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for Science Education
Education

ReseaTth Article

SpecialScienceElementary School:Projectand for Gifted


Education in the PhilippinesProspects
Joel Bernal FAUSTINO, April Daphne Floresca HIWATIG
Eacultyof Education, Ehime University

Abstract
In response to the grewing importance of science and giftedchildren in the Philippines,the Special Science
ElementarySchoolProjeet(SSES Project) was implementedin2007.This project isintended forgiftedchildren inpublic
elementary schools, and aims to produce suientifically literatestudents who will opt to be educated in special science

high schools. The purpose of this study was to analyze theSSES Projectand compare itwith the regular elernentary
school program.SpecificallM itsought answers to the followingquestions: what isthe processin identifying children

fortheproject?; what typeof science curriculum isoffered forthe children?; and what are the qualifications required te

become an SSES teacher? The results of the analysis revealed that the SSES Project, although a partof the publicschool

system, was differentfrornregular publicelementary school in ternisof: selection processforstudents; qualifications


of teachers; and science curriculum. Evidentlythe SSES Projectimplementsthe elements of an effective program for
gifted children. However,the study recommends that further research should be done to probe en: standardization of

psychological tests and evaluation of the enhanced science curriculum and performance of teachers, children, and

schools involvedinthe project.

SchoolPrQject(SSES
Keywords: SpecialScienceElementary giftedchildren, Philippines
Project),science,

I.Introduction and think abeut the world more extensively (SmutnM


Every child hasa gift.Every child isunique, Howeveg president of the Philippine
2000).Dr.LeticiaPefiano-Ho,
every child, regardless of whatever Association forthe Gifted(PAG)denotes,
gift, uniqueness,
"Giftedness'i

and needs, has a right to education as stated inthe1987 as a condition resulting froma responsiye biological and

Philippine Constimtion, These pointswere supported by social environment thatcan be manifested duringthe
thereport ef formerDepartment of EducationSecretary early developmental period of liie.
In adclition, giftedness
Jesli
Lapus C2008)
presentedat Geneva, Switzerland. can provide estimates of futureperformance.In totalitM
SpecificallMhe reported that the country isenthusiasti- giftedchildren make up the3% of thetotaIpopulation of
cally participating intheglobal movement on Education the Philippines.
Fbr Allor EFA 2015,which states that by that year every Fbr many decades,
the need to educate gifted
children

Filipinochild isexpected to be functionally


literate,
in- has been recognized in the country, particularlysince
cluding children with special needs. In recognition to the national laws and policiessupport endeavors pertain-
factthat there are children with special needs, thispaper ing to giftedness,Educationand counseling havebeen
highlights
theresponsive education thatisbeingprovided providedforgifted children since 1960.The University
by thegovernment in theFilipinosetting, Futureprojects of thePhilippinesin Dilimanstarted offering a teacher
and recommendations of thestudy are also discussed. training program forthegiftedas early as 1966,which
Giftednessdraws multiple meanings from different eventually ledRepublicAct 5250 to be mandated. This
sources. In general, giftedchildren exhibit exceptional trainingprogram forpublic school teachers of the gifted
abilities different
from children of their age. They show spanned for10 years, and was spearheaded by Matilde
extreme curiositM ask a learnquickly,
lotof questions, Valdez,one of the pioneer teachers of UP Collegeof

l31

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132 SPECIALSCIENCEELENrEN'IIARYSCHOOL

(Wong-Fernandez
Education & Bustos-Orosa,
2007),
From theprocessesof selecting students, science curriculum,

then on, many laws were made to support giftededuc;a- and of teachers for the SSES project
qualifications from
tion inthe country Fbr example, the constitution under gradesene to 6.
Article
XIV affirrns that the state should takeappropriate
steps to make education accessible forall, and thatthe ll.Methodology
state should incentives
provide and scholarship grantsin The purposeof this study was to analyze the SSES
science to deserving giftedchildren. As a result, the Projectforgiftedchildren inthePhilippines.SpecificallM
Presidential Decree603 (PD 603)of 1974,stressed the itsought answers to the followingquestions:<1)
What are
importance of providingopportunities and encourage- the processes used forse!ecting students forthe SSES
ment forgiftedchildren to develop their special talents. (2)
Project?; What type of science curriculum isprovided
ConsequentlMthe decreeunder Article74,which states forthe students?; and (3)
What are the qualifications
to
that there shall be special classes inevery provinceand if become an SSES Projectteacher?
possible special schools forchildren with special needs This study mainly employed decurnentanalysis for
including giftedchildren, was also formulated. Most of gathering data,The researchers gathered datafrom:
these lawsand provisions emphasize the importanceof available documentson the projects,articles about the

providingscience education forgiftedchildren. SSES Project throughtheothcial homepage, Department


Hence, in response to what is stated by the law and of Education Memorandums and Orders, existing

becauseof the growing recognition of the importance Philippine


elementary science curriculum extracted from
of educating giftedchildren in the countrM schools for RBEC 2002,and copies of cnirricula forthe SSES Project,
the giftedwere established. Special
science schools were Additionally,
thispaper delvedon the difference
between
built
indifEerent
provinces all over the countrv, One of the schools with SSES project and regular publicschools in
pioneers and popularpublicscience high schools in
most terms of admission process,science curriculum, and hir-

theceuntry isthePhilippine ScienceHigh School(PSHS), ingrequirements forscience teachers.


