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Angel de Dios
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Angel C. de Dios, Ph.D., is currently an associate professor of chemistry at Georgetown University. At Georgetown, he has been teaching General Chemistry since 1995 in addition to graduate courses in molecular spectroscopy and quantum chemistry. His research interests include nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, protein structure determination, anti-malarial drugs, and math and science education. He was a recipient of a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation and the Georgetown College Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. A member of PAASE, he helped the residents of Paete, Laguna incorporate computers and the Internet into their public schools.
Angel C. de Dios, Ph.D., is currently an associate professor of chemistry at Georgetown University. At Georgetown, he has been teaching General Chemistry since 1995 in addition to graduate courses in molecular spectroscopy and quantum chemistry. His research interests include nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, protein structure determination, anti-malarial drugs, and math and science education. He was a recipient of a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation and the Georgetown College Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. A member of PAASE, he helped the residents of Paete, Laguna incorporate computers and the Internet into their public schools.

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A headline of a recent news article on the Philippine Daily Inquirer caught my attention this morning. The secretary of education, Briones, was reported to had drawn attention to the "unprofessional" correlation made by certain individuals or groups that connect heavy workloads to suicide incidents among teachers. It is true that the specific driving force behind a suicide is complex. It is often a combination of impulsiveness and a variety of external factors and circumstances. However, there is no uncertainty regarding the relationship between heavy workloads and stress. More importantly, heavy workloads are obviously not good for an effective basic education. A heavy workload, regardless of whether it is the primary cause of suicide or not, should be addressed for the well being of teachers and their students.

https://www.philippinesbasiceducation.us/2018/09/dont-blame-heavy-workloads-for-suicide.html
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The American Academy of Special Education Professionals lists ten roles and responsibilities of a special education teacher. Most of these roles especially those that pertain to a classroom no doubt require something in addition to what we expect from a general education teacher. It follows then that a special education teacher not only knows content and pedagogy that apply to all students in general but also specific strategies or toolkits that help address challenges and strengths special students have. Foremost, a special education teacher must be aware of the Golem effect, where lower expectations simply lead to poor performance. Special students after all do not simply have challenges. They also have strengths.

https://www.philippinesbasiceducation.us/2018/09/training-special-education-teachers.html
Training Special Education Teachers
Training Special Education Teachers
philippinesbasiceducation.us
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I was recently reminded of an article written by Boaler and Chen a couple of years ago on why math teachers should encourage their young students to use their fingers while I was browsing through Facebook. These authors were apparently drawing their conclusion from a study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology by Berteletti and Booth. Unfortunately, this article is an excellent example of how the public can be misinformed by not reading properly the research article. In fact, one sentence in the summary of the research article should have forced Boaler and Chen to be more thoughtful before they write scientific findings for public consumption. Here is the sentence: "Interestingly, better performance in subtraction problems was associated with lower activation in the finger somatosensory area."

https://www.philippinesbasiceducation.us/2018/09/should-we-encourage-young-children-to.html
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One in three teenagers now wish that their parents demonstrate self-regulation in the use of social media devices. That number is quite astounding. Our children are now much aware that we, their parents, are slowly becoming social media junkies.

https://www.philippinesbasiceducation.us/2018/09/teens-on-social-media.html
Teens on Social Media
Teens on Social Media
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Back in 2009, Tom Loveless of the conservative Fordham Institute warned against the detracking of schools in Massachusetts. He suggested that tracking (grouping students according to abilities) leads to higher achievement since advanced students are given wider opportunities and greater challenges. Loveless, in his article, was specifically referring to the public schools in the state of Massachusetts, where detracking has become widespread in middle schools. Fast forward, ten years later, the state of Massachusetts has received the honor of being number one in the nation in terms of K-12 achievement, scoring high on all criteria: current performance, improvement throughout the past 15 years, and in addressing the poverty achievement gap. Excellence and equity can indeed be realized at the same time.

