4th Malikhaing Guro International Conference on Culture-Based Education

Supporting Partners Poster

The Arts Research and Training Institute in Southern Tagalog, Inc. (ARTIST, Inc.) will be holding its 4th Malikhaing Guro International Conference with the theme Culture-based Education and ASEAN Integration: Multiple Voices, Multiple Contexts on July 4-7 this year, together with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Linang Arts and Culture Network Inc., Department of Education (DepEd), and the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB).

            ARTIST, Inc. is a non-government organization that formally launched Malikhaing Guro in 1995 as a series of workshops with the objective of establishing a creative training program for primary and secondary school teachers in line with the organization’s advocacy to create a meaningful and creative teaching-learning experience for both the student and teachers. Literally translated as “creative teacher,” Malikhaing Guro was the response of ARTIST, Inc. to the Filipino’s continuous cry for relevant and quality education. The workshop dwelt on the assertion that with the use of arts, the creative teacher becomes a performer, an innovator, a facilitator and a critic.The program became pivotal for collaboration with teachers in the formal institutions, environmental advocates, development workers, government organizations, and artists.

In the year 2012, with the assistance of the NCCA, ARTIST Inc. published the Malikhaing Guro Manual.It documented the colorful journeys and experiences during the Malikhaing Guro workshops and also opened up spaces for artists and educators to revisit our taken-for-granted assumptions about culture, heritage, and arts. With the curriculum shift to K-12 and ASEAN integration knocking at the doorstep of the Philippine educational system, the Malikhaing Guro manual accompanied recently implemented workshops and provided a handy guide for teacher-participants and their colleagues to help their learners recognize the richness of their own heritage and culture, and respect other cultures.

A year passed and ARTIST, Inc. successfully launched the 1st Malikhaing Guro International Conference on Culture-based Education. The conference gathered together and provided opportunities for educators, cultural workers and arts practitioners all over the Philippines and other Asian countries to present various practices, emerging perspectives and challenges to culture-based education.The organization also aimed to establish a strong linkage with educators and cultural workers both local and international while working to have a deeper understanding and appreciation for heritage-based creative expressions, mainly theater, as another avenue for knowledge source and structure. And with all the recent innovations, the organization is strengthening their program through the use of social media that can widen its connections and the services the organization can offer.

During the 1st conference, the majority of researchers focused on analyzing the past educational system and, due to the changes that it was to undergo, the innovations to be implemented.The papers presented ranged from displaying the development of Art Education in the Philippines to studies on the relevance of culture and the arts to our society. Several studies proposed a multi-disciplinary approach in learning and understanding different bodies of knowledge and showed how this approach could also be an effective way of teaching. Some researchers documented and demonstrated the traditions and practices of Indigenous Peoples and it’s relation to education. Two studies presented the challenges of promoting and nurturing local culture.

The 2nd conference was attended mostly by Filipino participants but a number of foreign delegates from Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and India also participated in the conference and presented their research papers as well. Their presentations vary from the status quo of the educational system of each country. One of the presenters from Vietnam analyzed the Confucian cultural characteristics of Vietnam and its impacts to the humane educating traditions in Vietnam, considering it a foundation for the factors affecting the process of creating a modern and efficient educational system in Vietnam. A researcher from Cambodia investigated how their learners in various grade levels can be educated in their local culture in and out of the conventional classroom setting through different forms of media and technology. A delegate from Thailand discussed his research on the use of folktales and identified the most frequently used folktale in Thai classrooms. He pointed out that folk tales are not properly utilized because teachers and school directors could not see the significance of storytelling or folk tales.  Their presence and participation paved the way to the formation of a partnership with the University of Vietnam through the University of Social Sciences and Humanities.

Last year, the partnership formed between ARTIST, Inc. and Vietnam National University was solidified during the two-part 3rd Malikhaing Guro Conference. The first leg, hosted by ARTIST, Inc., was held from September 7-10, 2016 at the University of the Philippines Los Banos with the theme “Transcending Borders, Discoursing Identities”. The majority of the participants came from all over the Philippines with a few ASEAN participants from Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and India. The second leg, hosted by the University of Vietnam through the University of Social Sciences and Humanities (USSH), was back on October 25-29, 2016 which carried the theme “Innovative Education and Cross-cultural Human Resource Development” and was attended by Vietnamese academics and Philippine participants.

The 2016 conference successfully resulted in a collection of research-based papers that showed cross-cultural differences in the status of education in both countries. Given the different contexts in both countries and that their respective themes were developed by their own organizing committees in accordance to the identified thrust of each country, the papers selected were expectedly diverse. But in the end, the two countries found common ground in acknowledging the need for creativity in further enhancing the educator’s skill set in different educational areas.

For the past 3 years, the Department of Education (DepEd) has been an invaluable source of continuous support in the mobilization and encouragement of educators to either present their studies and research papers or attend as a conference participant. Also, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) has been a long-time partner in pursuing the advocacies regarding various social issues and organizations. They have greatly contributed to the constant development and improvement of the Malikhaing Guro International Conference.

            For inquiries and participation, send an email to malikhaingguro2017@­gmail.com. You may also call their telefax number (049 – 536 – 6680) or mobile number (0995 756 7311) every Mondays to Fridays, 9 AM to 7 PM. You may also visit their official Facebook page at facebook.com/MGInternational.






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