Social Studies in Basic Education

Article excerpt

One of Karunungan 2's objectives is to demonstrate how social studies could become the entry point for social and human sciences in the basic curriculum, as well as to provide a unifying framework that would integrate the competencies needed in this area. According to Felice Sta. Maria, Drs. Florentino Hornedo and Virginia Miralao who prepared the paper on Learning Content and Processes in Social Studies, there are l0 priority concepts in each of these disciplines - anthropology, culture studies, economics, geography, history, interdisciplinary studies, law, political science, sociology, and the UN/UNESCO conventions, that are needed in preparing learning materials for social studies. As we can see, there are even additional concepts beyond Hekasi and Makabayan as there are 80 of them that revolve around five themes - land forms and natural resources, individual groups, human equality and social justice, and the inseparability of nature and culture.

Given the excitement generated among some 400 participants - primarily teachers of social studies and philosophy from various public and private schools in the country, the organizers were quite perplexed when they learned that Makabayan might be phased out from the curriculum. But DepEd Undersecretary Vilma Labrador assured Felice and Conference Coordinator Dr. Rai Ibana that it is not true. It would be like taking out the kaluluwa (soul) from the katawan (body) of education, she said. What is actually happening is that the social studies curriculum is being reviewed to make it more relevant to current realities. And perhaps the challenge is to be able to demonstrate how the UNESCO framework based on sustainable development can contribute to the DepEd current initiative. Karunugan 2 showed the need to balance the requirements of a comprehensive content, new methodologies and mindsets which are rooted within the local, regional and global realities today. …