which was established in 1970,even beforePD 603 was

This school isamong


promulgated. the many science high III.
Resultsof the Study
schools where a special science curriculum forgiftedchil- This presentsthe SSES Projectin terms of
section

drenisolifered.Itsprimary goalistotrainfuturescientists program management, curriculum and instruction,


rwong-Fernanclez & Bustos-Orosa, 2007). identification
of students, and teachers' qualification
Tb cater to those who opt or wish to enroll in a Special and professionaldevelopment.Thereafter, a comparison

Science
School,
thePhilippine
government,in itspursuit betweenelements of the SSES Project
and features
oi a
of providingan appropriate education forall giftedchi]- regular elementary public school isdiscussed.
dren,introduced
a program under the Department of
Education (DepEd)-Special
Education Division
called 3.1 The SpecialScienceElementary Science
5ipecial SchoolPioject'
SeienceEZementany), or the SSES Project (SSESPrQject)
Project,
in2007.II-he
goal of thisprojectisto produce The Philippines,
among other countries, aims to give
scientifically literate
children starting at the primary much importance to developing scientifically literate
chil-

level,
Graduates
from these schools are highlyexpected dren,due to the benefitsof doing so. Pawilen& Sumida
to continue their secondary in science high
education (2005)stated that children who are well versed in differ-
schools all over the country Although SSES isalso part ent scientific skills, could make importantcontributions
of thepublicschoo] system, theproject provides physi- to the economic developmentof the country Then four
cal infrastructures
and methodology different
fromother years ago, beforethe implementation
of the new edu-

science classes beingheldat the prirnarylexrel.


As cational system, the SSES Projectwas implementeclin
mentioned, much of the analysis {n thisstudy delvesinto elementary schQols. This action was in response to the

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ltethfiOfAZVbL36No.2 (20]2)133

call of former PresidentGloriaMacapagal-Arroyoto re- 57 selected publicschools in 16 regions of thecountry


visit theimportance
of Scienceand [[bchnology or S&T, participated in the pilotimplementationof the SSES
which basically
helps"put
foodon the table,save lives project.The schools were se]ected basedon thefollowing
and preventcalamities, harnessrenewable and indig- criteria: above average performance in the division,
re-

enous energM preventillnesses,


cure and and create more gionaland national achievement strong leadership
tests;
jobopportunities." Althoughsome might ar-
high-quality ot school head,commitment of teachers and supportive

gue thatthestatement focused


on economic growth rather parentsand community; and availability of iacilities
and

than educational reform, theSSES Projectfore}ementary equipment relevant to supperting science and technolegy
school giftedchi]dren was introduced. As of 201e,
thenumber of publicschools involved
inthe
The SSES Projectisdesignedto developgrade school prujectincreasedtQ 100 (Department
of EducationOrder

children witiz inscience


high mptitblde and mathematics, No,51 series of 2010).
Everyyear thenumber of schools
which are among the underlying gifted-
connotations of becoming invo]vedwith theSSES Projectincreases,
Table
ness among Tagalog-speakingFilipinos(angathindi 1 shows thenumber of schools with the complete cycle of

Pangharaniwan,
matalino or hashighlevel,
isextraordi- theSSES Projectin 16 regions of the country The table
narM and (Wong-Fernandez
intelligent) & Bustos-Orosa, also indicates
thepercentage
of school districts
compared

2007) throughan enriched science curriculum Lapus with the number of districts
per region mvolved inthe
(2009)
highlights
thatthisproject
providesopportunities projectas of 2010.
forgiftedelementary children to developunderstanding of the projectindistricts
Noticethat the distribution
and skills needed to becomeproductiveproblem-solvers per regien is uneven due to the followingreasons: 1)
in a scientific and technological world, They also serve schools in the district
do not meet several of the criteria
as feederschools to S&T-oriented
highschools all over foran SSES school; 2)lackof sufficient manpower to lead

thecountry theschool in implcmentingthe necessary provisions; and

kble 1.Numbcr Schools of and Percentigeof School


Distriets
with SSES Project per Region
'e'il,,lll・li'1''/IMt:..;l-/'ltt..=..,/.:-:l・gg,il・i
''liltttt/'
ill,ptdrdi,..,
./l;,t./-.-/--t-,
i,・iE・・i:・l...r//・,''':111t,nv.ts・,.・;1,i lliFt.flt・''':'//r/''
i,,S,i・-A',,,ng,fl,wt.,,,.llki/i・l/{{
t.t...t.t. SI・,ip.iPi'・'"',,l,ktied;ajg.wi.fh ttt..:t/.1/'t.asttttl{tt
g'Ii'-,,ti・i-
,,/・/iil/l/i.Iee.l.i,{i,/・/,/l{/.l..?./,fTgiii・/

imaitIidigmel ・$・ewi'9slee'ptdi':
se・tw--..si''Wil,esi'
'・'""",kbllr'tiee,・,, ,lltwt'um""$'l'egtt"'"'/'1/li,
ig・/'l'l'l'es,ast.i.:/,/gig・wa,.,,.-..,ll・iil'i'i'/
,/s/eemu'geegee'}{$ttsiww-tma,..ii'iii'''/,il,ii'l'liiim'i`'iig},・6illlll,I ,llwut.,{l,,,,PII,'tt="illil・
t-U-bu.-za-tt.ttlmm
SEI'-'?rojetf:'.1'/=-/,,k//}
.,...・,・mamffg/ttt//i,IIX・lll,, ' .,....tttxttt'//,'tlltttttitiit ''rvttt
,,,/ll'i1311//Silwwt!l /1/,,-/-;=--,.tt-t;//
,gegESP.ll'`'iilii*,・,/
n,t{l-/

