by Hermy E. Feliciano
“Do not then train youths to learning by force and harshness, but direct them to it by what amuses their minds so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each”. - Plato
School Year 2013-2014 is the second year of the implementation of the K to 12 Curriculum in Philippine Education. This is a major change in Philippines educational landscape. The DepED explains that this new set-up “seeks to provide a quality 12-year basic education program to each Filipino”. The K to 12 curriculum aims to create a purposeful basic education system that will produce productive, responsible citizens equipped with the essential competencies and skills for both life-long learning and employment.
The K to 12 honors every Filipino child’s right to better future as it is designed to “develop a learner who possesses a healthy mind and body; has a solid moral and spiritual grounding; has essential knowledge and skills for lifelong learning and self-actualization; engages in critical thinking and creative problem solving; contributes to the development of a progressive, just, and humane society; is proud to be a Filipino and appreciates the beauty around him/her and cares for the environment for a sustainable future.”
The new curriculum challenges the teachers how to implement this on their respective classrooms. The DepEd Division of Aklan accepted this challenge to bridge the gap by replacing the traditional IQ-based theory which limits human intelligence to the linguistic and logical-mathematical spheres to a more proactive and dynamic avenue utilizing Dr. Howard Gardner’s concept of Multiple Intelligence.
The Schools Division Superintendent, Dr. Jesse M. Gomez, the Division of Aklan hosted the International Educators Conference on Successfully Implementing the Multiple Intelligences and Learning Styles in the K to 12 Instructional Program on May 23 to 25, 2013. It was held at the Aklan State University, Banga, Aklan spearheaded by Dr. Henry S. Tenedero, President of the Education for All Development Center and the Center for Learning and Teaching Styles (CLTS) - Philippines, an affiliate of the International Learning Styles Network based in the US and Scandinavia. Dr. Tenedero is the founder of the One Nation Learning Advocacy program. He espouses the belief that between hope and despair, education is the great equalizer.
The three-day confab aims to equip participants with cutting edge styles and strategies to effectively implement an instructional program anchored on the principles of multiple intelligences and learning styles in the K-12 educational challenges. It was anchored on Gardner’s belief that being intelligent does not always mean students perform better in written tests and examinations -- a problem with which teachers and school administrators have struggled since the earliest days of organized education.
Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligence helps educators think differently about “IQ,” and about what being “smart” means. Some 700 participants comprising of Schools Division Superintendents, Assistant Schools Division Superintendents, Education Supervisors, District Supervisors, School Heads, and Teachers from the different part of the country attended the 3-day conference.
Participants understood it is very important for teachers to take individual differences among students and manifest deep interest for them and how their minds are different from one another. With an understanding of Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligence, teachers, school administrators, and parents can better understand the learners. They can allow students to safely explore and learn in many ways, and help students direct their own learning. Adults can help students understand and appreciate their strengths, and identify real-world activities that will stimulate more learning.
Lectures on Learning Styles informed the participants that students learn better and quickly if the teaching methods used match their preferred learning styles. As learning improves, so too does self esteem. This has a further positive effect on learning. Students who have become bored with learning may become interested once again. The student-teacher relationship can improve because the student is more successful and is more interested in learning.
Speakers include Dr. Henry Tenedero, founder of One Nation Learning Program and organizer of the confab; Michael Angelo Lobrin, renowned motivational-inspiration speaker who talked about The Heart, Soul and Mind of Multiple Intelligence and Learning Styles; Prof. Albert Saldajeno Jr., creativity-in-teaching guru who discussed how to become a Creative and Engaging Classroom Facilitator; Mr. Ben Ampil, expert on neuro-linguistic programming; Al Ian Barcelona on awakening the genius in people; Dr. Benny Palma, of Aklan State University; and Ms. Melody Remorca, expert story-teller. Special guests are directors of the International Learning Styles Network (ILSN) based in the US and Scandinavia led by Dr. Lois Favre, executive director of ILSN and Prof. Elaine Alden, member of the ILSN (USA).
The organizers and participants appreciated the warm hospitality of the people of Aklan and the strong willingness of Dr. Jesse Gomez, so as of other superintendents who participated in finding ways to enhance the teaching capabilities of their teachers. /MP