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Insufficient mastery of basic skills: An overemphasis on performance tasks in assessing


Our current curriculum, which is K to 12, highly gives emphasis in making learners
execute skills that have meaning and relevant in their lives, and one way of doing it is through
performance tasks. This paper will talk about the overemphasis on performance tasks in
assessing learning and how it puts aside the basic skills, such as, reading, writing, speaking,
and other skills that a learner needs to master before proceeding to a more complex set of skills
and tasks. But the latter has been given a focus in our curriculum, which somehow results to low
and poor assessment of learning, and one of the major reasons is the lack of understanding and
practice in learning the basic skills.

This problem transcends to the philosophies of education where each of the philosophy
has different views in education from one another. The role of the teacher in our curriculum is to
facilitate learning and let the students create their own learning. But for the two of the oldest
philosophies in education, such as idealism and realism, the role of the teacher should not only
be a facilitator but the one who leads in processes learning in a systematic way. On the other
hand, pragmatism is focused on the execution of actual experiences in learning. In doing this,
performance tasks are used to assess learning. But while our system is maximizing the use of it,
it does not fully achieve its goal. The performance tasks that the students are doing are not
really making them learn a certain skill since there are students who do not completely acquired
the basic skills. The problem lies to the focus given on learning the basic skills. There is also too
much focus in differentiated learning that would be difficult on the part of the teacher if
performance tasks are used inappropriately. Instead of focusing on making the students
understand the experience and the learning they will get in such tasks, the teacher just
somehow makes a lot of preparation in conducting it and do it for the sake of assessing
learning. That is why it is important to make the learners have practices and drills to achieve the
basic skills they need and repetition is a key factor for them to fully grasp what they are learning,
such as what the philosophies in idealism and realism are. It is highly encouraged that
performance tasks serve its purpose in learning without overshadowing the basic skills of a
learner that the learner will not only need in education but in his future endeavors. Different
tasks and new methods and approaches in making learning more successful are a must in
education, but there should not be a need to put aside the basic things that are essential in
acquiring new skills. Ultimately, this paper will aim to explore the underlying questions on
insufficient mastery of basic skills and overemphasis on performance tasks to come up with
satisfying results in assessment of learning.