FILIPINO LEARNERS’ CULTURAL AND EPISTEMOLOGICAL PROFILE

M.P. Morales

Philippine Normal University (PHILIPPINES)
Student difficulty in physics is still the subject of several researches in science education until today. The pursuit to find means to make learning physics more meaningful and interesting has lasted for decades. New strategies and pedagogies have been designed and utilized, but still many students find the subject formidable. Learning characteristics of Filipino physics students which will serve as baseline data for curriculum design is the focus of this study. Value Survey Module 2008 (VSM 08) and Epistemological Beliefs Assessment for Physical Sciences (EBAPS) were used to determine the cultural dimension indices and the epistemological beliefs of 385 participants grouped according to ethnicity. The population ratio of each ethnic group with the total population of the three ethnic groups was calculated resulting to percentage contributions of the three identified ethnic groups (Tagalog, Bicol and Pangasinan). Hofstede’s cultural interpretation and education perspective interpretation of cultural values and beliefs were used to deduce the significance of the cultural dimension indices of the sample ethnic groups. To establish the distinct epistemology of all three ethnic groups, EBAPS axes interpretation was deduced per ethnic group. In comparing the ethnic groups per cultural dimension index and per EBAPS axes the study noted the similarities and differences of the learning characteristics of the different learners in cultural perspective. Unique and distinct cultural dimensions and epistemology were shown by each ethnic group. Pangasinan learners were culturally distinguished as student-centered, while Bicol and Tagalog learners as teacher-centered. All ethnic groups, however, believed that science is composed of bit and pieces of concepts and knowledge. Pangasinan and Bicol learners emerged to move towards higher order thinking skills lessons when compared with the Tagalogs’ epistemology. Cultural dimension indices’ correlation with the epistemological beliefs axes established the learning characteristics unique to each ethnic group of learner.