Fernan P.. Tupas, Northern Iloilo Polytechnic State College
Severa Amistoso, Northern Iloilo Polytechnic State College; Leonisa G.. Babas, Northern Iloilo Polytechnic State College
PHILIPPINE TRADITIONAL GAMES AS CONTEXT OF
SCIENCE CURRICULUM: A CASE STUDY
Fernan P. Tupas, Ph. D.
Severa M. Amistoso, Ph. D. and Leonisa G. Babas, D. R. Dev.
School of Arts and Science
Northern Iloilo Polytechnic State College
Estancia, Iloilo, Philippines
Abstract. This qualitative research focused on case study which aimed to identify the impact of Philippine traditional games in the context of science curriculum. It also determined science ideas, concepts and practice of Philippine traditional games or commonly called “Laro ng Lahi” played in the Municipality of Estancia. Results showed that these games have a great impact in science curriculum in K + 12 Basic Education Program because many students love to play the game during free time and they can relate it to science. Science ideas and concepts, like recycling and indigenous materials found within the locality are all related to earth science, and the used of muscles, bones and joints for movements are biological practices. Moreover, sweating and its chemical composition can be linked to chemistry. Lastly, results showed that physics ideas and concepts, such as motion, gravitational force, energy, kinetic energy, frictions, and speed were all embedded in playing the Philippines traditional games. All these science ideas and concepts embedded in the Philippine traditional games can be used as instructional materials in teaching and learning science in K + 12 Basic Education Program of the Department of Education.
Key words Laro ng Lahi, Science Ideas, Concepts and Practices, Informal Science and Funds of Knowledge
- Background of the Study
Games are universal phenomena. Everyone is playing games in one point of their lives. Many played traditional games for amusement whenever suitable opportunities arise (Barboza, 2003). Buan et. al. (2010) stated that Filipino games have been a part of the Filipino past time. Moreover, Filipino children are famous for their lively personality despite of odd conditions. Also, they aren’t very materialistic. Thus, traditional games or commonly called “Laro ng Lahi” represent the diversity of Filipino culture and tradition. This became a fragment of unique and artistic heritage; absolutely marvelous and its resources are rich and productive. The colorful and magnificent custom of the Philippines makes the country distinct from others. But today, these games are rarely played due to the advancement of technology. At this modern age of machinery, seldom are seen that children are playing the national games but instead the popular online, such as Xbox, PSP, Ipad and many interesting gadgets (Aguado, 2011).
Aguado (2011), stated that there are about 50 native games classified into five categories. These include Indoor Games (sungka, dama, and even Games of the Generals which was invented by a Filipino). Fiesta Games (pabitin, paluan ng palayok, palosebo, agawang buko),Street Games (patintero, luksong baka, piko, tumbang preso, luksong lubid, taguan), Hurdle Games (habulan, agawang base), and Tsinoy games such as chinese garter, checkers, and chinese jackstones.
DepED always encountered problems such as lack of facilities, limited instructional materials and most of the poor learners in science have little love for learning science. Learners always concluded that science is a difficult subject to learn. In the implementation of K+12 Basic Education Program of the Department of Education, it has already faced problems, such as the context is not based on our own resources, and majority of the students are complaining about the resources and the methods of learning and teaching science. The results of achievement tests both local and national can be alarming. Most of the National Achievement Test (NAT) results were below DepEd standards. But having something new in the curriculum will definitely enhance the interest and will encourage them to apply ideas and concepts that basically played during their younger years. Also, according to Third International Mathematics and Science Study-Repeat (TIMSS-R), Filipino students are still weak in science (Crisostomo, 2000). In 2003, the Philippine TIMSS showed that the results of the student achievement test indicate very poor performance in each content domain at this early education stage (Carballo, 2009).
