I observed a Science class in the elementary level, Grade 6, at the University of the Philippines Integrated School (UPIS). Professor REV was teaching Taxonomy at that time, particularly the characteristics of living things. He gave handouts to his pupils and told them what to expect. They should be able to infer that some living things possess certain characteristics that are similar and/or different to other living things.
He presented five exhibits so that his students could answer the questions. He let them observe an aquarium, an ocean floor model, a terrarium, an insectarium, and a wormery. After some time, he divided the class into groups and he let them brainstorm on the different characteristics of living things after they had observed preserved and real life specimens. He called a representative from each group to report on what they discussed. After all the groups had finished reporting, the teacher gave them a lecture on the phyla of the animal kingdom.
I checked if the topic (Taxonomy) was indeed included in the Science and Health curriculum of UPIS which was based on the Basic Education Curriculum Handbook in Science and Health (Elementary Level). Upon checking the goals, the closest one for Grade VI was the ecosystem, while the exact match could be seen in Grade V under the classification of plants and animals. I double checked by scanning the scope part and indeed found out that the major groups of animals were discussed in Grade V and not Grade VI. As there were topics on animals, plants and the environment in the Grade VI scope, I assumed that the teacher was just giving them a review to prepare them for the ecosystem part. Since they were also preparing for their Science fair, the review would give them a big boost as well.
To be able to understand the intended curriculum, I went into the sequence part and it was written that the students should be able to classify invertebrates into arthropods, coelenterates, annelids, crustaceans, echinoderms, insects, arachnids, and mollusks. They should also be able to identify characteristics of each group of invertebrates.
Comparing this one with the implemented curriculum, the use of answer sheets and the use of actual and model animals guided the teacher with his questions. His knowledge on animals was also crucial as I learned that they had just revised their curriculum and using his influence as a professor, he had contributed according to his beliefs. Good management support, good classrooms and evaluation polices also contributed to the attainment of his goals.
As the audience was only in the elementary level, the teacher used a disciplinary approach on the questions. The topic was simple enough that there was no need to link to other disciplines. The scope might be possibly used for an investigative project for the Science fair, but the teacher only mentioned the latter at the end of the class and therefore ruled out the existence of an interdisciplinary approach.
The teacher taught in an inquiry manner and this helped the students learn science in a healthy way. The teacher didn’t want to spoon feed his students by giving the answers directly or by letting them read from textbooks. He let them investigate as well so that the students could use their motor skills in answering questions.
Regarding the inquiry skills gained by the students, they were able to plan the experiment by having their own way of collecting data. They were able to conduct systematic observations by collecting and recording data with their own judgment. They were able to interpret and analyze data...