The Story of the UP College of Education
The Story of the College of Education officially began on July 1, 1918 but its evolution actually started five years before.
School of Education
Initially made a unit of the College of Liberal Arts in 1913, it was called the School of Education and was headed my a Director. Students were admitted into the School of Education after completing a preparatory course or its equivalent at the College of Liberal Arts. Those who successfully completed the one-year education program were then given a High School Teacher's Certificate which entitled the recipients to positions in the public high schools. An additional year of satisfactory course work in the School of Education enabled candidates to be recommended for the Degree of Bachelor of Science in Education. This required the completion of a six-unit thesis course.
Dean Francisco Benitez
From 1913-18 the holder of the Director of the School of Education was a graduate of Columbia University and was a teacher who's life was intimately associated with the development and growth of the College of Education. His name was Francisco Benitez. His name and eminence were to be consistently linked with the College till his passing in 1951 - and even beyond.
The University High School
Three years after the opening of the School of Education, The University High School was established as a laboratory school for practice teaching and admitted 23 first year students. Every year thereafter an additional high school curriculum level was organized until the full secondary course of four years was established.
The College of Education
In its meeting on March 8,1918, The Board of Regents, upon recommendation of the then President of the University, Ignacio Villamor, authorized the reorganization of the School of Education into a College of Education effective July 1, 1918. This development made teacher education a distinct function of the University of the Philippines and became a turning point in the preparation of high school teachers in the country
To have appointed School of Education Director Francisco Benitez as first Dean of the College seemed a natural occurrence. Dean Benitez was to remain the Dean for the next 33 years and this life was centered in working for the course of teacher education and the elevation of the status of teachers.
At the birthing of the College, many faculty members from the UP units and departments were persuaded to share their expertise in the College as teachers in the methods courses which had been emphasized following the examples set by the Americana teachers' colleges. Public school officials were also invited to join the faculty and their appointments indicated the recognition of the role of public schools in teacher preparation program and the need for good public relations with that sector.
Dean Benitez was also responsible for the introduction of off-campus practice teaching in cooperation with, at first, the Superintendent of City Schools, Manila and then later with other superintendents of city schools near Manila. Dean Benitez believed that an authentic practice teaching experience should allow the student teachers to teach under conditions similar to those in public schools to which the College is supposed to act as feeder of its graduates.
Dean Benitez likewise introduces in April 1920 the concept of the Baguio Summer school which offered in-service education for teachers. Dean Benitez acted as concurrent Director of the School under the College of Education until it became the UP Summer School.
Curricular Changes (1925-1941)
In 1925, the College was reorganized and the Education curriculum was extended to four years. Arrangements were made with the College of Liberal Arts whereby it would undertake the content training of first year students while the College of Education was to take care of the teaching of methods courses in the last three years of the program. In less than 10 years, the preparatory courses of the College of Liberal Arts were extended to a two-year program making the College of Education a senior college seeing as the last two years were to be spent by its students in its portals. The four-year BSE programs no longer included thesis writing. Fields of Concentration in terms of major and minor subjects were introduced.
The period between 1934 to the outbreak of the war saw many changes in the Education curriculum as well as the organization of other programs such as those of the Bachelor in Pedagogy (for holders of two-year teacher's certificate programs from the Philippine Normal School who wanted a bachelor's degree), Bachelor of Science in Home Economics, Bachelor of Physical Education, and the Certificate of Teacher of Adults as well as Elementary School Certificate.
Post War Developments
The reopening of the College six months after the Liberation on July 1, 1945 after it closed down at the outbreak of the war faced many difficulties. The University Library could not offer its usual services, instructional materials were hard to come by and classes were held only in two rooms of a wing of the Philippine General Hospital. For lack of space and basic facilities, the University High School (UHS) could not be organized. Practice teaching was undertaken in cooperation with a private high school where the UHS principal had to be detailed.
The graduate curricula as we know them today took shape in 1947 when courses leading to the degrees of Master of Arts and Master of Education were offered.
The transfer of the College from the war-torn UP Ermita to the present site in January, 1949 enabled it to function under circumstances and conditions approximating those of the period before the war.
The College in the 50's through the 80's
The transfer of the College from Ermita to Diliman marked the end of one era and the beginning of another. The College now faces a new generation of students. It also saw the succession of a number of high-achieving deans that proved worthy of the mantle of leadership left by the legendary Dean Benitez.