The use of local traditional games or commonly called “Laro ng Lahi” could be an answer to this dilemma (Del Carmen et. al., 2015). They used these Philippine traditional games in teaching physics. Furthermore, the movements used in these native games were initially incorporated in the DepEd curriculum according to Carmen Siao, Principal of E. De Los Samtos School in Paco Manila IAguado, 2011). In Science, they utilized this method. In addition, the use of anatomical movements showed that biological principles are already manipulated in the process of playing the games (https://devcomcreatives.wordpress.com, 2012). But with the very few researches that focus on traditional games and science, hence, the researchers were inspired to make this kind of study.
This study focuses on identifying science ideas and concepts in the Philippines traditional games. Furthermore, traditional games played in the locality were used to determine various science principles and used as instructional materials in teaching science in the K+12 Basic Education Program of DepEd. Thus, the trust is emphasizing on fund of knowledge and informal science. Funds of Knowledge are about traditionally gathered and culturally developed bodies of knowledge taken from household activities or events. Furthermore, this is about teachers learning students outside from school.
While informal science, highlight the significant of learning science in informal settings, it doesn’t happen in four corners of the classroom but instead in museum, zoo, or using cultural presentation to teach science.
The study is anchored on various theories, like, constructivism, interpretivism emergent design theory, and situated cognition theory. They define constructivism as knowledge constructed by an individual; thus, they build meanings as they learn. Furthermore, there are twofolds that surrounded in this concept; focus on the learner in thinking about learning, and no knowledge independent of the meaning attributed to experience (Tupas, 2015).
Interpretivism is a theory that involves on interpreting the elements of the study. Human interest is integrated in the study. Likewise, according to Blaike (2013), his study of social occurrences entails an understanding of the social worlds that people inhabit. In which they have already interpreted by the meanings they produce and reproduce as a necessary part of their everyday activities together.
Another theory that is also used in this study is the emergent design that involves a process that is ongoing, changeable and iterative in nature. This implies that choices will be purposeful and carefully considered prior to, during, and after, implementation. This flexible method in gathering data and analysis will allow changes as researchers find new meaning in the study.
Situated learning theory is about knowledge embedded in the activity, context and culture. Furthermore, this theory have notion that learning and skills in contexts the way we used in real life. That there are knowledge in the environment, which can acquire new ideas and their behaviors, will be applied.
It has been known that children love to play; integrating these ideas will give good results in the performance of the learners in various science subjects. Aside from using this in the Philippines setting, this will also be an avenue to encourage others science teachers around the globe to develop science teaching and learning through the use of common traditional games. Anyway, dance and other cultural presentations are already integrated in science curriculum
1.2. Objectives of the Study
This study aimed to determine the impact of Philippine traditional games in the
context of science curriculum in the K + 12 Basic Education Program.
Specifically, it will answer the following questions;
- What science ideas, concepts and practices are embedded in commonly played traditional games?
- How do the players integrate science ideas and concepts in playing the “Laro ng Lahi”?
- What standard in science learning competencies do this traditional games address?
- Scope and Limitations
This study is concerned with science ideas, concepts and practices embedded in the Philippine traditional games that are utilized as instructional materials in science curriculum in four major areas; Earth Science, Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Likewise, the mechanics of the games were studied to identify different science ideas and concepts inserted in formulating such procedures and steps.
2.1 Research Design
This study is a qualitative research that aims to gather an in-depth understanding of science ideas, concepts and practices in Philippine traditional games. Specifically, the case study research design was utilized that evolved in various methods, such as interview, document analysis and photo elicitation.
The informants of this study were the top 1 student in science particularly in grade 3 to 6 from Estancia Central Elementary School, grade 7 to 8 from Estancia National High School and grade 9 to 10 from Northern Iloilo Polytechnic State College – Laboratory High School.
2.3 Research Instrument
All the informants were interviewed about different science ideas, concepts and practices embedded in traditional games
using researchers’ made open-ended questionnaire to capture the actual words spoken by the informants. Photos and videos taken by the professional photographers were interpreted by the informants to extract more information.