RegionI- RegionVIII-
7 5.00,6 140 7 3.50/61'198
IlocosRegion EasternVisayas
RegionIX- 1/
RegionII-
6 4.20/6 140' Zamboanga 6 5.396' 113
CagayanValley Peninsula
tt179
RegienIII- RegienX-
7 3.gef. 6 4.lg・,11"
Centra]Luzon NorthernMindanao
RegionIV- 7 3.6% 194
RegionXI-
6 6.2%1'96
A.CALABARZON DavaoRegion '
'6
RegionIV- Reg{onXII-
5.101,tt 105 4 2.9.0・e'136
B.MIMM<OPA SOCCSKSARGEN '
RegionV- RegionXIII-
7 4.2a・h 166 CARAGARegion
7 10.6%1166
BicolRegion t- tt
Cordillera
RegienVI-
6 2.801o 214 Administrative 6 4.9"'eiIL2
WesternVisayas
Region(CAR)
RegionVII- NationalCaplta1
5 2.se/, 177 7 6.60'o 106
CentraLVisavas' RegionOLTCR)
'1'OTAL,ioo14.350fo LL96

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134SPECIAL SCENCE ELEMENTIMIY SCHOOL

3)capability of thelocal
government to support several IEarningor Self-Study).
schools of thedistrict
at a time may be insufficient. The designed
science curriculum fortheprojectisdi-
a. Pregram Management of the SSES Project vided (People,
intothree areas: LifeSciences Plantsand
The goal of the project is to produce scientifically Animals);Physical Sciences (Materials,
EnergyFbrceand
literate
children with ages ranging from 6 to 12 years. Motion);and Earth and SolarSystem CEarth and Space),

The management of theprogram isenvisioned through Eaeh area iscomposed of several themes with diliEerent
the followingmission and vision (Guidelines
on the competencies that children need to acquire in one year.
Implementation
of the Special
Science
Elementary
School Fbr grades one and two, the curriculum offered contains

Project,
2007)i concepts thatare benchmarked
inregular curriculum for
grade three. For example, a lessonabout Ilartsof the
Vision-The SSES envisions developing
Filipino HlaadisprovidedforGrade 1 students. The teacher asks
children who are equipped with scientific and tech- the class to identify partsof thehead(e.g.
thedifferent
nological knowledge,
skills and attitudes, creative eyes, nose, ears, hair,mouth) and the function
of each us-

andhave positive
values, lifelong
learningskills to ingpicturesand fi11
intheblanksentences.
becomeproductivepartnersin the developmentof More importantly, curricula for this projectare pro-
the comrnunity and society vided with ICT-enhanced instructions,
i.e.technolegy
such as computer is integrated
in teaching and learn-
Mission-TheSSESprovideslearningenvironment ingscience. In addition, selected scheols where theSSES
to science-inclined children through a special curric- Projectisimplementedare prioritizedtoacquire "state-of-
ulum, which recognizes multipre intelligences
and is the-art"technolog}i Ideall}L
a standard SSES classroom

geared towards the developmentof God-loving,


na- should haveat least
two computers, a televisionset, cas-

tionalistic,
creative, ecological aware, scientifically LCD projectog
playerlrecorder,
sette OHR and VHSfVCDf
and technologically
oriented and skilled individuals DVD player.Moreover,the school should have a science
who are empowered through lifelong
learningskills. laboratory
besidesa laboratory
science room, a computer

equipped with multimedia facilities,


and Internet a speech
b. Curriculum and Instruction
of the SSES laboratory, a music room, and a gym with functional
Project sports facilities.
[Ibsupport the continuous improvement
The science curriculumforthe preject isprovided by of theprojectfacilities,
DepEd isexpected to continuously
DepEd, and is designedto develepchildren with higher allocate financial
assistance to the participatingschools

aptitude forscience as well as mathematics. Thisproject (DepEdOrderNo. 73 series of 2008).


offers an enriched science curriculum anchored in the With regard to contact hours,longertime isallotted
national curriculum from grades one until 6. The com- to teaching and learningscience concepts and processes.
intheSSES curriculum
petencies listed are Higher-Order Specifically,forgrades one to three,children study science
(HOTS)-based
Thinking Skills and Iearner-oriented
ac- foran hour.SubsequentlM an hour and 20 minutes are the

are highly
tivities Italso provides children alletted time for
grades fouruntil 6. use English
fl"eachers
recommended.

with extended oppertunities to develop


communication, as medium of instruction
in teaching the subjects exeept
decision-making,
teamwork and lifelong
learning
skills forteaching Filipino,
This is in response to Executive
throughdifferentenrichedandhands-enscienceactivities. Order No. 210 series of 2003,which aims to strengthen
The SSES curriculum uti1izes varied teaching approach- the use of Englishlanguage
as a medium of instruction
eslstrategies to address themultiple intelligences,
unique inthePhilippine
educational system.
iearningstyles (Practical
and needs of WOrk the students c. Admission of Students
Approach,Interactive Cooperative
Ttiaching-Learning, The SSES Projectisintendedto cater to children who
Learning, Computer-Aidecl
Instruction,Independent are rec(rgnized to possess exceptional abilities and skills

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-----------
1
1
I
1

Figure1.ScreeningProcess
forIncomingGrade1 studients.

farmore advanced thanthoseof average children. Hence, The top 35 scorers are assigried to the entry levelof the
children who haveintentions
of being includedin the SSES class, which isin first grade,In case anyone from
class need to undergo a rigid screening process. The the top 35 children doesnot opt to enroll, the child in the

