My relationship with Australia

I think I might start to write something about how my journey began…I don’t know how to call it but looking back, I felt like it was all connected. Everything just fits in together…why I ended up here in Australia.

It was 2010 or 2011 when I started searching for pursuing another course in college – I’ve always wanted to contribute to my country and to my fellow Filipinos hence my eagerness to be a part of the education system in the Philippines. This desire was due to my experience of what school is like in my country – I was lucky enough to have been able to finish my first course through a scholarship grant and it was not an easy journey. Have I not succeeded in passing the exam, it will be a real struggle to get funds to continue studying in a university. I wanted education to be accessible to those who want it.

I was on vacation and spending Christmas holidays in the province when I started searching for scholarships, online education, schools that offer night classes etc. I was determined to finish a degree in education, work for the government – in the education field then get a scholarship from Australia. I saw in one of my research that Australia gives scholarship to those who want to pursue higher education, as long as the scholar will work for the government in his own country in the chosen field of study eg. education. So since then Australia has been on my diary, list and plans.

But it didn’t stop there. Before having that long term goal of getting a scholarship from AusAid, I have been working in a BPO since 2009, my first account was on a graveyard shift. It was a blessing in disguise that after 2 months, the account was closed and we were advised by the company that we will be transferred to a different account. I didn’t have any idea what will happen next. We were asked to take an exam about computers, modem, etc. then that was it. I didn’t have a job for a week. Then after that I received  a call from HR that I will start on a new account – Bigpond Technical Support .

That’s  a bit of how I started getting to know Australia.

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Check and Balance

My Educational philosophy has always been bonded for improvement. I can see how I’ve written the words improvement numerous times in this blog regarding education. It is for a human being’s growth intellectually and to make sure he transcends this to his purpose in as a living creature in this world. Education’s goal is to make this happen, to have a strong foundation and philosophy for the betterment of human’s ability to think and act for himself and in the community he lives in.

Education must have schools that reflect this belief, an institution where students can acquire the wisdom need to prepare them for the future.A schools that has enough references of classic and modern books and knowledge and is conducive to learning with activities that  incorporates an environment of what they can see outside the classroom.

Curriculum should be a combination of what is basic and classic and modern. It should be based on human beings needs for survival for today and the future. There must be subjects of  ethics and values, 3Rs, developing in more complex subject matter and more application needed. It will be divided to a 30% General Education, 40% Core / Major Subjects with  30% of the activities where students can have Application.  Students should be exposed to various activities so they can lead them to where they can excel and share their expertise, they are to decide with the 30% activities related to, Sciences, Music, Arts, Economics, examples of which are painting, piano lessons, sports or simple activities that toddlers and pre-adolescent can go through leading to more complex lists like research, experiments, theater design, creative writing, introduction to film, photography etc. There must be a discussion involving current events and what is happening around to create awareness because they are a part of society.

Method of instructions must be open for change, though this must be predesignated and pre- designed based on intensive research and  studies, if an educator need to change or add methods as necessary for students’ learning, them so be it.

The teachers are educators who believes that their students are human beings needing for honing their intellect and therefore must help them, the best way they could by being creative in methods of teaching, doing research to add topics helpful in discussion, and instilling character and personal development . They must have the end goal of students grasping the knowledge and applying it as well.

Below show my first result on (http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/dl/free/0073525901/419185/sad25901_ch08.pdf)

21 Essentialism
19 Perennialism – Lowest
22 Progressivism -Highest
20 Social Reconstructionism
21 Existentialism

Current Total

21 Essentialism
18 Perennialism – Lowest
24 Progressivism -Highest
21 Social Reconstructionism
18 Existentialism

Based on the current and previous results, they both show the same high and low, Progressivism and Perennialism. My belief in education was made stronger after taking EDUC 101 course. I fully gained knowledge of the importance of philosophy of education. This acts as your foundation as an educator, something you use as guide in your journey to make sure you deliver your aim and goal.

I also strongly believe in Idealism and Realism view of education, where knowledge is innate and therefore can be drawn from a student by asking questions, hence this can be improved based on the level of questions and method used. In realism where senses  are used and outside forces / experiences are used in learning and knowing the truth.

My Idea of Education

Education is the idea created by our mind to improve the way human beings think, act and live. It is the best representation of an image that is applied through studying and learning.  It should be anchored with strong philosophical foundation so it can be open for improvement, It should support  human needs improvement of intellect and character development and should go through innovation based on environment and current situation as well.  Schools are the structure that holds the education’s goal. It must be aligned with education’s purpose and should always be filled with materials, references, teachers that embody the same belief. It should be where the students get the optimum knowledge they need to be ready for today and for the future.

