Allen A. Espinosa: 2023 PFCS-Merck Achievement Awardee for Chemistry Education (Tertiary Level)

Dr Allen A Espinosa is an associate professor of science education at the Philippine Normal University (PNU) where he handles undergraduate and graduate courses in science education and currently serves as the director of the Educational Policy Research and Development Center (EPRDC), the university’s specialized research center focused on policy research and studies on teacher education.

Prior to his stint as EPRDC director, he was also appointed as senior program manager at the Philippine National Research Center for Teacher Quality (RCTQ), an Australian government-funded research center based in PNU. At RCTQ, he managed programs and research studies which led to the creation of learning support materials and policies on strengthening teacher quality eventually adopted by the country’s Department of Education (DepEd).    

As a scholar, his areas of research interests span a broad range of topics such as policy research in education, teacher education, information disorder, and social justice in education. He completed his PhD in Biochemistry Education as a full scholar at the University of Melbourne, Australia, his MA in Education major in Chemistry Education from the University of the Philippines Diliman (with thesis grants from UP and the Commission on Higher Education), and his Bachelor in Secondary Education major in Chemistry, cum laude, from PNU Manila.

Presently, he leads three internationally-funded big-ticket projects: (1) a UNESCO-funded project that critically analyzes issues in educational technology in the Philippines; (2) an Edified Energiser Grant-funded project that reviews mental health programs in Philippine higher education institutions under a pandemic; (3) and an Australia Alumni Grants Scheme-funded project that reviews the basic education delivery in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) in relation to peace, conflict, and the pandemic.

As an active researcher with focus on science education, he has also published substantial research studies in teaching and teacher education with special focus on science education. His studies on content and pedagogy have appeared in various reputable journals such as the Australian Educational Researcher, Australian Journal of Environmental Education, Australian Journal of Teacher Education, Issues in Educational Research, and the Asia-Pacific Forum on Science Learning and Teaching, among others. Occasionally, he also contributes to the magazine Teaching Science and serves at the editorial board of the top-tier journal Research in Science Education.

For his scholarly work and contribution to the development of science education, he received the 2017 University of Melbourne Medicine, Dentistry, and Health Sciences Award for Learning and Teaching Achievement and the 2019 PNU Research Citation Award. His research productivity is manifested by h-index which has secured him a place in the 2022 and 2023 editions of the Alper-Doger (AD) Scientific Index as one of the top scientists in the Philippines under the subject: Education. He was also invited as a resource person in a series of public hearings by the Philippine Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts, and Culture to talk about his research findings on the spiral science curriculum and the results of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). Dr Espinosa’s other recently accomplished research  consultancy initiatives include a UNICEF-funded project that developed the policy guide for the nationwide implementation of micro-certification in DepEd’s Alternative Learning System (DepEd-ALS); a World Bank-funded project that looked into the role of education technology in the Philippines following the COVID- 19 pandemic and as part of the recovery from learning loss; and a UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies (UP CIDS) initiative that examined the current efforts of integrating the PPST into the pre-service teacher education provision in the Philippines in light of the growing importance of the Philippine Professional Standards for Teachers (PPST) in the Philippine basic education system.

Allen A. Espinosa
Associate Professor,
Philippine Normal University
The 2023 PFCS-Merck Achievement Award for Chemical Education (Tertiary Level) is co-presented by Merck, Inc.