In recent years, the challenges of daily life and work have undergone a transformation brought about by rapid advances in technology and globalization. Many employers and educators have noted that a new set of skills is required to succeed in this world of new challenges. Solutions that rely on fixed knowledge and linear thinking are being replaced by new solutions that require greater collaboration, flexibility and innovation in order to assimilate a range of changing perspectives and new technologies.
The Department of Education (DepEd), Philippines, has integrated this approach into its K to12 education reform agenda. DepEd’s Bureau of Educational Assessment has worked with a team from ACTRC to define the skills, and identify opportunities for their assessment through the curriculum. Test items have been developed for incorporation into the national achievement tests, in order for these to be aligned with the learning goals of K to 12.
In 2018, ACTRC with DepEd has also started to explore the alignment of online assessments of some of these skills with how they are demonstrated by students working collaboratively in classrooms. Year 8 students in four schools in Marikina have been participating in the research. The goal is not only to explore the usefulness of the online and classroom-based assessment approaches, but also to identify student behaviours that can signal to teachers the level of students’ social and cognitive skills. For teachers to support student development of skills, they need resources that describe students’ proficiencies against learning progressions of the skills. This pilot study is a start in that direction.
The Philippines\’ approach to assessment of 21st century skills, ACTRC Research Forum Presentation, 18 July 2015