive tense. Then, students will execute the actions required.

    Originally this method is designed by Dr. Asher as an approach for second language acquisition. So, it is used in teaching English as a second language and as a foreign language as well. But I do believe that teachers from other disciplines, such as computer science, information technology, environmental science, engineering, business and others can also use this method particularly in teaching terminologies or technical words or jargon.

    So, happy teaching! For more information about this method please visit this site, Total Physical Response or TPR -World.

    References

    Total Physical Response Retrieved from http://www.tpr-world.com/originator.html

    Villamin, A.M., Salazar, E.L., Bala, E.C., & Sunga, N.R. (1994). Innovative strategies in communication arts. Quezon City, QC: Phoenix Publishing House, Inc.

    © 2015 January 4 M. G. Alvior

    A Research on In-service Training Activities, Teaching Efficacy, Job Satisfaction and Attitude

    This article briefly discusses the methodology used by Dr. Mary Alvior in the preparation of her dissertation focusing on the benefits of in-service training activities to teachers. She expounds on the results of the study specifically providing descriptive statistics on satisfaction of in-service training to them and how this affected teaching efficacy, job satisfaction, and attitude in public school in the City of Puerto Princesa in the Philippines.

    Methodology

    This study utilized the research and development method (R&D) which has two phases. During the first phase, the researcher conducted a survey and a focus group interview in order to triangulate the data gathered from the questionnaires. Then, the researcher administered achievement tests in English, Mathematics and Science. The results found in the research component were used as bases for the design and development of a model. The model was then fully structured and improved in the second phase.

    The participants were randomly taken from 19 public high schools in the Division of Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. A total of fifty-three (53) teachers participated in the study and 2,084 fourth year high school students took the achievement tests.

    The researcher used three sets of instruments which underwent face and content validity. These are

    1. Survey Questionnaires for Teacher Participants,
    2. Guide Questions for Focus Group Interview, and
    3. Teacher-Made Achievement Tests for English, Mathematics, and Science.

    The topics in the achievement tests were in consonance with the Philippine Secondary Schools Learning Competencies (PSSLC) while the test items’ levels of difficulty was in accordance with Department of Education (DepEd) Order 79, series of 2003, dated October 10, 2003.

    Results of Descriptive Statistics

    Teachers’ insights on in-service training activities

    Seminar was perceived to be the most familiar professional development activity among teachers but the teachers never considered it very important in their professional practice. They also viewed it applicable in the classroom but it had no impact on student performance.

    Aside from seminar, the teachers also included conference, demo lesson, workshop and personal research as the most familiar professional development activities among them.

    Nonetheless, teachers had different insights as to which professional development activities were applicable in the classroom. Science teachers considered team teaching, demo lesson, and personal research, but the English and Mathematics teachers considered demo lesson and workshop, respectively.

    With regard to the professional development activities that were viewed very important in their professional practice and had great impact on student performance, all subject area teachers answered personal research. However, the Mathematics teachers added lesson study for these two categories while the teachers in Science included team teaching as a professional activity that had great impact on student performance.

    Moreover, teachers had high regard for the INSET programs they attended and perceived them effective because they were able to learn and developed themselves professionally. They were also highly satisfied with the training they have attended as indicated in the mean (M=3.03, SD=.34). Particularly, they were highly satisfied with the content, design, and delivery of in-service training (INSET) programs, and with the development of their communication skills, instruction, planning, and organization.

    Teachers’ teaching efficacy, job satisfaction and attitude

    Teachers had high level of teaching efficacy (M=3.14, SD=.27) particularly on student engagement, instructional strategies, and classroom management but not in Information Communication and Technology (ICT). It seems that they were not given opportunities to hone their skills in ICT or they were not able to use these skills in the classrooms. Likewise, they had an average level of job satisfaction (M=2.91, SD=.27) and had positive attitude towards their teaching profession (M=2.88, SD=.44).

