Category Archives: Education

Posts about education in general.

A Rare Swarm of Bees

Why do bees swarm in one place, usually a plant? Here is my little bee story of a recent experience and some facts about bee stings.

One morning, I noticed something unusual is happening in our garden. There seems to be a clump of insects flying about in one of the breast high potted plants in the lawn just beneath  a stunted coconut tree. I cautiously approached what I suspected to be a swarm of wild bees … and indeed, it is.

Instinctively, I hurried up back inside the house to get my camera. A few seconds later, I’m back ready to take shots of a rare event.

Thinking I am at a safe distance away from the wild bees and mindful that I might disturb them and get bitten, I gradually approached the swarm and held my breath.  This approach seemed to work in my past encounters with wild bees. Besides, I am confident that they will not sting unless they are threatened or harmed. My bee culture experience for the past several years also helped.

I aimed my camera and got the picture below showing bees clumped together on the leaves of a fern next to the plant where the other bees alighted.

bees swarm
A swarm of bees on the leaves of a potted plant.

I wondered why these bees stayed on the leaves when no flower is in sight where they could gather their usual supply of nectar to be stored in their honeycombs. What could be the reason for their stay there?

I searched the internet and found out that these gathering of bees must be transient in nature. I’ve read an article that says these honeybees are on the move to find their new home. And this could be true because after the day I saw the swarm of bees, they are gone the next day.

bee on skin
A curious bee landed on my skin.

At left is a picture of a bee that curiously landed on my skin. It didn’t prick me with its rear end sting but just stayed there. I held my breath once again and took a close-up shot. Had I swatted this bee, I might be inviting other bees to come because of its alarm pheromone. Crushing the bee will alarm the other bees and invite disaster.

According to Dylan Voeller and James Nieh of the University of California San Diego, honeybees are stimulated to attack once the alarm pheromone is released. This can be made worse if the victim wears dark clothes, releases carbon dioxide and moves jerkily. If this is assumed to be an evolutionary behavior, the response increases the survival of the colony as predators are warded off the hive. However, honeybees die once they let go of their sting. Once their sting got stuck on the skin of their victim, they are emboweled once they fly away. Further, the bee distracts the victim by flying about (as if intending to sting) for awhile until it finally dies.

So holding my breath and wearing light clothes would have worked. No bee from the swarm stung me at all. If they did, I will hose them out with water to drive them away.

Any interesting bee story you can share?

© 2014 August 11 P. A. Regoniel

Thesis Writing: What to Write in Chapter 5

This article simply tells what a budding researcher must include in Chapter 5-the Summary. It also includes the tense of the verb and the semantic markers which are predominantly used in writing the summary, conclusions and recommendations.

For others, writing the Chapter 5 is the easiest part in thesis writing, but there are groups of students who would like to know more about it. If you are one of them, this article is purposely written for you.

A. Writing the Summary

Your summary may include the following: (1) objectives of the study; (2) statement of the problem; (3) respondents; (4) sampling procedures; (5) method/s of research employed; (6) statistical treatment/s applied or hypotheses tested, if there is any; (7); and results.

If you notice, all the parts mentioned above are already included in your Chapters 1- 4. So, the challenge is on how you are going to briefly write and present it.

First, you must go direct to the point in highlighting the main points. There is no need to thoroughly explain the details. You must avoid copying and pasting what you have written in the previous chapters. Just KISS (keep it short and simple)!

Then, write sentences in simple past and use always the passive voice construction rather than the active voice. You must also be familiar with the different semantic markers.

When I was enrolled in Academic Writing in my masters degree, I learned that there are semantic markers which can be used in order not to repeat the same words or phrases such as additionally, also, further, in addition to, moreover, contrary to, with regard to, as regards, however, finally, during the past ___ years, from 1996 to 2006, after 10 years, as shown in, as presented in, consequently, nevertheless, in fact, on the other hand, subsequently and nonetheless..

Next, you may use the following guide questions to check that you have not missed anything in writing the summary:

  1. What is the objective of the study?;
  2. Who/what is the focus of the study?;
  3. Where and when was the investigation conducted?;
  4. What method of research was used?;
  5. How were the research data gathered?;
  6. How were the respondents chosen?;
  7. What statistical tools were applied to treat the gathered data? ; and
  8. Based on the data presented and analyzed, what findings can you summarize?

