Thursday, October 9, 2014

Teaching and Continuing Education (1955 - 1970)

From a personal account of the late Raul M. Gonzalez:

After passing the Bar in 1955, I went back to Manila, to my alma mater, the UST, and taught a number of law subjects.  I also taught at the Far Eastern University (FEU), the then Philippine College of Commerce (now the Polytechnic University of the Philippines), the Assumption College, the College of the Holy Spirit, and the Philippine Normal College Graduate School.

I was in school not only to teach but also to take post-graduate courses, and I completed seminars at the Institute of Public Administration of the University of the Philippines.  Those public administration seminars were sponsored by the city government of Manila from 1960 to 1961.  Still at UP, I completed the required seminars on Constitutional and Labor Laws at the Division of Continuing Legal Education.  I also completed a course on Credit and Collection Management through seminars conducted by the De La Salle Graduate School of Business.  Taking the other side of the podium, I also lectured at the UP Law Center, Division of Continuing Legal Education. 

One might think that, after years of study,  one would get tired of the sounds and rigors of school.  But my love affair with the academe started when I realized that you could reach your goals in life through study and more study.  I was attracted to the academe because of its youthful dynamism and its regimented atmosphere.  Studying gave me much pleasure, discovering new ideas and concepts, and doing mental calisthenics alone or with a group.  One had to learn to be always on your toes lest your teachers or students catch you flatfooted.  In school, you stay on a progressive plane of self-development, and the more you learn the more you desire to learn deeper thoughts and profound ideas.  My thirst for knowledge simmered and did not want to cool down.

In the early ‘70s, I left teaching as my world expanded.   My commitments and time no longer allowed me the pleasure of correcting test papers and to look deep into the young minds of my students.  I find students today far different from those I taught.  I see many students today who want to be spoon-fed, and they tend to memorize lessons instead of internalizing them.  But of course students were fewer in the past.  There is at present a tendency for mass education, like the pace of an assembly line.  As a result, students with lesser mental talents are outpaced easily by their better classmates, and teachers often close their eyes to or ignore those weaker ones.  

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