A phenomenographic inquiry on the concept of competence among Filipino teachers


Abulon, Edna Luz*
Educational Policy Research and Development Center, Philippine Normal University, Philippines (abulon.elv@pnu.edu.ph)

Balagtas, Marilyn
Research Center for Teacher Quality, Philippine Normal University, Philippines (balagtas.mu@pnu.edu.ph)


Conceptual understanding about the phenomenon of competence in teaching was explored among 20 pre-service and 20 beginning teachers in the City of Manila, Philippines using the phenomenographic approach of investigation. One-on-one interview sessions with the respondents were conducted using two sets of semi-structured interview guides. Thematic analysis served as the springboard for the identification of categories and underlying themes, which facilitated the construction of respective outcome space for the two groups under study. Comparative analysis of the pre-service and the beginning teachers’ conceptions showed similarities as well as differences. The study revealed that the pre-service teachers ‘saw’ and ‘understood’ competence in the teaching profession in four different ways: 1) to possess desirable characteristics of a teacher; 2) to possess professional readiness to teach; 3) to manifest positive relationship with others; and 4) to respond to environmental and social changes. On the other hand, the beginning teachers’ conceptions fell into four categories: 1) to influence the learning environment; 3) to manifest positive relationship with others; 3) to respond to the challenges of the profession; and 4) to perform multiple roles. Implications for the implementation of the Philippines’ National Teacher Competency-Based Standards (NCBTS) as well as to teacher education institutions’ curricular programs and admission policies were further established in the study.

Keywords: conceptual understanding; teacher competence; competency-based teacher standards; phenomenography


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5861/ijrse.2015.1327

*Corresponding Author