Finally, organize the summary of the results of your study according to the way the questions are sequenced in the statement of the problem.

B. Writing the Conclusions

Once you have written the summary, draw out a conclusion from each finding or result. It can be done per question or you may arrange the questions per topic or sub-topic, if there is any. But if your research is quantitative in nature, answer directly the research question and tell if the hypothesis is rejected or accepted based on the findings.

As to grammar, make sure that you use the present tense of the verb because it consists of general statement of the theory or the principle newly derived from the present study. So, don’t be confused because in your summary, you use past tense while in conclusion, you use present tense.

C. Writing the Recommendations

The recommendations must contain practical suggestions that will improve the situation or solve the problem investigated in the study. First, it must be logical, specific, attainable and relevant. Second, it should be addressed to persons, organizations, or agencies directly concerned with the issues or to those who can immediately implement the recommended solutions. Third, present another topic which is very relevant to the present study that can be further investigated by future researchers. But never recommend anything that is not part of your study or not being mentioned in your findings.

After organizing your thoughts as to what would- be the contents of your recommendations, you should write it using the imperative mood of the verb. Imperative mood is to express a request or a command. So, the tense is also simple present tense.

However, there are universities especially in the Philippines that require a specific thesis format to be followed by students. Thus, as a student, you must conform to the prescribed format of your college or university.

Reference

Nordquist, R. n.d. Imperative Mood. Retrieved July 29, 2014, from http://grammar.about.com/od/il/g/impermood.htm

© 2014 July 29 M. G. Alvior

Cite this article as: Alvior, Mary G. (July 29, 2014). Thesis Writing: What to Write in Chapter 5. In SimplyEducate.Me. Retrieved from http://simplyeducate.me/2014/07/29/thesis-writing-what-to-write-in-chapter-5/

BioBlitz of a Disturbed Mangrove Ecosystem

Can a three-hour Bioblitz yield useful information? This article highlights the results of a quick trip to a coastal fringe. See what flora and fauna could thrive in a disturbed mangrove ecosystem.

The past two weeks had been quite busy for me as I try to keep up with two graduate and two undergraduate subjects in the university. One of those undergraduate subjects is titled marine methodology.

As an initial step in field exploration, I introduced my students to BioBlitz, a survey method where they have to record all living species within a designated area at a given period of time. The laboratory period for the class is only three hours every Friday so I designated a nearby mangrove area as the site for the activity. I intend to conduct the usual 24-hour duration BioBlitz when we go out in the field in the coming months. At best, it is only a taste of field work.

The Water as Convenient Waste Basket

We walked off at around 7:30 in the morning down to the eastern coastal fringes of the university where a clump of mangroves had grown quite well. I cautioned them to apply OFF lotion to ward off pesky mosquitoes and sandflies common in these forests. They also need to wear old shoes, sneakers or boots to keep their foot safe from shards of glass, nails or similar objects that we might step on. Incidentally, the back portion of some buildings had become dumping grounds for waste materials including bottles, old papers, and assortment of things in the office. I wonder if the administration knows about this undesirable practice.

We negotiated a slippery trail down a steep slope and were greeted by lots of floating waste carried by the waters probably from nearby places. An ordinance prohibits indiscriminate throwing of wastes but then the scene shows something is amiss in people’s attitude. The ordinance seems to work only in visible areas but not in the city’s waters.  I thought I’d spearhead a  coastal clean up and massive information campaign to prevent such build up of waste that lowers the quality of the environment.

floating waste
An assortment of floating waste materials consisting of old slippers, biscuit wrappers, shampoo sachets, instant drink pouches, old toys, sando plastic bags, empty lotion bottles, among others.

With BioBlitz in mind, we proceeded to the shallower regions of the mangrove ecosystem to inventory whatever we could find. It was high tide at 8 o’clock so we have to contend with the limited muddy strip where we could walk without fully submerging our waists. Everyone was mindful that they still have to attend their next class at 10:30 am and had to avoid getting wet all over.

Plant and Animal Species in the Narrow Stretch of Mangrove

Xylocarpus flower
Flower of Xylocarpus granatum.

