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EDUCATION FOR DEVELOPMENT Felipe M. de Leon, Jr

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EDUCATION FOR DEVELOPMENT Felipe M. de Leon, Jr Cultural Identity Cultural identity is a sine qua non for becoming active in the world. It is the fundamental source ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: EDUCATION FOR DEVELOPMENT Felipe M. de Leon, Jr


1
EDUCATION FOR DEVELOPMENT Felipe M. de Leon, Jr
2
Cultural Identity
  • Cultural identity is a sine qua non for becoming
    active in the world. It is the fundamental source
    of social empowerment.
  • Rob a people of their identity and they become
    passive, lost, indolent, uncreative and
    unproductive, prone to depression and substance
    abuse, and plagued by a pervasive feeling of
    malaise and powerlessness.

3
The Genesis of Subservience
  • To suppress and weaken this identity and
    successfully impose an alien culture on a people
    is to reduce them into a passive, docile mass
    subservient to the power wielders of the alien
    culture.
  • They lose their originality, native intelligence
    and skills, treasure troves of knowledge,
    accumulated wisdom, and creativity.

4
The Genesis of Subservience
  • They lose their collective will and vision of
    life. They become disunited, self-serving,
    indulgent and short-sighted. This is why the
    first objective of a colonizing power is to erase
    the cultural memory of the conquered people, to
    induce a collective amnesia about their past and
    supplant it with the culture of the colonizers,
    especially through education.
  • In this lie the roots of Filipino derivativeness
    and inferiority complex vis-a-vis the West.

5
Un-Filipino Perspective
  • The moment we began to view ourselves through
    Western eyes, what we held sacred suddenly became
    worthless, our virtues turned into vices, and our
    strengths began to be seen as weaknesses.
    Anything indigenous became a source of
    embarrassment and uneasiness. We would hide
    whatever is native sounding or native in origin.
    Centuries of being regarded as backward and
    inferior by the white colonizers engendered in us
    this collective self-contempt, a psychic malady
    that afflicts all of us but most especially the
    elites.

6
The Curse of Smallness
  • Representations of the Filipino seemingly
    encouraged by the American colonial regime were
    of the smallest kind. The bahay kubo became very
    small. The little rice bird, the maya, became
    the national bird. The tiny sampaguita was
    declared the national flower by American Governor
    General Frank Murphy in 1934. Photographs taken
    of Filipinos and Americans together often
    deliberately exaggerated the Filipinos
    diminutive stature beside that of the towering
    American Caucasian.
  • Could this be an important reason why until
    recently many Filipino school children were
    expected to memorize the Latin name of, and even
    to be proud of having in Bikol, the smallest fish
    in the world? Most Filipinos then were not aware
    that we also have the biggest fish in the world
    in the same province.

7
The Curse of Smallness
  • Could this also be one of the psychological
    reasons why many Filipinos think small? Rather
    than become innovators, entrepreneurs, creative
    thinkers, producers and manufacturers, Filipinos,
    including U.P. graduates, are just too happy to
    find employment, especially overseas. In 1954 our
    government enacted a retail trade nationalization
    law, which took effect in 1964, preventing the
    Chinese from doing tingi, so the Chinese simply
    shifted from retail to the much bigger and more
    lucrative business of wholesale.

8
Alienation from Our Sources of Cultural Energy
Thinking in Borrowed Forms and the Economics of
Dependency
  • Up to the present time, our educational system
    remains colonial rather than culturally
    appropriate, causing a great loss of cultural
    energy.
  • As a result, many of our schools do not produce
    people who are highly resourceful, creative and
    adaptable to a fast changing and extremely
    complex contemporary world. They encourage
    dependency, a job-seeking, employability
    mentality rather than originality of thought,
    entrepreneurial qualities and self-reliance on
    native skills, knowledge and strengths.

9
The Power of Indigenous Thought
  • Harnessing our own minds, understandings,
    definitions, categories and concepts is certainly
    to have confidence, power and control over our
    own lives. Economic power naturally follows from
    this. For instance, if we worship alien ideas of
    beauty, whose art works, music, fashion models
    and beauty products do we glorify and spend for?
    If we do not develop our indigenous pharmacology
    and healing modalities, how much do we spend for
    imported drugs and medicines?