I aspire to become a teacher because I believe that I can be an instrument to carry on the evolution that education endures, that I can contribute to the system as a whole for improvement and embody the belief that knowledge and education can be shared and passed from one person to another.  I believe that I, as a teacher,it is my responsibility to strive for an educational system’s excellence..

My students are the same human beings as I am that go on through this life for individual improvement in terms of intellect, skill and character; thus, I will make sure treat them as the people who are needs knowledge and wisdom.

I want my students to reach their optimum potential, I want them to be able to realize their purpose, their follow own belief of existence.   With all these in mind, a learning environment suitable for me and my students is an environment that has a balance of student-centered and teacher-centered environment because i have always believed that one can not survive without the other. An environment with missing factor of any from the two will create a pillar that collapse easily as their are no inputs from the student or vice-versa. The balance would come from the implementation where there should be an open discussion for the teachers to accept that they can tweak a module if they deem necessary for a number of specific students to cope with their learning. This indicates an intensive research and study of Human capability, intellect, behavior, environment so educators can have a structure beneficial for learning. There should be a combination of Classic and Modern knowledge and references, activities, experiences together with Theories. An idea coming from students should be heard as this is helpful in innovation, they are the end-receiver of the educational system Educators put up so it is imperative to take it for improvement as they see fit. 

My educational perspectives most likely be influenced by 40% Idealism, 30% Realism, 10% Essentialism and 20% Progressivism.

 

Nothing in Between

Black or white.

Yes or No.

Right or Wrong.

 The world revolves around different idea, structure, community, religion and culture but human beings thrive in the community who have the ability to think, feel and act. They are people who have the gift to choose the way their life can be.

We are to choose what is best for us and the choices we make are from previous experiences, learning we acquired from other people and ideas we gather through time. These are like compartments embedded in our subconscious that we pick up when we need to feel, decide and act. In our community we see elders and our parents as our guide and examples who do what is right as they are viewed to have more experiences and wisdom than younger people. We respect their opinion and seek their advice. 

From home, I was brought up to be a good girl thus explains that I should only do good things. Respect, Integrity, Honesty, Hard work, loyalty, God-fearing and all of the values may parents like me to have as I grow up. These are still within me, I carry these values at work. It is also seen in every company’s values. These are guidelines to help us have a harmonious relationship with others.

These  also are beliefs  that we got from institutions like school.

We mostly spend our time outside home, particularly more of it in School from 5years old to 22 years old and others continuously pursue other field of education to hone their skills and intellect.  In school our teachers as second parents. They posses values that reflect the same view with our parents – they like us to be hard working, honest, loyal, courageous & respectful.

A teacher is a living example of a hero, students look up to. They represent the biggest chunk of people who can give and share knowledge, to enhance intellectual and moral and character of a student. 

The whole ethics and values are present in every corner, it is an influence of Confucianism. Our belief in good and bad is the same with the philosophy that anchors itself on human beings for our improvement not just skills and wisdom but primarily on behavior since this is something we can have control of and is innate in a person. The question just lies on what to chose?

Good or Bad?

Right or Wrong?

A Way to Revolutionize

History reveals that civilization started from people migrating from one place to another to survive. Once they settle and acquired their skill in adapting to their environment, they create a society that has its own culture, economic schemes, religion,social stratification and political strategies to continuously define their existence generation to generation. This is how it all started. The structure may be different from one society, country to another but they believe in the system that they live and thrive in.

However, No structure or system was perfect. They either collapsed or is now written as a part of history because of war or greed for power. 

In today’s era, where we have stronger social, economic and political structure, we still experience chaos, we are sometimes caught up in the middle of the war – the strife between two countries. And it’s not all that, there are lots of of social, political and economic issues within a country and these are prevalent today. Read the broadsheet, you will see crimes. Listen to the radio, you will hear stock prices going down & interest rates going up. Watch the television and you will be feeding your vision with government officials in trial, people accused stealing, poverty and hunger.

Is there any way to stop this?

It must be that history repeat itself as they say, but people have also evolved and their thinking had brought has different avenue to cope and possible eliminate these issues.

Education is one part of this system used to resolve all of these – it is the primary institution where people start to gain their perspective in life, where they develop their intellectual ability. In today’s modern times and advanced technological age, Social Reconstructionism as one of the Philosophies of education that started in Western culture,has its primary goal of is to start the revolution within school, where a student starts with understanding, exploring the issues and formulate solutions to the problems in real life. They get into action!

