Phillipines

CAPACITY-BUILDING FOR CALCULUS TEACHERS

 

In 2013, the Philippine Congress passed a law prescribing two additional years to basic education (Grades 11 and 12). Grade 11 will be introduced in school year 2016-2017, and Grade 12 in 2017-2018. By 2018, all high school graduates would have completed Kindergarten, 6 years of elementary, 4 years of junior high school, and 2 years of senior high school. The new senior high school curriculum will include an 80-hour course in basic calculus. Currently, calculus is not part of the basic education curriculum, but is offered only in a small number of special science-oriented public high schools or elite private high schools. One of the biggest challenges in implementing the new senior high school curriculum is the need for competent calculus teachers.

The CDC-funded project is an intensive 10-day training program on calculus content and the teaching of calculus. It aims to help address the massive need for competent calculus teachers. Improved teaching will also lead to higher student achievement and hopefully attract young students to pursue careers in mathematics. After the initial CDC-funded program, the training program hopes to attract other sponsors so that the program can be replicated in other regions of the country.

The daily training sessions will consist of lectures, discussion, exercises, and assigned problems for homework. There will be a diagnostic exam at the start and a final assessment. Topics will follow the Basic Calculus course outline: limits and continuity, derivatives, integration. There will also be enrichment activities such as popular lectures, math games and video-film showing.

Experienced calculus teachers provided by the Mathematical Society of the Philippines (MSP) and the Institute of Mathematics, University of the Philippines Diliman will conduct the training. The selection of regions and participants will be coordinated with the Department of Education. The MSP, founded in 1973, is the country's largest professional society of tertiary level mathematics teachers and researchers. The Institute of Mathematics is a Commission on Higher Education-designated Center of Excellence in Mathematics since 1996.

The project period will be from August 2015 to April 2016. From August to December 2015, teaching guides will be prepared and pilot-tested before selected groups of high school teachers. The intensive training will be conducted in April 2016. The CDC grant will support the participation of 35 to 40 public high school teachers from outside Metro Manila.

Enquiries should be directed to JOSE MARIA P. BALMACEDA, President, Mathematical Society of the Philippines via e-mail: jose.balmaceda(at)gmail.com