Changing the Narratives in Challenged Areas Through Research (an introduction)

By: Amabel T. SIASON
Rosemarie G. FELIMON

West Visayas State University Iloilo City, Philippines

The commitment of Project FORTH (Formation of Teachers in Challenged Areas) is evident in the activities, curricular innovations, and projects that have been implemented over the past years. One of the remarkable initiatives of the project is the conduct of 30 research collaborations that helped transform challenged areas. Fifteen of these action research were selected to be part of this compendium. Others will be presented in national conferences sponsored by PAFTE and SUCTEA.

The five FORTH Philippine higher education institutions collaborated in this project – Centro Escolar University, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, West Visayas State University, University of St. La Salle, and the University of Southeastern Philippines worked with the Department of Education partners to produce these academic outputs. These research papers are aligned with the 6 modules courses offered under the Master of Arts in Education major in Teaching in Challenged Areas (MAED-TCA), which is a curricular innovation of the project.

Based on the research focus, the studies are clustered into three groups, namely: Context and Profile; Strategies, Learning Materials, Classroom Management, and Assessment; and Collaboration with the Community.
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In Context and Profile, the challenges and opportunities of learners and the profile of teachers in challenged areas served as bases for reflection, and innovations as shown in four research outputs. Some of these studies considered the pandemic as an overarching context that exacerbated emerging and innately present difficulties experienced by the learners. Students of the newly implemented MAED-TCA program and the transition gaps of young readers are also highlighted in this section.

Context and Profile
The Challenges and Opportunities by Grade 5 Learners During Blended Learning Modality: Basis for The School Learning Continuity Response Plan for School Year 2021-2022 Yvette Buna-Sobrepeña
Academic Motivation and Stress Management in Modular Approach in Learning Science: Basis for Intervention Mary Jean Bravo, Reynaldo Nogodula, Jennifer Arbiol, Adora Zerrudo, Nancy Ramos
Profile of a Teacher in Challenged Areas: Self-reflection and Introspection of MAED-TCA Students in PUP Dennis O. Dumrique, Ma Lucila Anatalio, Joey T. Danting, Marrilour T. Bulfango, & Sheila Mae G. Mariano Transition Gap from Kinder to Grade One Reading Abilities: A Case Study Maria Lylanie T. Maraviles, Junel P. Maximo, Bernadeth G. Nobles, Daizyn C. Palillo, & Magdalena S. Rosopa

Innovations that may result in positive changes in challenged areas are aligned with creating an inviting and workable learning climate, development of appropriate materials, and assessment. Thirteen studies in this cluster anchored the introduced strategies on the learners’ context. With the contention that reading is a foundational skill for learning other subjects (Hübner, 2022; Rintaningrum, 2019), several Project FORTH researchers chose this research topic to implement innovations in challenged areas. Best practices and interventions in the enhancement of learners’ reading skills are highlighted in this section. Further, the Alternative Learning System (ALS), which addresses the accessibility of education for out-of-school youth and adults, is the focus of several studies (Department of Education, 2019). ALS is a modality for learners in challenging contexts to develop basic and functional literacy. Teachers of this modality are also possible enrollees of MAED TCA.

Context and Profile
Reading Teachers of K-3: Pearls, Pitfalls, and Promises of Teaching Reading in the New Normal Ma. Junithesmer D. Rosales, Manolito San Jose, Ms. Virginia R. Lopez, Meliza R. Sanvictores, Emma M. Carolino, & Marion A. Cresencio,
The Effectiveness of the Reading Program “Gising Na, Tayo Nang Magbasa” to the Reading Level of Selected Grade Six Pupils at Librada Avelino Elementary School Herminia G. Castillo
Teaching Mathematics to Alternative Learning System (ALS) Learners Using Contextualized Learning Activity Sheets Ana Rosa Carmona & DG Mark Arrey
Sports Minilimpics/Intramurals: Its Effect on the Level of Perceived Personal-Social Attributes of the Alternative Learning System Students Cynthia Dy & DG Mark Arrey
Project TROMPA (Teaching through Radio-Based Option to Mobilize the Program and Advocate Alternative Learning System): A Radio-Based Instruction Innovation to Make Learning Accessible in The Alternative Learning System Ma. Xenia Guanzon, Sheila Uy, June Carl Seran, Jien Omar Mendoza, Arnie B. Pampora, & Melanie P. Romero
Best Classroom Practices Towards Strengthening Literacy and Numeracy in Apolinario Mabini Elementary School: An Appreciative Inquiry Hazel Atilano & Cristina Mayo
Struggling To Read? Use Interactive Multimedia to Enhance Basic Reading Skills Jessica Gegantoca & Ma. Sol Genona Mentors: Purita Bilbao & Ma. Asuncion Christine Dequilla
Enhancement of Phonological Awareness of Learners Confused Between Phonemes /b/ and /d/ Joyce Tondo, Joseph Tondo Mentors: Antoniette Cortez & Hazel Villa
I Care Because You Matter: Empathy, Communication Strategies, And Proximity Control For Grade 11 Learners in Difficult Circumstances Ruby Blando Mentors: Amabel Siason, Rosemarie Felimon, & Baby Rose Robles

Recognizing the significant contribution of stakeholders in ensuring the success of learners in challenged areas, Project FORTH researchers zero in on co-creations and fostering the Bayanihan spirit, which del Castillo et al. (2021) described as a spirit of communal unity and cooperation. The crucial role of the community and the significance of collaboration is highlighted in the two studies under this cluster.

With the Department of Education’s (2017) thrust on research-based decisions and policies, teachers in basic education are highly encouraged to conduct research, especially action research, for the improvement of educational practices. Surely, these studies serve as legacies of Project FORTH to contribute to this goal. The impact of these studies will sustainably create ripples of positive change in education. May the FORTH spirit live on.

Collaboration with the Community
Co-creation of interventions: Accounting the Role of Stakeholders in Facilitating the Efficient Distribution of Self-learning Materials to the Learners in the Challenged Communities Adora P. Zerrudo, Bonifacio G. Gabales, Jr., Reynaldo M. Nogodula, Jennifer M. Arbiol, Marivic N. Neri, Jose G. Tan, Jr. Richel F. Hernandez, Jeffren P. Miguel, Nancy N. Ramos, & James C. Lee
Bayanihan sa Panahon ng Pandemya: A Case Study of San Perfecto Elementary School Parents’ Active Role in School Activities During the Pandemic Manolito San Jose & Jane Lopez