Issue of August 11, 2019
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July summary: Maslow to Bloom

“Students have to Maslow before they can Bloom.”

When I came across this post by Dwayne Reed on Facebook, I was put to a deep silence. Indeed, students’ basic needs have to be met before they begin to take risks and learn.

In Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, physiological needs, safety, and love or sense of belongingness have to be addressed to achieve self-esteem and self-actualization.

In Benjamin Bloom’s Taxonomy, students remember, understand, apply, analyze, evaluate, and finally, create.

How then can a student achieve those in Bloom’s Taxonomy when they lack those in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs?

Since the Department of Education dreams of Filipinos who passionately love their country and whose values and competencies enable them to realize their full potentials and contribute meaningfully to the building of nation, its personnel went beyond teaching to address the students’ basic needs. In July, for example, a lot of programs about health and safety were observed.

Schools have observed the Nutrition Month Celebration that aimed to promote consumption of healthy food and drinks, eating and choosing healthy choices regularly, making healthy eating habit and lifestyle, and being active by exercising daily.

On July 13, DepEd has capacitated regional and division coordinators on tobacco control campaign. This is in line with the celebration of the National No Smoking Month observed in June.

Another activity was the Oplan Kalusugan sa DepEd One Health Week to roll out a set of health activities featuring the six major DepEd school health programs which are school-based feeding program; national drug education program; adolescent reproductive health program; water, sanitation, and hygiene in schools program; medical, nursing, and dental services; and school mental health program.

Every school, district, and division carried activities to make the students grasp the importance of health.

In Bauko, Mountain Province, the local government unit strengthened the Gulayan sa Paaralan through the search for healthiest school. some schools had their search for the biggest loser while others had their Search for most trashionable (coined from trash and fashionable).

July is over and it is hoped that the students continuously Bloom with their Maslows satisfied.



Life is futile without experiences. They serve as the springboard of our improvements and success if we reflect on them. As John Dewey said, “We don’t learn from experience, we learn from reflecting on experience.”

Reflection is an integral part of the learning process. It allows us to learn more about ourselves and how we learn.

I conducted reflection activities to students who misbehave. This aims to develop their behavioral aspect or affective domain and solve misbehaviors to combat bullying cases.

The participants were able to reflect on who they are, what they can be and where they are going, and on their past experiences.

According to philosopher and professor Donald Alan Schon, reflection is associated with “looking back” and examining the past in order to learn from what happened and perhaps not repeat the same mistakes. However, it is also increasingly associated with reflecting on action.

The responses or outputs of the students touched my heart. I found out that just like other youngsters, they have goals and ambitions too. All want to finish their studies and long for a better life in the future.

What made me sad is some of them are products of broken families. Others were victims of circumstances. They had unpleasant childhood experiences.

Being the implementer, I advised and encouraged them. Their recent experiences, whether good or bad, must be taken positively. They should use them as their inspiration to reach their dreams. I also open my heart and arms. They can always see and approach me in times of difficult situations. Surprisingly, there are students who keep on visiting me and asking if they still have activities to make. This made me conclude that those students need more care and affection.

Most of the students also need to undergo remedial classes. They are poor in spelling and sentence construction. Hence, Language teachers must apply innovative techniques to address this problem.

Reflection activities are indeed advantageous to teachers and learners. These can bring out the student’s sentiments and problems. As a result, teachers will identify and apply the best strategy to assist them.

Ash et al. relayed that reflection activities have the potential to improve the students’ overall academic performance as well as allow teachers to “evaluate the quality of thinking” demonstrated by individual students by “gaining access to their internal thought processes about the activities.”

Department of Education officials must also reflect on what is happening to the educational system. Additional school buildings are badly needed particularly in the cities. The standard teacher-pupil/student ratios which are 1:31 for elementary and Senior High School and 1:36 for Junior High School will be a great help to teachers. They will be able to devote more time to students who are in need of maximum attention and intervention activities. As a result, quality education will be possible.

Everyone needs to reflect. American writer and management consultant Margaret J. Wheatley said, “Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.”

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