Special needs and early childhood educators gathered together at the 8th session of Higher Education Connect (HEdConnect) to discuss ways on how to make learning responsive, inclusive, and equitable in the new normal.

HEdConnect 8, organized by the College of Teacher Education (CTE), was held last December 4 and 5, 2020 via Zoom with participants coming from all over the Philippines. 

The webinar was divided into two parts themed Inclusive Education in the New Normal (Part I) and Cognitive Engagements: Raising Learners’ Thinking Skills (Part II). The two parts were sponsored by the Bachelor of Special Need Education (BSNEd) and Bachelor of Early Childhood Education (BECEd) programs respectively.

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Espousing on the significance of the two-day webinar, Dr. Ethel Abao, CNU-CTE Dean, said that purposeful integration of rigorous academic engagements is needed to provide every student with the needed skills for them to thrive in this changing world.

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“Moreover, there has to be a system that knows no boundaries: borders in terms of physical, intellectual, and cultural differences,” she said.

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Speakers of the first part of HEdConnect 8 included: Prof. Renan Elcullada who discussed the Overview of Inclusive Education in the New Normal; Dr. Venus Cortes who shared on Assistive Technology for Students with Learning Disabilities; and Dr. Marie Therese Bustos who talked about Assessment Practices that Support Inclusive Education in the New Normal.  

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The speakers of the second part of the webinar focused on how to raise the thinking skills of very young learners. They were: Dr. Michael Cangayao who tackled on Promoting Practical Life Skills and Problem-based Learning in Times of Pandemic; Prof. Filomena Lantaca who spoke about Sustaining the Acquisition of the Present Numeracy Skills; and Dr. Tizza Marie Navarro who imparted on Fostering Emergent Literacy in a Developmentally Appropriate Positive Disposition.

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Abao said that teachers, parents, and significant others have a pivotal role to ensure that children’s mindset in creating and living wonderful experiences are worthwhile.

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“Every young learners’ experience that is well guided by a nurturing adult makes his or her life worth living,” she said. 

HEdConnect is a webinar series organized by the different departments of CNU. It started on June this year to gather educators, researchers, parents, and students aimed at addressing the challenges in teaching and learning amid the COVID-19 health crisis. (JDF)