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An Analysis of The Rationale and The Curriculum of The Philippine Kindergarten Education

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Abstract

In this analysis, we criticized the Rationale and the Curriculum of the Philippine Kindergarten Education (PKE, hereafter) on the basis of self-consistency and consistency with recent related literature, respectively. Our analysis revealed that the Rationale, as well as the Timing and Duration, of the PKE, contradicts with the book cited therein.

Moreover, we also showed that the Philippine Kindergarten Curriculum (PKC, hereafter) prioritizes Language Competency over Mathematical Competency. However, the long-term advantages or disadvantages of the former are still controversial according to recent related literature while those of the latter are conclusively in favor of its long-term advantages. Hence, on the basis of recent related literature, the PKC is most likely inefficient. Therefore, we recommend that concerned persons, e.g. lawmakers and educators, re-examine both the Rationale and the Curriculum of the PKE in order for them to be self-consistent, consistent with each other, and consistent with recent related literature.

Introduction

Background of the Analysis

On January 20, 2012, the Philippine government, in accordance with the Millennium Development Goals, as well as the Education for All campaign, for 2015, implemented the Kindergarten Education Act of 2012, providing free but mandatory early childhood education to all five-year-old children. Despite its good intentions of complying with international standards, the said act and the curriculum therein seem to be internally inconsistent and rest on controversial scientific bases.

Purpose of the Analysis

We examine the justification for implementing a mandatory, nationwide kindergarten education in the Philippines to expose its hidden contradictions with itself and with the Duration and Timing of the Philippine Kindergarten Education (PKE, hereafter). Moreover, we analyze the distribution of Learning Competencies across academic subjects in the highly academized Philippine Kindergarten Curriculum (PKC, hereafter) to reveal its inefficiency. We expect that such criticisms shall motivate and provide directions for the succeeding revisions of the PKE.

Limitations of the Analysis

Our analysis is primarily focused on theoretical criticisms of the Kindergarten Education of 2012. In particular, we did not scrutinize the sufficiency of requisite resources of the Philippines to justify the assumptions of the PKE and PKC. Moreover, we did not discuss the practical implications of the contradictions and inefficiencies pointed out herein. Finally, we did not present specific recommendations to address the contradictions and inefficiencies pointed out herein. Moreover, our criticisms are not exhaustive, and we recommended an additional possible angle of criticism.

Assumptions of the Analysis

In analyzing the PKC, we assume that the relative emphasis given to a particular subject, or group of subjects, is directly proportional to the number of learning competencies allocated thereto relative to others. We report relative emphasis in terms of percentages. Moreover, we assume that any reference cited in the Rationale is ought to be consistent with the Rationale itself and with the PKC. Finally, we also assume that it is deemed more efficient to implement universal policies based on more established scientific results rather than those based on controversial ones.

Thesis Statement

The Rationale of the Omnibus Policy on Kindergarten Education of 2016, as well as the Duration and Timing of the PKE, contradicts with the book cited therein while the distribution of Learning Competencies across academic subjects in the highly academized PKC is most likely inefficient on the basis of recent related literature.

Analysis of the Rationale

Long-Term Positive Effects of the Philippine Kindergarten Education In the 2nd Rationale of DO No. 47, s. 2016, it was stated that “… early childhood education is the key to success in later school and in life. According to Reynolds, long-term effects include a reduction in remediation and assignment to special education, an increase in high school graduation rates, higher rates of employment, and lower instances of crime.” Although Reynolds did acknowledge that early childhood interventions by small-scale model programs positively affect childhood development in the long run, he admitted that it is not yet known in his time whether or not large-scale programs, e.g. the PKE, promises the same benefits. Moreover, the above said benefits were long-term effects of the former and not of the latter. Hence, it seems that DepEd either misinterpreted his statements or took it out of context. Therefore, the conclusiveness in the Rationale and the inconclusiveness in the statements of Reynolds form a contradiction.

Timing and Duration of the Philippine Kindergarten Education

The PKE lasts for one year and starts at age five. However, Reynolds explicitly admitted that one to two years of large-scale pre-school intervention is insufficient to produce positive long-term effects on children. Moreover, he noted that even three years of small-scale model pre-school intervention is also insufficient to produce positive long-term effects on children. Furthermore, he stated that the most cited early intervention programs in his review were model intervention programs which start from birth right up to age eight. Therefore, the timing and duration of the PKE and the statements of Reynolds form a contradiction.

Analysis of the Curriculum

Highly Academized Philippine Kindergarten Curriculum The PKC is highly academized with a relative emphasis of 61.05% in the Standards and Competencies for Five-Year-Old Filipino Children, hereafter, and 69.58% in Learning Competency Breakdown and 79.75% in Quarterly Progress Checklist in DO No. 47, s. 2016 for academic subjects. However, recent studies disagree as to whether a highly academized pre-school curriculum is advantageous or disadvantageous. Nevertheless, play-based instruction may negate the potential negative effects of a highly academized preschool curriculum. Fortunately, the PKE utilizes such a play-based approach. Therefore, the play-based PKE justifies the high academization of the PKC.

Strong Emphasis on Language Competency

The PKC also has a strong emphasis on Language Competency with a relative emphasis of 34.39% in DepEd, 33.75% in Learning Competency Breakdown, and 40.51% in Quarterly Progress Checklist in DO No. 47, s. 2016, respectively. Moreover, Reading is the most emphasized sub-competency with a relative emphasis of 10.88% and 13.92% in the Learning Competencies breakdown and the Quarterly Progress Report, respectively, in DepEd.

