Bank Street College Teaches Math Professional Development to The Philippines
By Elisabeth Jakab
Hal Melnick ’74, an advisor and instructor in the Leadership in Math Education Program at Bank Street, taught a five-day experiential math course for teachers of nursery school through eighth grade, spread over seven days from January 5–12, in Bonifacio Global City, an urban center in Metro Manila, The Philippines.
Twenty-four teachers and four administrators attended the workshop at the Summit School, a Bank Street-like preschool designed and headed by Severina Santos ’98, who has an M.A. in early childhood education from Bank Street. She had attended Bank Street with the explicit aim of bringing its teaching practices to The Philippines.
Melnick’s course was the first formal workshop sponsored by the new Summit Professional Development Center, funded by the non-profit Interact Pamilya Foundation, which Santos heads. The Center hopes to attract educators from Bank Street and elsewhere to provide ongoing professional development for teachers.
There was so much interest in the Bank Street approach that the Manila Rotary Club honored Melnick with a dinner where he did a math presentation. The members were so impressed that they formed a committee, led by Ben Santos, Santos’ husband, to raise funds to bring such math education to the schools in their area.
Melnick and four workshop participants appeared on a popular morning talk show, and footage of the workshop was
aired on a daytime program.
During his stay, Melnick helped the Santos’ to draw up a master plan for bringing a “math-coaching culture” to the Surrounding area schools. They hope to hire a Bank Street graduate to develop a professional development math program based on the Bank Street approach and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics’ Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (K-12). The coach would help Filipino educators learn to educate others to use the approaches and materials that Melnick presented in his workshop. A curriculum coordinator position is also being created for the Summit School, which next year will expand beyond pre-school into the elementary grades, and will use the same math approach.
Melnick says, “This is a wonderful opportunity for Bank Street to improve an entire nation’s math curriculum.” Interested teachers can contact him at 212-875-4485 or email@example.com.#