Navigating the Ever-Changing Educational System: A Review

The journal article “Navigating the Ever-changing Educational System” is one of the articles in the compilation Journal of Curriculum and Instruction (JoCI). This contains two articles that focused on curricular content and pedagogy, two articles about teacher development, and one article discussing the challenges associated with standardization of curriculum and assessment. There is a clear and present problem with the way the educational system currently works. Changes in curriculum and instruction are inevitable. The government found it difficult to assess which curriculum fits to every situation. There are growing mismatch between the planned objectives and the instructional materials and means on how to implement each curricula. The paper presented by Broemmel and Lucas (2011) stated findings and suggestions on how to cope up with the ever-changing educational system. As the definition dictates, educational system is a formalized transmission of knowledge and values operating within a society. The journal also gave concepts of education, on offer insights for, or identify the challenges of, supporting teachers as they face complex situations that require judicious, and usually quick, decisions in order to carry out the kinds of thoughtful teaching that, despite restrictive policies at all levels we have come to expect in the 21st Century. Broemmel and Lucas (2011) on their work stated their findings that the selection and use of curricular materials is inextricably linked to the way that instruction plays out in classrooms. They also stated that the majority of the lessons in school are textbookdriven and finding the right program or textbook continues to be a dominant focus of many policy makers, administrators, and teachers. Moreover Broemmel and Lucas in relation to teacher development, found out that anxiety about a certain subject in general does not have a significant impact on student achievement, but anxiety about teaching the subject has a significant negative correlation with student success. It means that teachers has the mastery of the subject that they are teaching but they have the shortcomings on how to teach it the easier way.

Rubin and Kazanjian (2011) in the work of Broemmel and Lucas (2011) articulated on negative impact of standardization on teachers, students, and the purposes of education. They believed that each teaching-learning activity should follow a diverse and different patterns for no learners have the same experiences and pace of understanding. The article journal presented here focused on the American educational system but I noticed some of the similarities when it comes to our own educational system. It has been said that our Educational system was patterned from the Americans. Some of the legacies laid to us by Americans are the democratic way of teaching as well as the free education for all. Let me enumerate some of the findings that I have observed: In relation to content, there are some misalignment between the implemented curriculum and the instructional materials used. Oftentimes, the goals set by curriculum makers do not reflect on the textbook that we are using in schools today. The change in the curriculum is faster than the five-year period for textbook writers to revise its contents. This could also be possible due to lack of budgeting to support the current curriculum. In the Philippine setting, the Department of Education is the principal government agency responsible for education and manpower development. The mission of the Department is to provide quality basic education that is equitably accessible to all and lays the foundation for lifelong learning and service for common good. Curricular development is under the jurisdiction of the DepEd. Authority slowly shifted to the local levels as the system turned to decentralize decision-making and empowered local schools. When it comes to teacher development, DepEd has initiated programs funded by the national government and local government units. These initiatives aim to enhance
teacher competencies and set realistic targets of increasing the achievement level of learners.

Moreover,

to

support

DepEd’s

advocacy on

strengthening educational

foundation, Congressional Commission to Review and Assess Philippine Education (EDCOM) conducted a survey to assess the educational system, they arrived on the findings that the quality of Philippine Education was continuously declining because we

are not investing enough in the educational system and education establishment is poorly managed. In relation to this, education can be described as lacking of budget; poorly managed; private and public institutions mostly are operating with sub-standard facilities; and ill-prepared teachers; and administrators; and prohibitive cost of education and other school fees of quality schools. The EDCOM further identified that the teachers are the source of the problem. Hence, the EDCOM strongly recommended to: professionalize teachers and teaching, create well-defined career service paths for promotion and career planning , strengthen present teacher education, improve and expand in service training programs , improve the teachers’ welfare and benefits, encourage teacher organizations. Nowadays, DepEd has revised their teacher hiring and deployment guidelines, shifting from credentialism to competency-based. Additional amendments to Magna Carta have been drafted to improved teachers; welfare and benefits. NCBTS is a set of new and expanded competencies departed from the traditional teacher-centered learning style to a learner-centered mode of teaching. This will be implemented by adopted an appropriate curriculum design, content teaching methodology and assessment system for pre-service and in-service training. Going back to the journal written by Broemmel and Lucas (2011), I safely surmised that the educational system of United States has similarities and differences on our own educational system. Their findings on curriculum content and pedagogy must correlate with the selection and use of curricular materials and must be linked to the way that instruction was implemented in classrooms. This finding backed up with the objectives of our late Secondary Education Development Project (SDEP) and New Secondary Education Curriculum (NSEC) reform programs. I also agree with Broemmel and Lucas’ findings on teacher development. Some of the teachers nowadays, especially those neophytes, has known, learned and master their subjects since they have the specialization on it but find a difficulty on how to present it on class. Personally, I experienced such; teaching seemed difficult for I didn’t know which approach is best for a certain lesson or activity. With all of their anxieties,

what seemed to matter more was the quality of mentoring they received once they got on the job. Staff development and technical assistance such as Learning Enhancement and Activity Program (LEAP) were given to teachers. When it comes to Standardization of teachers and pupils, I strictly opposed to Broemmel and Lucas’ findings that standardization has a negative impact on students, teachers and purposes of education. As I mentioned earlier, in the Philippines, we have our National Competency-Based Teacher Standard (NCBTS) which provides a single framework that define effective teaching in all aspects of a teacher’s professional life and in all phases of teacher development. NCBTS has a positive effect on Filipino teachers. In relation to the above mentioned citations, I came to realized that out of the several recommendations given by various educational sectors, only a few had been realized by the government. This is not to blame the government but to understand that the Philippine educational system is not as easy as what others’ might think. It requires a lot of complexities and changes from time to time. The necessities to today’s learners varied from yesteryears learners. New methods and approaches are introduced each academic year. Our educational system has transformed from the informal pre-Spanish time up to the present K to 12 Curriculum. Several adaptations and revisions of curriculum has been made. From 1987 Constitution, Education Act of 1982, various Republic Acts on the creation of educational agencies and policies (such as CHED, TESDA, ALS, TEC, LET, PCER), curriculum (such as BEC, SEC, RSEC, RBEC, NSEC) programs (such as Understanding by Design and K to 12).
Dr. Conrado Abraham, in his lessons in Physical Resource Management once said that the challenges of working in today’s system are intellectual capital, globalization, technology, diversity and ethics careers. The critical survival skills in the new workplace are mastery, contacts, entrepreneurship, technology, marketing and passion for renewal. These could help us teachers and leaders to cope with the ever-changing educational system in the Philippine set-up.

REFERENCES
Broemmel, Amy D. and Lucas, Karen K. (2011, November). Navigating the EverChanging Educational System. Journal of Curriculum and Instruction (JoCI). Vol. 5, No. 2, Pp. 1-4 ISSN: 1937-3929. Retrieved August 8, 2012: http://www.joci.ecu.edu doi:10.3776/joci.2011.v5n2p1-4 Philippines - Educational System—an Overview - Percent, Schools, Private, and Studentss/stateUniversity.com http://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/ 1199/Philippines-EDUCATIONAL-SYSTEM-ANOVERVIEW.html#ixzz237iVWQxl World Data on Education 7th Edition 2011-2012 Compiled by UNESCO-IBE (http://www.ibe.unesco.org/) __________ 1991. EDCOM Report. Making Education Work. Volume 2, December, 1991.