Departmentof EducationCentralOffice and Regioma1 36thrank, and subsequent, normally replace(s) thevacant
Offices collaborate to administer the screening process slot(s). Phases one and two are also applied to incoming
forselecting children with exceptional abilitiesand talents. grade two students until the 6thgrade.
The screening of children isregularly done inMay before accepts transfereesonIy for
The project gradestwo and
the new school year starts. Schedule of screening days three,Additionally, theyare allowed to apply forvacant
varies from one school to another, Figure 1 shows thepru- slets previdedthatthey belongto the top 15%-20% of

cess of selecting the children forincoming grade one at theirpreviousclass. They are also subjected te the two-

theelementary leveL phase screening process. Fbr example, ina school where
Based on the figureabove, all incoming grade one there were 147 incominggrade one pupils,27 (15
9,6)passed
Filipino
children, or those who are 6 yearsold are given the complete screening procedure and were admitted fbr

a written testineach of Science


these subjects: English, the project.

and ReadingAbilitytest{SReA),
Mathematics;Student's Aftera year, these children are evaluated basedon
and are The Central
interviewed. or Regional
Office
of their academic performance.In order fora child to re-
DepEd administers these elernents forthe initialscreen- main inthe project,hefsheshoulcl maintain thefollowing
ing.The scores thechildren are given corresponding
of requirements: grade lowerthan 80% inany subject
(1)
no

ranks and thetop50 scorers move to the next step of the in any grading period; (2)must have a finalrating of
screeningprocedure. 85% in English,Mathematics,and Science subjects; and

In addition, a written agreement isgivento each set of C3)continuously exhibits character traitsdefinedin the

parents to sign and show theirwillingness to givetheir standards forSSES children.

children and the project


whatever need iswarranted. The Otherwise,
despite
oi remediation by the teacherswith
SSES Project
recognizes the importanceof parents'
posi- the assistance of theparents, a child should be advised
tive attitude toward the project.Tbachersand children to move to the regular program inthesucceeding school

need support fromparents, with regard to activities and year.Alternatively


parentsmay voluntarily pullout their
such of the SSES Project. child any time inthe academic year.
For phase two, thetop 50 children takea psychologi- d.Tbachers' Qualificationsand Professional

cal testadministered by theRegionalOffice. Next,these Development


children are ranked based on this distribution:
50% psy- [[bachersplay important
roles in the teaching and

chological testand 50% average ef the first


screening. learningprocess.Children's
success in gaining mean-

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136 SPECIALSCIENCEELE)・IEN[IZARYSCHOOL

ingfu1and relevant Iearningexperiences, ainong other 3.2 Comparisonbetween Schoolslnvolvedin the


Suffice
things,rests on theeffectiveness of teachers. itto SSES Projectand RegularElementarySchools
say thatgifted childrcn need teachers who also posse$s a. On ScienceCurriculumand Instruction
exceptional abilities. Therefore,
aside from the minimum Regularpublic elementary schools uses the mandated
quaiificatiensstated by the law to become classroom science curriculum gnidein providing children
as a with
teachers,
theprojectrequires additional qualificationsfor learningcompetencies. The central
the prescribed office

fortheprojectshould:
teachers to be eligibie. [[bachers (1) of the Department of Educationmandates the curricu-
be willing to participatein theproject;
(2)have teaching lum,The curriculum used forboththeSSES and regular
experience forat least3years or more and are not about programs isdividedintoseveral themes: People,Animals,
to retire within the next 5 years;(3)possessgood moral Plants,Matter,EnergM and Earth and SolarSystem. The
character and positivework ethics; (4)
have specialization competencies are spiral innature; concept becomes more
inScience
andlor relevant trainingin thesubject;(5)
have complex in the succeeding grade levels.
Healthisa]so in-
very satisfactory performance rating; and (6)
be wMing to tegrated inbothcurricula. Howeveg theSSES Project
uses
unclergo ancl attend professienaldevelopment
programsf an enhanced science curriculum anchored in the regular
studies (Guidelines
on theImplementation
of the Special curriculum, which was designedto develophigher
order
Science
Elementary
Schoc)1
Project,
2007). thinkingskills and to address the multiple intelligences
of
I.ikewise,
teachers with ICT orientation or those who young giftedchildren.
are willing to undergo ICT training;with experience in In a regular publicschool setting, teachingscience for-
conducting research; and who have initiated
innovations mally starts in grade three,There isno separate science
in teaching science andfor mathematics are given much subject forgradesone and two. On theother hand, inthe
priority inbeingtaken on as an SSES teacher.These SSES setting, science isformally
taught in grade one.
criteria are added to ensure the capacity passion
and The listof the subject fortheSSES class isthesame as
of teachers to handle the children and in
to participate that of regular classes, except tortheinclusion
of science
the undertaking. These characteristics of teachers will ingrades one and two. 1lable2 compares the subjects
inevitably
contribute tothe success of the project. forregular schools and intheSSESProject
those involved
Onceteachersare professional
selected, ispro-
training (Grades
1 and 2).
vided for them in compliance with DepEd OrderNo.73, I.ongercontact hoursare allotted forscience in SSES
s. 20e8.The training focusses on enhancement of teach- classes.Grades one to three students study foran hour.
ersr and school heads'eapability. Furthermore,RECSAIVi Studentsfromthenext threelevels neecl to study foran
Universityof the Philippines-National 'Ilable
and Institute hour and 20 minutes. 3 shows theallotted timein
(UP-NISrvIED)
forScienceand Math Education conduct minutes (daily
and weekly) forscience in theregular and
special training forsome SSES teachers,}iorexample, a SSES class respectively.

