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.


One thought by one of my best students

Ronald Campo

First sir, let me say this…. the thought that this would probably be your last sem of teaching in RCC pinches my heart as I really wanted you to be one of my mentors until the very moment that I am going to culminate my college education.

You know what sir, I never really had seen the value of education until I was compelled to stop from my first course due to my negligence. Hence, I started to work and during the time of my hiatus from my studies, that’s when I realized how essential the education is in a man’s life. I had realized how hard it is to earn a living, and was able to prove that sometimes, no matter how adroit we are in our job, without the diploma, the eligibility to be promoted is quite impossible. And the fact that I don’t want to grow old in a company still being subordinated urged me to dream once more. Thus, when I had given again the opportunity to go back to school, I wholeheartedly seized it and promised myself that this time, I’ll make everything right.

My first philosophy then is that education is the stairway to success and the best passport to go places and be able to venture in a wider horizon. Other people say that not all graduates are successful and not all successful are graduates. it is still the ability and confidence that would bring a person to success. I believe in them too. However, those persons who experience success in their lives now had at least educated themselves in the area of their expertise and the ability and confidence which they are pertaining to, could be honed best through the process of education. So it is only a must that everyone must obtain their right to be educated.

Second, the competency of our next generation all relies with the quality of education that they get, and teachers play a pivotal role to accomplish this. The teacher should be the best paradigm of the of the things that they are teaching and they play an important role in the motivational factor of the students. I have learned along the course that not all teachers have the passion in teaching and only use their label to earn, and this thing could greatly be manifested inside the classroom and could greatly affect the learning process among the students. So, my third philosophy is that teaching alone won’t work, but it has to be incorporated with passion and a great desire to make changes among the lives of the students. The content of our teachings may eventually be forgotten, but to how the way we taught the lessons is something that may perpetuate in the mind of the students, so… as a teacher, we must be the best embodiment of the content that we are teaching.


Response to Ronald Campo:

Thank you for this extensive and yet pithy reply to my request to humor me with your verbal prowess regarding education and your philosophy.
Firstly, I would like to ask your permission to post this on my blog: []
I am ever so glad that your greatest teacher has taught you a thing or two about life and how to climb that proverbial ladder of success. And that teacher is Experience! You have just begun your journey towards this fickle-minded constant companion called life.
Know this that while we try our very best in life to make “everything” right, we will come to a realization that everything will not be right. But the mere fact that we try to do our best, that we work hard towards achieving that success that we ever so long for, is testimony enough for the universe to believe in the sincerity of our desires to best ourselves in this endeavor. You have one such testimony. And I am proud to be a part of it—albeit just a humble iota.
In your comment on “not all graduates are successful and not all successful are graduates”, I applaud your response to it. It is very true that all successful people have indeed educated themselves in the craft that they are successful in. Something in them drove them, urged them, pushed them to go out into the world and change (and educate) many things in them to ensure that their arms reach that success that the heart is yearning for. Look at Vivien Thomas who became a doctor even without graduating and was instrumental in saving the lives of children born with blue baby syndrome in the 1940s (which is something you might want to look up). But yes! Education comes in many forms. Graduating is just one of the many ways of achieving that. Anyone can be educated because, as one wise professor in Ateneo once told me: learning is a personal thing (Palma, 2002).
“….Second, the competency of our next generation all relies with the quality of education that they get, and teachers play a pivotal role to accomplish this.” True again! This is why we need to pay close attention to teacher education in our country. And I do hope that you, Ronald, YOU—continue on your education so that you can in turn educate our future educators. Don’t stop learning. And then later teach others what you have learned. I believe you can be that paragon (subtle correction here) of teaching that would motivate your students and that would serve as that model for other teachers who have been jaded and lost the passion for true teaching and inspiration for the youth. Don’t just inspire your students, BE that inspiration! Your passion and love for learning is what will do just that! This is what will make that change and that difference in the students whose lives and hearts you will have the opportunity to touch in the future. Know that students do not really care what you know until they know that you care!

So, to finally conclude this disquisition, please take this with you as you traverse this long journey to learning: As you take the time to educate your mind, one thing that you should endeavor far more importantly is the education of the heart.

Mr. M

What is 21st Century Education?

Perhaps the biggest misconception that one can have about 21st century learning is to think of it as a single reform program.

[This is a test blog. I have yet to write in this blog.]

21st Century Learning Is Not A Program