What Future of Education Week 2

During your own education, how has your “intelligence” been assessed?

Through achievement and standardized tests. I remember achieving a 97% score on the National Achievement Test back in high school. I did not get to be assessed through tests mentioned in Ms. Gray’s blog but my daughter did just a few months ago. It was devastating for a mother to see her child assessed like that. Ms. Gray’s concerns on the reliability, validity and stability of these tests made me smile a little though. My daughter could have been culturally disadvantaged and the environment may have not been conducive for the test I realize.

How has this affected the educational opportunities you have been given?

I graduated Cum Laude and I believe this gave me an opportunity to be hired immediately and be given a supervisory position right away. I easily get opportunities for free further studies with the companies I worked for and naturally, I did not let them down. I graduate from the courses with distinction all the time.

As for my daughter, she adapts in school fairly but I chose to homeschool her this year (and beyond, I hope). Knowing more about learning and how it happens made me decide to do it. Her unique abilities inspired me to give this extraordinary educational opportunity.

What judgments have people made about you that have been affected by an assessment of your “intelligence”?

I was marked the intelligent one, the studious one, the dean’s lister, the achiever. But now I realize that’s not all what it takes to succeed. I know so many people who did not achieve well academically (book smarts) but were able to breeze through promotions in the corporate setting or succeed in their own businesses just because they were street smart. This could explain Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory where one may not be good linguistically but exceptional logically.

Do you consider yourself to be a “learner”? why?

Absolutely I am. I love learning. I have a passion for books, for learning new things, for knowing more. But I have to categorically say that I only love learning what I interests me. Some love to learn anything! I don’t think I’m not in that level, YET.


What Future of Education Week 1

Based on your experience as a learner, what do you think you will be able to get out of this course? And what ideas do you already have about the future of education?

My teacher from the University of the Philippines Online shared with us the article provided by UNESCO on the futures of learning. It must be one of my favorite take-aways from the course. Looking back from what I learned from that article from UNESCO, it is important to ensure that I do the best that I can to:

Renew focus on quality
Foster participation
Personalize and customize learning
Emphasize Project- and problem-based learning
Encourage collaboration and communication
Engage and motivate my children
Cultivate creativity and innovation
Employe appropriate learning tools
Design relevant- and real-world learning activities
Teach metacognitive skills
Build the right relationships for learning
Include my children in technology
Highlight learner-centered models
Promote learning without borders
Encourage lifelong learning
Recognize learning through open education
Support non-traditional learning
Assess for deeper understanding and competency
Embrace the redefined teachers’ roles and functions

However, it struck me when Teacher Clare mentioned that the future of education should not be any ONE thing. Powerful words! Homeschooling, to me, has already braved that idea that learning should not be confined, restrained, instead dynamic because we do not know what the future will look like or how it should be, right?! The article from UNESCO has given me a nice introduction, surely this course from Teacher Clare will be a nice enrichment!


Lest I forget…


I must remember to possess these as I glide through the world of teaching.For me, this embodies all that a teacher should need to be effective, leading to the learner’s overall achievement.

Grateful for EDS 111. It did not only teach me things about teaching – it also taught me to value hard work and exercise a lot of critical thinking. The way I was taught in this course has surely mold me into a better student. Countless times I uttered “why does it have to be so difficult?” but in the end I understood. Teaching and learning about teaching was never designed to be an easy task. It is a profession, therefore a field of deep study. I believe in sharing what you learned – it makes it stick. So here are the top 10 things this course taught me that I’ll share with my co homeschooling moms:

  1. Start and end your day with reflection
  2. Take the Teaching Perspective Inventory (http://www.teachingperspectives.com/tpi/). You might want to know yourself more, teaching perspective wise.
  3. Think 21st century.
  4. Remember to take them to homeschool co-ops (learning with others concept)
  5. High technology is an ally.
  6. Connect your interests with your teaching
  7. Connect with other homeschool moms
  8. Live a  learning lifestyle – pursue professionalism
  9. Create, create, create.
  10. Your child is unique.

I pray for strength in their homeschool – having the children at home has its benefits and its challenges. The extended parenting really is the hardest part that is why reflection is crucial – therefore a priority.

Lastly, I pray for every classroom teacher. This course helped me see the real picture. May  they all be good stewards of these children whose parents may not have the means or the conviction to homeschool. I may be one of them in the future. I am just truly blessed to have this opportunity now. God put this vision to homeschool my children. And in case God has a different plan for me and my family – at least, because of EDS 111, I know now what kind of school I should be looking for – a school that values teachers who really know how to t.e.a.c.h.

Did this make sense?


