International Education Journal


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Unexpected learning competencies of Grades 5 and 6 pupils in public elementary schools : A Philippine report

Abraham I. Felipe 
Fund for Assistance to Private Education, Makati City


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The present study tested the assumption of a positive and linear relation between years of schooling and school learning in the Philippine setting. It replicated a 1976 study that had cast doubt on this assumption in the Philippine public educational system. It tested three competing hypotheses for that finding: common sense, the 1976 arrested development hypothesis, and the alternative accelerated development hypothesis. To test these competing hypotheses, two factors were systematically varied: the grade levels of Ss and the levels of the tests used. The competing hypotheses have different predicted outcomes. A total n of 7097 from 96 schools participated in the study. The results showed that on all tests Grade5 showed more competencies than Grades 4 and 6, although Grade 6 continued to perform better than Grade 4. When sub-test level was held constant in multiple comparisons, Grade 5 was learning more Grade 6 competencies, whereas Grade 6 was losing not only Grade 6 but also Grade 5 competencies. It is noted that whereas Grade 6 enjoyed a slight superiority in achievement scores circa 1976, the present study shows that Grade 5 enjoys an impressive superiority over Grade 6 circa 2003. That in Grade 6 one knows more competencies than in Grade 5 seems to be a myth. The common sense hypothesis has been ruled out. The results are consistent with the accelerated development hypothesis. 

Assessment, Philippines, basic education, comparative education, learning competencies


Felipe, A.I. (2006). Unexpected learning competencies of Grades 5 and 6 pupils in public elementary schools : A Philippine report. International Education Journal, 7 (7), 957-966.

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