The Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) is in search for schools with large and extra large classes which use the most innovative way in teaching science and mathematics.
Dubbed the “Search for Innovative Practices in Managing Large Classes,” two schools with the best practices will be awarded P100,000 and a plaque of recognition to help them improve further their large class teaching practices.
DOST-SEI Officer in Charge Dr. Leticia Catris said the project aims to improve the quality of teaching and learning science and mathematics in public and private high schools with class sizes of more than 50 students.
“We want to inspire teachers in applying innovative practices, sustain school-community support in managing efficiently and effectively the varied digital and non-digital learning resource environment and share collaboratively with the school and community the use of best practices in teaching and learning science and mathematics in public and private secondary schools,” she said.
Catris said the search is open to all private and public high schools with large and extra large classes. A large class has 51 to 70 students while an extra large class size has 71 or more students. The project will run for two school years and in three phases, namely: Proposal Submission and Evaluation, Project Development, Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation and Presentation of Results in a Forum/National Conference and Awarding of Winners.
During the first phase, schools will be asked to submit a proposal which shall reflect how the seed fund of P100,000 will be allocated in the implementation of innovative teaching and learning practices.
From the roster of schools that will submit their proposals, ten will be chosen, five for the large class and another five for the extra large class, which would be awarded P100,000 each to spend for the innovation proposal they have submitted.
The proposals will be evaluated based on innovativeness (35%), doability and replicability (30%), sustainability and impact (20%) and resource utilization and cost effectiveness (15%).
Classes who will be participating in the search will be given a pretest to benchmark their learning before and after the innovation is implemented.
The top schools in the large and extra large classes will be selected based on the monitoring and evaluation activities, scores gained from the post test and the technical and financial reports submitted to the evaluation committee.
Catris said large and extra large classes have been detrimental to students learning as there is less individual attention, more restricted range of teaching and learning activities and restricted opportunities for student assessment and individual feedback.
“There are limitations to what you can do inside the classroom and at times the entire lesson is eaten up with attempts by the teacher to control the class. Group work is hard to manage because you have either too many groups or too large groups,” she said.
Catris revealed that based on data from the Department of Education, the teacher-student ratio for high school in the Philippines is 1:38, which is below the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization standard of 1:30.
“We have a deficit of 37,563 teachers in the entire country with Calabarzon needing the biggest contingent of 6,384,” she said.
Catris said a correlation between the teacher-student ratio and their National Achievement Test (NAT) results in 2009 showed that as the number of students increases inside the classroom, the scores they get in the NAT decreases.
“At the 2008-2009 NAT, students who belonged to classes less than 35 got percent scores of 43.2 and 42.7 in Mathematics and Science, respectively. However, those from classes above 50 scored 39.9 in Mathematics and 43.1 in Science,” she said.
Catris said finding out the best practices to handle large and extra large classes will provide an opportunity for other schools to replicate and improve their teaching strategy.
“We want schools struggling with large and extra large classes to become better and produce better students who, in the future, will become our scientists, engineers, and science teachers,” she said. (STII Release)