Monday, May 21, 2012

reflection on K-12

“If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies”
-(Author unknown)
The onset of the K to 12 Curriculum for this school year 2012-2013 has certainly rippled the waters of our stagnant pond. People’s speculations on what would be the outcome of the K to 12 flocks to the field of inquiries in schools.  Even the teachers themselves are somewhat apprehensive of the implementation of the Grade 1 and Grade 7 of the K to 12 Curriculum. However, our educational leaders are one with the teachers in propagating the good news of the K to 12 Curriculum to the farthest corners of the Philippines. Our leaders are also doing their best in order to achieve the desired outcome of this change. The people behind this big change in the educational curriculum are optimistic that the Filipinos will support the said program. After all, according to Charles Darwin, “It is not the strongest of the species that survive nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change.”
The following scholarly individuals from the Deped Central Office have enlightened my mind on the fuzzy side of the K to 12 Curriculum: Bro. Armin V. Luistro, Dr. Yolanda S. Quijano, Dr. Paraluman Q. Giron and Dr. Marilyn D. Dimaano and Mr. Edison A. Fermin. They have delivered the fresh picks of the K to 12 so that the program will be marketable to the stakeholders. Prior to the viewing of the video clips, Dr. Olga C. Alonsabe discussed about the IPO (Input-Process-Output) model and what it takes to produce the desired graduate, for example, if I want to open a school. Several factors were mentioned such as for the input- the choice of faculty, the facilities, the subjects and the curriculum…for the process- the teaching strategies, the school practices and culture and between process and output, there are still more processes in between in order to produce the desired graduate.
Why do we need to change the Curriculum? We need it most in order to be globally competitive and functionally literate. Such a very idealistic answer but it would not be impossible, I guess so, if Filipinos will embrace the new program of the Deped. When the video clip was played with Bro. Armin V. Luistro on screen, I jot down lines that struck me most. To name a few: …SY 2012-2013, roll out the program for grade 1 and grade 7 curriculum; K to 12 is made by Filipinos for the Filipinos, hope for a sustainable journey, K to 12 is a gift for the 21st century Filipinos and lastly a challenge: “be a part of the undertaking….” These remarkable words moved me. I pondered upon the saying: “If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies…” Yes, it is, butterflies are a sight, they lure our eyes to watch their beauty sway up in the air, they kiss a flower to another flower in order to propagate the splendor. Why can’t we be like the butterflies? So I thought, we have to metamorphose…from Kindergarten to grade1 to grade 12. Sounds good, 12 years of basic education makes every Filipino one with the rest of the world.
Dr. Yolanda S. Quijano talked about K to 12 graduates being equipped with the 21st century skills  or the life skills. Further she said that it K to 12 curriculum is outcome-based, filled with child and youth development principles, is learner-centered, geared towards the holistic development of the individuals and is constructivist in nature…very elaborate, isn’t it? But these will really enable the Filipino graduate become a globally competitive individual employable worldwide. Inspiring, soul-stirring, heart-throbbing! How excited I am to witness the graduation of the pioneer K to 12 graduates. That day would be a blockbuster day, I reckon.
“The teacher should be a provocateur” – that’s what I caught when Dr. Paraluman Q. Giron was on the screen. I re-read my notes when I got home. There was a follow up statement…”the teacher must ask thought – provoking questions. There it is! And she also differentiated the 20th century curriculum against the 21st century curriculum. Some of its differences are: 20th- time-based, memorization works and fragmented whilst 21st- outcome-based and interdisciplinary…seems different, right? She further noted: that the k to 12 curriculum is geared towards digital & multi-media literacy and is research-based. There is really no escape for the k to 12 graduates to become globally employable. However, as the video continued to play, Dr. Giron made mention about the striking 5 C’s of a K to 12 Teacher. It stands for Commitment, Competence, Creativity, Compassion and Character. Oh, My! How intelligent of her to hit the innermost chambers of our heart. Yes, being mentors, students are in dire need of teachers with the 5C’s. As far as I have realized, being a teacher is indeed incomparable. CEO’s may have the highest salary grades and the teacher may have the lowest salary compared to other countries but the happiness and fulfillment to have made a difference in one’s life is far beyond compare. “What On Earth Am I Here For? That is the question.  And I shyly answered: “To touch other peoples lives…”
The K to 12 Curriculum Model was presented by Dr. Marilyn D. Dimaano. She had a comprehensive discussion on the highlights of the new curriculum and shared her personal feelings about the change that we are all excited commence this coming June opening of classes. Just as ready as we teachers seem to be, the curriculum model is on the go for the grades 1 & 7 entrants. I felt excited too because I have seen the big difference that we will experience regarding the K to 12 program.
An all-embracing discussion about CHANGE was delivered by Mr. Edison A. Fermin. He talked about the Curriculum Change: The Concept of Change, the Typologies of Change, Why Changes Fail and Working Towards Change. He enunciated articulately that everything that he said was well taken. But the most noteworthy is Why Changes Fail – reasons? Plain ignorance, rapidity of change, conformity vs. innovation, traditions of teaching, discontinuity in professional development and lack of forms of support. True enough, and I was struck with discontinuity in professional development. Had I not finished my Masters Degree and if I did pursue my Doctoral degree, I would have contributed to the reasons why changes fail. If I did not pursue my professional studies, I would not be able to meet these people and I wouldn’t have grasped the 5W’s and 1H of the K to 12 program and the advances of the teaching-learning trends, the hottest issues, the trending innovations, and most especially the life-changing experiences that will help build the bright future of my students. I really want to change, because I want to be a Butterfly!


