Summary of the Initial Implementation of the Field Study Courses and the Enhancement of Pre-service Teacher Competencies along the National Competency Based-Teacher Standard
The Field Study Courses (FS 1-6) are mandated professional education courses of the New Teacher Education Curriculum (CMO 30 s. 2004). These one unit experiential learning courses are anchored on identified content and theoretical professional education subjects. The field study courses allow the prospective teacher to observe, verify and actually experience different facets of teaching learning processes learned in theory and content courses of professional education.
A survey of 72 public and private Teacher Education Institutions across the country from July, 2008 to January, 2009 was conducted to find out the status of the initial implementation of the Field Study Courses along procedure, resources, collaboration between teacher training institutions and basic education schools, dilemmas met, solutions made and benefits derived. To find out the influence of FS on the enhancement of pre-service teacher competencies along the national standards, 2,027 field study students responded to a self-assessment tool regarding the seven domains of the National Competency- Based Teacher Standards.
Not all TEIs implemented the first Field Study Course during the first semester of 2005-2006, however, eight semesters after, all the Field Study Courses were offered by all the TEIs involved. The 72 respondent teacher education schools produced the first batch of graduates of the New Teacher Education Curriculum as prescribed by CMO 30, s. 2004.
Basic education schools of the Department of Education were mostly utilized as a laboratory for Field Study Courses. Some State Colleges and Universities deployed their FS students in their own basic education laboratory schools while private institutions utilized their own basic education departments.
The priority procedure done by the TEIs in the implementation of the FSC was the monitoring the FSS. This was followed by identification of cooperating schools and deployment of students. The last procedure given the priority by the TEIs was the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement for the Field Study Courses
Schools which collaborated with the TEIs were situated in either rural or urban setting, and were either elementary or secondary schools. These were having sufficient school facilities, equipments and conducive and safe learning environments
Majority of the teacher education institutions offered FS courses together with the content courses during the same semester or immediately after the content courses were offered.
Most of the TEIs perused the Experiential Learning Courses Handbook developed by the Teacher Education Council and the Experiential Materials developed by the Philippine Association for Teacher Education. Other institutions developed their own materials.
Significant responses on the implementation of the Field Study Courses
Students were given first hand experiences and opportunity to reflect and see the connection of theories to actual practice.
Students were more exposed to actual teaching and became acquainted with actual duties and responsibilities of teachers.
The laws of learning were observed to have been translated in actual learning situations.
FS helped students attain more realistic view of the teaching-learning situation.
Students saw the connection between professional education courses and field study experiences.
Early exposure of students to reality of teaching helps them decide to continue or not in becoming teachers early in their college life.
The FS fostered open communication, belongingness, sense of pride for partner schools in contributing to the development of the teacher.
Students were better prepared to do practice teaching after the six field study courses.
Cooperating schools through school heads claimed to have gained in the use of their school as laboratory for Field Study Courses
Field Study resource persons became alert and better prepared everyday. They employed more strategies and used various instructional materials in teaching.
FS students participated in various extra curricular activities of the school.
Use of the cooperating schools challenged school heads in their instructional and managerial leadership roles.
FS students promoted community linkages.
Encouraged the resource teachers to share their expertise and become part of the development of future teachers.
Honoraria and incentives became perks to the teachers.
Some advantages claimed by the FS students in the Field Study Courses
Used the opportunity to apply principles and theories in education
Gained first hand experiences in some aspects of teaching and learning.
Students were exposed to privately run schools.
Improved social skills through interactions with resource teachers.
Developed skills in communication, construction and use of instructional materials.
Gained confidence as prospective teachers.
Gained insights in facilitating homeroom meetings, preparation of bulletin boards and classroom management.
Became familiar with school policies, rules and regulations, curriculum and program of activities.
Became familiar with varied types of learners from the direct observations in the school setting
Major dilemmas encountered by the TEIs and cooperating basic education schools.
Faculty members in college who handled the FS course lacked clear understanding and competencies to handle FS courses. Initial implementation was difficult for faculty members who were not ready.
The one hour allocation of time per week was not enough to accomplish the assigned task. It was observed to be very minimal for the requirements of the course and the time spent by the students to accomplish the various recommended tasks.
A 1 unit load for the faculty is not commensurate to the task they do to manage the FS students and to evaluate the portfolio of the FS students. There are also too many FS students assigned to an individual faculty since the unit load is only 1 unit.
Difficulty in the arrangement of schedules with the basic education schools to fit the vacant periods of the students in college. Overlaps in the activities of both the TEIs and the cooperating schools were a challenge in the arrangement of schedules.
