Reminiscent of the computer mindset, the philosophy behind
Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (Scada) was utilized by Mr.
Tristan H. Calasanz, a new faculty member of the Electronics,
Computer and Communications Engineering Program. "His experience in
this specific field of Scada is enormous, considering that he worked
with the industry for many years," muses Dr. Rosula Reyes, director
of the program. "His primary objective in employing this method of
instruction is to provide the students a venue where they could work
together as a team and still maintain their individuality. The
students were assigned to work on specific modules that were part of
the total system to be developed. Mr. Calasanz had to supervise the
individual work of the students while teaching them the technical
aspects of each module. Since each of the modules is a part of the
whole system, the students were also taught the value of time
management, decision-making and responsibility."
"Teachers are active participants, not only in the students’
learning process, but also in their own," affirms Calasanz. "They
assume the role of facilitators and resource persons." To this end,
he teaches with the following principles in mind. I believe they
apply not just to the classroom setting, but also to the workplace,
the playing field, and any endeavor where humans come together.
- Freedom to Think -- "The classroom is the platform for the
growth of human beings. Teachers manage this platform in such a
way that they create an environment where the human being’s
freedom to think is unleashed and enhanced."
- Theory Z -- "The group performs best if they participate in
all aspects of the decision-making and implementation of a
- Signature -- "Each person wants to be part of a successful
project, and affixes his signature, so to speak, to it."
- Ownership -- "Each person or group wants to be accountable for
everything about a project, be it success or failure."
- Motivation -- "The rate of learning with respect to time
directly affects motivation."
- Milestones -- "Milestones and time frames are provided, so
participants can appreciate their progress."
- Human Interaction -- "The professional workplace requires
tight and effective coordination and marketing."
However, Calasanz ends his reflection on a sober note. "When will
the Philippines ever cultivate the culture of creating? Developed
countries have made us users, buyers or ahentes (agents),
mostly relegating our technical graduates into explaining how a
system is installed, operated and maintained. Professionals that we
all are, we are deeply concerned that if the environment in which
the Philippines presents to our graduates continues the way it is,
technology in our country will continue to be shackled, thus
encouraging other countries to keep on stealing our professionals
and new graduates."
(Next week: Teaching and Learning in Chemistry)
Queena N. Lee-Chua, Ph.D. teaches mathematics and psychology
at the Ateneo de Manila University. She can be reached at: mailto:email@example.com.