Instruction in Teacher Education Programs

Article excerpt

Byline: Evelina M. Vicencio, Ph.D Executive Director, G.U.R.O. Miriam College Teacher Institute

THE new Undergraduate Teacher Education Curriculum, which was first offered in 2005 to incoming freshmen, will be fully implemented in school year 20082009, and this means that students enrolled in the Bachelor of Elementary Education (BEEd) and the Bachelor of Secondary Education (BSEd) at all year levels will be taking courses under the new curriculum. There are still some issues in the new curriculum that CHED is currently addressing. It is a curriculum in progress, and it poses challenges and possibilities that teachers and educators can explore, especially in the delivery of instruction. After all, what curriculum is without imperfection?

What to deliver. There are four basic elements of curriculum design: Goals and objectives, content or subject matter, learning experiences or methodology, and evaluation. Whichever element the curriculum developers consider the most important influences the design of the curriculum. The competency-based curriculum approach is the preferred design by curriculum developers who believe that objectives and evaluation are the most important elements of the curriculum; those who think content is the most important use the subject-centered curriculum design; those who believe learning activities are most important use the experience-centered design, problem-centered design, project-centered design, or activity curriculum. There are many other curriculum designs; these are just some of the most common approaches in designing curriculum. It should be remembered that different approaches have different applications.

Competency-based curriculum approach (CBCA). The new teacher education curriculum uses the competency-based approach. It is a performance-based design anchored on the learner's ability to demonstrate attainment or mastery of skills performed under certain conditions to specific standards (the skills then become competencies), which is why objectives and evaluation are the foci. It is characterized by hands on/active learning and since it is outcome and assessment-oriented, it uses multiple assessment tools

CBCA is advantageous to the learners because they achieve competencies and develop confidence. Time is devoted to learners individually and in small groups, and to evaluating the learners' ability to perform work-related skills.

The competency-based curriculum approach likewise has limitations. It is only as effective as the process used to identify the competencies. Unless CBCA materials and strategies are designed, the course will not truly be CBCA.

Curriculum development following CBCA follows these steps, herein simplified by the author: ANALYZE roles of a model or outstanding teacher, the functions and responsibilities for each role, and the competencies needed for each responsibility in terms of knowledge, attitude, and skills (these are stated as objectives). DEVELOP assessment tools; scope and sequence; learning experiences; and support materials, for example, books and handouts.

CBCA focuses on the mastery of competencies or skills. CHED CMO No. 30 on The Revised Policies and Standards for Undergraduate Teacher Education Curriculum identifies competency standards for teachers as well as the varied skills that they should master: life skills, teaching process skills, and research skills.

The Life Skills refer to effective communication skills, critical thinking, creative thinking, problemsolving and decision-making. It should be remembered that the development of critical and creative thinking is explicitly stated in the Philippine Constitution. The Teaching Process Skills are curriculum development, lesson planning, materials development, educational assessment, and teaching approaches. Research skills should result in the development of new theories, models, programs, and practices. All courses in the teacher education curriculum should have a research requirement, which may take the form of a term paper, case study, action research, or other forms of research/scholarship as may be appropriate. …