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Idealism and Philippine Education
Posted by kimberlysamson on February 12, 2012

The Curriculum and Instruction
In an idealistic perspective, general education should be given much emphasis. True enough, even in the tertiary level in the Philippines, general subjects are still taken for the development of wholeness and excellence as human beings. The curriculum of our education system is also cumulative. Therefore, there is progression in learning while harnessing our past knowledge. Idealism in education gave importance to the subjects like philosophy, theology, history, literature and arts. This is evident especially in college. In some universities, the students are mandatory to take philosophy and theology in 12 units each. These subjects invoke the students to be conscious truth seekers as they step out in the real yet materialistic world. Whereas the science subjects, it help the students in dealing with cause and effect relationships. Language, too, is given high importance as our tool for communication. Moreover, critical thinking is highly imposed on the students so that we may not be deceived by our senses. Ideally, all of the subjects should be values-integrated and deals with real-life problems. The education system in the Philippines may not be too concerned with the Macrocosm concept but usually, especially in the Catholic schools, the curriculum is theocentric and there is the emphasis on acting in Christ-like ways, which can be considered as the ideals.

The Educator
All the people that make up the school especially the teachers are bound to be the students’ moral and cultural models. It’s with them that the students aspire to be upright individuals. Moreover, the teachers make use of references about inspirational models such as heroes, exemplars, etc. so that the students, too, will embody their good traits. In an idealistic method, the teachers incorporate effective communication with the students, especially Socratic dialoguing. This evokes the students to be critical thinkers through questioning and rationalizing. The Philippines is known to have a lot of heroes, from epic stories to real life stories. We are taught to identify the qualities of their heroism and be like them. We are trained to communicate, debate even, what is good, what is beautiful and what is true. We are shaped to be intuitive learners because learning does not stop, for the search of the truth is part of our lives.

The Goals for the Students
Again, the students in an idealistic set-up are expected to be truth seekers as they study the subjects that elicit critical thinking. In the journey of studying, they made use of their senses but more importantly, they process all of their observations and feelings through reflection. In this way, the learner examines his own mind and compares or shares it with others in order to seek for the truth. This I believe is harnessed in our education system because, at least from the schools I came from, we are trained to be intuitive and have introspective explorations. All of these goals boil down to an ultimate objective which is for self-development. This can be attained if we are values-driven, intrinsically motivated and if we are immersed with our cultural heritage. These again are highlighted in the Philippine education.

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