Changing the Culture of Learning in the Philippines – Manila Bulletin

Reading scholar Daisy Jane Cunanan-Calado discusses issues to consider in education reforms

LEARN BY MORE A regular class setup before the pandemic (Ali Vicoy)

After participating in various international assessments where the Philippines ranked lowest in reading, math and science, the Department of Education (DepEd) pledged to continue implementing reforms to improve the quality of education in the country. Recognizing that comprehension is fundamental to learning, DepEd has focused on students’ reading skills.

In 2019, DepEd launched the initiative called “Hamon: Bawa’t Bata Bumasa” or 3Bs to close literacy gaps among learners. The following year, the department used Research O’clock as a place to learn from studies of basic education challenges, which still included reading comprehension. With these programs, among others, DepEd’s goal was to raise the level of education, which could possibly yield better results in future international assessments.

What else could we do? According to reading specialist Daisy Jane Cunanan-Calado, in addition to participating in international assessments, we should develop our own culture of assessment, which focuses on cognitive abilities in core subjects to improve teaching or methods. teaching as well as the profiling of students who need attention.

“It will surely require budgets, but let’s invest properly in what could benefit everyone in the long run. Don’t be afraid to spend on educational research and evaluation in the Philippines, because we will reap the benefits later,” says the center’s director. ReadMorePh.

Daisy explains that diagnostic tests should be carried out regularly to see if the instructions correspond to the level of the students. And although we have the Philippine Informal Reading Inventory (Phil-IRI), we also have to give students other reading comprehension assessments. “Instead of relearning, we need to consult with experts on how to implement a remediation program that targets the root of the problem – understanding,” she adds.

Understanding is required in all subjects, emphasizes Daisy. “We must remember that decoding is not reading. Reading is about making sense of print,” she says.

A third grade public sector teacher (who wishes to keep her identity private) shares how she reads stories in class. After reading a paragraph, she would ask her students questions about certain details like who, when, what, where, before continuing. Towards the end, she then asked the last question “why?” This approach is much better than the old-fashioned way of reading the whole story before making inquiries and clarifications.

Daisy points out that teachers need to explore more strategies that already exist that don’t require budget allocation and don’t lead to curriculum overhaul. Citing a study titled “Improving Reading Comprehension through Higher-Order Thinking Skills” by Brigitte A. McKown and Cynthia L. Barnett at Saint Xavier’s University in Chicago, Illinois in May 2007, the reading instructor highlights strategies for solutions consisting of predicting, connecting, visualizing, inferring, questioning and summarizing to help students improve their understanding.

“Students must participate in their learning. Teachers need to facilitate learning by allowing students to learn concepts taking into account their knowledge of words and the world. They should guide students through greatness if we want them to be great.

“Student involvement plays an essential role because they are at the heart of the instructions,” she explains. “Asking them to make predictions, make connections, visualize the content of the text, ask questions, and summarize or recount the events of the texts read would completely change the game of comprehension.

Can it be done in class? “Yes, it is more difficult and it takes so much time. But we have to go the extra mile for students to really learn. Plus, it’s worth it as it will make it easier for them in future classes,” Daisy replies.

“Students need to participate in their learning. Teachers need to facilitate learning by allowing students to learn concepts taking into account their knowledge of words and the world. They should guide students through greatness if we want them to excel,” she says.

Daisy notes that teachers can facilitate better if they have enough training in solving learning problems. “We cannot deny the fact that several trainings are in progress. But the teachers who are at the bottom need to be involved in the planning stage because they are the ones who struggle and see directly if there is something wrong with the education program. It’s a matter of being sensitive to what teachers really need to improve their instruction.

An instructor at the Philippine Open University (UPOU), Daisy believes that training should start with education majors at university, because these are the next teachers who will build a nation.

Daisy’s proposals can be seen as a return to basics. Yet, due to the amount of work that needs to be done, it’s not as easy as learning ABC and 123. Not only is it worth it, but we need to invest time, effort, and resources into all the solutions to change old practices that don’t. does not work anymore. We just have to do them, if we want a better future.



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