Journal article

Curriculum development for teacher education in the Southern Philippines: a simultaneous process of professional learning and syllabus enhancement

11 Nov 2011

This paper reflects on the process of curriculum development in 21 tertiary education institutions in the Southern Philippines. Assisting capacity-building of the teaching profession is an ongoing need in developing countries, but rarely does it extend to pre-service education. In this study of one aspect of a three year AusAid-funded education development project, the process of developing syllabi for English, mathematics, science and practicum/pedagogy courses was an unfamiliar activity for the majority of the sixty Filipino teacher educators and their colleagues. These educators were used to following institution prescribed syllabi without question. The focus of this study was the educators’ participation in the intensive process of syllabus review, construction and enhancement which occurred concurrently with a series of regular professional development activities based on the needs and interests of the educators. The process was documented as it evolved and was evaluated at key stages. A major outcome was the enhancement, or construction, of more than 200 syllabi across the 21 tertiary institutions. However, an unexpected and significant outcome of the process was the development of strong cross-institutional and even cross-regional relationships and a level of collegiality not previously experienced by the participants. It is argued here that such an approach to curriculum development raises the potential for sustainable long-term outcomes in international development projects.

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