A UP kind of Saturday: Attending the 2015 UP Curriculum Studies Symposium and watching Ekstra at Cine Adarna

Curriculum Studies Symposium 2015 event poster from UP Curricularist Society Facebook page
Curriculum Studies Symposium 2015 event poster from UP Curricularist Society Facebook page

I just got back from an almost week-long trip to the North but there was no way that I would miss the 2015 UP Curriculum Studies Symposium which I pre-registered in as soon as I had learned about it from Sabrina, my friend and colleague at FEU. Held at the UP National Institute of Science and Mathematics Education Development (NISMED),  the symposium this year has the theme “Curriculum Studies and 21st Century Skills.” Hosted by the UP College of Education Curriculum Studies Area in cooperation with the UP Curricularist Society, it provided a platform for curriculum studies undergraduate and graduate students to present relevant researches with respect to how 21st Century Skills impact the curriculum.

The plenary speakers and topics are as follows:

  • Strategic Thinking and 21st Century Skills 
    Mr. Ho Sun Yee, Managing Partner, Decision Processes Int’l, Singapore
  • Alternative Curriculum Design
    Fr. Onofre G. Inocencio, Jr., SDB, Superintendent, Don Bosco and TVET Schools
  • Mother Tongue-Based and Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE) and 21st Century Skills
    Dr. Romylyn A. Metila, Assistant Professor, UP College of Education
  • Media Information Literacy (MIL) and 21st Century Skills
    Dr. Ferdinand B. Pitagan, Education Technology Specialist

The symposium was fully packed in terms of both attendance and relevance. Each of the plenary speakers left me with thoughts to reflect on or questions to think about, for example, the need to challenge existing attitudes, behaviors, beliefs, norms, and practices and to tap latent strengths that Mr. Ho emphasized in his story about Singapore’s water problem and the solution that Singapore came up with. Fr. Jun narrated how they design and implement TVET in their institution. Dr. Rom shared her observations/research on using MTB-MLE and how MTB-MLE can help increase academic achievement, establish home and school connection, and facilitate the learning of subsequent languages. Dr. Pitagan pointed out how important curriculum design is in MIL.

I saw some familiar faces in the event which made me miss the days when I was a graduate student of the Curriculum Studies Area. Sigh.

Right after the symposium I proceeded to UP Cine Adarna to watch Jeffrey Jeturian’s Ekstra which got a Bronze-Best Feature Film in the 2015 New York Festivals in addition to the other awards and recognition it has gotten so far.

A well-spent Saturday in one of my favorite places: I could use more of this.

And just so I won’t forget, I’m putting another one of Mr. Ho’s points here:

Just because you can count something doesn’t mean it counts. Just because you cannot count something doesn’t mean it does not count.

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