I lectured on some species of mangroves and their peculiar  characteristics. Notable among these mangroves is Xylocarpus granatum, the monkey puzzle mangrove, easily identified by its pomelo-like fruit and chocolate brown petiole. The other mangrove species we found were the common stilt-rooted Rhizophora spp. , Lumnitzera littoreaAvicennia sp., and Sonneratia sp. We also noted mangrove associates like Nypa fruticans, Heritiera littorea, Excoecaria agallocha, Acrostichum aureum, and Pandanus sp. Just next to these mangroves and their associates are large trees of bangkal (Nauclea orientalis) growing at the slopes.

Below are pictures of macroorganisms found in that narrow stretch of mangrove:

marine macroorganisms
Mangrove macroorganisms (clockwise): beetle, marine cockroach and spider, cricket, mudskipper, sea slater, and sea snail.

I saw a crab but this quickly dipped underwater when I approached it. What was left was an indiscernible picture of the crustacean.

Despite the short duration of our quick survey, we had an actual glimpse of the mangrove ecosystem and its component flora and fauna. The students surely have learned to appreciate the mangrove ecosystem and came up with ideas on how they could unravel more information from what they have personally experienced; that learning and enthusiasm showed up in their field report.

© 2014 July 14 P. A. Regoniel

EDECOLEPMENTALISM – A Personal Philosophy in Higher Education

This article briefly introduces Edecolepmentalism – a personal philosophy in higher education based on the interaction between education, economics and development.

Read more to find out how today’s knowledge-based economy steer the development of a nation, and even the whole world.

The Background

Year 2001. I was a part-time lecturer at the Department of English and Applied Linguistics at Dela Salle University, Manila and at the same time a CHED scholar for a master’s degree, Master of Arts in Teaching English Language when I met a colleague in the Economics Department. He was a newly hired faculty then but he’d been working as a bank manager for 20 years.

After a short introduction, we talked about the future of education and the money one can get if he/she invests in education business. He said, “There is money in education.” And that is his main reason for leaving his job in the banking business.

After 8 years, Dr. Elnora Loriega, my professor in Philosophy of Education at West Visayas State University required us to have our own educational philosophy. And I came up with my very own. I call it edecolepmentalism.

What is Edecolepmentalism?

“Edecolepmentalism” is my personal philosophy in higher education. It is derived from the words education, economics and development. Ed – is for education; eco- is for economics; and lepmentalism – is for development.

This philosophy is anchored on how the UNESCO defined and perceived education in general as “education – a key to get rid of poverty.” I philosophize that in higher education, we can develop a nation, and the world in general, through transnational education (blended or purely digital learning).

A well-developed country or world, as can be seen in its economy (knowledge-based economy), is a byproduct of a quality transnational education through blended or digital learning curriculum. This is the trend in the 21st century.

definition of edecolepmentalism
Conceptual framework of edecolepmentalism.

I already thought about edecolepmentalism before but I hesitated to submit it. I knew for a fact that my readings about curriculum development and the observations and immersions that I did were not enough to capture this phenomenon. So, the philosophy that I submitted to Dr. Loriega was not about it.

Illustration of Edecolepmentalism

It was towards the end of 2010-2011 when I learned that more business tycoons in the Philippines are investing huge amount of money in education following the university-industry model. In this model, the university provides the human capital or graduates that the industry needs such as the the E2E system (enrollment-to-employment) of the Systems Technological Institute or (STI) and the John B. Lacson Maritime University.

I believe that the best indicator of program effectiveness is when all the students who are enrolled in a course can finish it during the prescribed period of time and able to land a job after graduation. This kind of indicator is based on the principle of economics – the return on investment.

The bottom line is that students and their parents will choose a course or a program in which they can easily get their investments back. And the E2E system assures them that there are jobs waiting for their children after graduation.

In conclusion, this personal philosophy in higher education arose as a result of the knowledge I gained while taking up a doctorate degree in curriculum development and personal immersion in the business community.

© 2014 June 9 M. G. Alvior

E-catalogue: An Innovative Instructional Design

This article introduces an out-of-the box idea in designing an instructional material. More often than not, books are used to contain lessons or bits of information that teachers would like to impart to the learners.

However, the rise of social networking and e-learning prompted Dr. Alvior to design an instructional material that would address the teachers’ and students’ needs to keep abreast with current developments in educational technology – the e-learning approach.