2.4 Data Analysis Procedure
The conversations during the interview and photo elicitation were tape recorded with the consent of the respondents. This was done to ensure that all words of the informants would be captured. The taped conversations were transcribed. Original texts were in Hiligaynon and English. The researchers highlighted all science ideas, concepts, and practices. When the researchers found meaning segment of text in transcript, codes and categories were assigned until the initial coding was finished. After the data were coded, the researchers made a matrix and utilized memoing, a process of recording reflective notes learned from the data. These new ideas and insights were included to be analyzed. Triangulation was reflected in gathering responses of the informants. The methods that were triangulated are as follows: response of the informants from interview, photograph and video elicitation, and documents collected from different sources.
The outcome of the collected documents revealed that science ideas, concepts and practices were found embedded in playing “Laro ng Lahi”. According Aguado (2011), Manly Jose Junio, a Physical Education teacher of E. Delos Santos Elementary School highlighted how street games promote total fitness. The physical fitness with the locomotor, a moving from one place to another and non-locomotor, a moving on-the-spot without going anywhere movements were incorporated into the mental fitness.
“ Street games utilized various movements, for instance, hopscotch used one leg to jump, basic gymnastics and balance; for jumping rope promotes endurance and “ tumbang preso” promotes presence of mind, fast thinking and movements, as well as agility.”
3.1 Theme: Dig the Earth
Result showed that Earth Science ideas, concepts and practices were injected in playing “laro ng lahi” because it reflects the ingenuity and creativity of the Filipino by using recycled and indigenous materials like sticks, stones and slippers to produce friendly competition among peers.
According to our informants; “We are using earth science practices in playing traditional games because of the use of materials found in our surrounding. We are recycling waste materials because we want to help save and protect our environment.”
In addition, some of the traditional games are played out door; topics, like harmful effects of overexposure to the sun and safety precautions are found in the contents of Earth and Space – Grade 4 the topic “The Sun” in fourth quarter.
3.2 Theme: Dissecting Biology
The results showed that almost all Philippine traditional games required bodily movements. According to Star et. al. (2012), movement is produced through the contraction and relaxation of specific muscles. The used of bones, muscles and joints for movement, and energy to sustain the vigorous motion are all biology ideas. Bones are the hard framework for stability and acts as levers to facilitate movement. Muscles provide the force required for movement by moving one bone in relation to another. A ligament holds bones together. Muscles and bones are connected through tendons. Then, motor neurons provide the stimulus for muscle movement and co-ordinates sets of antagonistic muscles.
Elementary pupils stated;
“In running, we are using our quadriceps; this can be a biology idea.
These are parts of our muscles.”
Agility is one of the vital components in these traditional games. Agility has biology concept because it is the capability to change the direction of the body in an efficient and effective manner. But in order for the players to achieve this, they are required a combination of balance, speed, strength and coordination. Balance is focus on eyes, ears and proprioceptive organs in the joints. Speed refers to the ability to move all or part of the body quickly. In addition, strength is about a muscle or muscle group to overcome a resistance. For instance, in playing “sipa” or kick, there is coordination because there is a utilization of the legs, knees and eye to catch or kick the object which is called “sipa”.
Furthermore, all the informants stated that integration of that sensory input; and motor output to the eye and body muscles (vestibular.org, 2016). Metabolism was also employed because it increases the movement of the digestive system thus allowing the body to cope with the increased demands and stress.
3.3 Theme: Mixing Chemistry
Philippine traditional games are active games, thus the body temperature rises. The players were always sweating after the game. Respiration process takes place whenever children are playing traditional games. The food they have eaten reacted with oxygen they breathed, thus, producing carbon dioxide and water. This is the reason why they are sweating after playing.
The informants stated;
“Aside from water, sweat is made of small amounts of chemicals like ammonia, urea, sugar and body salts like sodium. This is what they learn from the chemistry subject.”
