Science Curriculum Study

Progress of Students through the Science Curriculum: Phase 1-A Focus on Chemistry

This research examines the implementation of the spiral curriculum structure introduced in the Philippines as part of the K-12 curriculum reform.  The curriculum emphasizes the understanding and application of scientific knowledge, learning scientific inquiry skills, and developing and demonstrating scientific attitudes and beliefs.  The spiral curriculum was initiated with Grade 7 implementation in school year 2011/12. By the end of the 2015/16 school year, this cohort of students will be the first to have completed the full 7 – 10 new curriculum.

Due to the recent nature of the reform, how its characteristics and design have influenced outcomes is yet unknown. Relevant questions include:

  • How is the curriculum implemented by teachers?
  • Does the teacher’s specialisation influence student outcomes?
  • How do other factors such as teacher training, experience, student access to materials, and school size influence student outcomes?
  • How do the students skills progress as they complete the curriculum?
  • Is spiraling handled differently across year levels?

This research is designed to investigate the progress of students’ skills for each unit of Chemistry over the four years of the junior secondary curriculum. Identification of progress will be achieved by assessing students as they progress from Grade 7 to Grade 10.  Data representing factors presumed to influence student learning outcomes includes teacher information, lesson plans, and classroom observations of selected classes. ACTRC is working closely with the Philippines Department of Education on this study which will inform the implementation of the spiral curriculum and teaching of science in the Philippines.

Project Team

Dr Marlene Ferido, Lead, University of the Philippines

Joesal Marabe, University of the Philippines

Lalaine Bagui, University of the Philippines

Pam Robertson, University of Melbourne

Dr Esther Care, University of Melbourne

Dennis Danipog, University of Melbourne

Rachel Ramirez, University of the Philippines

Masa Pavlovic, University of Melbourne

Dr Susan-Marie Harding, University of Melbourne

Resources

Ferido, M., Robertson, P., Care, E., Pavlovic, M., & Harding, S. (2015). Progress of students through the science curriculum: focus on chemistry. Stage 1 Pre-Grade 7 Report. Assessment Curriculum and Technology Research Centre. Melbourne and Manila.

Ferido, M., Robertson, P., Pavlovic, M., & Care, E. (2016). Progress of students through the science curriculum: focus on chemistry. Stage 2 Pre-Grade 8 report. Assessment Curriculum and Technology Research Centre. Melbourne and Manila.