My doctorate program at West Visayas State University in Iloilo City, Philippines requires graduate students to create something new or come up with creative ideas. This task consists part of my training because an advanced graduate course, i. e., a doctorate degree, requires students to come up with their own theories (see theory testing and theory building). Thus, as I specialize on curriculum development, I have to innovate an instructional design without sacrificing the essence of the teaching and learning process. I call this the “e-catalogue.”

Definition of eCatalogue

According to Meriam Webster Dictionary, a catalogue is a complete enumeration of items arranged systematically with descriptive details. It is also defined as a pamphlet or book that contains a list of information.

In my instructional design, I operationally defined it and added the word electronic. Thus, e-catalogue is a pamphlet that contains information for teaching and learning. Specifically, it includes the learning objectives, motivation, procedure, evaluation (assessment), and enrichment activity.

Features of E-catalogue

As previously stated, the e-catalogue contains the following information:

1. Learning objectives

This e-catalogue is taken from a syllabus that contains the skills needed by the students to succeed in the workplace. For example, if the subject is English for Business Communication, students need to develop their skills on how to write an opinion letter, order letter, letter of request, among others.

Likewise, the skills to be developed are translated into learning objectives using the three domains: cognitive, affective and psychomotor. Cognitive refers to conscious mental processes such as thinking, understanding, learning, and remembering. Affective pertains to a student’s feelings, moods, and attitudes while psychomotor relates to learning that entails thinking with action or movement to demonstrate physical skills.

2. Writing prompts

writing on boardWriting prompts are sets of instructions for writing. Prompts provide information as to whom the students should address the letter (the intended readers), and as to why the students are asking or giving the information (purpose). Likewise, authentic or real-world situations are integrated in the prompt. Students should address the prompts well by portraying and/or giving only the information that is asked of them.

3. Writing Activities and Assessment

Writing activities involve discussion of materials taken from newspapers, comic strips, puzzles, blogs, power point presentations, documentary films, internet and others). The purpose of this activity is expose the students to the different types of media so that they won’t easily get bored with the lessons. In addition, the writing drills progress from simple to complex. Revisions start with words, then phrases, and finally, sentences. Also, it uses the process approach in writing, that is, 1) pre-writing, 2) writing, and 3) post writing in which students’ outputs are marked using a holistic rubric.

Other Features

An e-catalogue is easy to use and has no cultural biases. Students can easily understand the concept because it is designed as to what, why and how a particular topic like business letter should be written by providing examples and activities.

Due to the fact that most of the students nowadays don’t like to read a lot, the presentation of the lesson is capsulized. Students need not filter the information that is deemed important for them.

So, why don’t you try this? Sometimes, it’s good to do something different.

This innovation in instructional design was presented in 2007 to Dr. Bibiana Espina of West Visayas State University.

© 2014 June 4 M. G. Alvior

A Study on the Vision and Mission of the Palawan State University and the Goal and Program Objectives of its Graduate School

To provide excellent service to its clients, any organization needs to have a clear-cut statement of its mission and vision. The vision and mission statements will bring the organization towards its desired direction.

Universities, as prime movers of change in society, need to be exemplars of good practices along this concern. To make academic institutions relevant to the society’s needs, there is a need to evaluate its mission and vision statements.

Along this concern, Dr. Alvior conducted an exploratory study on a state university’s vision and mission statements. She also studied the goals and objectives of the graduate school of the same university. This article sums up the result of that study. – The Editor

Introduction

The success of an institution depends upon unity in people’s thoughts and interests, both physically and philosophically. The view of the world is influenced by the values the people hold in their institution. They need to reconcile differing perspectives, find common ground, and create a shared vision and mission.

The shared vision statement should be clear, concise and create a visual image in the mind of the reader. The mission, on the other hand, tells how a group should behave to reach the shared vision. The statement becomes a tool to communicate the group’s purpose to others. This can generate enthusiasm and excitement in performing the work at hand.

According to Kent Peterson (1995), schools are likely to be more successful in achieving in-depth learning when leaders work with the staff and the community to build a collective educational vision that is clear, compelling and connected to teaching and learning. This collective vision helps focus attention on what is important, motivates the staff and the students, and increases the sense of shared responsibility for student learning.