Theories of learning helped me realize why scientists do what they do. I was a bit apprehensive at the beginning of this course because I thought my faith, my beliefs will be shaken. Science and faith don’t mix for so many ages but throughout this course I was able to keep the balance between what I believe in and what theorists say. I must respect that God created these people for the purpose they have been given. I can never discount their contribution to education because of their courage to to seek the unknown so that it will pave way for others towards the right direction.

Theories of learning also strengthened my decision to homeschool my children. Trying the learning theories on my children was really fun and at the same time rewarding. The flexibility of our schedule allowed me to see aspects about my children I did not know where caused about by factors explained by these theories. According to renowned homeschooling author and speaker Debra Bell, the best learning environment is home.  Here’s why:

  1. Children learn best when they believe their teacher and fellow students care about them. (reciprocal determinism – social learning theory applied)
  2. Children learn best when they have opportunities to pursue their interests.
  3. Children learn best when they can make choices and decisions about their learning. (constructivist learning theory applied)
  4. Children learn best when they can observe other students who model what success looks like. (observational learning – social learning theory applied)
  5. Children learn best when they have a teacher who is available to provide feedback and encouragement. (social learning and behavioral learning theory applied)
  6. Children learn best when the work they are asked to do is matched to what they are ready to learn. (cognitive and social learning theories applied)
  7. Children learn best when they can experience what they are studying firsthand. (constructivist learning theory applied)
  8. Children learn best when they have plenty of physical activity, sunshine, and fresh air. (reciprocal determinism – social learning theory applied)

If only a classroom can provide all these, why wouldn’t I send them back? Classroom teachers can only do so much and I think I’m giving them a huge favor when I decided to take two kids away so that they may have more space, more time to learn students who were left behind. I really pray I’d be given years to homeschool my children.

Admittendly though, I still have struggles about theories on intelligences. I was blessed with children who are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalms 139) and to label them as unintelligent in the norms posed by scientists is like saying God gave me substandard. He will never give me anything substandard. It only validates that one cannot be fully knowing despite a hundred years of research. Theories change. He doesn’t.

Reference: https://debrabell.com/8-reasons-children-learn-best-at-home/

Why homeschooling is valid, creatively speaking…



One of the first few videos I have watched that inspired me to homeschool was that from Sir Ken Robinson and his talk about how schools have become less invested in the arts and creativity and more on the head knowledge.  The ability to innovate can only come from creativity and if our schools do not realize this importance soon – more and more will realize why the alternatives such as homeschooling might be a better option.

Reading this module inspired me to be the most creative teacher I can be. Looking at how I homeschool currently, I reflected on how was I a creative teacher based on Michigan State University’s research:

Connect your interests with your teaching
I love to doodle, do calligraphy and color. That is why my daughter’s assessment worksheets are made up of these. It came as a surprise that this was the first mentioned as one of the key approaches or guideposts to creative teaching. Moreover, doing creative worksheets for my child make it exciting and colorful, not dull and boring. My daughter rolls her eyes when she see quizzes but when she sees my doodles and colorful worksheets, she’s just more inclined to do her work, nearly not noticing it was a quiz after all. I recently had the passion to bake and we infuse baking lessons every now and then. Win-win!

Link lessons to real world learning
I have read this over and over again in homeschooling blogs. Real life learning, experiential learning, authentic learning – homeschooling could never be more spot on. We do a lot of baking, cooking, hands-on learning, field trips and unit studies. I myself learn a lot from our projects! One time we had a lesson on Filipino food and my daughter proposed we cook the dish instead than just read about it. My heart was overjoyed. She perhaps appreciates how she learns the past few months. It’s in her DNA already. I also had her count coins and multiply them so that we could pay our water guy. It really is all about real world learning.

Cultivate a creative mindset
I am blessed with books that had creative projects proposed in them. This means building rockets, making volcano eruptions and making life sized King Tut sarcophagus. Local books also recommend giving students the option on how to show their learning either through rap, song or poem. Homeschoolers have the flexibility to choose curriculum that cultivates creative mindsets. I also don’t mind that my child creates more than she answers quizzes and exams. There are infinite ways for children to show what they learned and creativity makes them shine brighter.

Value collaboration
This may be an aspect in homeschooling that I’m missing on as we have yet to join a homeschool co-ops. This only strengthened my willingness to be more involved in collaborative learning, not just for my child, but for myself as well. Homeschooling moms who have been doing this for years have a wealth of experience to share. And most give their advice for free.

