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Monday, December 13, 2004

By now you would have read the lovely posts about the Yerba Buena launch of Pinoy Poetics here, here, and here.

So I want to point instead to a language lesson here; after all, if we Filipinos are to offer ourselves as an "alternative center" to the world, shouldn't we be teaching and using key concepts as expressed in the Filipino language?

This, btw, is triggered by a question from a graduate student who is writing a review of my book, Coming Full Circle, for her "Philosophical Foundations" course. She asks: What philosophical ideologies did you employ in your book aside from Freire? What is the significance of using this book in a teacher education class or a cross-cultural literacy course?
My answer:

Sometimes professors have a very specific definition to "philosophical ideologies"...and what fits into their definition will be based on the professor's position and location ideologically as well. Do you know what I mean?

Anyway, if you notice in the literature review part of my book, I made references to postcolonial theory viz a viz postmodern theory, psychology of colonialism, indigenous psychology, theories about borderlands, mestizaje, etc. I also try to make a case for "fishing" as a way of constructing knowledge. "Fishing" is a metaphor but if one has background in the pratice of phenomenology, fishing could be akin to "phenomenological meditation"...and again, the Filipino research method of pagtatanung-tanong is very much informed by this practice as well although the disciplinary language may be different.

If you have read Anzaldua, Trinh Minh Ha, bell hooks, Elizabeth Minnich, and other third world feminist theorists they do make a case for non-traditional approaches, i.e. different from what the canonical traditions of the discipline in question, in this case "Philosophical Foundations." And isn't the whole point of cross-cultural literacy to learn from other cultures and how they construct knowledge? :-))

Btw, when I was at USF/IME, I often read books that were not prescribed in most of my courses...just because I was interested in topics (like decolonization) that my courses didn't address with much breadth and depth. So it is up to you to enlarge your reading list. I just finished reading Chela Sandoval's "Methodology of the Oppressed" and Linda Tuhiwai Smith's on "Decolonizing Research Methodologies" -- i hope you will find them helpful.



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