Curriculum design guru shares insights at ISUFST curriculum redesigning conference

NO LESS than Dr. Purita Bilbao, an internationally renowned expert in curriculum design, took center stage this Monday, June 5, as the keynote speaker at the ISUFST Curriculum Redesigning for Graduate Education Program conference. With a focus on the standards for offering MAEd and PhD Ed programs, the curriculum design convo aimed to explore innovative approaches to curriculum development and enhancement more specifically for the Graduate Studies program of the university.

The three-day event, held at Diversion 21 Hotel in Mandurriao, Iloilo City, gathered 32 educators, administrators, and curriculum specialists of the newly-installed Iloilo State University of Fisheries Science and Technology (ISUFST), formerly Iloilo State College of Fisheries (ISCOF), who are expected to gain insights from Dr. Bilbao’s extensive experience in the field. As a leading figure in curriculum development, she has made significant contributions to shaping educational programs and ensuring meaningful learning experiences for students.

To note, Dr. Bilbao, co-author of the graduate school bibles Curriculum Development for Teachers and The Teaching Profession, holds a master’s degree from UP Diliman and a doctorate degree in Curriculum Instruction and Evaluation from WVSU. She pursued enrichment doctoral courses in Research and Evaluation from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

She has served as the director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at WVSU and became a member of the technical committee BSED and BEED of the Technical Panel for Teacher Education of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). She has been a trailblazer in curriculum design, advocating for learner-centered approaches that consider the needs and interests of students. Her work has embraced interdisciplinary collaboration, focusing on integrating diverse subject areas and addressing real-life concerns faced by learners.

During her presentation, Dr. Bilbao emphasized the importance of thorough planning in curriculum development. She highlighted the need for a comprehensive assessment to determine the requirements of learners, teachers, the community, and society as they relate to the curriculum. She stressed that intended outcomes should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound, and outlined strategies for achieving these goals.

Implementing the curriculum was another key focus of Dr. Bilbao’s address. Highlighting the transition from CMO 53 s. 2007 to CMO 15 s 2019, she emphasized that curriculum planners must ensure their plans are put into action and within or even go beyond the minimum standards, avoiding the trap of remaining as mere written documents. Teachers, as curriculum implementers, play a crucial role in ensuring successful implementation and the achievement of desired learning outcomes.

Implementation, monitoring, and evaluation were highlighted as the final steps in the curriculum development process. Dr. Bilbao emphasized the importance of seamlessly operationalizing, keeping track, of and assessing whether the planned curriculum was successfully rolled out and whether the desired learning outcomes were achieved. She discussed the importance of focusing on quality and innovative knowledge, creative work, and product generation, presentation, and publication.

The conference also covered dimensions and principles of curriculum design, including scope, sequence, continuity, integration, articulation, and balance. Additionally, Dr. Bilbao discussed different approaches to curriculum design, such as considering the role of teachers, learners, content, teaching strategies, performance outcomes, industry standards, and community partnerships.

The event concluded with an exchange of ideas and a renewed commitment from participants to apply the insights gained from Dr. Bilbao’s expertise. The knowledge shared during the conference is expected to contribute to the ongoing efforts in curriculum redesign, ultimately enhancing the quality of graduate education programs.

Dr. Bilbao’s significant contributions to curriculum design continue to inspire educators and shape educational systems worldwide. Her expertise and dedication serve as a beacon for those seeking to create dynamic and effective learning experiences for students, preparing them for the challenges and opportunities of the future.

To note, ISUFST’s three-day training workshop specifically aims to establish the Master of Arts in Education and Doctor of Philosophy in Education with majoring in English, Mathematics, and Science programs. Aside from its morning plenary session with Dr. Bilbao, the participants are also to cover the afternoon plenary session on Feasibility Study per discipline with CHED experts, namely, Dr. Danebeth Narzoles, Dr. Ma. Mercedes Monsale, and Dr. Roxanne Edrosolano.

Meanwhile, the plenary session for Day 2 covers the Challenges and Preparations for MAEd and PhD Ed Programs with Dr. Peter Ernie Paris. Workshops per discipline will follow the experts herewith to guide the participants: UPV’s Dr. Jonny Pornel, WVSU’s Dr. Garry Cachuela, USA’s Dr. Rhodora Cartagena, Dumangas CES’s Dr. Albert Depaloma, and Jaro NHS’ Cloudy Pritos for Mathematics; DepEd VI’s Dr. Rovel Salcedo, INHS’s Yolly Suerte, Pavia NHS’s Ian John Galupar, and WVSU’s Dr. Ricky Magno and Dr. Lourdes Morano for Science; and INHS’s Rex Paulino and WVSU’s Dr. Michael Tubal, Dr. Victoria Albacete, Dr. Eugene Mallorca, and Dr. Ellonora Padilla for English. (Text by Herman M. Lagon and Photos by Ricky Ramos)