Makabayan in the Philippine Basic Education Curriculum: Problems and Prospect for Reforming Student Learning in the Philippines

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The Philippines' Department of Education undertook a curriculum reform for basic education with the goal of improving student learning to meet the more complex demands of Philippine society amidst globalization. The 2002 Basic Education Curriculum has three key reform themes: (a) the articulation of more complex and higher-level learning goals, (b) the streamlining and integration of learning areas in the curriculum, and (c) the use of creative and innovative teaching approaches to improve student learning. These themes are discussed in the case of Makabayan — a new learning area that integrates several subjects with the goal of helping each Filipino student to develop a healthy personal and national identity. The problems in realizing the curriculum aims are discussed, focusing on the difficulties in fully articulating the ideal curricular elements, constraints in the implementation, and the weak conceptualization of the learning reform in the context of Philippine education.