University of the Philippines Los Baños
Thursday, 19 January 2017 00:00

UPLB trains faculty on teaching “millennials”

HITSSClass Photo

“We are challenged to imagine what life will be decades from now and see students thrive, prosper and flourish in that age that we can only imagine at this point.”

This is according to Dr. Grace Aguiling-Dalisay, dean of the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy in UP Diliman and a developmental psychologist, who set the tone for the 1st Honing Innovative Teaching Skills Seminar (HITSS) on Jan. 16-18 in Lima Park Hotel in Malvar, Batangas.

And this is what 50 UPLB faculty members holding assistant, associate and full professor designations and a team of teaching-learning experts led by Dr. Aguiling-Dalisay will respond to at the said seminar.

Dr. Aguiling-Dalisay talked about “21st century learners and the psycho-social needs of present-day students” and emphasized the importance of a holistic and humanistic education in nurturing young learners, who are called “millennials” in the global parlance.

“While it is very important to shape our minds, kindness and compassion are also extremely important if we are to fully develop as human beings,” Dr. Aguiling-Dalisay said.

She discussed the 21st century skills, or the broad set of knowledge, skills, work habits, and character traits that are believed to be critically important for students to succeed in today’s world. She explained the scope of learning, literacy and life skills that cover the students’ intellect, use of new media and interpersonal and people skills.

Dr. Aguiling-Dalisay then focused on life skills - flexibility, initiative, social skills, productivity, and leadership - which she recognized to be important in achieving students’ life goals. From there, she underscored the emotional and social development of students and explained emerging adulthood, emotional competence and emotional intelligence to better understand what “millennials” go through in order to teach them and interact with them accordingly.

Workshops on psycho-social needs, experiential learning

Two workshops also highlighted the first day of HITSS.

The first one, on 21st century learners and their psycho-social needs, saw the participants identifying the psycho-social needs of students and determining ways to address them. They observed that many students were under pressure from family and peers. They also recognized that faculty members and the Office of Student Affairs could provide the necessary interventions to help the students in managing pressure.

The second workshop allowed the participants to identify the strengths of experiential learning. Among them are enhancing critical thinking and creativity, improving student-teacher interactions, promoting faster learning and longer retention of ideas, creating lasting impact among students, and facilitating values promotion and knowledge creation.

On the other hand, the participants said that cost, limited facilities, risks and hazards, and existing field trip requirements, among others, are the limitations of experiential learning as an approach.

The second workshop consisted of a presentation and panel discussion on experiential learning. Jeanette Angeline Madamba, a faculty member at the College of Economics and Management, facilitated the discussion on the topic with other faculty members, Dr. Juan Carlos Gonzalez, Danilo Mercado and Romeo dela Cruz, Jr., as the panelists.

Dr. Portia Lapitan, vice chancellor for academic affairs, in an overview of the seminar that she gave, said that HITSS is one of the ways to equip the UPLB faculty members for them to meet the expectations of UP as the country’s national university. HITSS is organized by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. (Mark Jayson E. Gloria)