A case study of course and teacher development in college chemistry in the Philippines

Year: 2001

Author: Gallos, Marilou, Treagust, David, van den Berg, Ed

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

In higher education, a predominant approach to teaching is by lecture where students are passive and most of the time is filled by the teacher or lecturer talking. To address this concern, this paper focuses on the process of course and faculty development in college chemistry classrooms at the University of San Carlos, Philippines. The research aims to increase the amount of work that students do, both in and outside class time. A chemistry course was revised to apply a learning cycle approach in which each class meeting consisted of one or more cycles of three phases: a) a short presentation of new information, b) student work on problems, questions or activities with the instructor moving around the classroom, and c) a plenary summary which includes reactions to learning difficulties encountered by the teacher during phase b. Two instructors, who were involved in the case study, taught the first version of the course. They were coached by the first author who attended almost all lessons within the semester. Analysis of data indicated that only one of the instructors developed teaching skills applicable in this learning cycle approach. Problems on the implementation of the cycle especially by the second instructor were identified and used as the basis for the reconceptualisation of a long term departmental study.