10
Serving Another Countrys Need Through Education
  • Our country has been spending valuable public
    money for the education of Filipino professionals
    in the arts and sciences and many other fields.
    But since the cultural sources of their education
    are Western, it is inevitable that the expertise
    they acquire will be more applicable or
    appropriate to a Western industrialized society
    than to the rural, agricultural setting of most
    Philippine provinces.
  • So a great number of our graduates will end up
    migrating to rich Western or Westernized
    countries.

11
Serving Another Countrys Need Through Education
  • It looks like the Philippines is spending its
    money for the training of manpower for the more
    affluent countries...This, then, is the essence
    of our colonial education - the training of ones
    countrys citizens to become another countrys
    assets. (Florentino Hornedo, The Cultural
    Dimension of Philippine Development)

12
Diminution of Self
  • THE MOST INSIDUOUS BECAUSE SUBTLE ALIENATION OF
    THE FILIPINO FROM HIS CULTURAL ROOTS BEGAN WITH
    THE WESTERNIZED EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM THE U.S.
    ESTABLISHED IN OUR COUNTRY. THIS PROCESS
    CONTINUES TO THE PRESENT DAY WE MAY OBSERVE
    THAT THE HIGHER (i.e., THE MORE SPECIALIZED) A
    FILIPINOS LEVEL OF EDUCATION IS, THE GREATER IS
    THE LOSS OF A COMMUNAL OR SOCIAL SELF.
  • ______________
  • Those who receive a well-rounded,
    interdisciplinary education in which subjects are
    taught within a broad social, cultural and
    humanistic context, showing the
    interconnectedness of all things do not
    necessarily succumb to this diminution process.

13
Alienation from the Community
  • As one ascends the academic ladder, the more
    Westernized and alienated from his cultural roots
    the Filipino becomes. That is why the more
    specialized a Filipinos education is, the more
    likely he or she will find his means of
    livelihood away from his community, perhaps in
    Manila or some other country.
  • An Ifugao child who receives only a high school
    education is more likely to remain in his
    community than another who finishes college. And
    the reason for this is not just because the
    latter has greater work opportunities, but
    because his education is not culturally rooted in
    his community, especially if it is a rural,
    indigenous village.

14
Constriction of Social Consiousness
  • Especially prone to the diminution of social
    consciousness are professionals in highly
    technical, narrow specializations. It used to be
    that a doctor specialized in EENT medicine. But
    eye specialists have since parted ways with the
    ear-nose-throat doctors. And now there is even a
    left-eye or right-eye specialist.
  • By reducing reality into small pieces, the narrow
    specialist is in danger of losing all sense of
    reality. He and his tiny circle of co-experts
    tend to define their own limited field - that is,
    their specialized theories and methods - as the
    final reality or the representation of total
    reality

15
Specialistic Innocence
  • This naivete makes him utterly helpless in facing
    many complex issues of today. Thus, he is apt to
    surrender easily to all sorts of ideologies. The
    modern specialized intellectual gets nervous
    outside his field of expertise where he feels an
    awful sense of emptiness. All throughout history,
    it has been the technocratic scientists or
    engineers, who, because of their ignorance of the
    social processes and political contexts in which
    they operated, easily succumbed to the whims of
    dictators and fascists of all kinds.

16
Professional Tribalism
  • Narrow technical, professional education may
    develop expertise and the professions but may
    also breed selfishness, lack of social
    responsibility and professional tribalism, which
    arises from the cult of the professional ego
    (promoting ones profession at the expense of
    public good).
  • This is clearly a manifestation of the
    materialism of industrial or industrializing
    societies where, for instance, scientists advance
    science for its own sake no matter what the
    social costs, medical doctors gang up on
    outsiders to protect the medical establishment,
    and businessmen sacrifice valuable goods or form
    cartels just to maintain enormous profits.

17
Professional Tribalism
  • Society becomes splintered into ruthlessly
    competing self-interest tribes of experts, each
    with its own god or king (celebrity figures such
    as Stephen Hawking in physics or Bill Gates in
    technology and business), church or temple
    (convention hall, opera house, museum, etc.),
    holy book (professional journal or manual),
    sacred language (jargon) and religious attire
    (business suit, white laboratory gown, etc.).
    Each tribe is after its own good alone.
    Professional advancement is the highest good. And
    financial success the highest reward (a market of
    warring, competing tribes?)

