The three themes of ACTRC are assessment, curriculum and technology. Research activities must fall within one or more of these strands, and are stimulated by state-of-the art thinking in each, combined with identified needs and priorities of the Philippines education system. Statements on ACTRC directions across these themes are contained in the Executive Summaries of three Position Papers presented at the Centre Opening in May 2013. These Papers identify the conceptual platform for the projects undertaken by the Centre. The Centre is currently conducting the following projects:
- Formative Assessment Phase 3
- Independent Disbursement-Linked Indicator Verification Agent for the Learning, Equity and Accountability Program Support (LEAPS) Project
- International Large Scale Assessment Support
- Science Curriculum Study
- Science and Maths Curriculum Study
- Understanding Best Practices in MTB-MLE in the Philippines
- 21st Century Skills in the Philippines
ACTRC has completed a number of studies, including:
- Alignment of Intended, Implemented and Assessed Science Curriculum Focusing on Inquiry Skills
- Assessment and Reporting Practices that Support Inclusive Education For Students with Additional Learning Needs
- Assessment of Transversal Competencies in the Asia-Pacific – Philippines
- Development of Assessment Tools for Elementary Students in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao
- Formative Assessment Phase 1
- Formative Assessment Phase 2
- Longitudinal Study of Learning Achievement of Students in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (LearnARMM)
- Review of Large-Scale Assessments Relevant in the Philippines
- Review of Mother Tongue Based-Multilingual Education for the World Bank, Equity and Accountability Program Support Project
- Tool for Career Guidance in the Philippines
The Assessment Position Paper describes the primary function of educational assessment – to drive change at individual, teacher, school and system level. Rather than designating particular types of assessment as summative or formative, the emphasis is on the degree to which information derived from assessment procedures informs teaching and learning, and reflects the priorities and values of the education system. Specific issues concerning relevant timing for national assessments, the style of these assessments, and the function of these assessments, are discussed.
The Curriculum Position Paper reviews the nature of the intended curriculum in the Philippines in the K-12 curriculum framework, and discusses issues that impinge on its implementation. The effectiveness of educational reform depends on the extent to which the intended, implemented and achieved curriculum are aligned with each other and meet the needs of Filipino society and Filipino learners. The intended curriculum needs to identify standards that will work effectively in different parts of the country and in different social contexts. The nature of the curriculum framework, and the way it is understood by those who work with it, especially teachers, is central to the extent to which it achieves its goals. Through exploration of these issues areas of research and criteria for the prioritisation of research on curriculum are identified.
The Technology Position Paper describes major perspectives on the various roles to be played by Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the education system, and more specifically in the classroom. These perspectives include use of ICT as an efficiency tool, as a tool for information dissemination, or as a tool which changes ways of learning and teaching. These perspectives are discussed in the context of the Philippines educational goals. Beyond educational-philosophical arguments for integration of ICT literacy in educational delivery, factors which may direct particular approaches to be adopted in the classroom are discussed. These include teacher capacity, and technical infrastructure. Given the relatively large school-aged population and the paucity of hard copy text resources, an argument is mounted for serious consideration of the re-direction of such resources to the electronic world.