Take intellectual risks
I realize that taking the step to homeschool is in itself an intellectual risk. But when it comes to lessons, I still tend to be more cautious. I fear failure because the nature of homeschooling is in itself leaning on the alternative rather than the norm, I feel any mistake I make is being watched, scrutinized. I’d better take more risks because the flexibility is present and it’s too much a waste if I don’t maximize the opportunity. If teachers in some classrooms brave it, so must I.

Overall, it’s another happy homeschooling conviction I got here. Creativity some more!

Reference: Henriksen, D., & Mishra, P. (2013). Learning from creative teachers. Educational Leadership, 70(5). Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/feb13/vol70/num05/Learning-from-Creative-Teachers.aspx

The process

What was the goal?

Did I recognize learning principles and theories that are activated in specific situations? Yes! Reading my classmates’ observation experiences in a classroom setting gave me a mixed-theory perspective.

Was I able to identify teaching and learning processes that worked or failed to work? In my own experience of observing my child and as I tested a social learning theory on him, yes. It was really something I was doing before but relating it to the theory gave me an appreciation of what scientists do.

Did I provide theory-based explanations and predictions? I think so. Not just for the theory assigned to me (the curse of not being able to observe an actual classroom turned out to be a blessing) because I wanted to be of more value to the group despite my limitations.

Did I propose theory-informed recommendations about teaching and learning practices that must be promulgated (because they worked), and how those that were less effective can be improved? Yes! Another blessing that turned out from my limitations in the task. If I could turn back time, I would have learned a lot more I guess if I were able to actually observe a class. Maybe I still should. The Abacus teacher finally said yes. Oh wow, just when the assignment date is past due.

Nonetheless, I was blessed with a group that did not need lots of follow up and some even contributed so much I wish I could treat them coffee! I learned from their inputs more than I learned from own observations.  Overall, it was a pleasant working experience with them. In fact, for this semester, they are the most pleasant I’ve been with!

How could have I done better?

I wish my kids would just disappear (it’s my fault though, they’re homeschooled), a helper would just magically whisk away all the mess and distractions of a ‘hardship’ course on the side – I could have done better if I had more time.

As I synchronized (I find it hard to type those words – I think what we did was nothing close to that) our inputs in the assignment, I realized we could have assigned ourselves one learning event per theory instead than just one theory for a couple of people. Due to my limitations in observing actual classes, I felt the need to contribute more to the assignment by reviewing classmates’ inputs on their assigned theories and evaluating if we are close to Teacher’s criteria. Ours was a hodge podge of learning events and I’m unsure if other classmates did learn and had deeper understanding of all theories (from the observation exercise) due to the nature of our assigning of tasks.

PLC and the homeschool teacher

Wowed by the Department of Education:



I used to think children in public schools are disadvantaged. As I got to interview teachers from private schools, I have become a little apprehensive about the idea now. These YouTube videos show that there is a system in place by the Department of Education to ensure Professional Learning Communities, Teachers’ Quality Circle and Continuing Improvement programs are implemented. As for private schools, it is important that the school administration participate actively in Dep Ed initiated programs such as these.  I was able to interview teachers from 4 private schools and only 1 said they had what is similar to PLC. The rest either think they’re fine with how they are doing while for most, they just do not have the time to do it.

As for our homeschooling community, the closest I can think of is our Homeschool Page where around 5,000 members participate by posting how they homeschool, how the latest teaching principles are inherent in homeschooling, invitations to learning seminars and the like. These may not be professional in nature but it definitely is a community where we learn from each other. The problem is that each family homeschools differently because each family’s child is unique. Individuality, personalization and customization are very important considerations why families prefer to homeschool and standardizing approaches for our children will kind of defeat our purpose of homeschooling.

Some homeschooling families choose to join homeschool co-ops where they gather together once a week. Moms take turn in teaching subjects to the kids which allow them to collaborate and learn from each other. Homeschool co-op families also encourage each other through their reflections and by sharing their experiences with newbie homeschoolers. I must goal to be more involved with families like them next quarter. This may be nothing compared to PLCs in school administrations but the main intent is there – to learn from each other so we optimize the learning of our children. These however are the main valid questions by Linda Evans, and as homeschool teachers, are the following questions important, even considered?

What constitutes teacher development?
What factors influence teacher development?
What does the teacher development process involve?
What are the effects on the education system of teacher development?
How might the teacher development process be effected? (Evans, 2002)

This lead me to wondering, do we homeschoolers aim for development? Are we being good stewards of our children and their education when we don’t aim for this? If the aim of teacher development is for student learning, how are we going to achieve this if we do not look for ways to develop our teaching? I wonder…

Reference: Evans, L. (2002). What is Teacher Development? Retrieved June, 2016, from http://www.education.leeds.ac.uk/assets/files/staff/papers/What-is-teacher-Development.pdf