Friday, August 28, 2009

To Facebook Or Not To Facebook

Friends have been urging me to fully migrate to Facebook and I say NO still. It's not because I am not a fan of Facebook (because I am...most especially of the convenience of the one-click access to the Vampire Wars game). The fact is, I am just too lazy to maintain another account. Taking Facebook seriously would mean, updating my profile, uploading pictures, responding to comments, etc. which I think are(you guessed it!)additional workload. I just don't have the time. Scrap that. I do have the time, I just chose not to have the time as taking the second step (I have done the first step by registering) will eventually lead to getting down and dirty with it!

Friendster, they say, is way back down the road. Too 'old school'. But that is fine with me. I am comfortable utilizing it and I can quite deal with the limitations of the service. I am fine with it just as it is. As for Facebook, I will keep my account active just so I will be kept within the loop with friends' whereabouts.

So dear friends, don't worry about me. I am still updated. I have not evolved (back) into a cavewoman.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

EDFD 201

During the course of discussing the different aspects of Philosophy and their celebrated Philosophers, as well as, the topics about the Nature of Man, I thought to myself, “Okay, all of them are quite interesting (if not boring) but how are they going to prepare me to become the educator that I hoped to be? Wouldn’t my time be better spent if we were studying successful methods in today’s classroom instead?

After much (needless) deliberation, I have learned and arrived to a conclusion. The truth of the matter is, while study and/or practice of teaching methods is a central part of teacher preparation, such methods make sense only in particular environment and in the achievement of specific objectives that may only cater to one or several groups of learners, but certainly not all of them. Further, the said objectives are not always agreed upon which then leaves the burden of making decisions to the educators.

Because of the concern mentioned above, I have come to believe that the incorporation of the Psychological and Philosophical foundations of education as applied in our EDFD 201 class with the supposed successful teaching methods will be very beneficial. Hence, the better we understood the larger society, in which schools are embedded, the better teachers we become. In considering and studying Education’s historical and philosophical insights alongside our own sociological knowledge, we will then be better equipped in handling classroom situations by understanding the larger context that surrounds and shapes the events that happen in our classrooms. Let us take this scenario as an example: How can we categorize a child with a learning disability from a child whose home culture differs from that of the school that he goes to? Unless we understand the effects, that school culture has on a child from a minority group or (to give a more obvious example) a child who came from the less privileged class of society, we will not be able to comprehend the root of the child’s academic or social adjustment problems. As a result, not knowing the problem will equal to not knowing how to address it. This cited example, however, is just one of the several scenarios that we encounter.

To cut to the chase, all that I am sharing is, it is necessary to acknowledge that the classroom or the learning setting is inevitably ingrained in the broader psychological and philosophical contexts that surround our educational system. The differing perceptions on the structure of Philosophy, theories of education, sociological contexts and prevailing ideologies are a few of the variables that we need to study in order to understand our workplace. Disregarding them will impair our ability to interpret classroom events and to construct meaningful solutions to perennial concerns.

Why Black And White Are The Alpha Colors

In general, I am in agreement with A. Bloom’s perspective as I also believe that going back to the most basic questions or the foundation of knowledge is one way of creating your own thoughts or ideals, a way that will lead you to a path of your own choosing.

I also believe that the trend on relativism amongst most universities today, although has great potential, will prove to be of less worth in the long run as these same universities failed to fully equip their students with enough knowledge or foundation that would have encouraged the students to develop their own ideas from what was taught. This ultimately revolved around a supposed “analytic philosophy” that dictates to the students to accept concepts at first glance with the opinions of the so-called experts in the field of their textbooks, which to my understanding then can be labeled as ironic. For instance, a Professor who wants his students to create a book review would instruct the student to read the synopsis of a particular book rather than encourage him/her to read the whole book. We have to take note that by reading the synopsis, we are already reading the interpretation of the one who created the synopsis and our understanding then is influenced by the said interpretation, hence, we unknowingly become part of a movement. Therefore, the idea that we thought was original was in truth, at a closer look, not original after all since someone else already owned it. Another good example that I can note was a statistical study that was conducted when I was taking my BA at UP Baguio, which comprised of respondents who were all members of the group ANAKBAYAN. When they were asked what their reasons were for joining the group, some had similar reasons (explanations were narrated exactly like the explanation of the leader of the group) while the others differed simply because they cannot pinpoint exactly what their reasons were and they perceived that what they were doing was what UPians should be doing. The bottom line is, the students these days are influenced by a thought that has been tainted with a little bit of influence form one person or another, which then makes it difficult for them to determine which thoughts were theirs and which ones were not. Further, this trend leads to the students’ inability to fashion a life for themselves that will go beyond the monotonous offerings of success via instant gratification and moral relativism.

These were the reasons why I agreed with A. Bloom’s urging that it is best to go back, study the historical/cultural materials in their original form, and create new thoughts based on our understanding of the said text.