Do we have an authentic Filipino educational philosophy?

If I look at the K-12 educational philosophies that the Department of Education subscribes to, and the philosophies enumerated and discussed which include perennialism, progressivism, reconstructivism, and the four pillars of international education from UNESCO, I can quantitatively conclude that we as a people do not really have an authentic Filipino educational philosophy. Throughout the years that education has evolved in the Philippines, as our nation went through different forms of government and leadership, we have seen how we have always subscribed to the different philosophies, most especially of the West. We have always embraced the ideas and systems of other nations and just made them fit our national identity. Just consider our religious beliefs. They are never our own—Christianity, Islam, specks of Buddhism—are all from foreign land. Remember that education is only based on how we think—our philosophy. Our philosophy only stem from the religious beliefs that are handed down to us by foreigners who conquered our land—Spain, United States, China, Japan, etc. It is through these people that we have etched the way we think as a people. We used to have a cultural identity—our natives who have been hear even before the Spaniards came. Yet because of our hospitality and our welcoming nature, we have lost that cultural identity and have turned ourselves into copies of little America, little China (you get the picture).

If we trace our educational roots, we will not find a true educational philosophy that we can call our own. Every single philosophy we have can be traced from foreign philosophies that people of different countries have used for their schools. Even educational principles can all be traced back to foreign theorists and thinkers.

The main vision of DEPED: Values of Maka-Diyos, Maka-Tao, Makakalikasan and Makabansa are all obviously from a Christian philosophy, humanism, naturalism, and nationalism.

What should we do?

I believe that it is in the way we use and implement the philosophies that we have and not the originality of the thought. We can always modify and restructure what others are doing and custom fit it the way we know how—based on how we are as a people and how our schools should function. These philosophies are good. But if there is no political will that would be firm in following these, then we will not see that dawn that we have always yearned to see for the Filipino people.


Author: rccianatenean

I am an educator through and through. From the year I graduated as an elementary educator in 1996, until now, I have never worked on a job other than molding the minds of the young. I am currently a private school director for academic affairs and professional development. I train/mentor teachers that are new in our school and try to make them the best teachers they can be while in our campus. Concurrently, I serve as a college professor of English in another private college in Angeles City. Before 2013, I worked as a public school teacher in the State of Texas and in Washington for 12 years. Prior to that, I spent my first 6 years teaching in an excellent private school in Angeles City. At the moment, I am working on my doctorate in educational management and aim to finish next year, 2017. -Mike

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