Once again, the Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) is in search for the most novel practices in teaching science and mathematics among schools with large and extra large classes. 

Dubbed the “Search for Innovative Practices in Managing Large Classes for Effective Teaching and Learning of Science and Mathematics,” SEI will award two winning schools with the most inventive instructional practices with P100,000 and a plaque of recognition to help them improve further their large class teaching practices. The search is open for public and private secondary schools nationwide with class sizes of more than 50 students in any grade from 7 to 10. 

SEI Director Dr. Filma Brawner said the project’s success since it began in 2011 helped influence science and mathematics educators in public and private high schools to try out new ideas in terms of their strategies to make learning more effective in large classes. 

“The search not only helps us discover creative teaching methods for science and math but it also enables us to share with other schools with the same issues the best practices employed by innovative schools,” said Brawner. 

Last year, Bacong National High School from Zamboanga del Norte and Looc National High School from Laguna were accorded the Most Innovative Classroom Management Practices Award for their Project Bacong Differentiated Instruction (BaDI) and Flock Program in Managing Large Classes, respectively. 

The project will run in three phases, namely: Proposal Submission and Evaluation, Project Development, Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation, and Presentation of Results in a Forum and Awarding of Winners. The two most innovative classroom management practices will also be featured in a forum to enable teachers, principals, supervisors and superintendents to duplicate such practices in their classrooms and schools. 

Initially, schools nationwide will be invited to submit a proposal allocating the P100,000 budget in implementing their innovative teaching and learning practices. Ten schools will be chosen out of the total submissions—five for the large class and five for the extra large class. Each of which will be awarded the said budget each to spend for the implementation of their respective strategy. 

The proposals will be evaluated based on innovativeness (35%), doability and replicability (30%), sustainability and impact (20%) and resource utilization and cost effectiveness (15%). 

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. 

Brawner said that the project will aid national programs that address overcrowding in classrooms as well as improve current strategies in science and mathematics teaching. 

In June last year, the Department of Education (DepEd) reported that 771 schools nationwide are classified as congested, with a classroom-student ratio of more than the prescribed 1:45. Of the said number of congested schools, 515 are in Metro Manila. 

“Overcrowding in classrooms is being addressed by DepEd not only through construction of new school buildings but also through strengthening the implementation of alternative learning systems like the Home Study Program,” said Brawner. “Through this project, we hope to assist DepEd by promoting innovativeness among our educators.” 

Brawner also noted that the resources allotted for the national search “works just like an investment” that seeks to generate effective teaching methods that many schools can replicate. 

“We encourage schools handling large and extra large classes in science and math subjects to be innovative while the government strives to completely solve the lack of classrooms and lack of teachers in schools. Your participation in this national search shall demonstrate your school’s proactive approach in making sure that your students learn effectively amid the said issues,” Brawner remarked. (30)