After weeks of getting lost in the edublogosphere, I’ve finally found the place where the young bloggers lie. The Bass Player has a good post about the benefits of School 2.0 from the point of view of a 15-year-old. He raises all the usual points, and I find myself nodding my head in agreement all the way.
The next step: taking these things into the Philippine context.
Besides the more concrete obstacles (read:lack of computers and computer literacy) that the Philippine education system has to hurdle to get to School 2.0, there are many roadblocks, mostly cultural, which I fear are harder to overcome.
First is our concept of education. In more progressive countries, learning how to think is important because their economies are knowledge-based. Focus is on the person as a creator. Students in poorer countries can’t afford to study to “learn how to think”. Most students go to school to obtain the credentials needed to get a high-paying job, which for the majority of Filipinos equals blue-collar jobs abroad.
Because of this, our educators (and yes, I know this because I interviewed my teachers) don’t see the need to change the education system. I sense an attitude of: it doesn’t matter what you learn here, the important thing is you graduate high school and then go to college and then get a high-paying job. True, this might be the most rational mindset for our citizenry but I’m afraid this is going to have dire consequences in the long run. In addition to us draining our brains to other countries, our present systems are generating inadequate intellectual capital which is just going to hurt us big time.
More on that next time. The second sad-but-true fact is that our teachers don’t trust us to make our own decisions because they know that we aren’t educated enough. Which is partly the fault of many students for not being engaged in learning, but which is mostly the fault of our teachers themselves, for making us instinctively shy away from having to think. Classroom discussion is pitiful. Teachers ask questions to which everyone knows that there is an expected answer, which unfortunately, no one knows. This kind of setup makes students ,one, afraid to participate because, they’ll feel humiliated if they don’t get the “right” answer and, two, complacent, because even if they have new ideas, they know it won’t matter anyway.
So I’ll stop now becaust this is getting really sad. Really, really, sad.