    In conclusion, there are professional activities that are viewed very important in teaching and there are also which have great impact on students’ academic performance.  In addition, the study found the inclusion of ICT in teaching and for professional development.

    To know more about the model derived from this study, please read 2 Plus 1 Emerging Model of Professional Development for Teachers.

    © 2014 December 29 M. G. Alvior

    2 Plus 1 Emerging Model of Professional Development for Teachers

    This article introduces the two contrasting models of professional development for teachers which I used as one of the bases for the development of the customized professional development model in 2011.

    At that time I searched for related literature, articles on models of professional development are difficult to come by. It was like trying to find a needle in a haystack. But then my diligence paid off when I found an article containing the models of professional development (Smith et al., 2003).

    I describe two of those models in the table below. These are Traditional Professional Development and Job-Embedded Professional Development Models. Based on the findings of my study and the first two models, I came up with my own. I refer to it as the Customized Professional Development Model which I contrast with the two models I read about.

    Please see the first 3 columns for the comparison and contrast of the two models. Then take a look at column 4, which is about the enhanced professional development model.

    The Different Models of Professional Development for Teachers

     Features Traditional Professional Development Job-Embedded Professional DevelopmentCustomized Professional Development Model (Alvior, 2011)
    Primary GoalsIncrease individual teacher’s general knowledge, skills, and teaching competency. Introduce new instructional models or methodologies.Improve student learning and help teachers with the specific teaching problems they face.Increase teacher’s knowledge, skills and teaching competencies. Improve student learning.
    Location (“site” is school or program)Mostly off-siteOn-siteOff-site, On-site,ICT-based
    IntensitySingle session or seriesLong-term, ongoingSeries, long-term, on-going
    Common format of this professional developmentWorkshops, seminars, conferencesStudy circles, research practitioners, inquiry projectsThe identified professional development activities in this study.
    Content for this professional developmentRange of knowledge and skills teachers should know and be able to do (competencies, special issues, new approaches to teaching).Student thinking and learning (examining student work), teaching problems.Combinations, eclectic approach

    The table shows the differences between the traditional and job-embedded models as to the following features: goals, location, intensity, format and contents. The model in column 4, actually combines the two contrasting models. The design of the latter model is for continuing professional development (CPD) for teachers. Further, I added information and communications technology or ICT for location in order to address the needs for the 21st century.

    Another notable contribution in the study is the list of professional development activities which teachers may choose as their professional development activities.

    To know more about the activities, please read, A Research on the Professional Development Model for Teachers.

    So, the next time you hear “2n1”, would you think it is a coffee? No, it isn’t but a professional development model for teachers based on the two models I have described in this article.

    Reference

     Smith, C., Hofer, J., Gillespie, M., Solomon, M., & Rowe, K. (2003). How teachers change: A study of professional development. Retrieved 19 June, 2010 from http://www.ncsall.net/fileadmin/resources/research/brief25.pdf

    © 2014 December 25 M. G. Alvior

    A Research on the Professional Development Model for Teachers

    This article discusses an enhanced professional development model for teachers with an array of activities that can help improve their teaching performance and increase their students’ academic performance as well. This model is one of the findings taken from the dissertation of Dr. Mary G. Alvior entitled, “InService Training Programs, Teacher Factors, and Student Performance: Bases for Enhanced Professional Development Model for Teachers (2011).”

    Today’s knowledge-based economy and the rapid explosion of networked communications across the globe have created pressures among educators to prepare students such that they will possess a wide range of skills, content knowledge, and practical experiences needed to survive in this highly competitive world.

    In the Philippines, the Department of Education has recognized the importance of acquiring the 21st century skills through the integration of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the educational process (Lapus, 2008). However, the study of Maligalig and Albert (2008) showed that the contributing factor for low quality basic education in the country is the lack of competent teachers. This result is in consonance to the reforms stipulated in the Basic Education Sector Reform Agenda (BESRA) particularly in the Key Reform Thrust 2 that there is a need to improve the classroom performance of English, Mathematics, and Science teachers for better learning outcomes.