However, research suggests that teaching kindergartens how to read does not conclusively benefit them in the long run. On one hand, studies conclude that teaching kindergartens how to read positively affects them in the long run. On the other hand, studies conclude that teaching kindergartens how to read shows no significant positive long-term effects. A hint of evidence even shows that teaching kindergartens how to read may negatively affect them in the long run.

Meanwhile, it is conclusive that emphasizing Mathematical Competency the most in kindergarten positively affects students in the long run. However, Mathematical Competency in the PKC is significantly less emphasized than Language Competency. The relative emphasis of the Mathematical Competency is nearly half that of the Language Competency in DepEd while nearly two-thirds in DO No. 47, s. 2016. Hence, the PKC fails to emphasize enough the more conclusively beneficial academic competency while emphasizing the most controversial one. However, it is still important to make a reservation for the likelihood that future findings report in favor of the PKC. Therefore, the distribution of Learning Competencies across academic subjects in the highly academized PKC is most likely inefficient.

Conclusion

In conclusion, both the Rationale and the Timing and Duration of the PKE contradict with the book cited in the Rationale itself. Moreover, despite being justified by the play-based PKE, the PKC is most likely inefficient, for failing to emphasize Mathematical Competency the most while allotting a considerable number of learning competencies to the most controversial one, i.e. the Reading Sub-Competency.

Recommendations

On the basis of the arguments above, there is a strong need for concerned persons, e.g. lawmakers and educators, to re-examine both the Rationale and the Curriculum of the PKE in order for them to be self-consistent, consistent with each other, and consistent with recent related literature. Moreover, we encourage critics to explore a possible contradiction between Reynolds’s definition of early childhood intervention and the universal nature of the PKE. Finally, we recommend that critics consider the practical implications of the contradictions and inefficiencies pointed out herein.

Working Bibliography

Scholarly References

  1. Bassok, D., Latham, S., & Rorem, A. (2016). Is Kindergarten the New First Grade? AERA Open, 4(1), 1-31. https://doi.org/10.1177/2332858415616358.
  2. Carlsson-Paige, N., McLaughlin, G. B., & Almon, J. (2015). Reading instruction in kindergarten: Little to gain and much to lose. Jamaica Plain, MA: Defending the Early Years/Alliance for Children.
  3. Claessens, A., & Engel, M. (2013). How important is where you start? Early mathematics knowledge and later school success. Teachers College Record, 115, 1-29.
  4. Clements, D. H., & Sarama, J. (2011). Early childhood mathematics intervention. Science, 333(6045), 968-970. https://doi.org/10.1177/2332858415616358 https://doi.org/10.1177/2332858415616358
  5. Copple, C., & Bredekamp, S. (2009). Developmentally appropriate practice in early childhood programs serving children from birth through age 8. National Association for the Education of Young Children. 1313 L Street NW Suite 500, Washington, DC 22205-4101.
  6. Ehri, C. (2012). Why is it important for children to begin learning to read in kindergarten? Edited by Sebastian Suggate and Elaine Reese. Contemporary debates in child development and education. Abingdon, UK: Routledge, Taylor & Francis. pp. 171-180.
  7. Lillard, A. and Else-Quest, N. (2006). Evaluating Montessori education. Science, 313, 1893–1894
  8. Lonigan, C. & Phillips, B. (2012). Understanding the contributions of early academic skills to children’s success in school. Edited by Sebastian Suggate and Elaine Reese. Contemporary debates in child development and education. Abingdon, UK: Routledge, Taylor & Francis. pp. 181-190.
  9. Miller, E., & Almon, J. (2009). Crisis in the kindergarten: Why children need to play in school. New York, NY: Alliance for Childhood.
  10. Reynolds, A. (2000). Success in early intervention: The Chicago child-parent centers. Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press.
  11. Suggate, P. (2012). Watering the garden before the rainstorm: The case of early reading. Edited by Sebastian Suggate and Elaine Reese. Contemporary debates in child development and education. Abingdon, UK: Routledge, Taylor & Francis. pp. 181-190.
  12. Watts, T. W., Duncan, G. J., Siegler, R. S., & Davis-Kean, P. E. (2014). What’s past is prologue: Relations between early mathematics knowledge and high school achievement. Educational Researcher, 43(7), 352-360.

Legal References

  1. DepEd Order No. 32, s. 2012, Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act (RA) No. 10157
  2. Otherwise Known as The Kindergarten Education Act, 2012.
  3. DepEd Order No. 47, s. 2016, Omnibus Policy on Kindergarten Education, 2016.
  4. Republic Act 10157, An Act Institutionalizing the Kindergarten Education into the Basic Education System and Appropriating Funds Therefor, 2nd Regular Session, 15th Congress, 2012.

Other References

  1. Department of Education (2016). Standards and Competencies for Five-Year-Old Filipino Children. Retrieved March 14, 2019, from http://www.deped.gov.ph/wp- content/uploads/2019/01/Kinder-CG_0.pdf.

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An Analysis of the Rationale and the Curriculum of the Philippine Kindergarten Education. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/an-analysis-of-the-rationale-and-the-curriculum-of-the-philippine-kindergarten-education/> [Accessed 29 Jun. 2022].
An Analysis of the Rationale and the Curriculum of the Philippine Kindergarten Education [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 May 24 [cited 2022 Jun 29]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/an-analysis-of-the-rationale-and-the-curriculum-of-the-philippine-kindergarten-education/
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