3.4 Theme: Moving Physics
The results showed that physics ideas and concepts, such as motion, gravitational force, energy, kinetic energy, frictions, and speed were all embedded in playing the Philippines traditional games. See Figure 3. Since, “Laro ng Lahi” is all about movements, motion is one of the key topics in physics that are related to these traditional games. See Figure 4. For instance, the empty can stay at rest but when slipper hit the object, motion occurred.
Specifically, according to the informants;
“In tumbang preso, science involved was law of motion or commonly called law of inertia. This is defined as every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it. Furthermore, this means that there is a natural tendency of objects to keep on doing what they're doing. All objects resist changes in their state of motion. In the absence of an unbalanced force, an object in motion will maintain in this state of motion. They remain at rest but when outside force was applied for example with the use of a slipper, motion occurred. However, it is the unbalanced force that caused the change in motion of the can thus to slow down or stop.”
Thus, motion is significantly visible in doing the different games; hence, mechanics is the key point or concepts that identified related to physics.
Likewise, gravitational force was also utilized in the game like “tumbang preso”, the slipper once they throw it will pull downward. According Coffey (2010), this law states that every massive particle in the universe attracts every other great particle with a force which is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.
Energy is always related to motion that is called kinetic energy. Most of the games required movements that explicitly employed translational; this is energy due to motion from one location to another (http://www.physicsclassroom.com, 2016).
Clearly, informants revealed;
“May ara man friction kay amo na ang gapauntat sa imo nga indi ka madanlog.”
Based on Weisstein (2007), friction is a force which causes the motion between two surfaces to be reduced. Friction happens because most surfaces are not perfectly smooth. When two surfaces are trying to move faster from each other, these little bumps collide and slowly, the motion of the surfaces causes friction. Friction also increases if you push the surfaces together more.
Speed was also engaged in the games. See Figure. For example, in “patintero”, one exposed that;
“Dapat madasig ka magdalagan para indi ka mag taya. Kag kun madasig ang imu nga speed malayo man ang imu nga distance sa imu nga kuntra.”
Science ideas, concepts and practices were all embedded in playing Philippine traditional games; hence, it could have a great impact in teaching and learning science curriculum in basic education program in K 12 of the Department of Education.
The used of materials within the locality and the recycling of waste products is likely one of the means of protecting the environment for further damage; this is about earth science. This topic can be related to Earth and Space in Grade 7 – fourth quarter with the topic “The Philippine Environment” discussing the protection and conservation of natural resources. Also, in grade 8 – Living Things and their Environment in the second quarter with the topic “Interaction”. The impact of human activities in an ecosystem can also utilize traditional games in teaching the themes. The topics, like harmful effects of overexposure to the sun and safety precautions are found in the contents of Earth and Space – Grade 4 the topic “The Sun” in fourth quarter.
In biology, the use of muscles, bones and joints were all related to movements. In order for the players to execute complex motions to perform the different traditional games, they utilized these different organ systems. These biological ideas and concepts were found in grade 3 – Living Things and Their Environment, first quarter the content is characteristics of Living Things with the content standard of; to demonstrated understanding that living things breathe, eat, grow, move, reproduce, and react to light, touch, and temperature. Besides, Parts and Functions of Living Things – “Humans” with the content standard of; to demonstrate understanding of the external parts of the body, their functions, and healthful practices to take care of the human body. Also, in grade 4 second quarter “Parts and Functions” and the topic is Humans with the content standard; demonstrates understanding that the brain, heart, lungs, liver, stomach kidney, bones and muscle are major internal organs that keep the rest of the body working properly. Moreover, in grade 6 – Living Things and Their Environment, second grading period in “Parts and Function” specifically in Musculoskeletal, Nervous System with performance standard; explains how the nervous system controls and coordinates the different organ systems so that they work together and traces the path of message from the sense organs to the brain, then to muscles and bones, resulting in action. Since they are exerting efforts that required oxygen; topic “Respiratory and Circulatory System Working with the Other Organ Systems” is found in grade 9 – Living Things and Their Environment. The content standard is to demonstrates understanding of how the different parts and functions of the circulatory and respiratory systems, and how they work with the oxygen-rich blood and nutrients to the different parts of the body.