    This educational scenario prompted the researcher to zero in on the professional development activities for teachers by espousing the idea that the classroom performance of teachers is a critical factor for student academic performance. She based her assumption from Weiner’s Attribution Theory that there are external and internal factors that can improve performance. Students may attribute their academic performance to their teachers (external factor) while the teachers may attribute their teaching performance to the in-service trainings they attended (external factor) and perhaps, to their teaching efficacy, job satisfaction, and attitude towards the teaching profession (internal factors).

    As a result, the enhanced professional development model was developed by using the following results:

    1.  students’ performance,
    2. teachers’ perception and satisfaction of INSET programs,
    3. level of teaching efficacy,
    4. level of job satisfaction, and
    5. attitude towards the teaching profession.

    This model provides teachers different professional development activities that suit their needs and improve students’ academic performance. For example, they may get some activities that are self-directed or that can be done in school or through the use of Information Communication Technology (ICT). Thus, this model is called the Customized Professional Development Model for Teachers.

    In this model, teachers can modify the professional activities by using the three-mode and two-mode combinations. By using the three-mode combination, they may choose specific activities from each major type. For example, they may choose reflective journal for self-directed, lesson study for school-based, and audio-video tape analysis for ICT-based.

    Likewise, teachers may have three sets of combinations for the two-mode combination. They may opt for activities under School-based and Self-directed, Self-directed and ICT-based, and School-based and ICT-based. Table 1 contains specific activities under each type of professional development model.

    Table 1

     The Array of Professional Development Activities

    SELF-DIRECTED ACTIVITIESSCHOOL-BASED ACTIVITIESICT-BASED ACTIVITIES
    Reflective JournalObservation/AssessmentOn-line Learning
    Personal ResearchOpen LessonElectronic Networking
    Teacher PortfolioLesson StudyAudio-video Tape Analysis
    Jigsaw ReadingStudy GroupPersonal Research*
    Inquiry/Action ResearchReflective Journal*
    Case StudyTeacher Portfolio*
    MentoringLesson Study*
    Professional Development SchoolStudy Group*
    Dual Audience, Direct InstructionPeer Coaching*
    SeminarCoaching*
    Conference
    Demo Lesson
    Workshop
    Team Teaching
    Peer Coaching
    Coaching
    Visitation
    Professional Book Talk
    Talk Walking
    *can be done using ICT

    This Customized Professional Development Model is a “generic model”, in which all teachers at all levels can use. The purpose of this model is to empower teachers  to choose their own from an array of professional development activities through a written contract with their school heads/administrators.

    However, the researcher does not recommend the use of this model as a primary means of providing professional development for teachers. Instead, it should be used to complement and enhance the standardized professional development activities mandated by the Department of Education.

     References 

    Lapus, J.A. (2008). The education system facing the challenges of the 21st century country: Republic of the Philippines. Retrieved 25 September, 2010 from http://www.ibe.unesco.org/National_Reports/ICE_2008/philippines_NR08.pdf

    Maligalig, D. S. & Albert, J. R. (2008). Measures for assessing basic education in the Philippines. DISCUSSION PAPER SERIES NO. 2008-16. Retrieved 3 July, 2010 from http://dirp4.pids.gov.ph/ris/dps/pidsdps0816.pdf

    Partnership for 21st Century Skills. (2007). 21st century skills professional development: a partnership for 21st century skills. Retrieved 1 June, 2010 from http://www.p21.org/documents/21st_century_skills_professional_development.pdf

    Smith, C., Hofer, J., Gillespie, M., Solomon, M., & Rowe, K. (2003). How teachers change: A study of professional development. Retrieved 19 June, 2010 from http://www.ncsall.net/fileadmin/resources/research/brief25.pdf

    © 2014 December 16 M. G. Alvior