FS resource persons in the cooperating schools lack training and orientation, thus some of them refused to be observed, display lukewarm attitudes and some schools are hesitant to partner with TEIs.
Unpreparedness of the cooperating schools resource persons (teachers) to handle the FS students. Some found the students unwanted observers and who added stress to the resource teachers.
Nuances created by the presence of the FS students. There were too many of them, have poor attitude, discourteous, indifferent attitude and inadequate in communication skills.
FS students were made to prepare teacher’s reports, and act as substitute teacher which were not included in the students’ task as Field Study students
Distance of cooperating schools and the TEIs was a factor which compounded the efficient use of time. The time for travel was even more than the time spent in the schools.
Refusal or lukewarm attitude of teachers to be observed.
9. Solutions to the Problems made by Partner Institutions ( TEIs and
Both institutions synchronized their time schedules to allow the students to conduct their activities. Some colleges allotted one half day of the week free from other academic courses which allowed the FS students for travel time and stay in the cooperating schools.
Held orientation activities for resource persons to prepare them of their roles and responsibilities. This was collaboratively done by the school head and the teacher training institution officials. Students likewise had the orientation prior to their field activities.
TEIs made adjustments in their curricular implementation through the orientation to include the topic on NCBTS, modified workload of faculty by attaching the 1 unit Field Study Course to the 3 unit content course and assigned the combined subject as 4 units workload. Some TEIs also combined the FS courses with the Research requirement of the degree.
Provided administrative support by providing incentives to resource teachers, regulated the number of FS students in the classrooms, and prepared FS forms and templates for the students.
8. Taken as a whole Field Study Courses Students claimed their gains and those they have enhanced their teacher competencies through FS Study Courses.
Overall, FS students claimed to have achieved the following gains:
Observed and confirmed the application of principles and theories learned in the content courses in college to the actual learning conditions.
Experienced early exposure to real life classroom situation.
Familiarized with the different school records, forms and reports routinely prepared by the teachers.
Acquired direct experiences on the how school policies and regulations were implemented in the school setting.
Realization of the presence of the varied types of learners.
Improved social skills through interaction with the resource persons and other school officials.
Developed skills inn oral and written communications.
Collective experiences added confidence and motivation to become better teachers.
Specific to the seven domains of the NCBTS, these are the findings:
The FS courses has enhanced much the competencies in
Domain 7- Personal Growth and Professional Development as
Rank 1 and least in Domain 5-Planning, Assessing and
Reporting as Rank 7.
According to geographical classification, FS students from the Visayas
perceived that they have enhanced their competencies better than
those of their counterparts in Luzon and Mindanao.
As to type of TEIs (COE, COD, COT and Non COE, COD, COT.)
FS students from COE, COD, COT claimed to have enhanced their
teaching competency from the experiential learning better than those
from non COE, COD, COT.
Place of Deployment (DepED, BED/Lab School, Combination)
The FS students who were deployed for FS in both in the Lab. School/
BED and DepED School claimed to have enhanced their teaching
competencies than when they were deployed only in one venue.
FS students from Public and Private TEIs perceived to have enhanced their teaching competencies in the seven domains of NCBTS better than their counterparts with the private TEIs but both the public and private TEIs were comparable in their competency enhancement in Social Regard for Learning.
Early and longer involvement in the experiential learning courses of pre-service teachers enhanced the development of teacher competencies. Indeed, Kolb’s theory as influenced by Dewey has found confirmation in the implementation of the Field Study Courses of the New Teacher Education Curriculum.
The combination of deployment of FS students in the laboratory schools and the DepED cooperating schools provides positive indications of “good practice” in teacher development at the pre-service level. Perhaps, with exposure to both learning milieus, the FS students were able to observe and gain experiences which were more enriching, motivating, formative and developmental.
The significant influence of the Field Study Courses on the
enhancement of competencies on Personal Growth and Professional Development is a good starting point in the transformation of new breed of Filipino teachers who can capture the true essence of quality teaching as defined by the NCBTS.
Review the New Teacher Education Curriculum and its implementation of the CMO 30, s. 2004 to include Field Study Courses.
Strengthen the good practice of deployment of Field Study Courses in both the Laboratory schools and the DepED cooperating schools.
Intensify training and orientation about NCBTS as bedrock of the curriculum for pre-service development.
Continue the interfacing activities that CHED-TEIs and DepED are doing which relate to teacher education development.
For policy makers to look into the recommendations for possible policy formulation.
Source: PAFTE Journal
Vol. 15 No. 1 My 2009