When players performed games such as “patintero”, jump over the cow or kick for a long period of time, they perspired as the water evaporates to cool the body. This is about chemistry because as they play, chemical reaction is taking place in the body excreting water and carbon dioxide. This can be linked to Chemical Reaction found in grade 10 – Matter in first quarter with a content standard; demonstrates understanding of chemical reactions associated with biological processes affecting life.
Furthermore, the law of motion and inertia, gravitational force, energy, kinetic energy, frictions, and speed were all embedded in playing the Philippines traditional games especially in Force and Motion. In grade 3, “Moving Objects” demonstrates understanding of position of people and objects as well as the factors that may cause change in their position. In grade 4 – “Effect of Force on Objects” focused on what force can be done in the third quarter with the content standard to demonstrate understanding of the effects of force on the movements, size, and shape of an object, and in grade 5 “Motion” during the third grading period with a content standards of demonstrating skills in measuring, recording and analyzing distance and time. Thus, this study showed that “Laro ng Lahi” can be utilized as instructional materials in teaching science curriculum in elementary level.
For instance in Junior High School, in grade 7- third quarter “Constant and Uniformly Accelerated Motions” a specific subject of motion of objects is in terms of displacement, speed or velocity, and acceleration. While in grade 8, the topics are Law of Motion, Law of Inertia, Law of Acceleration and Law of Interaction. The learning competencies investigate the relationship between the amount of force applied and the mass of the object to the amount of change in the object’s motion, infer that when a body exerts a force on another, an equal amount of force is exerted back on it; demonstrate how a body responds to changes in motion, relate the laws of motion to bodies in uniform circular motion, and infer that circular motion requires the application of constant force directed toward the center of the circle.
In addition, Work, Power and Energy are areas inserted in traditional games. The learning competencies are: to identify situations in which work is done and in which no work is done; to describe how work is related to power and energy; to differentiate potential and kinetic energy; and to relate speed and position of object to the amount of energy possessed by a body. In grade 9, the “Motion in Two Dimensions”, like Projectile Motion (Impulse, Momentum and Impulse and Conservation of Linear Momentum) are the major topics in 4th quarter in the said grade level. The learning competencies describe the horizontal and vertical motions of a projectile; investigate the relationship between the angle of release and the height and range of the projectile; relate impulse and momentum to the collision of objects (e.g., vehicular collision); infer that the total momentum before and after collision is equal; and examine effects and predict causes of collision-related damages/injuries. Thus, Work Power and Energy can relate to these traditional games commonly played in the located with specific topics of changes in the form of mechanical energy and Conservation of Energy. The learning competencies explain energy transformation in various activities/events (e.g., waterfalls, archery, amusement rides); perform activities to demonstrate conservation of mechanical energy; and infer that the total mechanical energy remains the same during any process.
To make science curriculum learning and teaching fun and interesting, educators must be creative and innovative. The use of “Laro ng lahi” in the context of science is highly recommended for it has a great impact in teaching because children love to play these traditional games during their spear time with friends, peers and classmates. The use of these traditional games as teaching method and strategy can be the best technique to eradicate notions about the difficulty of the subject matter.
Also, the researchers suggested that more studies must be conducted related to science and traditional games. This will enhance the academic performance of Filipino learners whose grades are below average due to lack of understanding/ comprehension of the subject matter.
The researchers would like to extend their heartfelt gratitude to Northern Iloilo Polytechnic State College – Estancia Campus for the financial assistance. Also, to Estancia Central School, Estancia National High School and NIPSC Laboratory High School administrators/ principals for allowing the researchers to conduct this study and utilizing their science top 1 student to be the informants.
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