FUSE speaker to teachers: Hone students’ thinking skills

by / Tuesday, 25 August 2015 / Published in Articles

“Sometimes, we underestimate our students because they are young. We
overlook the fact that they are also capable of creating methods and
concepts. Few opportunities are given to them inside the classroom to
enhance their thinking skills.”

Director Soledad A. Ulep of UP-Nismed (National Institute for Science
and Mathematics Education Development) said one way of making students
learn is to enhance their capability through the adoption of a
school-based, teacher-led professional development model called
“Lesson Study.”

Addressing the regular general assembly of the Foundation for
Upgrading the Standard of Education (FUSE), Ulep said the project,
popular among teachers in the US and other countries, empowers mentors
for the K-12 curriculum and enables “us to develop good human
resources” that will contribute to economic growth.

“We won’t attain our goals even if we add two more years to Basic
Education, as spelled out under the K-12, if we don’t teach our
students to become critical thinkers, train our teachers to acquire a
better understanding of how our students think and learn,” Ulep told
the assembly held at the FUSE Learning Center for Teachers, in Ermita,

According to the UP-Nismed website, among the goals of Lesson Study,
which originated in Japan in 1872, are:

• Formulate goals for long-term development of student learning, in
which a group of classroom teachers work collaboratively to plan and
design a lesson and study student learning by systematic inquiry.
• Provides teachers an opportunity to see teaching and learning in the
classroom. This enables them to develop a common understanding of what
effective teaching practice entails in relation to student thinking
and learning.

Ulep stressed the project should not be misconstrued as a
lesson plan, adding the project, which the UP-Nismed has been actively
promoting since 2006, involves the comprehensive study of student

“Our concern,” she pointed out, “was not to change the lesson plan.
Our purpose was to empower teachers through Lesson Study.”

Several public and private schools like St. Scholastica’s College, in
Manila, Commonwealth Elementary School, Quezon City and Ligao National
High School, Albay, had staged workshops on the project, in
preparation for next year’s launching of the K-12 program.

Ulep emphasized the inquiry-based teaching model does not only cover
math and science, but all subjects.