3-daytrainingprogram in 2009 was provided forSSES There is no difference


with regard to the medium of
teachers inLemery Batangas,that emphasizes teaching instruction
used forboththe regular schools and SSES
throughproblem solving and science inquiry and high-

lightsconnections of concepts,principles,
and procedures

intopics [[lable
2. Comparison of subjects offered inregular school and
within the same grade level
and across gradelev-
SSES Project(Grades1 and 2)
els. The trainingisexpected to increase
theircompetency .//ttt./////1/1/lillt=.t=t・'///,'t・,.l・l・#/l,:
iEZ/''・・・,,,,m..,,, twpa'eee,l/i.Sti
as teachers of SSES students, l/////,,....//t

English English '


Filipino FiHpino
Mathematics Mathernatics
'ScienceMAKtlii14iliAN
/ (Noseparate science subjecO

ACAI<ABIYIIAN
j

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IN-#thEWfYYVbL36No.2 (2012)137

classes. Both classes use English


as medium of instruc- drenhavecopies of their birth
certificates and consent

tionin teaching science as mandated in the Philippine forms dulysigned by theirparents, they immediatelyget
curriculum, accepted. Underthe restrictions set by the SSES PrQject,

A typical
science designedforthe SSES
curriculum children need to undergo a rigid screening procedurc.
Projectappears to be clearly stated and documented. It Stricter
requirements are set forincoming SSES students.
has a list
of competencies thatisexpected tohelpchildren Further,children should pass written, reading, interview
acquire thinking skills that they need. HeWever,one of the and testsbeforethey can be accepted tothe
psychological
main concerns forcurriculum and instruction
isthe Iack class. Studentswho pass the rigid screening procedure

of a uniform approach to teach science concepts to these must maintain gracleexpected


a minimum average of all

giftedchildren. One approach inaddressing this concern SSES learners.


Otherwise,
they will be pulledout of the
on curriculum and instruction
isthrough differentiation,
project.Incontrast, in theregular public school students

'Ibmlinson

(2005)
reiterates the importanceof differen- are only expected to achieve a minimurn level
of perfor-

tiatingthe curriculum forgiftedchildren becauseitcan mance. Tbble 4・shows a comparison between theregular
addresstheindividualdifft)rencesofchildrenwithregards public elementary school and those in the
participating
to theirinterest,
needs and Hence,itises-
learning profile. SSES Projectin terms of selection of students, the grade
sential that teachers of the SSES class learnhow touse a thateach child should maintain, and the number of chil-

differentiated
curriculum, er any other approach that may drenper classroom.
be deemed effective through longitudinal
studies in the The regular school program and theSSES Projectsets
Philippine setting, inpreparing learningexperiences for a maintaining grade,Forexample, inthe regular program
gifteclchildren intheirclassroorn. Furthermore, the mis- a child as long as helsheachieves a grade of 70% in all
sion and vision of the project may be achieved through subjects can pass and move to thenext grade levelafter a

differentiation. year.Howevegchildren inthe SSES class should maintain


b. On Students' Admission a grade of 859,iparticularlyin major subjects, namely:

Inregular public elementary schools, as longas chil- Eng]ish,


Mathematics
and Science.

Furthermore,as shown in the table,the number of

3. Time AllottedforScience
1[bble inthe Regular
Schooland students per classroom also differs
betweenthe regular
forSpecia1ScienceElementarySchoolProjectin law;
classroom and the SSES class. Under the Philippine
rninutes (daily
and weekly) itis stated that no children should be refused access to
.ww..,,,111/i,li
i.llww'die"i re/.':'i・iRege"if/ll.."egrarl.l,・nt-"ttt{,・・・/-'S'as.,・?glilj.
=..t..,.t///////, t/t education. Hence,in the public elementary school regular

illllll・iij"l'III#1,i,il.'
,im-],i,,,palYl:sw-'.,
rt・,,tMim##"・.,・l・iR...fi.tw,, I・:・lliww,,eel{IYi・i・l,l=
setting, regardless of the number of students in a class-
'Grade1.,..geutwt'.,IiXue'"i'#ltL,f,,,.inuteg>..-..,-
l///ww)
t........
room, administrators do not have the right to reject or
*l'* 60 300
Grade2 *Ii*
60 300j' refuse children who want to go to schQol. Therefore,
a

Grade3 40i200 60 300i regular classroom ismostly composed of more than 35


Grade4 60 300' 80 400 students. However,in the SSES class the number of stu-
Grade5l60 300 80 400 dentsis set to a maximum of 35 per classroom to make
Grade6 60 300 80 400
sure that all students are equally served and challenged.
*-IVb saparate science subject Giftedness
need to be be meticulously identifiecl,
The

1[tLble4.Comparison
of two schools based on selection process,minimum grade requirement and number of chi]dren per classroom

tttttttttt Spec!al,$.s.Sks}...w,,,ee,iew,....p,tatrtY
gma.,:/telpTvj
,-:..ii,ttl-・'・.1iils,1ililli・4\iSa,..ewllii・,,iilt/ttL,.,...R',',,IIeetw.i.i.bi,e,llln'ig,iii,,eeilts.ii.ll,.
SelectionProcess NoRigidEcreeningProcess Has Rigicl
ScreeningProcess -.j
MinimumGradeRequirement(Science} 709!o '"' 859z"
Numberofchildren Minimumof35 Maximum of 35 -

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138 SPECIAI.SCIENCE-EI.EMENTARYSCHOOL

