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“Swanson Survey (1960)”

Reflection Paper
Submitted by: Ms. RIZA R. PINTO

Date Submitted: July 21, 2018


One important relevant research in the country’s educational system is the Swanson

Survey (1960). It was conducted by Dr. J. Chester Swanson, former superintendent of OKC

schools, 1949-57 and member of First Baptist Church, OKC, Lions Club and Bd. for World


Swanson Survey included Elementary education, Secondary education ,Vocational

education Teacher training organization and administration Financing the public schools. The

report included a deterioration of performance in reading, language and arithmetic due to poor

instructional methods, large class sizes, and inadequate supervision. It reiterated observations of

previous survey (Monroe Survey) and also noted problems in the education of cultural minorities

and in the adaptation of foreign educational practices to local conditions. .Lamented how

recommendation of previous surveys had not become effective because of: poor financing

difficulty in getting public understanding inertia to change. Called for prioritization of

investments for primary education and strengthening secondary education. - recommended the

restoration of Grade 7. Approval of the policy of the use of Filipino National Language as a

medium of instruction at the elementary level was done.

Review of the SWANSON SURVEY found that many of the recommendations of the

1960 Swanson Survey had not been implemented by the Department of Education .

This comprehensive survey of public school education in the Philippines is the result of a

team project of distinguished American and Filipino educators. The growth and development of

a scientific discipline depends on the contribution of experts and events that led to the

construction of knowledge. The history of educational assessment in the Philippines is likewise

shaped by the contribution of experts in line with research, government policies on educational

development, universities that produced competent experts and professional associations that

provide a venue for experts to promote knowledge.

We learned from history that Philippine Education has undergone a lot of struggles. In

fact it is a product of a long history of struggles. Its image right now is a result of a gradual

process of generations of colonialism and imperialism. During the Spanish regime the natives

were contented to be vassals of Spain. They were successful in using religion to make the people

become submissive and unquestioning. And even worse is that their policy was focused on

treating the natives as a ward. This made our people think that there was no need for them to be


Several researchers had delved into the different components affecting the educational

system, more specifically, whether it can solve the multifarious problems in society. Education

has been looked into as the means of alleviating poverty, decreasing criminalities, increasing

economic benefits and ultimately uplifting the standard of living of the Filipino masses. With

these in mind, the government on its part has been continuously investing so much into the

education sector. However, with the complexity of educational issues, solutions are far from

The poor quality of teaching in the Philippine public education affects the relatively low

achievement of students in the public schools (Alvaera, Bayan, and Martinez; 2009).

Furthermore, it was also pointed out in the same study that the role of the teacher is critical for

they are the people who determine the content to be taught, the teaching strategy to be used and

the conditions of learning the content. Given these three elements, it is imperative that teachers

should not only have a strong background of the content and pedagogy, but more importantly,

they should also realize the importance of their role in shaping the future of Philippine education.

We need have teachers who are free from constraints that would significantly inhibit their ability

to act to make them an effective human agency for transformation. They should not feel that they

are just workers and implementers of whatever policies or changes the state would like to take

effect. Teachers should understand their role in education and assert what best for their students.

If our future direction of education is geared towards development of the whole being of a child,

then teacher education needs to reflect this understanding in its design and practice.

What then can we do to transform the image that the educational system had propagated

through the years? A lot of educators argued that there is a need to implement total

transformation in the education sector of the country. Transformation of the education sector

may refer to the total re-orientation of the system. But the system is too complex and it is better

to start with policy transformation. Education policies and programs, including the curriculum

must be carefully evaluated and studied to make it relevant to the Philippines and the global

community. The provisions and policies must be reviewed and must be done in all levels. There

must be a wide participation of the stakeholders in doing so. Our experts must be realistic in

coming up with more attainable policies, that will address not only the educational problems and

will not only contribute to economic growth and development of the country but more so with
the social and moral development of the society. Values reorientation of the Filipinos is also a

key to national development. We need to provide our in-service and pre-service teachers the

avenue so they could understand their role not just as workers or implementers but as human

agency. Thus, there is an urgent call for transformation in the teacher education, in terms of their

values orientation and in terms of emphasis of on understanding the interplay of power, history,

and culture.

Also, transformation must include upgrading or updating for professional and personal

development of teachers. Even if the salary of the ordinary public school teacher had been

standardized to be competitive, with the increasing economic crisis, it will still be not enough to

afford them attendance to seminars, training and enrollment in graduate education. Hence,

government support and intervention, along this line is very much needed.

The distorted image that our education has as perceived by our children can only be

changed if teachers and other stakeholders understand the real purpose of education and

communicate it properly through practices. What really matters for teachers and other

stakeholders is always reflected by their actions. It is only when children concretely observe their

teachers consistently practice these good values that they will be able to replicate these in