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The introduction of the K to 12 curriculum has changed the way students learn the lesson in the classroom and how the teachers teach the subject matter. One of its positive features is giving emphasis on the strengthening of the character building of the students. In the Deped memorandum 40, series of S.Y.2013, it was mentioned that the ideal K to 12 graduate is one who manifests patriotism and nationalism, love of humanity, respect for human rights, appreciation of the role of national heroes in the historical development of the country, observance of rights and duties of citizenship, strong ethical and spiritual values, moral character and personal discipline, critical and creative thinking, scientific and technological knowledge, and vocational efficiency. The ideal K to 12 graduate is one who has discovered his/her potential in a child-centered and value-driven teaching-learning environment, one who is enabled to create his/her own destiny in a global community, one who is prepared to become a who loves his/her country and is proud to be a Filipino. All of these qualities and expectations are part of the competencies and principles of Araling Panlipunan or Social Studies subject. Araling Panlipunan as a subject does not only focuses on strengthening student’s love for his/her country nor increase his/her civic participation. It also have varied competencies and learning skills that needed to be covered and taught properly by teachers in order to help our students develop critical thinking, responsible, productive, patriotic, good steward, reflective and respectful, as what is stated in the Araling Panlipunan Curriculum Guide of 2013, page 4, “Layunin ng Araling Panlipunan ang paghubog ng mamamayang mapanuri, mapagmuni, responsable, produktibo, makakalikasan, makabansa, at makatao, na may pambansa at pandaigdigang pananaw at pagpapahalaga sa mga usapin sa lipunan sa nakaraan at kasalukuyan, tungo sa pagpanday ng kinabukasan”.
The challenge for teachers in making Araling Panlipunan an interesting subject and relevant to the needs of students are still important. In the comparison of the National Achievement Test of high school students in the Blessed Sacrament Catholic School from 2010 to 2015 it can be gleamed that there is a decrease in the percentage scores of MPS (mean preserving spread) in Araling Panlipunan. By looking at the data the high school students who took the NAT in the S.Y. 2010-2011 got 53.59 MPS in Araling Panlipunan. On the hand, in S.Y. 2012-2013 the MPS is only 53.28. However, in the S.Y. 2012-2013 the MPS increased by 65.51, unfortunately in S.Y. 2013-2014 the MPS dropped to 58.56 and in S.Y. 2014-2015 it also decreases by 48.75 MPS. The continuing decreased of the students’ performance in Araling Panlipunan in the NAT examination brings an oppurtunity to look for better approach and strategies that will help students to improve their performance in Araling Panlipunan. There are different factors that affect the performance of the student in Araling Panlipunan. In the study conducted by Irfan Mushtaq and Shabana Nawaz in 2012, in Mohammad Ali Jinnah University Islamabad, Pakistan they investigated the factors affecting the academic performance of college students. They found out that there are three significant factors which affect the academic performance of college students these are; communication, learning facilities and proper guidance. Although communication has the highest significant statistical value over other factors, but it was also pointed there that family stress reduces significantly the academic performance of students in school. It is true that the support of the family in the education of the child is very important. There should be a collaboration of the school and parents in order to ensure that students will achieve their full potentials. However, the improvement of the academic performance is not only the concern of Araling Panlipunan. It also gives emphasis on the development of patriotism and nationalism among our students as part of the ideals of K to 12 graduates. In the 1987 Constitution, it was stated there that all educational institutions are mandated to inculcate nationalism and patriotism. They also need to teach the rights and duties of citizenship and help students appreciate the role of national heroes in the historical development of our country. Since that all schools are mandated to integrate these things in their curriculum it is expected that it will boost the sense of patriotism and nationalism in our country. Unfortunately, in the survey conducted by WINGallup International in 2018 which was participated by 64 countries. They measured the level of patriotism (willingness to die for their country) of 64 countries around the globe it was revealed that 61% of the people polled would fight for their country while 27% of the population would not. It was all revealed in that study that Morocco and Fiji emerged as the countries with the highest rate of patriotism in the world with a patriotism rate of 94%. Moreover, Pakistan and Vietnam came in second with a tied score of 89%, Bangladesh scored 86%, Azerbaijan scored 85%, Papua New Guinea scored 84%, Afghanistan and Georgia tied on a 76% score. On the other hand, Philippines only ranks 13 with 73% level of patriotism. It is important for a country to have people who are willing to sacrifice their personal interest and participate in the achievement of the nation’s goal. Nonetheless, this is supposed to be intensified and integrated well in the educational system. Thus, the success of the K to 12 curriculum will always defend on the teachers’ performance in the implementation of the curriculum to their respectives classrooms.
In response to the changing trends in education in 2017, the system schools of the Diocese of Novaliches adopted a new approach in education called the “Whole Child Approach”. This approach to education is one which focuses attention on the social, emotional, mental, physical as well as cognitive development of students. At its emphasis which makes the purpose of schooling as developing future citizens who are holistically develop by which providing the basis for each child to fulfill their potential. In 2007 ASCD (Association for Curriculum Development and Supervision) outlined a whole child approach to education as its core mission. It developed 5 tenets based upon child development theory, which underpins the approach and states that each child in each school and in each community deserves to be healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged. This framework has been used as the scaffold in the development of a range of school improvement processes that ensures that the approach is integrated and systemasized into the processes and policies of the school, district, and community. The framework does not try to deviate itself from existing academic development but it does seek to intensifies what constitutes academic development in the 21st century and aims to give emphasis on the basic needs of the children in order to ensure the development of their potentials. In the Diocese of Novaliches the tenets of the aforementioned approach was used in the English, Math and Science subjects, unfortunately there was no study conducted yet to measure its success. However, this study will try to use the said approach and implement it to Araling Panlipunan 9 in order to see if there will be an impact in the academic performance of high students. This will be the first time that this approach will be used in Araling Panlipunan 9 and all the tenets will be utilized in the actual classroom teaching. Normally, the tenets like challenged, supported and engaged were the common tenets used in the classroom setting. While the tenets like healthy and safety were commonly used in the assessment of the over-all structure of the institution. On the other hand, this study will use all the tenets and it will be utilized in the daily teaching of Araling Panlipunan. Although this approach was developed in America, there were different studies conducted abroad which revealed the effectiveness of the approach when it was used in the classroom setting. Nonetheless, this study will test the effectiveness of the same approach if use in the local classroom setting.
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