18
Barbarism of Specialism
  • The specialist and his small circle of
    co-experts are inclined to define their own
    little field(i.e. their specialized theories and
    methods) as the final reality or as the
    representation of total reality. (Zejderveld,
    Abstract Society). Thus, he has a tendency toward
    arrogance inspite of his naivete in all matters
    outside his own limited field. Typically, he
    feels detached from the larger communal, social
    context in which he lives and become solely
    devoted to the advancement of his profession.
  • ________________________
  • Narrow specialization

19
Barbarism of Specialism
  • Who then cares for society as a whole? It seems
    that with few exceptions, we have in our midst
    economists who formulate policies as if people do
    not matter, scientists who pursue knowledge
    uninformed by social considerations, artists who
    create for other artists and art experts alone,
    politicians who place party interests above all
    else, and officials more worried about
    self-preservation than their peoples well being.
    These things are now common knowledge and much
    thought and study have already been made on the
    barbarism of specialism. Can we educate the
    Filipinos, whether formally and non-formally,
    against this barbarism?

20
The Monstrous Cultural Divide
  • Colonial, narrowly specialized education
    paradoxically creates a situation where our most
    educated class, paradoxically, turns out to be
    the least nationalistic Filipinos - an elite with
    whom the colonial powers could easily
    collaborate.
  • A serious consequence of this is cultural
    fragmentation. In the Philippines, this created
    the monstrous cultural divide between the
    Western-educated ruling elite and the more or
    less culturally indigenous majority.

21
The Monstrous Cultural Divide
  • Without a common cultural identity there is no
    common action. A culturally fragmented and
    atomized mass is the worst conceivable source
    material for the development process. We have a
    soft state because of self-serving elite
    intervention and manipulation. As a result, the
    culture of the bureaucracy, including the police
    and the military, is more attuned to the needs
    and values of the elite than to the vast majority
    of Filipinos.

22
A people can only be united by the things they
love, and divided by the things they hate.
  • Generations of contempt for Filipinos by the
    colonizers have been imbibed by many Filipinos
    themselves, especially by the ruling elites, who
    were most exposed to Western rule. This is
    largely the source of their feeling of privilege,
    disregard of, and abusiveness towards Filipinos
    beneath their class and their notorious
    disrespect for the laws of the nation they
    themselves helped make.
  • Actually, as a research of SWS has indicated, it
    is this class who have the lowest regard for
    themselves as Filipinos, having been the most
    conditioned to idolize Western ways. Their low
    regard for Filipinos is in reality an expression
    of self-contempt.

23
Anything positive about themselves always unites
a people
  • If we are to become one nation, we have to begin
    deconstructing the very negative self-images that
    have been ingrained in us by centuries of
    colonial misrule and miseducation, especially
    among the elites who are the power wielders and
    thus have the greatest responsibility to serve
    and be one with our people. We can never erect a
    viable nation if we continue to denigrate
    ourselves, even in the presence of foreigners.

24
Pride, Commitment and Excellence
  • Lack of pride in being Filipino results in lack
    of commitment to the nation and, consequently, a
    low level of achievement or even mediocrity, the
    pwede na yan mentality. For the anthropologist
    Dr. F. Landa Jocano, pride, commitment and
    excellence are inseparable.

25
Social Self-Images As Self-Fulfilling The Need
to Develop a Strong Shared Vision
  • It is the image a people create of themselves
    that is the psycho-cultural basis of their
    strengths and weaknesses, triumphs and failures.
    For a nations self-image tends to be
    self-fulfilling (Kenneth Boulding, The Image).
    If in our minds we think we will be defeated, we
    have already lost. If we think we are an
    inferior people, we will tend to lower our
    standards and be satisfied with good enough.
    Negative self-images, whether individual or
    collective, can cause untold social and cultural
    damage.
  • We have nothing to lose by creating and working
    for the most exalted and inspiring images of
    ourselves, especially because we are a highly
    relational, holistic, participatory and creative
    people with a strong nurturing and caring
    orientation.

