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(A Reflection Paper on the Readings about the Foundations of Education)


· Volume II Issue I

Education is one of the vital aspects of one’s life. It makes a person able to reach his worth as an existing being. It creates wonderful chances for man to discover more himself and abide with many varied changes that are happening around him. With education, man finds fulfillment in answering the many queries of the world. Education is life. However, despite of this wonderful reality, education took and is still taking drastic changes from the very beginning when it first started until now that we, especially Filipinos, are experiencing a 360 degree turn.

On the comparison of education before to ours’ today, I realized that the educational goals were actually developed. From teaching survival skills to teaching group harmony during the early period; from developing religious commitment, and ritual to establishing social order and preparing for appropriate roles during the medieval period; from cultivating humanist experts in Greek and Latin classics and preparing people to serve dynastic leaders during the Renaissance period; from providing skills to students in the use of technology and modern gadgets of the industrialization period to the adaptation of these multiple intelligences, brain based learning, and life based humanist learning. Now in my present time, the K-12 curriculum aims to provide every child with the education s/he needs to compete in a global context, meaning to say, the new curriculum aims to touch all the facets of human life and to be ready with the global challenges that the world offers. On the part of the students, I had learned that before, during the early times, the students were mostly the males. From the early age up to the renaissance period, students were mostly males because of the belief that males are more useful than the ladies especially in terms of military and politics. That is the reason why the males are being educated more than the girls. On the 20th century up to the present, the girls are now given the chance to be educated and to express themselves. Now, I observed that the girls do excel in many aspects of life. In terms of instructional methods, the early times tells me that it was all memorization and interpretation of texts. The teacher is the sage on the stage. He/she is the main person of the educational process. All knowledge comes from him/her that no one can even question the information that comes out from him/her. However, as we are now in the new style of education, the instructional method is student-centered, meaning to say the student is the one giving the information or points of the topics. From being the sage on the stage, the teacher is now a guide on the side. The lesson is being unlocked by the students themselves and later on the teacher will just process everything. On the aspect of curriculum, I learned that during the early age, the curriculum was all about hunting, fishing, songs, poems and dances. In China, it was about the Confucian classics. In India, it was about the Vedas and religious text. In Egypt, it was the religious or technical texts that was the focus, for the Greeks and the Romans, the focus were reading, writing, arithmetic, drama, poetry, music, law and philosophy. On the 20th century, the curriculum was more on psychology and sociology. Bloom’s taxonomy came out as a reference for learning for everyone. On the part of the agents of education, I had learned that the parents, tribal leaders, religious leaders were the agents of the old times. During the Medieval Period, the agents of education were the parish, chantry, cathedral schools, universities and knighthood. In the Renaissance period, classical humanist educators and schools like lycee, gymnasium and Latin school were the agents of education. During the Reformation Period, the agents were vernacular elementary school for general public and classical schools for upper class. During the 20th Century, Science Centers for testing experiments and other educational fields in which life-long learning is being process. In my present time, the agents are the parents, the alumni, the community and the private and government sector in which Work Immersion is being held. Lastly, on the influence of education, during the early age it was informal and it was all about the transmission of skills. During the Medieval period, the influence was the structure and organization of the universities and institutionalization of knowledge. During the Renaissance period, on the 20th century, the influence on education was that, education involves not only schools but throughout the Life-Long Learning or multi literacies. Nowadays, “unlike traditional systems of K-12 education, competency based structures place an equal emphasis upon lifelong skills such as growth mindset, metacognition, learning how to learn, problem solving, advocacy, collaboration, creativity and the habits of success as they do upon academic content knowledge and skills.” ( In all of these, I had realized that education took a developmental stages in realizing its worth on developing and bringing out the potentials of man.

Discussing the influence of all the aspects of history in the K-12 curriculum, I had found out that one of the most influential idea that really affects the K-12 Philippine Educational System especially here in the Philippines is the philosophical perspective of John Dewey. Dewey’s influence on Philippine education started to get sharply visible when it became independent (Papong, 2014). Student body organizations or councils were established not only in an institutional level but as a national union. Dewey emphasizes the importance of students’ voice in the educative process. The presence and engagement of students in learning is deemed important. Presently, the K-12 Basic Education Program substantiates a reform in the country’s educational system. This program reflects Dewey’s pragmatist and cognitive constructivist ideas. Inquiry-based learning and spiral approach are incorporated to the present curriculum. In a fast-pacing and ever-growing society, the educational system in the Philippines should be kept up-to-date. Students must not only be educated in a factual or conceptual level but the instruction must also tackle the social, political and economic aspect of the individual’s life. In this way, education is more practical and functional (Damian, n.d.). Students will be able to clearly associate learning to real world, thus, taking in charge and being responsible of their own learning.