SSES Project implements an organized step-by-step pro- ingand workshops forteachers duringthe year and the
cedure for
screening children. Italso has a list
of common summer vacation, The trainingconducted inUP-NISMED
characteristics a SSES cancliclate should possess;how- isone examples of the training providedto teachers in
ever the absence of standardized test instrumentthat the special science project,The training
fbcusseson the
can be used to assess children isone of theconcerns of enhancement of teachers'and school heads'capability to
the project,As of 2010,there are 100public schools in16 handlethe SSES Project.Furthermore,
Department Order
difft]rent
regions inthePhilippines
thatintegrated SSES No.88 released by theDepEd in2011 providedfinanciaV
Projectintotheirsystem. Each of them administered dif- budget allotment for the enhancernent ef capability of

ferent
teacher-made SSES children,
tests to prospective teachers and heads through participationin local
school

which contributes to in consistency of itemsincludedin and international seminars, and im-


conforences,training,
Test questions in one
the test questionable. school could mersion forscience oriented schools like
the SSES Project.
be relatively easy inother
or hard fortest-takers scheols. Attendingthese conferences, workshops and training
Hence,thevalidity) uniformity; and reliability of the test could helpteachers to improvetheirskills inteaching sci-
instrumentscan bequestioned. ence to chi]dren inthisproject.
c. On [ibacher'sQualifications
and Professional Asidefrom theirdemanding intellectual
needs, teachers
Development should learnhow to dealwith theaffective aspect of gift-
RepublicAct No. 4670 (1966),
known as The also ed children.Hence, seminars and training thatdealwith
Magna CartaforPubgicSchool7leacheits}
gives a list
of hancllingtheaffective aspect of giftedchildren should be
qualificationsto become a public school teacherinthe providedforthe teachers. Furthermore,teachers' ahility
country. According to the Act, teachersinelementary or exp erience inteaching gifted
children could be an addi-

should have earnecl a bachelor's


degreeinElementary tionalcriterion that can be stated inselecting teachersfor
Education. Otherwise,
those who are non-education the SSES Project.
Iftheteachersdo not havetheability}
graduates must haveearned 18 units of Certificate
of knowledgeand passion forteaching, as well as sufficient
ProfessionalEducationtaken from any teacher-education experience, the expected mission and vision of the SSES

institutions.
Otherrequirements includepassing the Project will all behard to attain. Also,the program man-

(LET)administered
LicensureExaminationfor[Ileachers ager should be strict inselecting teachersand monitoring

RegulationCornmissionCPRC),
by the Professional teacher's
performance.Constantevaluation of teachers'
of the SSES class
[Ileachers should possessthe qualifi- performanceshould be made.
cationsmandatedbythelaiv/Howevegthereareadditional

qualificationsthat SSES teachers should have.These ad- 3.3 implications forScienceEducation


clitional qualifications
make SSES teachers different from The Philippines and Japan are two countries with dif-

reguIar science teachers. Giftedchildren need teachers ferent national educational goals and orientation, and
who also possess exceptional characteristics, IIence, inevitably, difft}rent
educational systems, The Philippines

teachers should have additional characteristics that will fo]lowsa 6-4 educational system for itsprimary and
enable them to teach the science-inclined and the gifted secondary levels,
fora total of ten years, Althoughthe
alike. presentgovernment has proposed a K+12 Programthat
Due to the characteristics of the children in the project, will add another two yearsto the basiceducation level,
the
itisimperative
that teachers should be provided with the detailsof the implementation will not be officially distrib-

necessary and up-to-date Once


training and workshops. uted until 2012.0n the ether hand, Japan's educational
teachers have been forthe project,training is
selected system iscomposed of 6-3-3 yearsallotted forelementary,
for them in compliance
providecl with the Department juniorhighschool, ancl senior highschool respectively; for
of EducationOrder No. 73, series of 2e08. RECSAM a totalof 12 years.Howeveg thesedifferences
seem to be
and other educational institutions
provide special train- more than theeducational structure itself,

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S+\twEWFn Vbl.36No.2 C2012)139

Fbr years,science remains to be one of the impor- IV:Conclusionand Recommendations


tant subjects in school inbothcountries, which aims to The Philippines
isa developing
country that isstriving
developscientificattitude,ability)and thinkingskills, to achieve furthereconomic developmentand stabilit}L

the focusand emphasis vary greatly eawilen


& Sumicla, The country believesthat peoplewho are well versed in
2e05), inJapan,
SpecificallM theuse of practicalwork is science and mathematics can make a greatcontribution
highlyemphasized and itsgrand theme isnature, but in in achieving this goal.This is also mentioned in much
the Philippines
science's emphases are health
and Filipino research on the importanceof science to the economic

values; science isviewed as a toolforindustrial


change in developmentof the country Creating
futurescientists
the country and mathematicians start in school. With these things
In addition, like
most countries, which integrate
west- recognized, itis a must for a school to offer science
ern theories intoitseducational has
giftedness
system, curriculurn that helpyoung children to developscientific
been acknowledged in the Philippinesformore than literacy
ancl skMs,

fourdecades.
Specifically,
in the Philippines,
aside from At present, the Restructured Basic Education
theregu1ar school program,a special projectforchildren CurriculumalBEC)2002 isthe mandated curriculum

with exceptional skills and abilities or gifted children is forprimary education, Scienceisone thefivemain sub-
rl'he
also officially offered. As mentioned, the projectprovides jects that are includedin the curriculum. goalof the
special science curriculum forgiftedchildren starting in subject isto helpFilipino students develop a functional

