The preparation and production of thematic modules from Grade 3 to 10 have become a logical and meaningful strategy for Region 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula) in the formulation of the prescribed Self-Learning Modules (SLMs) to support the implementation of its Learning Continuity Plan.
The Curricular Journey. The TWG started with the first review of the 5,689 learning competencies embedded in 571-page MELCs (Most Essential Learning Competencies from the original 14,171 competencies) the TWG members have undertaken the following steps:
a) Reading/studying the MELCs across all learning areas/competencies of the given period/quarter; thus, the competencies have been grouped by Quarter on the same grade/level for all subject areas.
b) Reviewing closely the identified competencies from one subject area to another, eliciting some unifying and relevant concepts. Per experience, two subjects have readily complemented – English and Science and Health (yes! after all COVID-19 virus is a key concept in Science and Health). Among the eight competencies for the eight weeks of the First Quarter timeframe, similar and, again, related concepts have been identified.
c) Identifying the entry point was the next step involved in this academic journey. Will it be in the motivational/preliminary stage? or in the abstraction/deepening of concept stage? Or in the evaluation part of the entire teaching-learning spectrum?
The SLMs outputs, The 64 (8 modules x 8 weeks = 64) thematic modules were presented to the Schools Division Superintendents and only four schools division utilized it as these were also DO-written modules by other schools divisions. Gov. Victor Yu of the Province of Zamboanga Del Sur adapted said modules with full financial support. The pilot modules were also funded by the City Savings Bank, one of RO 9 partners.
As these modules were used during the dry-run and simulation program, parents have expressed their own feedback which were all being considered in the preparation of Q2 modules. The following are noticeably: parents are not familiar with the sequence of the learning modules, the correct, clear definition of the assessment tools; and the difficulty of providing time to support the children in their home-based learning.
A lot of learning insights can be deciphered, which include the following:
a) Thematic modules are useful and practical as it uses 3 or 4 interconnected subject areas in one module. This also economizes the cost in the production of many learning modules by subject area. Teachers found this to be practical and substantial.
b) Thematic modules help learners in the preparation of lessons/SLMS in terms of time and space, effort and psychological stress. The integrative approach has also reduced many class schedules and lessened the number of modules.
c) The learners are given the exposure of the learning concepts in a broader context and middle application of a concept or competency in the related, identified subject are.
Learning concepts are being reinforced by other subject area; thus, enhancing its importance, significance and relevance. Thematic modules can be for non-graded learning program and even the alternative learning system. Thus, it gives way to a pragmatic and innovative evaluation and/or formative assessment.
However, after the 45-day writeshop, the TWG has also realized the following:
a) Thematic modules are practically adaptable for Grade 3 to 6 but there is difficulty in its integration and utilization in Grade 7 – 12. This is caused by the focused or specialized concentration of content in most subject area in the secondary level (junior and senior high school). Thus, it cannot be fully implemented in the secondary education level.
b) There is a need for a focused training of teachers who will adapt/use these thematic modules. All teachers do not have enough background of thematic modules. Thus, it is suggested that a thorough orientation of these type of modules will form part of the existing professional development program of the Region.