Farrell helps PSS with professional development

Historian Don Farrell lent his expertise to the Public School System by giving a lecture last Thursday at Saipan Southern High School to 30 teachers from various public schools on how to effectively use his history textbook this new school year.

Farrell’s Modern History of the Northern Mariana Islands is the PSS-approved textbook and he guided the teachers during the lecture on how they could explain the rich and colorful history of the Marianas to their students.

“These are all public school teachers from elementary to high school and they are all interested in the CNMI’s history. One thing the [Board of Education] and the PSS administration have worked is to integrate the history of the Marianas from elementary to senior high school,” said Farrell. “We are making sure that our kids begin developing the concept of what the CNMI is from the time they are little kids until they go out of high school, go to college or join the workforce.”

Explaining how to use the book as a teaching tool is his main goal. “The purpose for this is to introduce the new book to the teachers—show them how to use the book and talked to them on how to use it as a teaching tool. That’s the goal of this class.”

Farrell said most of his lecture is based on the book, but also added other anecdotes and events that he uncovered in his research—“basically what comes out of the book but some are also based on my research.”

“I do share with them things that I have learned and experienced over the years that are not appropriate or not necessary in a textbook. So, essentially we’re reviewing the textbook.”

He added that although the schedule was set at four and a half days, he plans to end his lecture today. “Our goal is to make it at the end of the book by tomorrow afternoon where everybody walks out of here having a basic idea on how to use the book in their classroom at whatever level.”

The lecture is part of PSS’ professional development under the PSS Office of Curriculum and Instructional Services under associate commissioner Jackie Quitugua.

Quitugua said they asked all of their teachers to report back to their respective schools last Wednesday to attend the various professional development workshops that are being held in different public schools on Saipan.

“The PD is a plan under the Office of Curriculum and Instructional Services for our teachers. The contents are under the new curriculum and standards map that have been designed for the school year,” she added.

“Talking to all these teachers, they are so grateful for the opportunity for learning through this PDs. Of course, we still have areas to improve on and we are paying attention to every detail,” said Quitugua.

Mathematics, science, English language arts, Chamorro and Carolinian language heritage studies, and health and physical education are some of the other available courses.

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez began his writing career as a sports reporter in the Philippines where he has covered local and international events. He became a news writer when he joined media network ABS-CBN. He joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, while in college.

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