APC teachers taking a rest at the end of the day
Last 21-25 April 2014, APC staff member Jenny Lynn Lee facilitated a workshop in Bendum for APC teachers. The goal was for the whole teaching team to have a shared understanding of how to teach in a cultural school like APC.
The workshop strove to answer the following questions: What does it mean to do culture-based education? What is the difference between teaching content and teaching language skills? How should teachers teach so that students’ learning and thinking are really advanced?
In the first part of the workshop, the approach employed was Teaching by Asking, instead of Telling. The teachers welcomed the process of doing the thinking themselves, instead of relying on the facilitator to provide all the answers.
The teachers were asked to reflect on different questions: What is the difference between indigenous learning and school learning? How should they teach indigenous children? Why should they teach this way? What are their dreams for indigenous children?
The workshop clarified in the teachers’ mind what culture-based education is all about. The workshop process also showed the teachers that it is the students who should do most of the work, thinking and speaking in class, and not the teacher.
The second part of the workshop consisted of lesson demos in Filipino, English and Math, to show teachers how to design language lessons and how to contextualize Math and make it relevant to local life.
The teachers also reviewed a list of communication skills that should constitute the competencies for the language subjects. This gave them a heightened consciousness that they should be teaching communication skills, and not content, in the mother tongue, Filipino, and English language subjects.
Overall, the workshop served to sharpen the teachers’ thinking and understanding as they learned and thought about how they ought to teach if they truly want to advance indigenous children’s learning.