New lens with which to see

14 July – 13 September 2015

Six Young Workers were selected to initiate an Action Research Pilot Project on the implementation of a research-based methodology in teaching Mathematics and its impact on increased learning incentive in the prevention of school dropouts. An integral part of the project included an intercultural component of an intensive immersion program in the Philippine educational system and Filipino culture. This Project took place in three public schools and a school for street children in a disadvantaged area of Manila for a duration of two months. The beneficiary schools of this pilot project were: José Abad Santos High School, Pedro Guevarra Elementary School, Marcela Agoncillo Elementary School and the Makabata Foundation School for Street Children.

The two-month immersion in the educational and cultural realities of the Philippines as a pilot experience in the Project Roots and Wings, brought about an intercultural exchange between the receiving communities and the Roots and Wings European participants. They worked by pairs in introducing an interactive methodology in Math and implemented teaching techniques that cut across the limitations of large classes, lack of physical facilities and in many cases, a language barrier. More importantly, students living in very poor conditions felt privileged to have teachers who cared for them and who have travelled far to share specifically what they have and what they know. According to data collected on attendance, students who hardly appeared in school were willing to stay after school hours to be tutored. Parents requested these special meetings for their children. In addition, the teachers in the schools had the experience of exchanging ideas and projects with European young colleagues.

EDIW, coordinating organisation of the project, worked in close collaboration with TAII, the Department of Education, University of the Philippines, (Diliman Campus), SEAMEO Innotech. Training was given in the pre-departure and the in-situ orientation on the Philippine educational system as well as the culture, the history, the values and mores of the Filipino people. The learning experience of the young European workers was, from their feedback, a source of personal, human and cultural growth, and capacity-building competences that would be of use for them as future European young workers in a global and interdependent world.