Cultural Sensitivity and Improvisation in Science Teaching: Using Indigenous, Local, and Available Materials in Teaching Chemistry

By Loreta Vivian Ramel-Galima, Daisy Valdez Rivera and Elizabeth Garcia Almanza.

Published by The International Journal of Science in Society

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This study contributes to strengthening the argument for indigenization and improvisation in the teaching of science. For this particular research, the focus was on the development of a color chart for Acids and Bases by the two chemists involved in the study. Plants that grow abundantly in the campus and the underlying areas around the campus were gathered and tested in the laboratory if they were appropriate for the lesson on acids and bases. As the color chart was developed, the idea that the teaching-learning of science may actually be more effective (and definitely safer) with the use of the plant extracts was tested on freshmen from the Nueva Vizcaya State University (NVSU) Bayombong campus and the Eastern Luzon College (ELC) of Bambang, Nueva Vizcaya. The study has two dimensions: first it sought to develop indigenous, available and local materials as substitutes to commercial chemicals used in teaching Chemistry and performing laboratory exercises; second it endeavored to test the effectiveness/advantages of using these substitutes in actual laboratory classes in Chemistry. The research employs both qualitative and quantitative methods of data gathering and analysis. Originally, the study proceeded from grounded theory, as designed by the social scientist in the group and theoretical sampling was employed in the early stages of the study. Later, experiments were conducted. With scientific precision, plants were tested in the laboratories after they had been gathered and a color chart was systematically developed and later used for instruction. A comparative analysis of student performance in the control groups (those that used the commercial chemicals for laboratory exercises) and experimental groups (those that used the plant extracts) from the NVSU Bayombong and ELC Bambang was made by the three researchers, using both quasi-experimental and non-participant observation techniques.

Keywords: Acid-Base Indicators, Color Chart, Chemistry, Culture Sensitive, Indigenous, Local, and Available Materials, Indigenization of Knowledge, Knowledge

The International Journal of Science in Society, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp.79-89. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 578.932KB).

Dr. Loreta Vivian Ramel-Galima

Professor, Graduate School, College of Arts and Sciences, Nueva Vizcaya State University, Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya Province, Philippines

Loreta Vivian Ramel-Galima is a Professor at the Nueva Vizcaya State University Bayombong Campus. Her 30 years of work at said university was not exclusively devoted to teaching; she also has been the Chair of the Social Sciences and Humanities Department for more than 10 years, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences for 3 years and faculty adviser of the official student publication for many years. She considers her work as a coach and trainer of student leaders competing in national and international contests as the best achievement from her career as teacher because of the success of those whom she has trained and guided in a span of 30 years of work. She has also been invited to present papers in national and international conferences, and has authored and co-authored course books and articles. She was also a contributor to the book entitled Organizational Culture and Symbolism in the Philippines, which was published by the University of the Philippines Diliman in 2008. Dr. Ramel-Galima obtained her Bachelor of Arts (BA), Master of Arts in Asian Studies (MA) and Doctor of Philosophy in Philippine Studies (Ph. D) all from the University of the Philippines. Her disciplines are Philosophy, Political Science and Anthropology. Her research interests include society and culture, organizational culture, migration, multilingual and multicultural education, politics and human rights.

Dr. Daisy Valdez Rivera

Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines

Dr. Daisy Valdez Rivera has recently finished her Doctor of Philosophy in Science Education from the Nueva Vizcaya State University (NVSU) Bayombong campus. She finished her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the Central Luzon State University (CLSU), Munoz, Nueva Ecija and Master of Education in Science Education (major in Chemistry) from the NVSU Bayombong campus. She taught at the Eastern Luzon Colleges in Bambang after graduating from college, prior to her teaching job at the NVSU Bayombong campus from 2005 - 2012. At present, she is involved in independent research and is considering new options in her career.

Dr. Elizabeth Garcia Almanza

Professor, College of Arts and Sciences, Graduate School, Nueva Vizcaya State University, Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines

Dr. Almanza is a Professor of Chemistry and Chemistry Education at the Nueva Vizcaya State University (NVSU). She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the Mapua Institute of Technology in Manila, Philippines. She finished her Master of Arts in Teaching Chemistry from the Isabela State University Echague campus and her Doctor of Philosophy in Science Education (Chemistry) from the University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City. Dr. Almanza is also a licensed chemist and has been teaching at the Nueva Vizcaya State University for more than 35 years. Dr. Almanza is the Department Chair of the Physical and Chemical Sciences Department of the NVSU College of Arts and Sciences. She concurrently serves as the Chair of the Science Education Program of the Graduate School.