To help teachers cope with online teaching-learning: Graduate School holds webinar on Curriculum Leadership

Emphasizing the need for curriculum leadership particularly with struggles currently experienced by teachers with online instruction, University of Santo Tomas Graduate School (USTGS) Education Cluster Program Lead Assoc. Prof. Rodrigo A. Litao, Ph.D., explained curriculum leadership in his opening remarks to the participants of the USTGS webinar titled “Curriculum Leadership: Stirring the head, heart, and soul of teachers.” The webinar was held recently via Zoom.

The three-hour webinar featured two Thomasian educators, Science Supervising Teacher of the Education High School and UST College of Education Mr. Louie B. Dasas, Ph.D., and the Chair of the Secondary Education Department of the College of Education Asst. Prof. Alvin Ringgo C. Reyes.

Both shared their expertise and experiences on the topics of (a) “Designing supervisory interventions for assisting and supporting teachers especially in these difficult times when teachers struggle to cope with online teaching-learning processes” and (b) “Designing action plans for responsive curricular and instructional development and improvement.”

In his talk, Dasas, who teaches at the UST Senior High School, presented the significance of having teacher agency in schools, where long-term development directions are sustained using past learning and applying these for the present and the future. He also mentioned the teacher as the indisputable leader in curriculum development, whose role was made more crucial now with remote teaching and learning. Thus, distributive leadership may now be the norm in schools. Nonetheless, teachers take charge in linking curriculum, assessment, and learning – all following a situational praxis in class.

Explaining the realities of learning losses incurred by the Philippines under the COVID-19 pandemic during the last two years, Dasas pressed the need for teacher abilities and self-drive while withstanding the global crisis. He assured his audience that professional and personal growth can still occur during these times.

Meanwhile, Reyes discussed the inevitable changes in curricula for both teacher training and basic education. He stressed that these are never the mere adding of new knowledge facts and insights for the classroom. Reyes enumerated and explained the various factors that inevitably lead to curriculum change and how these should be considered in conceptualizing action plans inside schools.

Explaining the concept of discursive institutionalism, Reyes said that schools use grounded knowledge in policy and action, alongside communication among administrators of all levels, academic staff, and not the least, student leaders. A number of the best action plan practices were shared and discussed, including some of the best practices of the UST College of Education, one of the leading teacher-training centers in the country. He mentioned that stakeholder involvement will steer the success of action plans.
The webinar was attended by UST students, faculty, staff, and participants from other academic institutions, such as the Asian Institute of Management, Bicol University, Far Eastern University Institute of Technology, Our Lady of the Pillar College San Manuel, Inc., Southern Luzon State University, University of Northern Philippines, and Western Philippine University. There were also participants from abroad.

Webinar organizers included Daniel Day Aguillon, Kashmer T. Cruz, Jason A. de las Alas, Carmen Delos Reyes, April Joy M. Gascon, Jodi Mylene Lopez, Zhou Ren, and Yuhang Wang. Ph.D. student, Jason A. De las Alas, moderated the webinar.

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