Grades1 and 2;thisprojectwill continue until schools understanding of science concepts and principleslinked
across the nation havetheir own SSES class. At present, with real life
situations; acquire science skills as well as

research on giftedness inscience rernain to be of special scientific attitudes and values needed insolving everyday

interest inthePhilippines. On the other hand,likemost problems(seeRBEC Handbook,2002),Itprescribes a list


Asiancountries inspired by Confucian heritage, which of minimum competencies thatchildren need to acquire
pays tribute to diligence at birth,
more than the talents grade or yearlevel.
after a certain Indeed,science isbene-
giftednessand giftedscience education remains tQ be ficial
forgiitedchildren. However,since theestablishment
virtually supplemented through programs that cater te of special science high schools in the publichigh schooi
giftedyeung children. Fbr instance,a science program system more fourdecadesago, ithas been only
than
called KictsAcademia, which isin itssecond year; aims much laterthattheSSES I'roject
was firstimplemented.
to providescience experiences forselected young gifted One of itgoalsisto developscientifically literate
students

children in Matsuyama CityEhime Pref., Japan.This through their enhanced science curriculum, which deals
program providesa specially tailoredscience curriculum with the developmentof higher-order
thinkingskills and
that isintendedto address and developscientific think- address the multiple intelligences
of gifted
children.

ingof gifted young children from kindergarten


to grade In les$than fiveyears, the projectgained sigriificant
2 Hiwatig,&
(Faustino, Sumida, 2011).Researchin psy- achievements. Ilarexample, has already orga-
the project

chology that pertainsto giftedriessand gifted behaviors nized a fu11-grade


cycle, produced more trained teachers

remains far irom ubiquitous, but recent interest


in the and school heads that have thecapability to pioneerand
existence of twice-exceptionalityisgaining much needed manage a projectintheirassigned schools, create provi-
recQgnition. For example, Sumida (2010) conducted a sions iorfinancial
support forthe implementation
of the

study on identifying
a child with a special need Cachild projectand provisionfor the implementationof team
with ADHD), butpossesses a in science.
giftedpotential teaching. Furthermore,
thefirstbatchesof SSES students
Thus,gifteclness
and giftedscience education may remain are expected tograduateby 2013.

virtually supplemented forthe yearstocome inJapan,. The SSES Projectand theregular elementary school

program are dilferent in the following


aspeets: admission

of students, science curriculum and teachers' qualifica-

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14e SPECIALSCIENCEELEMENZqRYSCHOOL

tlon. intheSSES class are qualified


forthe position. However,it
First,to be admitted in the SSES Project,
students isrecommended thataside fortheabovementioned quali-
should undergo process,
a screening which isnot done in fications,
the projectshould includequalifications
such as
the reguiar program. The procedureisdone to identify background in teaching giftedchildren. Furthermore,to
who among the incoming students possess exceptiona] make sure thatthevision and mission are employed inthe
abilities
and skills farmore advanced than other students. classroom, constant observations and evaluations should

Properidentification
isneeded to ensure thatstudents can be done,
cope with challenging tasks at hand.Identifyingwho are The SSES Projectisanother way providingeduca-
of

gifted children is a difficult


task.Validinstruments
are tion forgifted
children inthe Philippines.
Many countries
needed to make sure that students are properlyassessed around the wor]d recognize theimportance
of educating

and identified,
However,
as noted, one of the concerns of giftedchildren. However,therea fewcountries likeJapan,
the SSES Projectisthe unavailability of a standarclized where the eoncept of giftednessis yet to be acknowl-

menta1-ability test instrument,


This scenarjo revcaled edged. It neither recognizes isa part of
that giftedness
thateach school implementing
the SSES Projectisusing special education, nor believes
thatgiftedchildren have
different tcsting.Due
psychological to this situation, the any special cogriitive and psychological neecls. In terms
question of the reliability and s,alidity of the test instru- of admission, thereisno officially enforcecl aclmission

ments poses a concern. process inJapan,


although teachersgenerally agree with

Second,there are remarkable differences


between the learning,
individualized which are often usecl forgifted
science eurriculum providedin the SSES Project
and in children. Furthermore, because giftedeclucation does not
the regular classroom One of the distinct
featuresef the exist in Japan,
teachers consciousness of itisno different
SSES Projectis itsenriched science grade
curriculum from thatof general population,Recognitionof giftedness
onethe contents are normally taught at grade three inJapanwill be a longprocess becauseof difforent fac-
regular public elementary school students. In addition, tors such as the cu1ture and educational system, although
ICT-instructions in the SSES curricu-
are also integrated various research on giftededucation inJapanis carried
lurn,Fbr example, the use of computcr and theinternet out at This stucly
present, givean ideaforJapanese
coulcl

give students an access to a information. educators on


wide range of how giftededucation foryoung children is
However,one uf the concerns inthisarea are theinstruc- donein country likethe Philippines.
tionalmethods and approaches used by the teachers,As In summarM based on thefindings
of the study, the re-
stated in themission and vision, the project airns to cle- searchers recommend (1)
the follewing: instruments used
velop themultiple intelligences of gifted children. Gifted to screen students should elfective]y set apart students
children possess extraordinary abilities and each of them who really havehighaptitude and positiveinclination
havevaried needs, interests, and learning profiles-thus toward science fromthose students who simply received
the use of single type of instruction
may givelessoppor- highgradesin science and thus may be accepted without
tunity forthem to developstudents' multiple intelligenees.furtherscreening; (2) evaluation of teachers' abilities
Therefore,
to address thisconcern, the use of a differenti- and skills in teaching giftedchildren should be done
ated curriculum isrecommended. meticulously to avoid mismatches; (3)materials used in
Finally,
becausethe projectaims to cater forchilclren teaching science such as textbooks and 1ahoratory
equip-
with exceptional skills and abilities,teachers should also ment should be thoroughly studied so that they continue

possess thecapability to effectively teach thesechilclren. to be eliEective in stimulating students' curiosity; (4)
sur-
Asidefromthe minimum qualifications
mandated by the veys on the attitudefperception of teachers,students,
law to become a publicschool teacher,thereare additional and parentson theproject should be conducted to serve
qualificationsforteachers who will be assigned to teach as basis
foridentifyingarea that need improvernent and
inthisproject.The additional criteria ensure thatteachers giverise to action forimprovement;and (5)
studies on the

