1/1/11 Wish For K+12

By
Abraham I. Felipe

Jan. 1, 2011


A, Felipe

I was among the many relieved by Isagani Cruz’s explanation that the K+12 idea was not the defining educational reform of the present administration. I am uncertain who is to blame for creating that impression, whether it was a poorly informed media or overzealous K+12 advocates, or both. In my case, I know the impression was firmly implanted when I was first invited and then subsequently disqualified to participate in a FUSE-sponsored curriculum seminar-workshop because of my stand against K+12.

Now that Isagani Cruz has clarified the nature of K+12 vis-a-vis the total reform package, DepEd stands to get more support. He said that K+12 is only one of ten (10) programs in the package which include programs for the kindergarten, the madaris, a high school level voc-tech, accelerated reading, mathematics and science, assistance to private schools, the mother-tongue approach to instruction, quality textbook production, and a role for local government in the public school system. The varied advocates of the other nine programs may now come forward and be counted. For example, I supported an experimental integration of madaris in the 70’s as head of FAPE; it did not prosper; I am interested in the madaris component of the package, hoping it would prosper this time. There will be issues of resources for each program, because the DepEd budget was not proposed to implement the total reform but to implement K+12.

I have one final suggestion. In place of “outcomes” as in “outcomes-based approaches” try the term “future” instead. “Outcomes” suggest “antecedents” which may not be that important when planning. “Future” is what is used instead in planning which is what you do when designing a curriculum. Futures may be of several types. In terms of avoidability, they may be inevitable or not inevitable; in terms of desirability, desirable or undesirable. The paradigm below illustrates these types.


Desirability

Inevitability

Inevitable

Not Inevitable

Desirable

Undesirable


The most adaptive response to a future that is inevitable and desirable (e.g., growth in technology, in contact among peoples, in modalities of communications) is to avail of these maximally.

The most adaptive response to a future that is both inevitable and undesirable (e.g., climate change, unabated population growth) is to prepare to mitigate its negative effects.

The most adaptive response to a future that is not inevitable and desirable (e.g., development in such sectors as investments and finance, employment, food production, energy, security, transport, etc.) is to prepare the needed policies and technical manpower to support them.

The most adaptive response to a future that is not inevitable but undesirable (e.g., peace process problems) is to remove their antecedents.
These adaptive modes may be the subject of curriculum designs.

In closing, let me assure all that I never intended to assail the various programs in the total educational reform. In the K+12, I did not assail the K part. I even supported it, perhaps at least as much as the K+12 advocates had done. The “12” I split into a “10” and a “2”, and only said of the “10” that it needs to be cleared of junk. It is only the “2” that I questioned. Is it necessary? Is it wise? Is it timely? Is it just?

I wish DepEd well on its reform package except for the “12” which I hope will not prosper.

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