sanipriya's musings

"I am an instrument in the shape
of a WOMAN trying to translate pulsations
into images
for the relief of the body
and the reconstruction of the mind."

written by Adrienne Cecile Rich

Friday, June 29, 2007

news, kilig news.

yes, aaminin ko na.

kami na.

p.s. i can still smell his cologne in my hand.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

john dewey and the filipino educational system

i'll post this quick... easy enough since this is just a copy-paste of an email i sent to my prof.


just an excerpt about John Dewey's progressive education, lifted directly from wikipedia:

The central concept of John Dewey's view of education was that greater emphasis should be placed on the broadening of intellect and development of problem solving and critical thinking skills, rather than simply on the memorization of lessons. This is because Dewey saw the public school's relation to society was much like a repair organ to the organism of society. One of Dewey's main theories was the incorporation of the student's past experiences into the classroom (Experience and Education 1938). This was a job of both the educator and the caretaker.

The quality of experiences is key in the development of Dewey's progressivism. Without beneficial experiences growing off prior ones, education would not be able to use these experiences to reflect on the past, work through the present and prepare for the future (Experience and Education 1938).

While Dewey's educational theories have enjoyed a broad popularity during his lifetime and after, they have a troubled history of implementation due to the fact that there were no teachers qualified to incorporate these ideas. (Experience and Education 1938). Dewey's writings can be difficult to read, and his tendency to reuse commonplace words and phrases to express extremely complex reinterpretations of them makes him susceptible to misunderstanding. So while he held the role of a leading public intellectual, he was often misinterpreted, even by fellow academics.



i'm impressed with Dewey's progressive education, yet even if it has been philosophized way back in the 40s, i can't help but think that the current educational system is outdated as far as progressive education is concerned.

as we know, our current educational system is anti-progressive in terms of Dewey's philosophy. i'd like to take on why philippine education is basically anti-Deweyian. :D

the main idea and the very problem of our current educational system is that teachers tell students that real life starts after college (or after the student finishes his/her education, whenever that may be). the teachers tell the students that they are equipping the child with skills that he would need "in the real world" after they graduate.

many would agree that a filipino childhood is ridden with hardships at home and in whatever environment, and because of this, the schools become a mode of escape, such that the when children enter the schools they feel sheltered. it is only after they graduate that they would be faced with the "real" problems, but while they're in school, they can be care-free. in other words, kampante sila.

what is wrong with this scenario is that "the real world" is already unfolding in the life of the child.

relating this to Dewey's philosophy, there is no continuity of education, in the sense that teachers and educators don't teach how children can cope with the hardships unique to the filipino experience.

we are equipping the child with the skills such that when he becomes of age, he is ready to escape these hardships that he has known in his childhood, instead of learning the right skills to bend these hardships to his advantage.

Deweyian philosophy tells us that we learn the skills we need through experience, that we can restructure and change in the present and for the future. but because our education in our schools is a mode of escape (our experience), that is also what we apply later on in life: we escape the hardships by simply leaving the country (our restructuring).

Dewey may be the same with Durkheim that we should aim to produce good citizens, and our current educational system is far from this goal. what we teach is different from what the students should know. as what greek philosopher seneca said, "vitae, non scholae, discimus," or that we learn for life and not for school.

i'm not sure if i have applied this as aptly, but this is how i have found Dewey's philosophy (and problematized it with the current times).

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

blissful, happy day

i'm quite blissful today even if i know i would not be seeing him for the next few days. things are starting to work well between us, and i hope for the best. i don't want to hurt again.

i couldn't update as regular as i would want to, since it's been so busy at the start of the school year. i feel like i'm a student forever. i should have graduated, but since my delay has not been my doing (i promise!) but simply because the course i shifted to needed more time to finish. hay. makes me want to scream "ang tagal!" to the high heavens... as if my diploma will be handed down from the clouds.

i'm happy. our friends are speculating what is the real deal between the two of us, since we don't talk about it much. i told them that i would rather leave unsaid things that we agree on in this budding relationship, if it would be called as such.

we're not into the commitment stage. not yet at least. and, yes, we can't spend too much time with each other since we're both near graduation. the diploma is still the main goal... hopefully it won't be too elusive.

even if i'm not yet ready to commit, i can now say that i love him. but for us, it's not just the feeling that comes. so many things would have to be ironed out. i'm willing to wait.

he's so sweet. everytime he brings me home he'd come up to our house to talk to my mom and tell her that he brought me home safe (safe nga ba? hahaha), and would usually apologize if we're late. he's so nice to my mom, and my mom rarely scolds me if i go out with him without telling her... because usually he'd ask her permission or he'd bring me home and tell her that we went out.

i'm happy. but then both our parents remind us always, "aral muna." our parents are looking out for us since this year is crucial. we don't want to let them down. it pays also for us that we have the same goals at this moment in our lives; we are on the same boat.

i love him, and i'm praying for the best.

