Learning English in the Philippines – A Holistic Pedagogy I

Despite the meaningful role that education has played in the course of our experiences, educators still cannot come to terms with the definition of education beyond the technical. Educators and curriculum designers play an important role in the building of the human being who will tackle life head on. They are the role models who epitomize the integrity that their students have to live by.

Educators plant the seed that is re-echoed by future leaders of this planet. Also, as one enters the field of pedagogy, he must constantly reconcile the meaning of his calling with the responsibility to exercise integrity in his own life. An educator is called not to reshape the mold but to polish the created. * As Eckhart teaches, “God is not found in the soul by adding anything, but by a process of subtraction.” People living in the creation spirituality tradition learn how this is so. Subtraction can itself become quite an awesome game, a playful game, a ritual whereby everyone wins and no one loses.* Communication is an ever welcoming field for specialization and sub-specialization.

However, at the end of every day in the life of an educator, the ultimate test is to make their students more integrated persons. What makes a person “better”? Any language that is worth learning is never devoid of values and essence. Therefore, it is just right that the language educator imparts not only the skill in pronunciation, identifying symbols, decoding diction, organizing sentences.

The value of written and spoken materials is in how they are able to turn interlocutors into deeper thinkers who are more engaged, more relevant, more sensible. I once attended a trainers’ workshop where a foreign instructor was talking about parts of speech and conversation patterns. When I decided to use a sentence that somehow went beyond the depth of “the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog”, I was admonished for being too “religious” (he meant spiritual).

* Matthew Fox, Creation Spirituality, p. 91