Defining and Assessing the Relevance, Appropriateness and Responsiveness of Learning Standards and Competencies

Ferdinand Pol L. Martin

As part of the thrust to make education more culture-based and contextualized, schools are being required to make learning more relevant, appropriate and responsive (RAR) to the needs and aspirations of the learners (Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013; DepEd Order No. 32 s. 2015). However, schools find it difficult to do so because the curriculum descriptors do not specifically define what the RAR encompasses. This situation justifies the need to define what is RAR to the students and assess its level in the curricula in order to identify the gaps in addressing the learners’ needs and aspirations. The researcher believes that this endeavor could be started by examining the learning standards and competencies since, as part of the intended curriculum, they describe what are expected of students and provide direction in the planning, implementation and evaluation of student learning. This study therefore examines the methods used in defining and assessing the level of RAR of learning standards and competencies in the curriculum. A review of the literature revealed the different conceptions and dimensions of RAR that contribute to its difficulty of being defined as well as the dearth of methods available for defining and assessing it. Out of the existing few, the one deemed most comprehensive was the method by Fajardo, et. al. (2013) which was devised to examine the RAR of school curricula used by a cultural group.