Teacher Profile: Gerry Papa

Gerry Papa is a Grade 10 Science Teacher in Doña Carmen Denia Nationa High School in Davao City Philippines

In teaching science, what would you say is most important to you?

The most important thing I consider in teaching Science 10 is the satisfaction of the learners. Learners should not only master the competencies but also they have to apply these into real life situations to make it more meaningful and productive. With the appropriate teaching strategies, sufficient learning and laboratory materials, consistent assessment tools aligned with objectives and conducive learning environment, I can say that learners will enjoy science subject. I believe that the K to 12 Science Curriculum can produce scientific-, technologically, and environmentally- equipped 21st century learners.

How important are experiments for teaching science?

It is imperative that laboratory activities and experiments should be part of teaching science. These will enable the learners to acquire the basic science processes such as observing, comparing, analyzing, predicting, synthesizing, organizing, and creating and the like. If all of these are acquired, they will be able to properly perform experiments in order to find solutions to a certain problem. Moreover, learners can now already conduct scientific research which may come in different categories; namely, Life science, Physical science, Robotics and Innovations.

What year did you participate in a Pueblo Science training?

I have participated twice in Pueblo Science training sessions:

  • Practical Workshop in Teaching K-12 Science, Brokenshire Science High School, Davao City, May 16-17, 2013
  • RISE Workshop at Ateneo de Davao University-Junior High School, Davao City, May 15-16, 2016

Gerry Papa participating in the Philippines RISE workshop in 2016.

How did the Pueblo Science training impact you as a teacher?

The laboratory experiments/activities that I have learned from the training sessions were already adopted as part of my teaching strategies implemented in my six classes with an average of 50 learners per class. It is very helpful especially for those learners who belong to the heterogeneous classes, since most of the activities that introduced during the training were suited to the level of capabilities and interests of my learners. In addition, I found it more easily sustained their interest throughout the class if I started with Chemical Magic in the fourth quarter competencies in Chemistry. I have also adopted some of these activities during the conduct of trainings to teachers in our school and cluster.

In total, how many of your students have performed the activities that you learned from Pueblo Science?

Approximately 900 learners within three school years.

How did the activities impact your students?

They were able to apply their knowledge on electromagnetism by producing homopolar motor. All of my learners were amazed and enjoyed the elephant toothpaste.

How common is it for students from your community to pursue science related programs in university?

Learners who are very much inclined in Science subject and continue to pursue Science courses are quite small in numbers. About 50% of my First section class and about 10% of students in my regular classes have pursued science courses. In our school, there were few Senior High School learners enrolled in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) strand. Approximately10% of the total population (900) of the Junior High School Completers have pursued STEM in different schools in Toril District and in Davao City.

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