Scope And Delimitation Eaxmple
Published: 18th May, 2017 Last Edited: 18th May, 2017
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Background of the Study
In relation to the goal of Philippine political and economic development and social cohesiveness, there is a growing clamor to revisit and revive nationalism. In the Philippines, it has been recognized that the issue of nationalism is important in education. One of the goals of the Education Act of 1982 that serves as a guideline for elementary education, is to “promote and intensify the child’s knowledge of identification with, and love for the nation and the people to which he belongs” (Department of Education, 2002, p.2). This objective is also hinged on the 1987 Constitution Article XIV, Section 3 (2) that states that the school “shall inculcate patriotism and nationalism, foster love of humanity, respect for human rights, appreciation of the role of national heroes in the historical development of the country, teach the rights and duties of citizenship, strengthen ethical and spiritual values, develop moral character and personal discipline, encourage critical and creative thinking, broaden scientific and technological knowledge, and promote vocational efficiency” (1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines, Department of Education, 2002, p.2).
As agents of patriotism and nationalism, the school is mandated to cultivate pagka-Filipino in children. In compliance with the1987 Constitution and the Education Act of 1982, the Department of Education came up with the following objectives for the elementary education formal curriculum: (1) inculcation of spiritual and civic values and the development of a good Filipino based on an abiding faith in God and genuine love of country; (2) training of the young citizen in his rights, duties and responsibilities in a democratic society for active participation in a progressive and productive home and community life; (3) development of basic understanding about Philippine culture, the desirable tradition and virtues of our people as essential requisites in attaining national consciousness and solidarity (Department of Education, 2002, p.1-2).
Moreover, the K to 12 Philippine Basic Education Curriculum also reflects the significance of teaching pagka-Filipino based on the Department of Education’s curriculum guide. One of the desired outcomes of the implementation of the Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE) is to develop learners who take pride in their cultural heritage and are proud to be Filipinos. In the National Early Learning Framework (NELF), the Filipino child is considered as the most important asset of our county. The NELF firmly believes that the Filipino child is “a human being who loves God, parents, and country, is proud to be a Filipino, honors the customs, traditions and good values of the people, knows his/her basic rights, respects other cultures and is able to live in peace and harmony with all” (Department of Education, 2012, p.3). As early as kindergarten, pagiging maka-Filipino or a national consciousness of being a Filipino is cultivated in the children, with the hope that this will lead to ardent nationalism, love of country and pride as a Filipino.
The importance of teaching nationalism and national identity in the early grades has been established and promoted by the state and state institutions such as school and the Department of Education. However, a study on national identity among urban school children by Doronila (1986) showed that Filipino children favor other countries over their own, and this preference deepens as they mature. A similar study was also conducted among 3rd year High School students in Baguio City by Herrera and Robias (2010), and the findings revealed that although “respondents exhibit a positive preference for things Filipino, these preferences have not yet been lifted to a level of consciousness that would make their manifestation of such personal preferences as expressive of their identity as Filipino, or as charters of national identity” (Herrera & Robias, 2010, p.67). This suggests that national identity among Filipino youth is superficial. According to Yacat (2002), there are two kinds of pagka-Filipino: Filipino by name which is shallow and Filipino by heart which is deeply-rooted. He further stressed the importance of the family where culture and Filipino identity take root and of the school which nurtures the idea of pagka-Filipino.
Koh (2010) emphasized that it is during childhood that an individual starts to identify with the nation. She declared that “childhood experience is commonly taken to be the bedrock upon which self-identity is built, and national consciousness is regarded by many as a key foundation of a modern person’s identity” (Koh, 2010, p.1). Furthermore, she saw the need for studies on how children perceive national identity. She stated “children should be central to the study of national feeling, place-belonging, and citizenship. And yet, we do not know a great deal about how school-age children actually do relate to the idea of nation” (Koh, 2010, p.2).
The assertion of Koh (2010) and the studies by Doronila, Herrera and Robias, and Yacat presented two crucial issues: (1) superficial national identification among Filipinos and (2) lack of studies on national identity and childhood.
This research seeks to address these two problems by focusing on early graders and their perspectives of “pagka-Filipino.” In Vygotsky’s social development theory (Ormrod, 2011), the child learns concepts through language and action. He asserts that development is connected to social context and that the child’s developmental level should complement his learning. Hedges (2012) explained further that “during the early childhood years, Vygotsky believed that everyday concepts were most prominent. According to Vygotsky, “Everyday concepts emerged from children’s thinking about their daily experiences; that is, they occur spontaneously in the context of normal participation in family and community practices and activities” (Hedges, 2012, P.145). By probing how children in the early grades perceive and construct their identity as Filipinos in the context of their everyday experiences, policy makers, teacher educators, curriculum developers, and early grades teachers will gain greater insight into how the concept of national identity and nationalism take root in every Filipino child. The children’s perspectives will improve the K to 12 Philippine Basic Education Curriculum and its implementation.
This study also investigates the perspectives of “pagka-Filipino” of early graders, based on locally-published picture books. This will hopefully add another dimension to the pedagogical aspect that can be gained from the children’s perspectives. Hillman (2003) described the picture book as the child’s gateway to the world, the first step outside the child’s immediate environment. “The precise combination of art and words is a powerful experience because it triggers the imagination & introduces concepts for cognitive and language development” (Hillman, 2003, p.89). Aquino (2009) said that children’s literature activates the schema of the child and presents vicarious experiences that encourage cognitive processes such as assimilation and accommodation. Piaget’s stages of cognitive development (Ormrod, 2011) show that as a child matures, he/she assimilates and accommodates knowledge, acquiring schemas through experience. Like building blocks, a child can create a castle by adding a block with every bit of information learned. The existing blocks are used to widen the child’s body of knowledge. These blocks form the child’s schema and schema can be influenced by social and cultural experiences and interactions with text and illustrations found in picture books.