Integrating Space Science Education to the Basic Education Curriculum: A Case Study of the Philippines
14:45 - 15:00
Despite the interest among young students, space science education in developing countries such as the Philippines is a challenging endeavor mainly due to the lack of institutional support and integration into the educational system. The Philippines initiated a Space Science Program (SSP) Pilot Testing from 2013 to 2018 to enhance the state of astronomy and space education in the country. Space science classes were conducted as an 80-minute weekly after-school class for pre-school, elementary and high school students of Diliman Preparatory School. Each class was conducted on a team-teaching basis and utilized various modes of teaching, from traditional lectures to hands-on experiments to ICT-based education, in order to enhance the student’s learning experience and emphasize the learning concepts and objectives. Unique topics included in the Student’s Manual developed by the authors ranges from atmospheric science, Solar System, astronomical observation, galactic astronomy and satellite technology. As a counterpart, science teachers in the school were also trained and provided a Teacher’s Handbook to supplement their knowledge in astronomy and space science. It was observed that elementary students demonstrated the strongest interest in learning astronomical concepts while high school students had lesser enthusiasm, mainly attributed to the increased academic load of high school students. In contrast to the government-prescribed curriculum, it was observed that the concepts were presented in a more systematic manner and appropriate for the student’s current grade level. The SSP Program will be further tested in selected schools in the Philippines beginning in 2020 as part of the K-12 curriculum.