turning stones

taking for a spin: tools for The Five 8s

Passion or Vocation?


Image courtesy of ictlic.eq.edu.au

Right, I titled this post with a question. Because this will all be about questions. And, starting to write this, I do not have answers in mind. Just more questions.

In Education, everybody is a stakeholder. The learner, his parents, his teachers, his school, his society. Because of this, it should be in everyone’s priority list. But is it? We hear of the bright boys at the DepEd planning additional years for traditional schooling. Is that the right path to take? Should additional years mean additional learning? Is there a one-to-one correspondence? Maybe so. But is it really necessary? And what do they propose? Isagani Cruz said, a year of English. DepEd says, to make high school graduates ’employable’.

But there are many stakeholders of education who vigorously oppose this. They say, fix the current system first. Which side do we take? What do you think?

Will we able to really overhaul and improve quality that the additional two years need not address? Or are the supplementary two years really just that? A desperate supplement of quantity since we know not how to raise quality? Is this the main thesis of this post? No it isn’t. I’m just asking questions. And I know there are no perfect answers.

Given the ten or twelve-year scheme, the questions are still there. What do we teach? How do we teach it? There are a lot of ways out there. We choose what we think suits our students best. But do we customize our curriculum to suit individual needs? Sounds good. But when do we standardize? Isn’t that a relevant need too? To homogenize the curriculum so that students are at par with a common measure as society still places much emphasis on standards and measures?

Do we develop, in our young, the skills to be ’employable’? Are we doing progressive ways of teaching and learning to provide them with the skills they need for their economic future? We do not even know what those skills are, do we? Or do we focus on nurturing their passions? But how close are we to realize that? Yes, we know of several people who have pursued their passions. How many can we name? Can we count ourselves in to that list? Is it the school system that made them passionate or did they need do that outside school?

Is education that foster students’ passion reserved only for the privileged and those who belong to privileged societies? Even first-world, western societies are not spared by this. Are we ready to advocate customized learning in a system that craves standardization? This isn’t just a catch 22 or chicken-or-the-egg thing, is it? These are my questions. Are they yours too?

Image courtesy of infospace.ischool.syr.edu

There are no perfect answers. We know that. We can only do our best. And it’s tough to balance or do both sides of the coin. Vocation or passion? Customized or standardized? And we have to continuously seek what is best all the time.

  1. Provide students with broad experiences.
  2. Develop in them a variety of skills.
  3. Make them understand and appreciate diverse perspectives.
  4. Uncover their hidden talents and interests.
  5. Make them life-long learners.

These are fairly well accepted purpose of school. Maybe this is how we see our current prototype and we justify it assuming we are accomplishing our goal. But we have to look that way. We have to look at a direction. We have to keep asking questions. Curriculum could not be set in stone. It is as dynamic as everyday life is. There is no central thesis for this post. I am just asking questions.

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