Vertical and Lateral Articulation of Curricula from Basic to Higher Education: A Pioneering Effort for Global Competitiveness

Manila Bulletin, September 26, 2004 | Go to article overview

Vertical and Lateral Articulation of Curricula from Basic to Higher Education: A Pioneering Effort for Global Competitiveness


ALL educational institution in contemporary times target global competitiveness for their graduates. In a rapidly globalizing world, the competitive edge is whether educational institutions turn out manpower who are able to participate, contribute, and achieve in whatever circumstances wherever in the world in their respective fields of endeavor.

One underlying assumption of this pioneering effort is that a focus on global competitiveness in an educational institution must start from Basic Education. This assumption is based on empirical evidence which clearly shows that a drive for global competitiveness which starts at the tertiary level, which is the level where there is much talk about turning out globally competitive graduates, is often a tedious long drawn out process of instant transformation which hardly sinks into the consciousness of students rushing through a course to earn a degree as a passport to economic gains.

Another underlying assumption is that to be globally competitive, the students must be able to develop a personalized lateral correlation of knowledge and experiences provided by educational institutions such that the learner becomes the master of his own personal growth and transformation. Otherwise, there is also empirical evidence which shows that educational institutions with world-class facilities, teachers, and curricula do not necessarily produce globally competitive manpower.

This vertical and lateral articulation from Basic to Higher level of education is also based on the premise that the idea of being globally competitive must start in the formative stage of development as it is an essence which has to be rooted in the evolving personality of the learners as they move into the different progressive levels of their educational journey.

Otherwise, a sudden encounter with the notion of global competitiveness at the tertiary level becomes at best an imposed quality which may or may not be alien to the learners perspectives and aspirations. For the true essence of global competitiveness is imperatively a life-long pre-occupation which should grow from strength to strength.

The vertical and lateral correlation from Basic to Higher Education in this particular pioneering effort is developed in the areas of curriculum, values and spirituality and personality development.

A vertical articulation of knowledge content derived from curricula can no longer be assumed as has generally been the case in the history of formal education. The progressive identification of knowledge reflected in the curricula must be visibly and intellectually clear both from a conceptual as well as on an objective level.

For example, in English, the learner can not be held hostage to verb conjugation (sometimes even the same verbs) from Basic to Tertiary level years. Through the years at these different levels, the student must be immersed in global idioms, English accents as spoken in various parts of the world, the emerging language of economics, technology and politics in actual global transactions. English must move into a motivation to learn languages of other parts of the world.

Mathematics as a learning area has done better with the evolution of what is popularly known as Modern Mathematics, which is both numerical and conceptual. As a subject area, the outcome of the vertical and lateral articulation of mathematical knowledge is evident in the learners ability to deal with complexities through a series of simplified logic of cause and effect where thought consequences are evident.

Natural, biological, and behavioral sciences may have some way to go as far as vertical and lateral articulation are concerned. In the behavioral sciences one may discover that the subject content on the truism that personality is both a result of nature and nurture has remained static from High School to higher studies, short of inputs from a world of conventional and non-conventional researches in different parts of the world. …

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Vertical and Lateral Articulation of Curricula from Basic to Higher Education: A Pioneering Effort for Global Competitiveness
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