// What is Project ESEP?
The Science and Technology Oriented High School Program (ESEP) is the flagship program for the development of Science, Mathematics and Research. It is being implemented in selected 110 public high schools and 6 learning Resource Centers nationwide.
// Science Curriculum Framework
The Science Curriculum Framework articulates standards, core competencies, approaches and underlying principles in Science for secondary schools in the country. The framework is constructed around the development of a functionally literate Filipino who demonstrates understanding of basic Science concepts and processes in an integrative way to solve problems critically, think innovatively and make informed decisions in order to protect the environment conserve resources and sustain quality life.
To advance this vision of a functionally literate Filipino in Science, the curriculum is designed and developed around three domains of Science, namely: (1) acquiring scientific knowledge; (2) understanding scientific knowledge; and (3) creating scientific knowledge.
Acquiring scientific knowledge is about accessing information, i.e., what information is needed, where information can be located and how information can be gathered. On the other hand, understanding scientific knowledge includes the processing and making meanings out of the information. This domain focuses on demonstration of different facets of understanding: explanation, interpretation, application, perspective, empathy and self-knowledge.
Beyond learners being mere consumers of scientific knowledge, they should also be able to use their acquired knowledge to create or produce new knowledge in science. This domain, creating scientific knowledge, challenges learners to transfer their learning in new settings and use this creatively to generate new ideas, view things differently and re-engineer processes. It also involves designing, constructing, planning, producing and inventing products.
What needs to be encouraged is the production of new scientific knowledge or products which can contribute to the protection of the environment and sustainable use of resources. Stewardship of nature is a core value that is being strengthened along with other scientific attitudes and values.
Aside from values development, the enhancement of scientific thinking skills is embedded in the three domains. The internalization by learners of these skills can be facilitated through the following approaches which can be used individually or in combination: multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, contextual learning, problem/project/issue-based learning and process-based approaches.
Multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches deal with integration within science disciplines and across learning areas. Contextual Learning Approach provides applications of science concepts, processes, principles and laws within the context of real-life situations. Problem/Project/Issue-based learning challenge learners to create and implement measures to address problems and issues in the world around them. Process-based approaches focus on the development of scientific thinking rather than talking about science processes. They include Discovery Approach and Inquiry Approach.
These approaches are largely constructed based on sound educational principles and theories namely: constructivism, social cognition learning model, learning style theory and Gestalt psychology.
Constructivism recognizes that learners construct knowledge and meaning from their experiences. Hence, science learning means a change in ideas rather than taking in a new idea as a separate, isolated entity.
Social Cognition Learning Model considers learning through interaction with culture, environment and technology. With appropriate help from the science teacher such as by scaffolding learners can often perform tasks which they might be incapable of doing on their own. By experiencing the successful completion of challenging tasks, learners gain confidence and motivation to embark on more complex challenges in science.
In Learning Style Theory, learners perceive and process information in different ways. How much they acquire, understand and create scientific knowledge depend on whether their experiences in science are appropriate to their particular style of learning rather than on their being “smart”.
Gestalt Psychology posits that the operational principle of the learner’s brain is holistic. Therefore, science teaching–learning processes should provide for the balanced development of the left and right brain.