Assessing Cultural, Linguistic, and Indigenous Competencies: The Case of Early Childhood Care and Development Teachers in the Philippines

Hazel T. Biana, Roberto Javier Jr., Melvin Jabar
page. 137~155 / 2021 Vol.15 No.1


As a country with highly diverse local languages, cultures and indigenous groups, the Philippines’ Early Childhood Care and Development Council (ECCD) developed a manual for teachers that prescribes specific cultural, linguistic and indigenous competency standards. To determine the ECCD teachers’ levels in these competencies, this study utilizes self-assessment and supervisors’ assessment surveys. With the involvement of 274 teachers (locally known either as Child Development Workers or Teachers) in 12 areas all over the country, we reveal that their levels range from beginner to performer, with no skilled ratings. We conclude that although teachers are aware of the children’s cultural differences and respect their languages, and they somewhat provide a culturally-supportive environment, there seems to be a need for more training on designing an inclusive curriculum as evidenced by low ratings in planning and implementation. To improve the levels of competencies in the future, we recommend interventions such as the development of policies and frameworks on integration of indigenous cultures in early childhood education, training and revisiting of qualification standards in hiring, and the integration of professional learning communities with the Philippine commissions handling arts, language, and indigenous cultures.

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