Facing the challenges of teaching high school physics through service learning, faculty social involvement and ARTIST

  • Ivan Culaba Department of Physics, Ateneo de Manila University


Republic Act No. 10533 entitled "An Act Enhancing the Philippine Basic Education System by Strengthening Its Curriculum and Increasing the Number of Years for Basic Education, Appropriating Funds Therefor and for Other Purposes" was signed by the President of the Republic of the Philippines on May 2013. Aside from adding two more academic years in the basic education, the law also stipulates a curriculum based on the following standards and principles:

  1. The curriculum shall be learner-centered, inclusive and developmentally appropriate;
  2. The curriculum shall be relevant, responsive and research-based;
  3. The curriculum shall be gender- and culture-sensitive;
  4. The curriculum shall be contextualized and global;
  5. The curriculum shall use pedagogical approaches that are constructivist, inquiry-based, reflective, collaborative and integrative;
  6. The curriculum shall adhere to the principles and framework of Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education.

The science subjects–earth sciences, chemistry, physics, and life science are now taught, from Grade 3 until Grade 10, in a spiral progression that should be constructivist, inquiry-based, reflective, collaborative and integrative. Teachers in Grade 7-10 are expected to teach all the science subject areas regardless of their field of specialization. Teaching the four subject areas sequentially in a seamless way is a huge task for the teacher. The inquiry-based necessitates hands on and minds on activities that require equipment and materials but which are not usually available in many high schools. These are just some of the challenges that the science teacher faces as a result of the paradigm shift in the teaching of the sciences.
We would like to share our experience during the past three years on improving Physics education in four public high schools. In consultation with the stakeholders, the Department of Physics and the Office of Social Concern and Involvement of the Ateneo de Manila University worked together to deliver several coordinated programs–service learning involving students enrolled in NSTP, teacher training through faculty social involvement, design and fabrication of Grade 7-10 Physics laboratory apparatus, action research through the Erasmus+ project Action Research to Innovate Science Teaching (ARTIST), and the establishment of an ARTIST network center.

About the Speaker

Ivan Culaba is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Physics, School of Science and Engineering (SOSE), Ateneo de Manila University. He is the Faculty-in-charge of the Physics Education Resource Center and the Manager of the Action Research to Innovate Science Teaching (ARTIST)–a project supported by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union. He is also the coordinator of the SOSE Faculty Social Involvement. He is a recipient of an SPIE (International Society for Optics and Photonics) Educator Award in 2011 for work related to the UNESCO-sponsored project Active Learning in Optics and Photonics (ALOP).

How to Cite
I. Culaba. Facing the challenges of teaching high school physics through service learning, faculty social involvement and ARTIST, Proceedings of the Samahang Pisika ng Pilipinas 37, SPP-2019-INV-2B-01 (2019). URL: https://paperview.spp-online.org/proceedings/article/view/SPP-2019-INV-2B-01.