EDS 101: My Final Journal Entry

I have decided that my final entry for my ePortfolio would be a decision to fortify my educational philosophy and to list all the things that would support this viewpoint. Before I even took any of the philosophy courses in U.P., I already had a fair idea that I was an idealist when it came to the way that I handled my class. I was the sole authority inside the class and lessons were delivered week in and week out. My heroes were Plato, Socrates and Aristotle. I also valued the likes of Aquinas and St. Augustine. I revelled in being good at academics, being an authoritative figure when it came to learning, alas, learning is not just having good grades or being an expert at something.

As the EDS 101 course progressed, I have come to realize a lot of things that I thought I did not previously lack. First, I asked myself if I motivated ample critical thinking inside the classroom. Do my students want to undergo lifelong learning using the principles that they learned? More importantly, will they be able to apply the principles that they learned in the class in practical settings?

The class that I currently teach is not held in a university setting yet we have enough technology to support a more interactive class. The philosophies that I learned made me wrack my brain for ways that I could liven up our discussions and so they could go home and share what they have learned.

Prior to my enrolment in the EDS 101 course, my usual (traditional) methods of teaching were –

  • Lectures
  • Group Discussions

Although I already have in my possession, a list of different teaching strategies, I never fully decided to use this list in the past. For me, the entries there were elementary and that I already knew what they contained anyway. Again, I was never more wrong. I perused the list and learned that there is a lot more to film showing or slide presentations than mere visual productions. Learning about the purpose and philosophical backgrounds of the different teaching methods made me realize that the classroom does not have to be the same-old, same-old type.

So, here I am, at the end of my EDS 101 course, a better person, hopefully a better teacher (because of the numerous eye-openers during the course), and a more enthusiastic learner.

The Role of the School 

I have deduced that the school is an institution where students – from all walks of life – should comfortably learn. I would want this place to be a respite from their daily cares because they  are having fun while learning. This does not mean, though, that they won’t be learning things that are relevant to their survival, their family, and the society.

The school is a place for cognitive development during the first few years of schooling. In the years that follow, this should be a place that will train them about social skills, character building, self-concept, culture and traditions (for we cannot move forward without knowing our past), and a place where even those with special educational needs are welcome.

Educational Goals 

As an inspired learner, it is my duty to pass on this burning fervor to other learners. Personally, at the moment, my goal is to finish my degree and eventually take up my master’s degree; I will still continue to mentor the young minds pertaining theology (this is my current, voluntary teaching job).

While most religion courses would just lay out the lessons for the students to read, the renewed teacher in me will help the students find and appreciate their own voices. They are allowed to be outspoken and to ask ceaselessly so individual learning will flourish.

Lastly, the values presented during the lessons must be inculcated in their lives. I will see to it that special projects, tasks, reports, and other such forms of measurement show how they have progressed as learners in their own field.

Who knows, I might even ask them to set up their own WordPress blog!

I pretty much touched on the contents of my teaching w but I have solely spoken about my actual teaching task.

Talking about the nation in general, as a future educator, it would be nice to see that the Philippines has finally caught up when it comes to providing specialized education. This means that even the minorities have a chance to have quality education just like the rest of the population.

Those from the boondocks, those who belong to families below the poverty line, those whose intelligence are different (the musically-inclined, visual artists, those with ADHD, the technically-gifted), etc. should all be given a chance at basic education and, eventually, a specialized kind of teaching from highly-trained, capable, expert teachers (forgive the multiple adjectives because I found them to be needful).

The Curriculum 

The standard curriculum is applicable only to basic education needed for the acquisition of reading, writing, communication, computer literacy and mathematical skills. Beyond this, the high school level should still have the academics, of course, but students should be segregated according to their intelligence.

Vocation courses, specialized computer education, and the arts should all have a set of teachers who are experts in imparting the knowledge and skills required for these subjects.

There should also be a place for those who need special education whether they are the gifted ones or the ones with, say, autism, ADHD, or the mentally-retarded.

Kinder to Primary Level:

Basic Education – Math, Science, English, Filipino, History (Araling Panlipunan), Computer Fundamentals

Secondary Level:

Academic Courses + Computer Education + Social Awareness Courses  + Vocational Courses (e.g. sewing, carpentry, and other skills certification) or

Academic Courses + Computer Education + Social Awareness Courses  + any of the Arts Programs (e.g. visual arts, theatre arts, music, dance, etc.)

Academic Courses + Computer Education + Social Awareness Courses  + Mastery of Math, English, Filipino, or History.

Tertiary Level:

Four-year Degree Courses + Social Awareness Courses

Vocational Courses + Social Awareness Courses

This is pretty much the setup in our current educational system but what I would love the Filipinos to realize is that Mang Juan who is a skilled and certified refrigeration technician is not dumber than Mr. John who works as a lawyer. Each one of us have been endowed with different skills and intelligence. Dr. Howard Gardner was able to identify eight (8) of these types of intelligence.

Method of Instruction

Of course, the method of instruction varies for these different educational needs. For my style of teaching, as I have previously discussed –

  • Lecture
  • Chalkboard discussion
  • Open discussions
  • Role Playing
  • Film Showing
  • Reporting
  • Group and Individual Projects
  • Music (where applicable)

Role of Teachers 

The role of a teacher is to be a facilitator of learning. While being a subject matter expert is also needful, educators should pay more attention as to how they can encourage flowing discussions inside the classroom and to inspire the students to do the readings and discoveries on their own. The classroom should just then be a place to discuss what has been previously learned by each student (including the teacher).

Role of Students 

While they have to undergo basic education and learn about values that are necessary to become a useful member of the society, they have pretty much a leeway as to what they would want to become experts of.

The world, in essence, is their classroom and the teacher just their guide as they explore the truths, even question them if needs be, and come up with their own bright ideas to make the world a better place.

Philosophical Influences 

I have always been an idealist but what a wonderful discovery it was for me to know that I am also part-reconstructionist. There is so much injustice in our society and in the world. Teaching is a great tool to make a difference when it comes to social issues.

As a current teacher of religion, I can actually make use of this platform to show my students that the injustices did not just happen with the Israelites when they were captured by the Assyrians or when they were enslaved by Egypt. Injustices happen in our present world, too.

Educational Philosophy Test Results

  1. Essentialism = 55
  2. Perennialism = 60
  3. Progressivism = 65
  4. Social Reconstructivism = 70
  5. Existentialism = 75

The results that I got are consistent with my self-evaluation. There is a huge difference because this course has made me realize the wide-ranging role of education. Before, teaching was all about lectures and delivering the lesson in the most intellectual way. Now, I look at the relevance of every lesson that I teach.

I therefore conclude that the most significant learning – and change – that happened during my EDS 101 journey is the fact that my eyes have been opened to the social relevance of teaching. I may not be out on the streets with members of the group Gabriela or I may not be a political leader, but I can contribute to changing my community. I get to do this by making each lesson count.

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