In the Philippines, this philosophy is not prescribed in our curriculum. Reconstructionists believes in putting ideas to resolve social, political and economic issues into actions. They want students to immerse themselves in real life situations. In this setting, students might do a research on human trafficking but if they want to continue then the teacher acts as a guide on how they can get into resolving the issue. They can coordinate with government officials, get lawyers to help them or be involved in investigation.

This is a far cry from what we have in our country. Being in the field already signifies a career of a person after graduating if he pursue his degree in the same field. However this is still subject to the person’s actual job description if he will really be involved in resolving these problem, If he is a soldier by profession then he might be sent to Zamboanga to help, if you are a lawyer then you might be a part of Napoles’ trial. What we have are practical, on-the-job training on our major subject for us to be set-up in the field and be ready for the work but still not even close to being a student and being directky involved in resolving the countries’ current hustle and bustle as the Reconstructionist view.

What we have is tackle this current events in Social Studies and History and formulate insights of the effects and resolution but educators are not pushing ideology of political or economic revolution. We are asked to read news to be aware of what is happening. Though we see people in the march to fight for what they think is right, these are not prescribed activities in school. It is the student and educators and other people’s choice to join these revolution / activities etc. These are the ways of sending messages that their view and philosophy is not inline with what is happening and they sought to have it ceased. 

Yes, there might be some unsung heroes who takes part of helping our country, but imposing revolution and social reconstruction in school is viewed as unethical  and too radical and is considered brain-wash where it is not beneficial to the people but only to the organization, system or structure. 

 

 

Isn’t it Great?

The education of a person starts at home. My first brush of perennialist teaching was from my father. Dad had always taught me to analyze the techniques and tried methods of doing any kind of task, so I can do it in the most efficient way. Also as my Bible study teacher, he taught me the most effective way to embody a good trait is to understand the principle behind it. learning the teachings of the Bible gave me a profound way of seeing things. And I believe that it contributed in making me a better person than I was before I read the Bible and let God’s Word be my guide to life. An advantage I would like to cite is in development of my self esteem. knowing that I am fearfully and wonderfully made by God as per the Bible made me improve how I see and value myself and how I interact with others. We have a mini library that contains all books of classic like El Filibusterismo, Noli Me Tangere.

It did not end there, outside of our home, where I spent most of the years of my life, schools my shown majority of Perennialist tenets. Being influenced by Rationalism, its core lies on the the enduring truth and values. Human being are rational and therefore students are taught subjects that will make them think, subjects that relates to asking more question for us to learn. The Great Books are included in the Subjects – these are represented by General Knowledge as they have endured the time of being useful, initiating us learners to ask and crave for more.
We have Electives and General Knowledge makes us belong to society, from the word general, it creates an awareness and understanding of what, where or who we are.

As I move on in life, it has greatly impacted my thinking I know that I can start a conversation with a general idea. I can say I belong – since all people have gone through this journey of knowing a general idea, it creates a binding effect to people. It’s foundation of Realism strive a a context of what is the true value of learning to people, therefore it has enhanced our ability to think what is best for us in learning. Up until today my motivation for learning are questions. Why do I need to do this? Does this add value to me? Is this idea correct?
The only problem with being to tied up with the general idea or great ideas from the past is that I am too close to it that at times, entertaining radical thoughts put me off. Thinking that Great Books are relevant today, we still based some ideas on them. What happens to innovation and ever changing world? What about learning from the new books and new ideas?

In the Box

“Everything that ever has been always will be, and everything that ever will be always has been.” 
― Kurt Vonnegut

Basic. It wasn’t sky rocket for the Essentialists to view education. True to its form and root word – essence sums up to something fundamental. Education – is basic; therefore fundamentals should be included in it. This goes back to the early civilization on how they transmitted knowledge; Writing, Reading and ‘Rithmetic (arithmetic). Since these are tested through time, these methods are sacrosanct.

This principle is seen worldwide. Education is highly dependent on it’s mantra of literacy through the 3R’s. 

Looking back, and checking my report card in Kindergarten, I saw Reading, Writing and Mathematics. This was my formative years – starting at the age of 6 in a public school. But as I move back, I realized it was also present at home. My mom started to use this as my form of education.

This is how vast this fundamentals are used in forming a man’s education. Even, babies are taught to literacy at an early age. Numerous DVDs are bought that teaches them to read at an early age, even at the age of 2. The effect of it in is enormous as people gain understanding of the world earlier than before. 

With the basic that everyone has to undergo, education is developed at an early age; giving us younger Presidents, Governors and government Officials or even College Students starting at 14years of age. Essentialism also started the Standardized Test for everyone. We have the NEAT &  NSAT which measure the mastery of students in Mathematics,Science, Filipino, and Araling Panlipunan.