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Developing a strategic roadmap for integration of 21st century skills in the Philippines

Developing a strategic roadmap for integration of 21st century skills in the Philippines

The Analysis of 21st Century Skills Integration Program aims to support a strategy for assessing and teaching these skills in the Philippines. The project will culminate in a roadmap that focuses on alignment of curriculum, assessment, and pedagogy practices in relation to 21st century skills.

The Philippines has placed an educational emphasis on the “holistically developed Filipino”, with a need for an analysis of the integration of 21st century skills in their system. As a result, the Analysis of 21st Century Skills Integration Program, funded by UNICEF and developed and led by Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), aims to support the Philippines in identifying a strategy for assessment, teaching, and learning of 21st century skills. The need to focus on supporting students to develop a broad set of competencies has been acknowledged globally and refers to the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes that are integral to life in the 21st century. This project will support them in identifying how the skills are currently represented within the curriculum and how they are being taught and assessed in the classroom. In addition, this project will also assist in looking for further opportunities for integration. Essentially, identifying not just what is being done currently, but what can be done, and what can also be achieved with the provision of additional resources. 
The project has three overarching aims:

  1. To identify best practices on the use of classroom-level assessment and teaching strategies of 21st century skills to support learning
  2. To build in-country capacity to understand, identify, and observe the skills at classroom level
  3. To develop a strategic road map detailing how best the country can engage with 21st century skills initiatives

The first workshop, held in April 2019, took the form of Knowledge Sharing sessions with stakeholders from the Department of Education and representatives from national and international implementing partners. The workshop shared global and regional frameworks as well as a number of recent studies and country initiatives that have highlighted the need for different approaches to the assessment of 21st century skills, and involved discussions around implementation specific to the Philippines.

The second workshop immediately followed the first, and focused on training and implementing an audit of the National Curriculum in reference to 21st century skills. The training and audit activity took place over a three day workshop in central Manila. The first day was dedicated to overview, familiarisation with 21st century skills, and the audit process approach. The second day was dedicated to working through the audit process - identification of curricular opportunities for teaching and demonstration of the skills. The third day was dedicated to review, data management, comparison of processes and difficulties across subject-level and grade-level teams, and the process evaluation.

The third workshop, taking place in July 2019, focuses on development and training of an observation tool to enable identification of the skills in the classroom. Classroom observations and teacher interviews are taking place in August 2019.

The project will reflect on the alignment of the skills as represented in the curriculum and as presented in practice in the classroom. Considerations will also be given to additional teaching resources, and assessment tools currently implemented. The project will culminate in a final workshop in October this year bringing national and international stakeholders together to develop a strategic roadmap for integration of 21st century skills that ensures alignment of curriculum, assessment, and pedagogy practices in relation to the skills.

Early discussions between the project stakeholders identified that the timeline of the project would not allow all skills and learning areas to be encompassed. While the focus at present is on three specific skills – problem solving, collaboration, and critical thinking – and two learning areas – science and English - the approach is designed to be scaled up to incorporate other learning areas and skills. These skills and learning areas were selected by the Department of Education as these align with the focus of their existing National Assessments. The approach is also designed to be generalizable, allowing it to be implementable for other countries who are interested in embarking on a similar process.

For more information, please contact Claire Scoular, Claire.scoular@acer.org, ACER

Written by  Claire Scoular, Claire.scoular@acer.org, ACER

Main photo credit: Claire Scoular