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Curriculum planning and development is one of the most imaginative and dynamic

activities undertaken by educationalists. The production of a curriculum is a major undertaking

and cannot be seen as an individual task, but rather as an on-going process. However, unless there

is an initial, well-planned document that can be communicated to all those involved with the

learning experience, future program needs cannot be adapted in response to continuous evaluation

of the curriculum developments.

Traditionally, a curriculum was defined as an articulation of a framework of beliefs and

knowledge that enables us to explain educational ideas. Currently, there is a much wider

perspective and it is now seen to embrace all planned learning experiences.

According to Doll, the curriculum of an institution is the formal and informal content and

process by which learners gain knowledge and understanding, develop skills and alter attitudes,

appreciations and values under the auspices of that institution.

In another definition, curriculum is defined as a plan for providing sets of learning

opportunities to achieve broad goals and related specific objectives for an identifiable population

served by a single unit or institution.

Thus, a curriculum is characterized by the following features:

(1) It is intended or anticipatory in nature.


(2) It includes plans and sub-plans for the teaching-learning processes.
(3) It includes guided, pre-selected learning experiences to which students
need to be exposed.
(4) It focuses on aims and objectives as well as the outcomes of being
educated.
(5) It incorporates a system of achieving educational production including
curriculum design and planning, implementation and evaluation.
(6) It is always meant for an identifiable population served by a single
institution.
Every educational institution has a planned, formal, acknowledged curriculum as well as a

wide variety of informal, unplanned or covert factors known as hidden curriculum. The planned
curriculum encompasses content usually characterized by knowledge within subjects and subject

fields.

On the other hand, the unplanned curriculum includes such varied experiences such as

learning to like mathematics, resisting pressure to smoke, developing a prejudice against a

particular community or teasing classmates, learning to copy/cheat in examination etc.

The process of curriculum framing and preparation of textbooks be decentralized so as to

increase teachers’ involvement in these tasks. Decentralization should mean greater autonomy

within the state/district. As curriculum is the best mean of overall development of students. And

teacher is mediator between curriculum and students. She/he knows various needs of students,

educational institutions, industries, parents (stakeholders).

Curricular planning and development, the process of looking at the standards in each

subject area and developing a strategy to break down these standards so they can be taught to

students, varies according to grade level, subjects taught and available supplies.

In many districts, schools supply a complete curriculum in core subject areas, filled with

teacher resources and student workbooks. Regardless of subject area or grade level taught, there

are a few important factors for teachers to consider as they plan their curriculum, including

standards and the breakdown of course material.

When planning and developing curriculum in any subject area, the first place to start is

state, Common Core standards. Standards vary from school to school, and teachers are expected

to know which standards to teach and how to teach them. Every lesson and unit should be tied to

standards, and every grade level standard should be addressed at some point during the course of

the school year. Standards should be presented sequentially, so students can build on previously

learned skills.
Each subject area has specifically defined standards, but many times multiple standards are

addressed within one project. For example, if a sixth-grade student writes a research report on

Andres Bonifacio, that student could be addressing reading, writing, research and history

standards, all within the same assignment. Such opportunities are beneficial for students because

they demonstrate the overlap in various subject areas and give students the chance to synthesize

their learning. The example below shows how a history research report could hit six or more

standards at the same time.

The Philippine Qualifications Framework describes the levels of educational qualifications

and sets the standards for qualification outcomes. It is a quality assured national system for the

development, recognition and award of qualifications based on standards of knowledge, skills and

values acquired in different ways and methods by learners and workers of the country.

The ongoing implementation of major education and training reforms render the

description of the Philippine education and training system as “being in transition” apropos. It is

reflective of the state of the Philippine Qualifications Framework in a period of transition which

is targeted to end in 2022 when the major reforms and related changes would have been fully

implemented and iteratively revised.

With respect to the K to 12 reform, it is important to note that the law was passed only in

2013 but attendant curricular changes in basic education, in anticipation of its promulgation, began

in 2010—with inputs from TVET and higher education experts. The changes were completed

before the roll out of Senior high school in 2016. Note that the first cohort of Senior high school

who completed their basic under the revised curriculum graduated in 2018.

The shift to learning outcomes-based education—which occurred much earlier in the

TVET sector--proceeded alongside the curricular revisions in basic and higher education. While
the policies are already in place, their implementation at the level of teaching/learning and

assessment on the ground is still uneven. As in the other ASEAN Member States (AMS), the

requisite change in mindset and practice, especially in higher education, remains a major

challenge. Nevertheless, significant headway has been achieved in opening the minds of

teachers/professors in Philippine HEIs to the paradigm shift through the continuing advocacy of

the country’s education and professional regulation agencies, reinforced by international Quality

Assurance networks (e.g. the ASEAN Quality Assurance Network) and accreditation/assessment

agencies(e.g. the ASEAN University Network) as well as the support of international agencies in

conducting workshops or projects that enhance learning outcomes-based education (e.g. Support

to Higher Education in the ASEAN Region [SHARE] and the Tuning Asia-South Asia Project to

build a framework of comparable and compatible qualifications).

As to lifelong learning and the recognition of informal and non-formal learning, the

Philippines continues to face the same challenge confronted by other AMS—i.e., that of bridging

the gap between the policy articulation of LLL and the corresponding shift to learning outcomes

on the one hand, and a deeper understanding and imbibing of the raison d’etre and LLL spirit, on

the other. While implementation challenges are being met, it is notable that the policy shift to LLL

has impelled the education and training agencies to expand existing programs that offer pathways

and equivalencies to formal education.

This basic education structure is a result of the K to 12 reform which requires Kindergarten

and Senior High School. Pre-school education became compulsory in the Philippines only in 2012

with the legislation of the Kindergarten Education Act (Republic Act 10157) although many

private elementary schools have prescribed—since the 1950s—one or two years of

Kindergarten/Preparatory school for their learners who usually hailed from middle and upper-class
families. These private schools include those based on Maria Montessori’s philosophy and the

Waldorf School.

Prior to 2012, the Department of Education had pursued initiatives that eventually

facilitated the institution of the Kindergarten Program. But two important breakthroughs led to the

universalization of Kindergarten: the passing in 2000 of the Early Childhood Care and

Development Act (Republic Act No. 8980) and the Barangay (village) Level Total Protection of

Children Act” (Republic Act No. 6972). The former law sustained an inter-agency and multi-

sectoral collaboration to guarantee delivery of holistic services to children aged 0-6 years old while

the latter required all local government units to establish a day-care center in every village

(UNESCO, 2016). These laws paved the way for the formally instituted integration of

Kindergarten into the Department of Education’s Basic Education Program.

The Enhanced Basic Education or K to 12 Program is inclusive, promoting the right of

every Filipino—regardless of age, sex, gender, ethnicity, cultures, and religion--to quality,

equitable, culture based and complete basic education. Adhering to a lifelong learning framework,

it provides opportunities for all learners to access quality basic education. For instance, learners in

difficult circumstances who are prevented from physically attending classes are offered flexible

learning options (FLO) to complete their studies while equitable and responsive educational

interventions are crafted to give learners with special education needs the opportunities to actualize

their potential.

Apart from the K to 12 reform, Philippine basic education has made the paradigm shift to

lifelong learning and a learning outcomes-based approach at the level of policy and professional

teacher standards and is currently refining its implementation in the classroom.