The development of a multigrade LAC resource guide supports the implementation of DepEd Order No. 35, s. 2016, enjoining all regions in the country to implement the Learning Action Cell (LAC) as a platform for teachers’ continuing professional development at the school level. While the Department of Education (DepEd) provided our schools with the materials for the conduct of LAC sessions, such materials were not designed for multigrade setting. The activities were geared towards teaching monograde classes and did not consider the existence and unique needs of multigrade classes.
The lack of specific multigrade training has a bearing on the multigrade teachers’ teaching practices. Their multidimensional tasks require enthusiasm and creativity in teaching and managing multigrade classes. They need to be regularly trained and provided with a sufficient support system in teaching so they can teach effectively in a multigrade setting. Literature indicates that multigrade teachers are confronted with many curricular challenges, as they have to teach two or more grades at the same time using more than one curriculum in different learning areas (Joyce 2014; and Lapuz, 2008). When teachers are well-prepared and well-trained to teach children of varying ages and abilities, then both the teachers and the learners will enjoy the experience together. If children are to learn effectively in multigrade settings, teachers need to be constantly well-trained, well-resourced, well-supported, and to hold a positive attitude to multigrade teaching.
The Multigrade LAC Resource Materials for Multigrade Teachers will provide many opportunities for multigrade teachers to become effective classroom teachers. The different session guides were designed to address several issues on the implementation of K to 12 Curriculum in multigrade schools, specifically, on instructional planning, instructional delivery such as on the use of ICT tools, and monitoring and evaluation of school performance.
To enable multigrade teachers to integrate Information and Communication Technology (ICT) into the teaching and learning process, sessions on ICT integration were designed, particularly Session Guides 6 and 10. These LAC materials will help teachers better understand the process of selection and creation of appropriate and effective ICT materials to enhance the development of learning competencies for multigrade learners. They are intended to help strengthen the delivery of multigrade instruction and to maximize the use of School-in-a Bag (SIAB) technological learning packages as an example of ICT educational tools that were provided to fifty multigrade schools in Region VIII under the SDMG R8 project. As an alternative, the session guides were deliberately designed in place of the capacity-building opportunities on ICT integration of DepEd personnel in Region VIII, following the withdrawal of the plan due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Hence, the integration of ICT into LAC materials will not only provide ICT learning opportunities to multigrade teachers in Region VIII but also other multigrade teachers in different regions of the country.
This training kit for multigrade schools is designed by the Department of Education (DepEd) initiated by the Bureau of Learning Delivery (BLD) through the Teaching and Learning Division (TLD). It is specially prepared for use by multigrade teachers nationwide during the conduct of the school-based LAC session.