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F+#twEewX Vbl.36No.2 (2012)141

emotional development of giftedstudents inthe project Department of Educatien (DepEd)


OrderNo. 73 series of 2008:
should also becQnducted, Itseems thatthe project solely Guideiines oftheFinancr'al
on the Utiii2ation Assistanceto
the SPea'al
Sa'enceEllementa):y
SchoolPtw'ect.
Pasig City:
focuseson the cognitive developmentof the students,
Department of Education,2e08.
while skipping the affective aspects, Various studies
Executive Order No. 210 series of 2003: Elstablishing
tize
show that giftedchildren are also prone to emotional
flogiq}, of the EnglishLangucage
to St,engthenthe use as a

problems,Hence,itisessential that the projectincludesa MladiumofBistiuction S,stem.


in the tht{cational Manila,
program feremotional development children in
of gifted Philippines.
the SSES Project. UItimatelyaddressing theseconcerns Faustino,J B. Hiwatig,
A. D, & Sumida,M.:Kids Academia
can helpcontribute in achieving the goalsof the SSES
ScienceProgram-EnrichingExceptionalNeeds and
Charaeteristics
of Gifted
Yhung ChildreninJapan.Btfdetin
Projectto developscientifically literate
gifted children
of the of
fi}xculty EducationElzi?ife
[J)iiveisity,
58,125-135,
in the Philippinesthrough science and become noble
2011.Lapus,
scientists in the future, J.A.[ The Education System Facing the Challenges
of the 21st Century Reported at NdetionalRoport 2008:

Acknowledgement internationalCbiderence in Educaiion a(]E), Geneva,

The author and liketo thank Dr,


co-author would
SwitzerlandNovember25-28,2008,
Lapus,J.A.:DopED AIlots Fhrndingforfspecr'al
ScienceSchool.
Ehime University,
Manahu Sumida,Facu1tyof Education,
PasigCityiDepartment of Education, 2009.
Japanforhisutmost support and meaningfu1 and valu-
Pawilen,G. & Sumida,M,:A Comparative Analysisof the
able suggestions forthisstudy Elementary Science Curriculumof Philippinesand Japan.

ofthe RzculO'ofEducationEltinte(iniversily,
Bordetin 52(1},
Note 167-180,2005.
Correspondenceshould be sent toJoel
BernalFaustino. PhilippineConstitution[
ArticleMV Edzacan'on, Scienceand

lkchnolqgrl and SPorts,


Arts,Cletlture Philippines,1987.
Email:joelbfaustino@yahoo,com,ph
Republic Act No. 4670: Magna CartaforPbeblic School
RetrievedMarch 1,2011 frem htrp:t/wuTw.lawphil.
1leachers.
References nettstatutesXrepactslra19661ra-4670-19ca.html

Article
74, Presidential
DecreeNO.603/TlheChildand }buth SmutnM J.E: 7leaching}btfngGtftedenild,enin tieeRagultzr
PVU4iZire
Code.RetrievedFebruary 20,2011 from http:11www. Classroom. March 11,2011 fromhttp:11wwwLhoa-
Retrievecl
Iawphil.netlstatuteslpresdecslpd19741pd-603-1974,html giesgifted.orglericle595.html
Department of Education: RestracturedBasic Elkementaay
Sumida,M.:Identifying1[XKiice-ExceptionalChildrenandThr
Q{rricttbumHbndbook.PasigCity:DepartmentofEducation, GiftedStyles in the Japanese PrirnaryScienceClassroom.
2002, internationag lburnal of ScienceEducation,32(15),
2097-
Departmentof Education: Gttidelineson bTiplementation 2111,2010.
of theSPeciat Science
Erbnzenta}T SchoogFV'oject.'
Bureau [Ibmlinson,C,A.:Qualitycurriculumandinstructionforhighl
of EUrmenta}yEducation, Pasig City:Departmentof able students. 1)leeo,yintoPvactice,
44{2},
160-166,2005.
Education,2007. Wong-Fernandez, B. & Bustos-Orosa, A.:Coneeptions of

Department of Education (DepEd) OrderNo. 88 series of 'IJagalog-Speaking


GiftednessAmong In S. N.
Filipinos.
2011:Gblidelines
on the Utiligation
of'the 2011 i;inanne'at Phillipson & M. McCann a!ds.), thnceptionsofGijteduess:
AsststancetotheE!becr'al
Science
Ellementairv ha'ect.
Schools Sociocultural kptspectives,169-196, Lawrence Erlbaum
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Departrnentof Education,2011. Associates,20e7.
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of series of
{Received
September30,2011;AcceptedApril1,2012)
2010:Guidetineson StrengtheningScienceEducationat the
EZementaiy Level.Pasig City:Department of Education,
2010.

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