Saturday, November 17, 2012

Learning the Galileo way

“Learning the Galileo way”
Sun.Star Davao, Nov. 17, 2012

“The first years last forever”.

This is the belief of the Galileo Enrichment Learning Program, a “meaningful, exciting and fun English and Math enrichment program for children ages 3-12”.

Unlike other Math and English enrichment centers which have programs up to high school, Galileo only offers their program from pre-school to grade school because the founders believe that these foundational years are where students fully master the essential skills in Math and English.

“Once they have understood and mastered these basic skills, they will be able to carry on and transition fully to higher learning independently”, Galileo Davao Center director Julie Tiu explains.

Julie is a BS Mathematics and Computer Science graduate from Ateneo de Manila University. She also studied piano both at the University of the Philippines and University of Sto. Tomas’s Conservatory of Music. Before moving to Davao, she worked as the Management Information Systems Manager in the largest grocery wholesaler, Suy Sing Commercial Corporation.

She also happens to be the best friend of Dr. Queena Lee-Chua, multi-awarded educator, psychologist, parenting expert and Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist.

First in Mindanao

Galileo Davao, which opened recently, is the 27th branch nationwide and the 1st in Mindanao.

Established in 2006, Galileo’s mission is to empower learners by providing them opportunities to be life-long independent learners. This is also in line with Galileo Davao’s mission to uplift the education standard of Davao City.

“I believe in their academic council of advisers, who have painstakingly researched, formulated and continuously improved appropriate instructional approaches because their involvement is not just a vocation but a passion to uplift the country to world-class education, starting with young Filipinos”, Julie shares.

According to Galileo’s official website, “the Galileo Academic Council of Advisers is composed of highly-respected and renowned academicians, educators, consultants, education researchers and writers in math, science, psychology and other fields”.

It adds that “all have received prestigious citations such as the Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for Literature and the Metrobank Outstanding Teachers awards. They are highly esteemed in various academic circles including the Department of Education, University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University, as well as regional and international institutions such as Harvard University, UNICEF and the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization”.

Personalized approach to learning

The Galileo Math and English Programs differ from the other programs in the education industry by its approach to teaching.

Galileo understands that each child has his own way of learning things and there is more than one way of teaching the concepts. This belief is employed in the Galileo teaching strategies, through the Galileo Five Ways of Learning.

For each day that a child visits the center, he goes through five ways of learning. This allows the student to see that learning a concept can be done in different ways.

SPACE RACE – in communicating well, a student must have the proper speaking and listening skills. These are taught through verbal activities, using Math and English themes.

TACTILE LAUNCHPAD – students use their hands to manipulate concepts through concrete tools like puzzles and various educational toys.

NOVA DATA – students are given written activities to develop fluency in writing, as well as knowing how to properly translate ideas into print.

BOOK GALAXY – reading comprehension in Math and English is an important skill that a student must harness. In the center, the student not only opens his world to different authors, he develops reading comprehension and critical thinking as well.

CYBER EXPLORER – learning can also happen through the use of technology. Students are given the opportunity to learn more about concepts taught through educational software and applications. 

When a child first enters the program, he is given activities that match his current knowledge. From there, he learns on his own pace, only advancing when he is ready.

Children go to Galileo twice a week for 45 minutes per session. The child works closely with a teacher-facilitator and is given fun activities to supplement the lesson for the day.

Homework is given so that learning is continuous even outside the center. Parental involvement is strongly encouraged.

Singapore Math

“What’s also unique about Galileo is it’s the first enrichment company to offer Singapore Math to its students”, Julie, a mother of four, proudly reveals.

Singapore has been making waves in the education industry with its exceptional and innovative way of approaching math.

The country’s Ministry of Education (which is equivalent to the Philippines’ Department of Education) has mandated a systematic way of solving problems. Because of this, Singapore students have placed their country at the top of global Math rankings. 

Singapore Math uses the Model Approach in solving, where the student is taught how to translate a problem into a model which he can visualize, making it easier for him to manipulate and solve. This approach allows the student to solve seemingly difficult problems because they have fully understood the basic operations.

In Davao, several schools such as Davao Christian High School and Stella Maris Academy of Davao have adopted the Singapore Math in their curriculum.

Galileo has created exercises that are suitable for the Filipino child, while following the Singapore Math scope and sequence. It also uses the five ways of learning when teaching concepts to ensure mastery and understanding.

Everyday Math

Math, oftentimes, is viewed as a student’s waterloo. How do parents help their children appreciate Math even at a young age?

Julie answers that “the best gift that parents can give their children is unconditional love and a genuine desire to help them be the best they can be.  And so the attitude should start with the parents. A child’s attitude towards math starts with how parents view the subject”.

She advises that one way to help children enjoy Math is by letting them see its uses in everyday activities.

“Count the days to the next family activity. When cooking in the kitchen, ask them to measure the ingredients. Add or subtract grocery prices with them when you go to the supermarket. Estimate land area (even computing for the area or perimeter) of condominium units, malls, or even your own backyard”, Julie suggests.

Julie stresses that the children’s involvement in simple everyday activities helps nurture their love for Math without the pressure of academic performance.  The role of parents in reinforcing math learning at home cannot be overestimated.

Galileo Davao

Galileo has opened in Davao for only two weeks and so far, Julie says that the response has been overwhelming.

We have been getting a lot of inquiries about the program we are offering and how it differs from other enrichment centers.  Parents nowadays are very prudent and circumspect in choosing the best for their children and I believe that what Galileo is offering will empower these children to become life-long independent learners”, she enthuses.

Galileo’s tuition fees are Php 1,860/month each for Math and English and Php 2,500/month for Singapore Math.  For new enrolees, there is a one-time registration fee of Php 500 which includes a starter kit and a Galileo bag.

In addition, Galileo is offering a Grand Galileo deal for all students. If a parent enrols his child for three or five months, a special rate is offered so that the parent can save up to a thousand pesos per subject.

“For those who would like to experience learning the Galileo way, we encourage parents to try the 2-week Free Trial Classes that will run from November 12-24, 2012”, Julie invites Dabawenyos.

Galileo Enrichment Learning Center is located at 27A Dacudao Avenue, Davao City.  Tel #:  (082)2210268;  0922-8501650. Website:

Special thanks to Davao Christian High School student Chang Fan Li for Galileo Davao’s opening photos.

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