During Dean Isidiro Panlasigui's term (1951-1956), for instance, the College of Education benefited from the help extended by the US International Cooperation Administration. Under sponsorship of the ICA and the PHILCUSA, the College entered into contract with Stanford University in 1953.
This contract lasted through 1958 and enabled the College to improve its building, laboratory and library. Yearly, Stanford sent two of its faculty members to advise and help faculty members of the College even as it sent two faculty members to the US for advanced studies at the expense of ICA and PHILCUSA.
Still, with the help of an expert from Stanford, there were significant curricular revisions implemented in 1954. The foundation courses were strengthened and off-campus teaching was given more emphasis. In 1955, off-campus teaching was experimented in four provinces outside Manila; namely, Cavite, Bulacan, Pamanga and Pangasinan. the experiment found that off-campus teaching could be effectively supervised only in high schools within 100 kilometers from Manila.
Deans Antonio Isidro and Jose Aguilar had brief stints with the College because they had been appointed to higher positions in the University and the Department of Education, respectively. By the time Dean Alfredo Morales took over in 1959, the College had begun to be called the Graduate College of Education because of the markedly higher enrolment in the graduate level than in the undergraduate. the Ph.D. program had its first graduate in 1957.
During Dean Morale's administration, the BSEE degree was offered as well as the BSIE. It was also during his term that the EdD and the MAT programs were introduced. Dean Morales became the Director of the UNESCO Centre for the training of teachers in Asia which made the College its seat. It was also within this period when the UP Elementary School was organized in order to compliment the needs of the BSEE student teachers.
In 1962, the Department of Home Economics became an independent college.
Between Dean Morales' and Dr. Paz G. Ramos' deanship were that of Felixberto C. Sta. Maria (1967-1970) and a succession of ad interim deans and an OIC. Dr. Ramos assumed deanship late 1972. Previous to that were the turbulent years before, during and right after the First Quarter Storm and the declaration of Martial Law.
despite the socio-political upheaval of the period, the College continued to stimulate educational innovations and movements and rebounded to benefiting national development thrusts. The merging of the UP Elementary School and UP High School as the UP Integrated School was one such initiative. Its organization, content, methodology and orientation of basic education were designed to meet the emerging needs for formal and non-formal instruction differentiated staffing.
The College's world-class status was evident in its having been designated as an Associated Centre of the Asian Programme of Educational Innovations for Development (APEID). As such, the College served part of Associated Centres whose regional activities included research and developmental work, training activities, pilot projects and information activities.
Furthermore, it was designated as the National Center for Drug Education as well as the National Development Center (NADEC) attached to ANDEC (ASEAN Network of Development Education Centers) As such, the College was tasked to effect greater distribution and dispersal of collaborative educational activities among ASEAN member countries.
When the College reached its 70th year in 1998, it seemed to have graduated almost 11,000 students. Enrolment figures showed the consistent growth of graduate students over the undergraduate.
The College had by then also intensified its efforts to share its resources and expertise with other institutions continuing education activities. It had also been designated the Center of Excellence (CENTREX) in the areas of Social Studies. Music and Health Education. It was consequently asked to conduct training programs in these fields in anticipation of the then emerging new secondary school curriculum.
The training programs were not confined to those areas, however. Under the leadership of Dr. Julieta M. Savellano who became Dean in the mid-80's the College conducted regular intensive Short-Term Training courses in Reading Education. Teaching the Gifted, Arts Education, Values Education and Physical Education.
The College also became home base for several professional organizations such as the Philippine Association for Language Teaching (PALT), Reading Association (RAP), The Philippine Guidance and Personnel Association (PGPA), the Health Education Association of the Philippines (HEAP), Biology Teachers Association of the Philippines (BIOTA) and others.
In research, The College, despite the difficulties in acquiring support form agencies, had succeeded in having more than 50% of its faculty undertaking studies and research data yielding projects.
It had maintained linkages with UNESCO, RELC, ASEAN, WHO, UNICEF, the British Council, The German Cultural Center and the US Information Agency. Research output had been particularly dynamic in the College's Institute of Science and Mathematics Education (ISMED).