The advent of the K-12 Basic Education Program of the Department of Education has significantly stirred the stagnant waters of our silent pond. The public’s opinion has expressed both positive and negative feedbacks regarding the new curriculum. Scholarly people in the Deped have prepared so much for this program. The government has spent so much for this curricular innovation. Funds for the dissemination, implementation and evaluation are satisfactory. Seminars and trainings are all set. The Deped is determined and on the go for this K-12 Basic Education Curriculum.

On K-12 Implementation. As a teacher, I am happy for this new curriculum because it is learner-centered, it is decongested, it is a seamless curriculum, it is responsive to the needs of the community and is an enriched curriculum. With all of these characteristics, it will surely yield positive results. However, being part of the Deped organization, I am also nervous because I know that not all mentors are open-minded with the new basic education program. I am worried about the implementation process and its sustainability as a new program. I am also apprehensive of the constant evaluation and monitoring process to ensure that K-12 is well implemented.
On Curriculum Content. The K-12 Curriculum content follows a spiral progression, where topics/lessons for every grade are decongested and is performance-based in order to ensure mastery. For grades 11-12, wherein it provides choices like academic specializations, technical vocational and sports and arts specializations, the students who will be graduates after 12 years will become globally competitive! With this, I feel excited for them. However, I am saddened by the fact that there are really people who are resistant to change. Parents feel an additional burden for their children to add two more years in school but are not open to the possibility that this curricular innovation is an avenue for their children to employ themselves after graduation.
On Teaching Strategies. There are possible loopholes of the K-12 program. To name one, is the teaching strategy. Mentors may feel burnout with the advent of this K-12 BEC and have the tendency to do away with the prescribed teaching methods that would guarantee an enduring understanding of the topics/lessons. It would be an overreaction on my part to think that various teaching strategies may not be employed but rather the die-hard chalk-and-talk strategy may be most popular. Disgusting as it may seem, though not all teachers are very hard to please, a considerable number of teaching force may shrug their shoulders on the strategies for teaching embedded in the learning package and curriculum guide, for it is an overwhelming reality based on experience. I may sound subjective but in a sense, I would consider it as true. Based on experience, I know that oftentimes, teachers like me only make use of the different strategies in the teaching-learning process to different kinds of students if there would be monitoring team or evaluators visit the school. On the other side, the teaching strategies will help or assist the teachers as implementers to carry out the plans set by the K-12 curricular innovation. I must be an advocate to this change.  Whatever will happen, I would like to think that “All great changes are preceded by chaos.”