The Words of the Ame Family

3-Day Educatorsí Workshop Held In Pammanga

Ria Ame
July 30, 2007
Philippines

Pampanga- The 3-Day Educatorsí Workshop on Character Education last June 26-28, 2007, which was held at the Farmersí Training Center in Pampanga Agricultural College in Magalang, Pampanga, started in high spirits last Tuesday (June 26). With the help of Dr. Dinah F. Mindo, the former Regional Director of the Department of Education in Region III, the workshop was well organized and well attended by 114 participants composed of superintendents, principals and head teachers from the 17 different divisions in Central Luzon. Dr. Sol Cariaga, the Head of Elementary Schools and Dr. Pines Zafra, the Head of Secondary Schools in the region, served as facilitators in the workshop. They assisted the teachers in their group discussions and in creating interactive activities for all the delegates.

Day 1 - June 26

Their first session started with a presentation on the "UPF Theory of Education" which was a general overview of character education initiative and CE curricula. In this lecture, Engr. Joseph Navalta, the Secretary General of UPF-Philippines, presented the need for internal education that will provide a holistic approach to the teaching of universal values to the students. Dr. Alan Saunders, the Director of the Office of Character Education of UPF International, also tackled the "UPF Character Education and Curriculum" with a focus on the value of goodness. The panel then divided into 11 groups where they shared the best practices in the implementation of Character Education initiative of the UPF in their own division. It was followed by the presentation of reports by representatives from different groups. Here, the participants were able to exchange the best practices and strategies in integrating values and character education among the students.

In the afternoon, Dr. Saundersí talk focused on the "Virtue of Respect". In this session, the virtue of respect was defined and delineated. During their group discussion, the participants gave concrete examples on how respect is perceived and actualized between teachers and teachers, teachers and administrators, teachers and parents, and between teachers and students in real life situations. Each group presented well thought out ideas on the core ethical principle of respect and how it should be strongly instilled in the minds and hearts of the people within the family, the school and the community. During this session, Dr. Mario Ramirez, the recently installed Regional Director of the Department of Education in Region III, also came to listen to the lectures. Briefly, he talked to the DepEd officials and teachers who were present in the workshop and imparted to them some words of inspiration. He mentioned that teaching is another word for love in action (?) and that the workshop that they are attending be a big help for them to develop more as educators and as second-parents in the schools.

Day 2 - June 27

On the 2nd day of their workshop, the session promptly started at 9 am and the presentation was mainly on "Character Education, Life Skills and HIV, AIDS Prevention". Here, the participants had the chance to hear the recent researches on AIDS and how it could be prevented. Dr. Saunders also shared the "Best Practices in Character Education" based on the 99 Strategies for the Elementary School by Deb Austin Brown The session that followed was on "Relationship Education". Dr. Saunders, in this lecture, stressed on the issues of character Education and love. He put in plain words how teachers and students could build harmonious relationships when they learn to adopt reflective listening skills. In their interactive exercise, the teachers practiced reflective listening techniques that may help them in dealing with their students and colleagues in their respective schools.

The last two sessions for the day was on "Compassionate Teaching and Parenting" where the topics on compassion power and anger management were underscored in the lectures and "Implementation of Character Education in the Family and Community Level". In this session, the teachers watched the Real Deal video which showed the realities about love and relationship among the youth today.

In the evening, the participants had a cultural night presentation where each division in Region III showcased their talents in singing and dancing. The students from the Pampanga Agricultural College also presented some song and dance numbers to the delight of the audience.

Day 3 - June 28

In the morning, Engr. Navalta again took the stage when he presented the Five Principles of Peace in order to clarify the vision and goal of the UPF to the audience. Following this, Dr. Saunders presented the lecture on "Smart and Good High Schools" which was based on the national report by Dr. Thomas Lickona and Dr. From this talk, the teachers tried to think out which elements of the Smart and Good High Schools report can be used in the education system in the Philippines.

After hearing all the lectures, each division had their meeting to talk about and decide on their action steps, plans and goals in order to better implement the CE curriculum in their divisions.

To cap the event, the participants received their certificates of participation in the 3-day workshop and following that, every division recited their pledge of commitment to become the prime movers in the sustainable implementation of the "Culture of Heart Program" which is the very core of the UPF Character Education Curriculum. They also pledged to become the role models in exemplifying the virtues being upheld in the character-based education that they are imparting to their students.

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