The Filipino Dominican Philosophy of Education

INTRODUCTION

      We, the Dominicans of the Province of the Philippines of the Order of Preachers, focus our apostolic activities, among the many needs of the Church, principally on evangelization through education. It is one of the means the Province sees as providentially available to it to enable men and women of our times to experience the saving Word of God and to give a salvific dimensions to arts, sciences and culture in general.

      For centuries, the Dominican presence in the Philippines has been understood in terms of molding, especially the youth, through a formative process, which combines the development of reason, the deepening of faith and the appreciation and the living of Christian values. Out of that process, leaders and role models of our people emerged during the critical periods of our people’s struggle for independence and for sovereignty as a nation.


Nature of Education

      Education is life. In its broadest meaning, it is the integral development of the human person. It is a continuous process of development so that man may become more and more human. In mapping out its objectives and methodologies, education centers on and bases its philosophy on the concept of the human person. 


Nature of The Learner As Man

  •       Man is basically good. God created him in His own image and likeness so that he may know, love, serve and be happy with Him in Heaven. As a unity of body and soul, he expresses his intellectual capacity and free will through his corporal faculties and powers. While he possesses personal characteristics that make him different from other men, he also has a natural need to associate with them.
  •       Man is a steward of all of God’s creation. It is His plan that man should subdue the earth and bring back creation to perfection while promoting the progress of mankind.
  •       Man is basically wounded by sin but redeemed by Christ from sin so that man may attain his purpose. As man’s participation in Christ’s redemptive work, he has to struggle to develop himself and to mature to full human dignity. In this important task, he needs the assistance of society


Nature of The Learner As Filipino
 
       What makes us Filipinos distinct from other nationalities is a set of traits called asal. It is composed of dangal, damdamin and pakikipagkapwa. From these traits spring values the Filipino is best known for, such as utang na loob, palabra de honor, pakikisama, hiya and the Bayanihan spirit. These values are good in themselves.

       Moreover, a Filipino deals with his experiences in an intuitive rather than rational, subjective rather than objective manner. Combining insights with reasoning, he experientially absorbs and then creatively expresses in local concepts, ideas he has assimilated. 

       However, present conditions have turned Filipino values into a cause of ambivalence and fatalism. Viewed from the perspective of God’s people, life is full of kahirapan. Underlying this are the realities of injustice in the social, political, economic and cultural systems. Such realities have changed our perspective of these values, making them hindrances to our advancement, detrimental to human relationships and causing the neglect of the common good.

        Learners - the educative process transpires in the learner. It is the learner who forms himself. Teachers and other members of the Academic Community facilitate the learning process.


Roles of Our Schools

      We see our schools with their organized structures and academic systems as effective channels to facilitate the educative process that lead to the total integral formation of the person. They are instruments of cultural change and progress for individuals as well as society. 

      As Catholics, we think of schools as the most potent agents for renewed evangelization (PCP II 623) in so far as they offer an integrated view of the human person grounded in the person of Jesus Christ. Their task is fundamentally a synthesis of culture and faith and a synthesis of faith and life (GE 32). In this light, the specific mission of our schools is a critical and systematic transmission of culture in the light of faith and the bringing forth of the power of Christian virtue by the integration of culture with faith and of faith with living (GE 49). Our schools do not only prepare for Christian community but should also provide an experience of community. (PCP II, 636). 

      Our schools are guided by the Dominican Charism, the consecration to the truth from which springs the mission to live and to proclaim the values of God’s Kingdom. We are inspired by the Order’s special devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and the rosary as we continue the task of molding the youth. The Dominican schools as such are cradles of future leaders characterized by the harmony of reason, faith and Christian values, who will imbue the whole world with similar values assimilated in their lives. 

      As Filipinos, our schools shall reaffirm the belief of the Filipino in his race and in himself. They shall redirect the perspective by which we view our values and strengthen their positive attributes. In response to the pervasive kahirapan afflicting God’s people, our schools shall facilitate the empowerment of the people, especially of the poor. Our schools shall make education available to all and provide opportunities to the indigents through outreach and scholarship programs. Our schools shall provide an environment where members of the administration, the faculty, staff, students and parents, will develop into Filipinos who are makaDiyos, makatao at makabayan. (PCP II 636). 


Goals of Education

       The goal of education is the total integral formation of the human person that would lead him to attain the purpose for which he was created, namely; union with God, community with others and harmony with creation.