CEBU CITY– The Recoletos Educational Apostolate of the Philippines (REAP) conducted a textbook orientation for teachers if OAR schools from May 27-30, 2019. The academic activity that started Monday was held in the modern and spacious Our Lady of La Salud building in Basak Campus of the University of San Jose-Recoletos.
In attendance were textbook writers whose ideas are contained in the references distributed in all Recollect schools, colleges and universities nationwide. As of this writing, close to 50 authors from top universities in the country got to meet their audience of over a 100 teachers from elementary, junior high, senior high school and collegiate levels who have had actual experience of using the book in their classroom. Albert Badion, an author of textbooks on Christian Life Formation and REED disclosed to REAP that the gathering was an opportunity for more conversation or dialog for both authors and teachers who were using his book in their CLF classes to understand why such concepts or field cases as well as theories have been considered in the structure of the book. “I do understand where their apprehensions and concerns are coming from but somehow, it was addressed in the session that I had with them,” Badion added.
For his part, San Luis Gomez , considered the textbook orientation and workshop as important opportunity to share and explain concepts and theoretical underpinnings of the book as well as understand the context of the teachers and students using the book. He also emphasized that the commitment to write and to just keep on writing regardless of how good or bad the output may be is one quality that the aspiring writer should have in regular manner. Both Badion and Gomez are part of the faculty of the Ateneo de Manila (ADMU) University’s Department of Theology.
“Writers should have the sincere desire to help teachers and students or readers to understand some complex concepts without the feeling of challenging their intellect and clarity of language are some of the important qualities writers should have to be able to write,” Mark Joseph Calano shared. A faculty of ADMU’s Department of Philosophy, Calano has authored 8 books in his field and has accumulated enough experience as a teacher in the higher education institution. He added that his advantage over other authors is that because Senior High School is new, there has been not many materials nor references that exist in the country so he has yet the leverage.
Among the attendees are Recollect priests, Fray Paul Demiliones, OAR, Fray Maximillian Omem, OAR and Fray Kenneth Pahamutang, OAR who diligently attended the sessions. Omem considered the textbook orientation workshop to be “mentally refreshing” while Pahamutang candidly disclosed that he was at first having some issues with the book but then after attending the session, he has gained the understanding that the book (on CLF or REED) is more of deepening the understanding of concepts and not just dependent on memorization.
The dialogic interaction between authors and teachers was initiated by the REAP in order to actualize the objective of strengthening the communication between the two parties. Moreover, it also aimed to provide uniform learning experiences for all students of Recollect schools in the country and thereby realizing the brand of education that the Order of Augustinian Recollects generate.
The Recollect Educational Apostolate of the Philippines has Fray William Villaflor, OAR as its president who has the support of the Order of Augustinian Recollect led by Fray Dionisio Selma, OAR, Prior Provincial. This year, the Cebu-based Recollect-run school, University of San Jose-Recoletos under the helm of its president, Fray Cristopher C. Maspara, OAR provided the venue and other facilities and vehicles with personnel and faculty support. From its initial success, REAP expected to provide even more opportunities next year and beyond. Historically, the OAR community is one of the first religious missionaries that settled in the country that has not only built colossal churches and convents that have attracted tourists in both local and international markets.