Moreover, Jerry Bamburg, a professor of Educational Administration and Director of the Center for Effective Schools at the University of Washington in Seattle, discusses the benefits of a clearly defined school vision, to wit:

“Schools, like any organization, function best when the staff have a clear idea about what is important. The schools that have been most successful in addressing and increasing the academic achievement of their students have benefited from a clarity of purpose that is grounded in a shared set of core values and beliefs. Primary among the beliefs that school staff must share are high expectations for all students and for themselves”.

Likewise, a professor of Education in Northeastern Illinois University, Samuel Betances, describes the administrator’s role in building a collective vision in the school and community, in a presentation at the July 1992 Summer Institute of NCREL’s Academy for Urban School Leaders. He said that it is important to set a tone as instructional leaders – a tone in which people are encouraged to bring whatever they want when they come to an organization. And whatever expertise they bring should be expanded, built upon, and respected by the administrative leadership in order to universalize the spirit.

With these principles in mind, the Palawan State University (PSU) and its Graduate School conducted a strategic planning workshop in 1999. The university reformulated its vision and mission.

In 2001, the Graduate School started to offer new academic programs in response to the needs of the community like Diploma in Teaching, Diploma in Social Science Teaching, Diploma in Language Teaching, Diploma in Physical Education and Master of Arts in Education and Master of Science in Environmental Management.

As a result, the graduate programs in Education and Public Administration were awarded the candidate status (Level 1) by the Accrediting Agency of Chartered Colleges and Universities (AACCUP) in 1999 and the accredited Status (Level 2) in 2002.

To improve further on its course offerings in the Graduate School (GS), a study was conducted to once again evaluate how the university performs as perceived by its clients. The main purpose of this study is to determine the level of stakeholders’ awareness and acceptance of the University’s vision, mission, goals and objectives.

Specifically, this study attempted to answer the following questions (next page please):

Lingoconomics – an Emerging Theory in Language Acquisition

This article explains an emerging theory in language acquisition. It is called Lingoconomics. Find out how this theory explains the rise in English language acquisition phenomenon in Asian countries.

Have you asked yourselves why many Filipinos would like to become proficient in English in order to work abroad? And why would many Koreans and Chinese study English in the Philippines? What are their reasons?

Lingoconomics is an emerging theory that attempts to describe and explain the recent phenomenon in language learning in Asian countries, particularly in the Philippines, Korea, and China.

I conceptualized this theory in November 2007, when my professor in the Psychology of Learning required us to come up with a personal theory. Since this is a major requirement in our doctorate program, my classmates and I talked about why people learn and study English.

I argued that nowadays, people want to learn English because they want to work or do business abroad. So, it has something to do with the economy – a kind of motivation to learn. I would admit that I was fascinated by the surge of Koreans and Chinese who would like to study English in the Philippines.

As I immersed with them, I found that their main reason is the relatively cheap but quality education we offer in the Philippines. Based on this observation, I used money as a determining factor in learning English. Thus, the word “lingoconomics” came into being. I coined the word from “language” and “economics.”

Lingoconomics was patterned from Lewin’s field theory. I incorporated the theories in language acquisition particularly the theories of acculturation (the process of becoming adapted to a new culture) and accommodation (the process on how intergroup uses of language reflect basic social and psychological attitudes in interethnic communication). But I would like to clarify that the “culture” being used in both theories refers to the culture of the native speakers of English. In my personal theory, the culture of the proficient non-native speakers of English like us, Filipinos, is used.

The Lingoconomics theory goes like this,

BELL = HM + SSG + A + SE/LCQE

In order to learn basic English (Basic English Language Learning or BELL), one must have a high motivation (HM) to learn plus have a strong support group (SSG) plus the adaptability (A) of acquiring the culture of the proficient non-native speakers of English (CPnNS) plus self efficacy (SE) divided by the low-cost quality education (LCQE).

I believe that the Koreans and the Chinese can learn English in their own country or even in America, United Kingdom, Australia and Canada.

But why do they prefer to study in the Philippines?

It’s because MONEY, or the low cost of learning English, plays a major role in learning. This is the reason why I included LCQE in my theory because for me, low cost quality education could be a variable in learning English.

Students only need a language environment where they can practice their English. Once they learned the language, they will go to other countries like the Middle East in order to work or do business there. The money that they invest for their education and the money they earn from work or business is their motivation in acquiring the language, hence the emergence of the “Alvior’s Lingoconomics Theory.

© 2014 May 24 M. G. Alvior