EDS 101: Reflections on Modules

These reflections are also available on this link – https://upouesvillamor.wordpress.com/eds-101-reflections-on-modules/

On Module 1: Introduction to the Philosophy of Education 

Philosophy AND Education: The Yin and Yang of True Learning

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Before this trimester, I have always thought of education in the most fundamental aspect. I knew that teachers have to be trained, curricula made, and systems developed but I never dug deeper than all these. Now, I just learned that one has to philosophize education in order to become an effective learner and educator.

The Pragmatic Link

On a daily basis, we know that teachers come up with goals and values. There are various choices that compete for their attention. Some of these options harmonize while others repel.

For instance, we all know that there are multiple types of intelligence. The perennial question now stands – how would an educator hold a class wherein both academic enthusiasts and visual artists are in attendance? What could be acceptable behavior to some teachers may not be the same with other educators.

Such scenarios have led to countless debates and here is where discussions turn philosophical – one educator now tries to defend his educational philosophy as would the other.

Every day we encounter different philosophies in life – in fact, there is no one universal philosophy. Political views vary as are religious beliefs. There is even philosophy in choosing one’s diet or college course.

Philosophy of education, therefore, is making sense of what is being taught (whether academically, musically, financially, or whatnot). Without educational philosophy, what we’ll perceive are just scrambled letters of the alphabet that would have no essence.

With these simple reasoning in mind, our conception of philosophy involving education now raises us from being mere animals. As I have argued in our first group discussion, we are higher beings compared to feral creatures so we must gain intellect and nourish it so that we can grow individually or as a nation.

And as future educators, we must develop our own educational philosophy now and stand firm by what we believe to be essential and true. This firm conviction in one’s philosophy will lead us to conceptualize methods and systems that will improve the quality of education in our country.

Original submission was on January 22, 2016: https://upouesvillamor.wordpress.com/2016/01/22/philosophy-and-education-the-yin-and-yang-of-true-learning/

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On Module 2: Major Philosophies 

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What do I believe in? Who am I and why am I even here? What is my life’s purpose and why should I even bother doing it?

Philosophy aims to critically and systematically answer such inquiries. These are, after all, the fundamental questions of truth and falsity, the nature of reality, and knowledge itself. More than any of the disciplines, philosophy explores the fundamental issues of intellectual tradition. This is also a brilliant preparation for any professional program (such as teaching).

Daily, educators are supposed to formulate goals, be role models and set their priorities. There are many different choices for such in modern society, hence, hard decisions are often made. One would now wonder how a teacher would deal with the dilemma of teaching a student with specific needs without sacrificing the erudition of the class as a whole.

Should rules be bent? Should behavioral skills be emphasized? Resolving such seemingly easy questions all boil down to major philosophies. Even philosophy, itself, is not clear-cut.  John Passmore classified it into three conceptions – philosophy as ideology, philosophy as critical inquiry, and philosophy as wisdoms.

Now I have to define what my philosophy is, first, before I can impart my knowledge. Else, my efforts would be futile.

At the moment, I think the major philosophies that have had a huge impact in my life would have to be idealism (about 80%, I mean, forgive me for believing in a Utopian society) and existentialism (the remaining 20%). Knowledge, skills and values that are taught in an idealistic curriculum have endured the tests of time. After all, no less than the great minds such as Plato, Socrates, Descartes, etc.; have propagated this philosophy; I also value academics and I am a firm believer that these teach us the fundamentals of life, even self-realization, eventually.

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On Module 3: Asian Philosophy (Confucianism)

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