The following are some posits under the Deweyan Principle that are utilized in the present curriculum in the Philippines:

“The nature of the child is made the center of educative process.”

I firmly believe, with great affirmation, that the main reason a school is established is because of the learner more than anything else. Rousseau stresses that the child should be respected, as he is with all his abilities, and drawbacks, that in educating him these should be given due consideration and that all children cannot therefore be treated alike. Setting aside the facilities, resources, strategies and curriculum, the focus should be to the child. Therefore, the students’ interest and needs should be taken into consideration. The purpose of education will not be served if the learner themselves does not involve themselves to the process.

“The theory of self activity is made the center or basis of learning.”

Hands-on activities and experiences cultivate learning. It gives students first-hand experiences and lifelong learning. Rousseau says,” Teach by doing whenever you can, and only for fall back upon words when doing is out of question. The child should take part in various activities and learn in natural way. It will help him in satisfaction of creative activity.” Heurism is demonstrated in today’s educational system, as the curriculum integrates inquiry-based learning and vocational trainings. Students are given opportunity to make experiments with apparatus that they personally made.

“Activity program is the core of the curriculum.”

Knowledge acquired through direct experience is rather permanent. Field trip, report, group activity, games, observation, experiments, cultural activities, on–the-job training, programs and project all contributes to lifelong learning. This is highly encouraged right now in schools not as supplement to the learning experience but as the main methods to teaching.

According to the provisions of the Constitution of the Philippines (1935), all schools shall “aim to develop moral character, personal discipline, civic conscience, vocational efficiency and to teach the duties of citizenship” These can all be attained through practicing pragmatism, experimentalism and cognitive constructivist ideas.

Truly enough, with this kind of educational system, Filipinos are able to realize more their potentials. I had learned to value more education as I am a part of it. As such, it is also imperative to thank the proponents of this educational system in our country. The education system of the Philippines has been highly influenced by the country’s colonial history. That history has included periods of Spanish, American and Japanese rule and occupation. The most important and lasting contributions came during America’s occupation of the country, which began in 1898. It was during that period that English was introduced as the primary language of instruction and a system of public education was first established—a system modeled after the United States school system and administered by the newly established Department of Instruction. The United States left a lasting impression on the Philippine school system. Several colleges and universities were founded with the goal of educating the nation’s teachers. In 1908, the University of the Philippines was chartered, representing the first comprehensive public university in the nation’s history.

Like the United States, the Philippine nation has an extensive and highly inclusive system of education, including higher education. In the present day, the United States continues to influence the Philippines education system, as many of the country’s teachers and professors have earned advanced degrees from United States universities.

Although the Philippine system of education has long served as a model for other Southeast Asian countries, in recent years that system has deteriorated. This is especially true in the more remote and poverty-stricken regions of the country. While Manila, the capital and largest city in the Philippines, boasts a primary school completion rate of nearly 100 percent, other areas of the country, including Mindanao and Eastern Visayas, have a primary school completion rate of only 30 percent or less. Not surprisingly, students who hail from Philippine urban areas tend to score much higher in subjects such as mathematics and science than students in the more rural areas of the country.

Indeed, the educational system of today adapts to the needs of the changing times. However, there are certain factors to be considered especially the social economics factor. There is a strong relationship between a school’s socio-economic background and the achievement of pupils. According to OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development), socio-economic disadvantage has a strong impact on student performance. 14% of the variation in student performance is explained by students’ socio-economic background. The OECD gives some possible factors. The first one is all about the LANGUAGE BEING SPOKEN AT HOME. There is a great difficulty for a student who used to speak his mother tongue language and later on be situated in a community with language different from his own native tongue. Secondly, INEQUITY IN ACCESS TO RESOURCES. If the society has an unequal source of references to what the child needs in school, then it would be difficult for a child to cope up with his academics. Lastly, the SIZE OF THE COMMUNITY. If the number of learners is not proportion to the number of educators, there is a great tendency that learning will be compromised. The concentration of the teacher will be divided into many and the tendency is that information or learning will not be imparted well.

In the end, in my readings, I had learned that the education was shaped and turned to what the society and the people need. As an educator, I believe there is a great need for a teacher to stay updated with the current trends in education. He or she must be equipped well with the knowledge, skills and techniques in delivering his or her lesson. I now understand the very essence of being a learner and as a teacher I should always be a learner seeking for wisdom. In the end, I firmly believe that education is not only giving life but most especially, EDUCATION IS LIFE ITSELF!