When I first heard that the Department of Education would implement the 2010 Secondary Education Curriculum with the Understanding By Design as its framework, I told myself that this would just be an ordinary reform or slight change in the educational system of the country. I thought that it would just be adding (or subtracting) subject or time allotment in the curriculum and probably some minor adjustments in the grading system.
But lo and behold! I was wrong.
Indeed, UBD was a complete surprise to me. When I started to know about it from our seminars and trainings, I figured that this was very different from what I was used to and what I thought it was.
The terms “backward design” were, for me, overwhelming. How could I teach something using the backward design? As a school head, how could I implement it? That was my questions. Then, slowly, it dawned on me that, this is something worth trying – UBD could be the answer to the problem of deteriorating quality of education. So, they say. And so, trainings were conducted and as a school head, it was my responsibility that teachers implement it. I had to closely monitor its implementation; otherwise, all efforts to implement it would be futile.
As usual, just like any other reforms, complaints were heard not only from my teachers but also from other teachers that I would talk to. At first, there were confusions on the learning phases: explore, firm up, deepen and transfer especially in the transition from one phase to another. There were also questions on the framing of essential questions, the use of the six facets, etc. And of course, human nature tells us that any change would initially be greeted with resistance.
Personally, there were a lot of confusions in my head. The trainings and seminars that I attended were, for me, not sufficient enough to clearly make me understand what UBD is all about. Where was the gap? Why couldn’t many of the teachers appreciate, until now, the UBD? Simply...