Education 14: Discovery Approach to Learning and Teaching. I had two very proud accomplishments in education as a Peace Corps Volunteer (Philippines, 1966-1970). One was creating a student-centered and diagram-based approach to logic, which culminated in my 201-page 1989 book, On Sets, Logic, & Probability. The other was Education 14: Discovery Approach to Learning and Teaching. The latter started with my six-page letter to “My Dear Friends,” which was based on my Summertime, 1969, teaching experiences, and appeared in the August, 1969, issue of BTC’s The Mentor. It served as philosophical basis for the course, as well as grist for a Naga Times newspaper article by another Volunteer. There was then much hard work convincing the BTC administration to offer the course the next semester.
Education 14 was possibly the world’s first interdisciplinary Discovery Approach course. I started the course with Socratic dialogues. I also taught several math lessons using the discovery approach. Discovery lessons in science, social science, music, and art were taught by colleagues. All 32 students who took the course indicated it was a good course, with a majority saying it was one of the best courses taken at BTC. Later results appeared in my wife’s master’s thesis (“An Innovative Approach in Teaching at Bicol Teachers College: A Case Study,” 373 pages, November 1974). Years after the course, she attempted to reach all 32 students who took the course; 23 responded. A majority of them thought that Education 14 was one of the best courses BTC offered.
Picture 1 shows the first day of class for BTC’s Education 14, in December, 1969.
Picture 2 shows me walking at BTC in December, 1969, with some of the Education 14 students. My right hand is stretched about halfway to the first student, who sang a song she wrote for Ed 14 at my farewell party. About equally far from me is a bespectacled student in front of everyone on my left side; 31 years later she traveled for several hours by boat and bus to see me and invite me to visit her home and family on the island of Catanduanes; I accepted, my first time ever on Catanduanes.
Picture 3 was also taken in December, 1969. It shows me at far right, with fellow Education 14 pioneers, both colleagues and students. Since BTC is the regional normal school, one should not be surprised by the statue of teacher and pupil at far left. Note that the teacher is female, as are almost all of the future teachers pictured. Mt. Mayon, the world’s most perfect cone, is partially visible in the background.