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· Volume II Issue I


The ills and wounds in the academic institution particularly on the aspect of teaching-learning process require an unprecedented perspective to impact the quality of education. Science therapy, a differentiated instructional approach that employed interactive and customized printed and digital learning materials in the form of SMART Flipchart, student-made songs and jingles, and customized board and offline games was introduced in science 8 classes in remedying students’ least-learned competencies in digestive processes such as ingestion, absorption, assimilation and excretion. Underscoring the need to examine the effectiveness and feasibility of the tool in classroom context, a mixed-method embedded research design was employed among 46 grade 8 students in BBCMAIS for school year 2018-2019 where the pretest and posttest results used t-test to quantify the mean difference while interview data used thematic analysis. Results revealed that the use of teacher-made therapeutic techniques in science pedagogy caused considerable increase (M=25.83) of the mean percentage score (MPS) from pre and posttests. Moreover, the high impact was verified by respondents’ manifestation that the tool was potent in addressing diversity and multiple intelligence hence captivating their interest and enhancing their performance. Thus, incorporating this science therapy in science classes is highly endorsed.

Keywords: Science therapy, differentiated instruction, printed and digital learning materials, mixed-method embedded research design


Diversified learners have emphasized the indispensable role of teachers for inclusion, a pedagogic principle which ensures education be accessible to all students regardless of age, race, gender, and abilities. Teachers differentiate in the classroom environment along with the content and its delivery in order to cater all students’ needs and become responsive both at an individual and class level.

While science teaching provides a vast opportunity for innovation and technological advancement (Dy, 2011), it poses a greater challenge in hitting the mark of learning for all types of students. The truth is, science is not just a body of knowledge but a way of thinking, which puts its concepts and principles difficult and uninteresting for some students (Lazaro, 2017), reflective in their classroom performances and results of standardized assessments. The depth and breadth of least-learned competencies in science education in the Philippines have contributed the lagging performance of students during the National Achievement Test and other related assessment (Linog, Lagoyhoy, & Alguno, 2013) including the 2003 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) where the country landed at the bottom 5 out of 46 participating nations in High School Science achievement.

From an experimental approach, Dragna (2016) as seconded by Mishra (2016) revealed that as far as complexity goes, biology is the most difficult, as it requires all senses, good schema, and appropriate learning environment to process all information. In fact, failure of the teacher to bring all these elements together creates wider gaps and misconceptions (Lazaro, 2017), which leads the declining achievement of students in different form of tests and their dying interest in some science concepts. The ills and wounds in the academic institution require an unprecendented perspective to impact the quality of education (Murray, 2012).

These facts prompted the application of science therapy, a differentiated instructional approach aimed at remedying students’ least-learned competency in science 4th quarter particularly on digestive process of ingestion, absorption, assimilation and excretion through a wide-range of interactive customize-instructional materials where students choose, explore and manipulate the learning materials based on their learning preferences. Administration of Perceptual Learning Inventory was administered prior to pilot test of the tool among grade 8 students to categorize students who are visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners. The intervention tool consists of SMART Flipchart (visual learners); student-made songs and jingles (auditory learners); essential demonstration and customized board and offline games (kinesthetic learners) designed to cater varied learning styles and needs of students to an increasing level of complexity for them to gradually master the expected skills. Printed and digital learning materials were introduced to cater the availability of learning resources at home so that learning continues even outside the classroom. Contextualization and localization were also adopted in chosing practical content, largely within the background of the students, to strengthen the link or connection between the lesson and the learner.

The proponent named this intervention as science therapy to cure the gap of knowledge and learning deficiencies and boost interest, participation, and commitment of students to the subject to effect favorable change of behavior and academic growth.

Science therapeutic principle (Kazdin, 2000) blends elements of learning from different pedagogies and tailor the intervention according to each learner’s needs. It encompasses the idea that all people have a unique profile of abilities, natural or learned (Reynolds, 2009); hence, students learn and should be taught in different ways (Farnan, 2009). This belief requires the promotion of an inclusive classroom where teachers try their best to make modifications of their own teaching styles (Barnes, 2006), through differentiating the way the curriculum is delivered and linking specifically how Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences work (Murray, 2012), with the end-goal of correcting incurred misconception and unlocking difficulties through gradual exposure and continues practice (Thorndike, 2019) to build strong connections and achieve new heights of learning. Hence, this study sought to answer the following questions:

1. How can Science Therapy revive the interest of Grade 8 students?
2. How can Science Therapy increase students’ performance in understanding the digestive process of ingestion, absorption, assimilation, and excretion?


Total population purposive sampling (Palinkas, et al., 2016) was employed involving 46 Grade 8 students enrolled students in Basilio B. Chan Memorial Agricultural and Industrial School for the school year 2018-2019 with the lowest MPS on Digestive System. Underscoring the need to examine the effectiveness and utilization of the tool, a mixed-method embedded research design was employed where the pretest and posttest results used t-test to quantify the mean difference (Discovering Statistics Using SPSS 2nd Ed., 2009) while interview data were organized and interpreted using thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006). Member checking and peer review were done to establish trustworthiness of findings (Speciale & Carpenter, 2007). Moreover, research ethics were adhered to preserve utmost anonymity and confidentiality, respectively. Lastly, proper citation and referencing of all information and data taken from various studies and researches were followed.


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