Keys to Achieving Quality and Excellence; EDUCATORS SPEAK: Utilizing Research in Graduate/advanced Education:

Manila Bulletin, April 19, 2003 | Go to article overview

Keys to Achieving Quality and Excellence; EDUCATORS SPEAK: Utilizing Research in Graduate/advanced Education:


Byline: Dr. Consuelo C. Canias-Callang

IN todays unending quest for effecting improvements in the management of tertiary school systems for any level for that matter, one area of importance is probably overlooked as a valuable resource research. Considering that the prevailing principle for College teaching is publish or perish, research is not heavily engaged in by most faculty.

Research is an indicator that a school/entity bothers to "re"-search answers to certain problems. For example, every Research and Development Office is charged with the task of identifying "problem" areas/areas of concern" that may be a deterrent to progress in any undertaking/operations. This is the process that helps in improving quality in food; appliances; even medicinal preparations by addressing problem areas identified. Research in the manufacturing business is responsible for improving safety factors in car/automobile manufacture, airplane and ships, appliances everywhere.

Interestingly though, the largest turnout of research in the universities are the graduate schools'/schools of advanced studies' in particular. These are in the form of theses, dissertations, case studies or similar undertakings.

These are mostly empirical investigations with a specific research design and methodology; sampling procedure done as meticulously and as correctly as possible with the strictest observance of the "rules" in the conduct of research; ethical or otherwise. Needless to say, the products of these research undertakings as theses and dissertations are among the most valuable bases for effecting needed changes or improvements in the way things are done in schools.

Pavlov's experiment (salivation of the dog in the harness) has made inroads into the way stimuli and responses occur, so that instruction has then and now come up with insights as to the role motivation plays in behavior; as well as reinforcement (positive or negative) and as a result - many principles affecting the use of motivational strategies have been studied with results of value to improving instruction.

In my many years of work in graduate education, several research findings have been found to have relevance not only in improving instruction but even quality of life among people engaged in farming/agriculture as well.

A thesis we have done in the graduate school of the Nueva Vizcaya State Institute of Technology looked at the effect of the use of Azolla as a substitute for commercial feed for a certain breed of chicken - Azolla substitution was done at 10; 15 and 25 percent substitution. The study looked at the effect of Azolla substitution on the general weight, quality of meat and carcass and of course the taste of the product. We followed up the growth and development of the Azolla-fed chicken and compared these with the control group fed commercially prepared chicken feed. Results showed positive for substitution at 15 percent level. As a result, the schools' poultry project benefited from the lowered cost of feed.

Similarly, Apollo tomato was subjected to the use of Azolla as substitute fertilizer. In terms of the characteristics of the tomato fruit, amount of harvest and quality of the Azolla-fertilized Apollo tomato, the results showed positive for the use of Azolla as substitute fertilizer. This masteral thesis was conducted in Sta. Fe, Nueva Vizcaya, where problems on erosion and depletion of minerals for the soil have long been present, thus affecting vegetable production. As a result of the dissemination of the information to farmers and other vegetable growers, soil poisoning and depletion of minerals have been lessened in the area. Azolla has probably helped grow better quality vegetables, as well as helped improved soil quality in the area. Moreover, soil poisoning from commercially prepared fertilizer has been minimized, too.

Another benefit from studies looking at erosion problems and what can be done to prevent washing-out of riverbanks has come from those done on the benefits of planting bamboo along riberbanks. …

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