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· Volume II Issue IV


A progressive country means it has a strong science education programs because science education and scientific literacy are essential to the success of the nation. According to Davis (2007), a society that is healthy, democratic, and economically viable can be achieved by a nation that is scientifically, technologically, and environmentally literate. That is why many policy makers around the world have tried their best to cope the global challenges - to revise and improve the science education by altering the curriculum based on the idea that crafting a new curriculum would also shift teachers’ routines from being traditional in the classrooms, allowing better learning among the students (Cuban, 2012). In the Philippines, in order to cope this global challenges in science education, reforms in education is continually occurring. Philippines implemented the K to 12 curriculum, which was enabled by the Republic Act 10533, otherwise known as the “Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013”. The K to 12 curriculum envisions to adopt the spiral progression approach to strengthen Science and Mathematics Education in the country (Canakan, n.d.).

The idea in spiral progression approach is to let the learners master the concepts by exposing them into a wide variety of disciplines over and over again but with different deepening of complexity. In addition, the K to 12 Science Curriculum Guide (2016) states that in spiral progression approach, concepts and skills in Biology, Physics, Chemistry, and Earth Sciences are presented with increasing levels of complexity from a lower grade level to higher grade level. 

In secondary Science, the curriculum is divided into four areas, namely Integrated Science, Biology, Chemistry and Physics. In the old curriculum, using the Disciplinal approach, Integrated Science, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics were taught in first year, second year, third year, and fourth year, respectively. While in the new curriculum, K to 12 Science Curriculum, the concepts of those four major areas are being taught in all grade levels (from grade seven to grade ten). Aside from that, integrated science was changed into Earth and Space Science (Resurreccion & Adanza, 2015). However, some of the Philippine basic education schools are still adopting the Disciplinal approach instead of the new curriculum approach, which caught my attention and interest to research on. This non-uniformity of curriculum approach leads to the highlight of the credibility of the Spiral Progression approach: 

“Is Spiral Progression Approach in Science beneficial to the learning of the students as compared to the Disciplinal Approach?” 

The schools, which adopted the new curriculum approach and those that did not, may have their reasons as to why they did such. Thus, this paper seeks to find out the reasons in the adoption or non-adoption of the said approach. It includes the description of the two curriculum approaches, their underpinning learning philosophies, and their advantages and disadvantages. 

Issue on Curriculum Approaches

To fully understand and find the answer to the issue: “Is Spiral Progression Approach in Science beneficial to the learning of the students as compared to the Disciplinal Approach?”, the approaches: Disciplinal and Spiral Progression, are compared on their underlying philosophies, and their advantages and disadvantages to students’ learning.

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