26
Balancing Individual Freedom with Sense of
Community
  • What our schools need is to have a balanced
    general education, one that can promote the
    Western ideals of individual freedom as well as
    the profound and lasting Asian values of communal
    togetherness, national unity, spiritual oneness
    of humanity and, especially, the Filipino ideal
    of pakikipagkapwa, whose deepest meaning is
    shared goodness or shared divinity.

27
  • DEVELOPING A FILIPINO AND HUMANISTIC
    PERSPECTIVE
  • Curriculum and policy research can lay the
    basis for programs that can
  • 1. Heighten social consciousness and sense of
  • responsibility to the nation by
  • Making students know deeply the history and
    cultural geography of the Filipino people, with
    emphasis on local strengths.
  • Broadly situating in a socio-cultural context the
    teaching of highly technical courses, especially
    in the professional colleges.
  • Dwelling on Filipino psychologies of kapwa,
    cooperation and communal ways.

28
DEVELOPING A FILIPINO AND HUMANISTIC PERSPECTIVE
  • Maintaining core subjects or themes on What it
    means to be human and Filipino, Sustainable
    living and understanding of the ecology,
    Realization of creative potential, etc.
  • Imparting truly interdisciplinary perspectives
    that broaden intellectual horizons and promote
    multiple intelligences and demonstrate the
    interconnectedness of all phenomena.
  • Establishing, especially for the youth,
    pasyal-aral activities for cultural immersion and
    increasing face to face interactions for social
    understanding among Filipinos

29
DEVELOPING A FILIPINO AND HUMANISTIC PERSPECTIVE
  • 2. Promote people participation, local genius
    and
  • cultural diversity
  • Identifying local cultural genius and promote it
    nationally, based on the assumption that we are
    bound together by the good or the positive
  • Affirming local cultures to enhance cultural
    energy and productivity. To achieve this the
    educational system must be culturally rooted,
    appropriate to the conditions under which most
    Filipinos live, and relevant to their needs.
    Indigenous concepts and ideas, knowledge systems
    and practices, forms of expression, traditional
    arts and native languages that continue to exist
    today are the basis for a culturally-rooted
    education because they are in consonance with our
    psyche and our needs, containing wisdom tested
    through time. Local genius or indigenous
    strengths are the chief cultural and economic
    resource of a community.

30
DEVELOPING A FILIPINO AND HUMANISTIC PERSPECTIVE
  • 3. Demonstrate that the arts are not isolated
    from other cultural phenomena, and are the most
    lucid mirrors of social consciousness
  • The arts do not exist in a vacuum. Every artistic
    statement is also a political one, even from the
    most seemingly, innocuous decorative ones. There
    is no escape from social responsibility. Its
    either you are promoting art for the common
    people, for the elite, or for the nation as a
    whole. For whom does the artist create? can
    always be asked.
  • Interdisciplinary, world arts, arts and ideas,
    comparative and other expansive approaches to art
    studies can be an antidote to specialistic
    innocence
  • Participation in artistic creation is for all

31
Promoting the Local But Thinking National or
Global Human Communities, not the State, are
the Ultimate Actors in the Development Process
  • In mainstream development thinking, the state is
    always seen as the social agent or subject of the
    development process. From a human development
    perspective, human beings or small communities of
    human beings, are the ultimate actors. Most
    states are, after all, artificial territorial
    constructions, usually the result of
    international wars or internal colonialism.
  • The concept of a nation-state implies that the
    territorial boundaries of the state coincide with
    the boundaries of a culturally homogeneous
    nation. This is the exception rather than the
    rule in a world with about thousands of
    culturally diverse peoples but only about 200
    states.

32
Promoting the Local But Thinking National or
Global Human Communities, not the State, are
the Ultimate Actors in the Development Process
  • We have to encourage celebration of the unique
    cultural identities of cultural communities
    through various activities and expressive forms
    to provide for communication and sustainable
    development. Failure to do this may lead to
    violence, deviant behavior, depression, and
    suicide. Positive programs can encourage harmony
    and engagement in society. Underlying these
    programs is the attitude of tolerance and respect
    for cultural diversity.
  • A nations development, then, can be viewed as
    proceeding along apparently divergent directions,
    one, towards a shared cultural universe at the
    national level and two, towards the greatest
    possible intracultural diversity at the local
    level.
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