Monday, June 04, 2007

education crisis deepens

nope, i'm not making it up. it was the headline of today's inquirer (read it here). what shocked me the most at this point is why only now?

this issue has been debated upon for decades. our educational system is rusting like iron left out in the monsoon rains, and our government has done only a few pathetic paint jobs to cover it up.

this educational system is already identified in its critical stage. why do we name it as critical only now, when 99.4% of grade six children tested were said to be unfit for high school education? isn't 50% alarming enough for our educators, legislators, and officials?

the problem: lack of classrooms, lack of teachers, lack of books, lack of good training and specialization of teachers, lack of budget, lack of materials. and what do we have so much of? corruption, red tape, and politicking.

every june since kopong-kopong, i could remember tv news hovering inside cramped classrooms and telling the world the crisis that befalls our elementary school kids. i could even remember maalala mo kaya stories about children walking so many kilometers barefoot because they live far from the schoolhouse just to get an education.

what disheartens me the most is that these little kids have no voices of their own. yes, we in UP rally for low tuition fees, or maybe even free education, when basic education has not even been met in the most rural (or not even as far-flung as that) areas. before we rally for higher education, should we not first mind the little kids and their basic social right to education?

i'm not totally for UP's budget cut, but if the cut goes to giving these children the basic education they need (for minimal fees or none at all), then i guess let's give it a try.

but this is not the case. every year UP's budget gets cut by millions, yet the education crisis in basic education still remains in stagnant waters.

the problem is also not just about low proficiency in english, but low proficiency in all three majors: english, math, and science. so debating about the medium of instruction should not be at the forefront of our educator's minds. what should be their concern is that, are the children getting the right skills they need to learn english, math, and science?

my mother is a college english teacher. she gets so stressed seeing at how her students passed highschool english with the grammar they have in their essays (yeah, and even i get stressed when i lecture at an upcat review and the highschool students whom i teach have bad english, and they're about to enter college). she believes that what we should teach now is functional literacy, that we learn the literacy skills for application. i know this is hell for someone believing in a well-rounded education like me, but learning for application is not new anymore (look at technical-vocational schools), and it could at least bridge the education crisis gap.

also, learning for application does not simply mean you can't learn theory; since you already know its application and would like to pursue further studies, you have at least some backbone on it (it can also be the other way around). and in a world where an education is necessary for employment, learning for application is shoved into a priority for many developing countries.

i remember telling a friend that i'm an advocate of media for education and teaching. we should reach children where teachers and schoolhouses can't. but it's not really as simple as that. our media today is saturated with entertainment (heck, even our news is entertainment). this is not discounting sineskwela and other educational programs that have been produced then. but these media have to be updated regularly; it must also be made sure that they reach the audience they were produced for.

every politician when running for office promises education for all. it's a good promise, hell, i think it's the best promise for the youth, but none as yet has delivered this promise. i think so many can agree that our government, save for a few, is full of incompetent slobs. another election has come and gone, and no future is more bleaker for our students than now.

Friday, June 01, 2007

gently strolling...

it's not so simple to fall for another again. sometimes i think i may be doing the wrong things that i swore not to repeat again. but i'm more careful this time around.

being more careful now is utterly important, since i'm again treading on deep waters. i don't know what to think, because i may be here for the wrong reasons.

he's so my opposite: he thinks first before he jumps in. i'm the adventurous one, so i usually get myself in lots of messes.

he said he didn't want to hurt me, that's why he's taking the time to think about things. he doesn't want to go on ahead without knowing which direction to take. this is what i like about him--he takes the time to reflect on what to do next.

i, on the other hand, am no better at this. i was surprised that he took the time to think about this for the both of us. i like the way he treats me, and for that he has brownie points.

he looks out for the consequences that might turn up, because these are inevitable. people would talk. that's what we're both afraid of. mostly that's what i'm afraid of.

i want to be here for the right reasons, not just be here simply because i like the companionship but not the companion. i want to be sure of my feelings first. also, i want to make sure that mom and dad like him (which was something i overlooked in the past).

i can't talk about love as yet. sometimes it's not just about that.

it's a nice feeling to be here once again, to be appreciated and to be cared for. to be cared for, mostly, since, from how i know him, he does a very good job of that.

p.s. he's so nice.


Saturn's precious star
the elder sister
a squirrel under the oak
never early
Venus' healing herb
la luna de la noche
a girl of wishes
pride inside
pretending to be smart
nicely tucked in
a lady not poised
the talahiranya

Location: San Juan, Philippines

Notes and scribbles of a wayward child

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