Out with the old and In with the new

For the sake of traditional learning, will you push on keeping the old way or will you be brave enough to usher something new?

Case in point, most students, young and old, find it difficult to understand several words used in Araling Panlipunan (and Filipino) books like koreo, pagsosona, mapagkandili, and tumangan to name a few, and yet, these words have still been used in narrating events in history.

If we have accepted the changes and adjustments made to our language and agree that language does evolve, why then can we not make the adjustments or changes apply to this particular subject? Does it make us less of a Filipino if we use words that are less outdated? Has this subject not undergone the scrutiny of experts or don’t these experts find any need to revise materials in a way that make them more timely and easier to understand?

Now these questions came to mind in the eve of my daughter’s second mid-quarter exam and while I was taking notes on assessment, its purpose and benefits. Part of what I learned while browsing through some references is that assessment is systematically gathering, analyzing and interpreting evidence to determine how well programs and practices are working at meeting their expected outcomes and using results to understand and improve institutional effectiveness (See: virg.vanderbilt.edu). If this is the case, then institutions should have already been made aware of the difficulties that many students, in the primary and even in the secondary level, are faced with when studying Aralin Panlipunan (AP). As in the case of the subject, Filipino, the reference materials are written in Tagalog or Filipino, and not the conversational type. Some references would even go as far as using words that have not been heard of by students of this generation.

Given this, many of them struggle to perform well in AP since majority of the subjects in school have English as their mode of instruction, not to mention that with this generation, the use of English or Taglish is preferred not just in day to day conversations but in their choice of books, television, newspaper, magazines etc. (See: http://www.academia.edu/183864/A_Survey_on_Language_Use_Attitudes_and_Identity_in_Relation_to_Philippine_English_among_Young_Generation_Filipinos_An_Initial_Sample_from_a_Private_University).

Now, is this not reason enough for experts and authors of these materials to take a second look and assess whether it’s time to make those changes with the objective of making Araling Panlipunan, a subject that students like having because of the manner by which stories or history is told– with the use of words that have been heard and understood by today’s generation? Besides, isn’t improvement of a program or curriculum one of the purposes why assessment is part and parcel of teaching?

With everything that has been said, my wish is quite simple. That is, for experts to finally see the need to evaluate whether it’s time to use simpler words that both students and parents alike use in their everyday conversation, as I am sure that with these simple words, conversations and storytelling will be found more meaningful and will be better understood and appreciated.

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One thought on “Out with the old and In with the new

  1. Hahaha, I agree with you on that Belinda. Learning should be in a way that the students could understand words that are familiar to them or have been used for contemporary schooling. That is why the MTB-MLE is there in the curriculum right? Para maintindihan nila maigi. Matters like that should be included in development for education.

    Nice blog by the way 🙂

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