Nami Island, South Korea - April 2017
We can take on the meaning of humanistic education by viewing it through the root word to the term humanistic. Personally, I see it relating to both ‘human’ and ‘humanity’. Human in the sense that education is geared towards aiming its learners to progress their knowledge and skills to develop themselves as full human beings. With Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, there are five levels that leads to self-actualization. To be able to become full human beings, we can’t just survive on physiological needs alone, we also need security, social, ego development so that we can reach the pinnacle of being self-actualized human beings (Burton, 2012). It is a very complex group of topics but gearing towards humanistic development of the individual.
Humanistic education with regards to humanity is all about educating learners about being part of all human beings collectively. Learning about the concept that though we may differ in race, color, religion, and all other aspects of demographics, we are all human beings and we share the same planet. This is where Evans’ (2016) concept of Global Citizens revolves around. Education that would instill not just knowledge, not just feelings, but a lifelong view and commitment to the world around them, outside their national borders. Citizenship evolves from the traditionally local or national definition, because we all live in the same planet and no matter the borders that separate our communities, we can never take out the fact that we share the same earth.
Relating both the human and the humanity definitions above, even looking at the personal level and development, we can see that there is a need for a human being to belong, to be part of a group, and being a citizen gives a great sense of belongingness since it gives you that feeling that you are part of something, that you function as a component of a whole unit. Developing one’s self now means developing others for the whole unit to work, for society to function and grow. And education will play a big role in instilling this human development and help them grow intrapersonal and interpersonally. This also explains why psychology is a social science because learning about the human thinking also relates to how a person reacts to society and how society then can shape up a human’s mindset.
The Philippines may be an independent state but with globalization and the choices that our current government makes, we are all directly and indirectly affected by foreign influences. And with technology ever connecting us in ways we could never imagine before, the Filipinos become aware not just of what’s happening within our islands and seas but also about the news on other sides of the planet. Reading through relevant posts on social media, the answer of the Australian Foreign Minister to Evans (2016) is widely shared by the Filipino people, we have our own battles to fight so why fight the battles outside us? But what scares me so much is that there are a lot of problems that we share not just with our neighbors one of the biggest is climate change. Climate change does not just affect sea levels in the Marshall Islands (kimbryan, 2018), or melting of glaciers in Canada, typhoon Yolanda is a great effect of this man-induced global phenomenon. The smallest change in global temperature can produce extreme weather conditions which results to an average of about 20 cyclones per year in the Philippines (The Climate Reality Project, 2018). No matter what we do even if we minimize our carbon emissions in our country, the product of emissions from all over the world will be felt in our islands no matter what. We can never tell the effects to evade us just because we do our part internally, the effects will not choose the place it will be felt at. If we, as global citizens, can act collectively and do our part in numbers, we can persuade not just our local leaders, but leaders from around the world to do something about it. Besides, being a global citizen means we are part of something bigger, something beyond our borders.
Aside from Climate change, I want to talk about what is happening to Venezuela now. With the crisis that is happening within their borders, with inflation rates of 380,000% (Carmody, 2019), people are in havoc to survive. With millions of Venezuelans striving to escape their nation, borders started to close in neighboring countries such as Brazil, Peru, with only one remaining open, Colombia’s (Harris, 2018). Venezuela and Colombia have a long history of togetherness and conflicts, but their friendship flourishes amidst time. Another global issue that touched me and my students at media class is all about the Rohingyas of Myanmar. We watched Atom Araullo’s (2017) was moved to see my students having that empathy towards the Rohingyas even if they are not from the same country. I know empathy will not make that difference itself, but it can spark bigger actions to anyone who is willing and becomes driven to empower others for change. If simple people like me and my students can be global citizens, imagine if the leaders themselves are global citizens? Wouldn’t the chances for bettering the world be better?
We may all have our differences, especially from nation to nation, but one thing in common is that we are all human beings. We are all capable of the same actions, and we are all capable of feeling the same problems. That alone can give us the motivation to work together for the common good. And if we can teach our learners to become ‘global citizens’ through humanistic education, we don’t just teach them to be charitable or affective, besides, as per Evans’ (2016) words, “Charity is necessary, but it is not sufficient.” We need to act because we only have one home, the planet earth. Nations contain us, and seas separates us, but “Those who look beyond borders are in the right side of history” (Evans, 2016).
Araullo, A. (2017, December 3). 'Silang Kinalimutan,' dokumentaryo ni Atom Araullo (full episode). Retrieved from Youtube: I-Witness: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDC9RkS9NxI
Burton, N. (2012, May 23). Our Hierarchy of Needs. Retrieved from Psychology Today: https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/hide-and-seek/201205/our-hierarchy-needs
Carmody, M. (2019, February 6). What caused hyperinflation in Venezuela: a rare blend of public ineptitude and private enterprise. Retrieved from The Conversation: http://theconversation.com/what-caused-hyperinflation-in-venezuela-a-rare-blend-of-public-ineptitude-and-private-enterprise-102483
Evans, H. (2016). What does it mean to be a citizen of the world? Retrieved from TED: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODLg_00f9BE
Harris, J. (2018, November 27). Why Colombia has taken in 1 million Venezuelans. Retrieved from Youtube: Vox Borders: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NU0RqwweuWY
kimbryan. (2018, November 19). The countries most vulnerable to climate change are leading the way. Here’s how:. Retrieved from 350.org: https://350.org/how-the-countries-most-vulnerable-to-climate-change-are-leading-the-way/
The Climate Reality Project. (2018, August 24). HOW CLIMATE CHANGE IS IMPACTING DIFFERENT PLACES AROUND THE WORLD. Retrieved from The Climate Reality Project: https://www.climaterealityproject.org/blog/how-climate-change-impacting-different-places-around-world