Defects in DepEd’s Spiral Education

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Defects in DepEd’s Spiral Education

Topic |  
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Nowadays the Department of Education (DepEd) is using what they call “Spiral Learning” or “Spiral Education” especially in high school.

It is a method of teaching in which only a portion is taught in First Year then another portion in the Second Year, then Third Year, and hopefully you will learn the whole subject when you finish Fourth Year.

It is good in theory, but what will happen if the student will stop, say in the third year? His knowledge will incomplete and therefore not usable.

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A Misnomer

In using the term “Spiral teaching” or “Spiral education”, the DepEd is showing its inadequacy of using the correct terms or words.

A spiral is a plane curve that is formed by a point that moves around a fixed center.  If you have seen a “mosquito coil”, that is the shape of a spiral.  It is only in one plane or level and going away from the center.

The intention of DepEd is to convey a concept that even if it is going around a single point, it also rises at the same time.  The proper term for this shape is a “helix”.

So the proper term should be “Helical teaching” or “Helical education”.  The DepEd is just imitating the wrong term “Spiral staircase”, which is actually a “Helical staircase”.  DepEd is supposed to be a bringer of correct knowledge, and why they are imitating the wrong word is beyond my comprehension.

Antecedents

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During the American era, the method of teaching or learning was by “Unit method”.  It was usually implemented by modules.

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One unit or module is already a complete, usable, and applicable knowledge.  For example; one unit will be the four (4) basic operations in arithmetic.  Once you finish it, you already know how to use arithmetic even if you stop attending school.

The helical method or the wrong term “spiral method” will be implemented this way; study addition in Grade I, subtraction in Grade II, multiplication in Grade III, and division in Grave IV.  When you reach Grave V, you already know the four basic operations in arithmetic.  However, if you stop schooling after Grave I, all you know will be only addition.  I am not part of the decision making in DepEd.  However, if you will ask me, I prefer the unit method of teaching.

Since there are many aspects in learning that are related to each other, the unit method was revised to the “Ladder-type” of teaching.  The concept is that for every Grade level or Year level, you already learned a definite knowledge that is already usable.

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Nowadays, since there much knowledge that government authority wants the students to learn immediately, the DepEd has come up with the concept of piecemeal teaching.  In one subject, so many pieces of information are lumped together with much information that is not related in concepts with the main subject.

Cluttered Subjects

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For six (6) years now I have been the President of UB Loon Institute located in Moto Norte, Loon, Bohol.  Since my teaching and administrative experience is in the college level, I have to observe first how the DepEd instructions and policies have affected the learning experiences of the students.

I noticed that the subjects taught per level are so cluttered with topics that are not related with each other or needs a different principle in order to be effectively taught.

Let us take for example the mathematics subjects.  It is no longer labeled as arithmetic, algebra, trigonometry, etc. but Math I, Math II, etc.

In Math I in High School you are taught the beginnings of geometry, algebra, trigonometry, analytic geometry, mathematics of investment, Boolean algebra (formerly known as Modern Math) and some mensurations.

In Math II the same things are taught and addition of statistics.  This continues until Math IV when everything is jumbled and you would not know what the students have really learned in all his four years.

Add to it the queer approaches of the textbooks recommended by DepEd.  The authors are mathematicians steeped into the concepts of pure mathematics and do not care about the applicability of the lessons presented.

You will not understand trigonometry and analytic geometry if you have not yet finished the entire algebra course.  But there it is, a small topic in algebra is therewith applied to concepts in analytic geometry, which could not be expanded to useful level.

To those who know mathematics, have you ever encountered proving a trigonometric formula using Boolean algebra?  That is, using elements, union, intersection, and universe of a concept?  It is queer but it is found in a recommended textbook in Fourth Year mathematics.  Of course the process is wrong!  It says, “Sin A = ½”, therefore area K=1/2 ab sin A.  What a queer proof!

Difficult to Teach and Learn

If you are the teacher the Helical method (Spiral method) is difficult to use in teaching.  If you will be in the Third Year, you cannot proceed in your lesson without reviewing what happened in the First and Second Years.  The students have already forgotten it.  When the students are ready, there will be little time left to proceed to the new lesson.

It is really a waste of time and effort and to think that you will only teach a partial part of the whole course to be learned.

It is very difficult for a teacher to integrate all the lessons. For example in science, you will teach chemistry, zoology, botany, natural science, meteorology, etc., together in one subject.  Do you think the students can learn and absorb all these knowledge in one subject?

The teacher will be forced to simplify and the objective of education is defeated.  The level of learning will be so low that our Junior and Senior High School graduates will be comparable Grade 7 in other countries.

Graduates from other countries will the ask, “What take you too long to study too little?” (By Jes B. Tirol)

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