The 90's and the Dawning Millennium
The 90's found the College with an ongoing massive reorganization, the fruit of almost a decade of deliberations and study. Mostly for economic reasons and for greater efficiency, the College, which had several offices (Undergraduate, Research and Publications, Graduate, Extension) and nine academic departments retained none of the offices and collapsed the departments into two divisions, namely; the Division of Curriculum and Instruction (DCI) and the Division of Educational Leadership and Professional Services (DELPS). Each is now headed by a chair and the curriculum levels have been made the concerns of the area faculty. The concerns of the offices of Research and Publications have been turned over to the corresponding standing committees.
The structural re-organization of the College now under the leadership of Dr. Lily R. Rosales was complemented by curricular reforms. Non-operating programs and courses were discarded and new programs and courses were institutionalized. The College is now the only Southeast Asian college offering a doctorate in reading education. Nationally, it is the only teacher education institution that provides a doctorate in special education.
Special education and teaching in the early grades (another comparatively new concentration) are currently the most popular areas of specialization. With the growing concern about the environment, the newest master's program on environment education is expected to bring more students to the College.
Enrolment-wise, the College has shown consistently high graduate entrants including the doctoral component, in fact the highest in the University of the Philippines system, despite the implementation of the Doctoral Admissions test (DATE) in recent years. It should be noted however, that despite the precarious state of undergraduate entrants in the 80's enrolment among these students picked up towards the end of that decade and into the 90's.
Today, freshman entrants, shiftees and transferees number more than 200 each year, one-fourth of which are UPCAT qualifiers who have chosen education as top priority course. A great number of these are honor graduates from regional high schools. These are remarkable data especially when considered against those "lean years" when the College would have only 35 students. Those who chose to remain in the College to graduate have also shown marked increase especially among male students. The examination for a licentiate in teaching more often than not has for its top rates graduates of the College. The yearly Job Fair where top elementary and high school recruitment committees come to the College the seniors seniors to apply for good paying positions right after graduation proves that the nation considers the College's products as the cream-of-the-crop and much sough after. To list the names of UP Education graduates taking on choice positions in every level of the educational bureaucracy and in the private sector would require a great deal of space here. Suffice it to say that the vision of the University of the Philippines to provide the country with the best training for the teachers in the basic grades and the most qualified leaders in the field has been realized and sustained.
The UP College of Education has time and again verbalized its vision and mission. If there had been changes in their articulation it was solely because of felt societal demands and evolving national thrusts. Below is the most recent expression of the College vision-mission vowed to be pursued by its present Dean, Dr. Leticia Pe?ano-Ho and as largely inspired by the perspectives and aspirations of its faculty, students and staff.
We, the faculty, staff and students of the three complementary units of the College of Education declare our vision to become the premier College of Education in the Philippines and the National Center of Excellence for Graduate Education. In pursuit of this vision, we will use nationalism and globalization as the major parameters of a philosophy of education appropriate for our time, working together in a spirit of collaboration and complementarity towards its realization.
Our principal task as the UP College of Education is to translate these societal directions into educational policies and programs appropriate for our people and time.
Steering the College into the 21st Century
The same mission-vision has been the take off point for the College in the 21st century in the perspective of its millennium dean, Dr. Leticia Pe?ano-Ho, who after a series of consultative meetings and faculty-alumni-student workshops rallied behind the call for "Excellence in Teacher Education in the Service of Humanity.".
This vision is about change that is imperative for the College of Education (CED) to meet the challenge of preparing teachers who will help the youth face post modern 21st century that has been predicted to be complex, paradoxical and contested (Hargreaves, 1994). It seeks to conserve what currently works and to search for and address what is lacking.
To make good its claim as a premier College of Education and the National Center for Excellence in Teacher Education, The UP College of Education has to commit itself to undertake actions to steer it into the 21st century.
- To honor human rights and stress responsibility.
- To be a constructor of knowledge, to be steep in content and pedagogy.
- To be a change agent in the University, the profession and the country.
- To bridge boundaries across other communities and institutions.
- To address life-long learning and provide greater access to graduate education and training particularly for the public school teachers.
- To bridge the gap between experience and knowledge and to encourage questioning minds.
- To be a laboratory for educational innovations.
- To provide benchmarks to answer the question of "How have we been doing what we said we wanted to do?"