https://www.philippinesbasiceducation.us/2018/09/excellence-and-equity-can-go-hand-in.html
Excellence and Equity Can Go Hand in Hand
Excellence and Equity Can Go Hand in Hand
philippinesbasiceducation.us
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Meritocracy is often used in education for some perceived efficiency. Sadly, part of that efficiency entails a selection process that provides society with laborers of differentiated skills. Not everyone can be a CEO. The Philippines' K to 12 has a tracking program in senior high school and during my basic education years, students are divided into sections based on their past performance. Obviously, there is a question of efficiency versus equity. If schools only focus on how much their students actually learn, there is no question that equity beats efficiency. As standardized exams show, "High- and low-poverty classes that used ability-based reading groups “almost always” scored lower on average than those that used them “hardly ever” on the 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress."

https://www.philippinesbasiceducation.us/2018/09/we-are-biased.html
We Are Biased
We Are Biased
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For the first time since 1969 when Phi Delta Kappan (PDK) started polling the opinion of Americans on public school education, a majority now would not want their child to become a teacher in a public school. Here in Fairfax county, Virginia, it is the first school day. Hearing that most parents now desire their children not to choose the teaching profession as a career is disheartening. On September 5, the National Teachers' Month will begin in the Philippines. Sure to dampen this celebration is the recent death of a newly hired kindergarten teacher, Shannen Espino. The death is a suicide. According to the Alliance of Concerned Teachers, "Espino teaches two classes from 7am–4pm, even her lunch breaks are usually spent in the Office of the Principal doing tasks especially assigned to her; she prepares different logs, multiple lesson plans per day, worksheets which she herself must provide; she underwent 3–4 observations since her start last June which is brought about by the latest addition to teachers' workload."

http://www.philippinesbasiceducation.us/2018/08/parents-do-not-want-their-children-to.html
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We all want our students to become engaged in their learning. Martin and Torres of the National Association of Independent Schools wrote, "Engaged students are more likely to perform well on standardized tests and are less likely to drop out of school. The conditions that lead to student engagement (and reduce student apathy) contribute to a safe, positive, and creative school climate and culture." So I was pleasantly surprised yesterday afternoon to see my daughter's teachers this coming school year in our front yard. The school decided this year that its staff would be visiting their students and families before classes begin. The school calls it the "Community Walk". I was not the only who was impressed, another parent clearly was, as shown on a Facebook post.

http://www.philippinesbasiceducation.us/2018/08/upping-education-game.html
Upping the Education Game
Upping the Education Game
philippinesbasiceducation.us
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With the new K to 12 curriculum in the Philippines, various tracks are now offered in the last two years of basic education. The various options available obviously make it possible for students to find themselves later unprepared for the courses they decide to take in college. A student, for instance, who finishes the accounting business management (ABM) strand in the senior high school academic track, is now required to take additional courses if the student chooses to enroll in a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) major in college. These additional courses which are now called "bridging programs" are either taken during the first year of college or over several weeks in the summer before college starts.

http://www.philippinesbasiceducation.us/2018/08/wrong-track-in-senior-high-school.html
Wrong Track in Senior High School?
Wrong Track in Senior High School?
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Chalkboards are disappearing. I no longer have one in the lecture hall where I teach General Chemistry. A couple of years ago, Kim Kankiewicz wrote in the Atlantic: "At a cost of up to $5,000 per classroom, schools invest far more in installing interactive whiteboards than in training teachers to use them." The training is necessary since an interactive whiteboard is supposedly so much more than just a white board on which we could use markers with different colors. Yes, we can project images on it. And with various software, make it interactive. Unfortunately, studies show that "interactive whiteboards have not raised the levels of pupils’ achievement and do not necessarily impact the quality of classroom learning."

http://www.philippinesbasiceducation.us/2018/08/chalkboards-versus-interactive.html

Chalkboards versus Interactive Whiteboards
Chalkboards versus Interactive Whiteboards
philippinesbasiceducation.us
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