Formal education and the development of modern attitudes and values in the Philippines in the 1990s

Spires, Philip Hepworth (2006). Formal education and the development of modern attitudes and values in the Philippines in the 1990s. PhD thesis The Open University.



Attitude and value development was made an explicit goal for Philippine education for the first time in the 1987 constitution. The study traces the policy origin of these goals and locates this within the education reform programme overseen by multilateral agencies such as the World Bank from 1970. It identifies these education policies as deriving from and still related to the ideas of modernisation theory. Via a mixed method research project, the study examines attitudes and values held by a sample of Filipinos, contrasting more educated and less educated groups and analyses whether experience of different qualities of education gives rise to different attitudinal characteristics. It finds that high quality education does promote the adoption of the stated attitude and value goals, resulting in attitudinal characteristics which are slightly, but demonstrably different from those associated with social class. Access to less or only to lower quality education is found to be less effective in promoting the identified attitudinal development, especially in the area of individual assertiveness and self-reliance, but it also finds that these different characteristics may arise mainly as a result of economic circumstance. As a consequence, the study finds that a major element of the original educational reforms, that of increased privatisation beyond primary school, undermines the ability of formal education to achieve its stated attitudinal goals. The possibility that participation in formal education promotes an identification with "foreign" values, a consequence of which may be an accommodation of the idea of overseas migration for work, is also considered. The study finds no evidence that experience of education promotes migration, but that it does facilitate it, especially via the system's duality based on the retention of the English language as the medium of instruction.

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