TEACHER AGENCY AMIDST THE 21ST CENTURY SCIENCE CURRICULUM REFORM

Jovelyn C. Vilela-Bactad

For secondary schools with traditional curriculum, educational overhaul through K-12 curriculum is the sign of the times. For Filipinos, joining this bandwagon would mean initiating reforms across all sectors of the society including the educational system. Seeing how the Department of Education hastily joined this new trend made teachers wonder if indeed this was timely and the right thing to do. Amongst the questions that crossed the educators’ minds were: Is the country ready for this? Can students cope with these sudden reforms? More so, are teachers well-equipped? These abrupt changes paved the way for the researcher to look into the readiness of the science educators to cope with these dynamics. Focusing on the competence of the science teachers to address the demands of the reforms of the curriculum design in view of the shift from the discipline-based to spiral progression approach. A multi-phase case study was conducted to answer the following questions: (1) What supports were given to the science teachers to equip them with the competencies to address the demands of the reforms of the curriculum design?; (2) Are there significant differences on how public and private-school science teachersapproach the demands of the reforms of the curriculum design?; (3) What constraints did these teachers face during the transition period? Knowing that the new science curriculum design has been implemented, teachers must remember how one can exercise his/her agency by re-thinking and critiquing the intended curriculum. Actions taken will be vital to assess and evaluate if this curriculum design is favorable to all stakeholders.