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University of the Philippines at Los Banos

Graduate Studies
Los Banos, Laguna
Name: Gregorio T. Mueco
Program: Ph.D. in Developmental Studies
Course Professor: Dr. Rowena DT Baconguis
Course: CED 301

PHILOSOPHY: A MUST FOR THE “VUCA” WORLD


A Reaction Paper
We live in the world of vulnerability, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity.
These four words present the best reasons why people, especially the young ones must
contemplate on the importance of philosophy based on the perspectives of both Plato and
Locke.
As people continue to search for truth and purpose, we must be guided by
philosophical ideas to understand why things are happening. People assume roles and try to
search for the truth in whatever things they do. To understand one’s purpose and to be
guided continuously, Plato and Locke present conflicting views about knowledge. Plato
reminds us that knowledge is not something to be learned, but it is inside each human being,
and that the individual needs to be pointed to the right direction to recall that knowledge.
Locke, however, believes that innate knowledge is something that does not exist, and that
knowledge can be obtained through experiences in one’s life which make a person an
empowered individual.
For society to flourish, according to Plato, human’s desire for violence and greed
must be suppressed and if possible, prevented. The role of education comes in as it acts as
catalyst for developing morally upright citizens who are knowledgeable so that he can be
able to do things. By being knowledgeable means having a sense of purpose and
understanding the consequences of one’s actions. As Plato contends, it is important for a
person to be guided by his thoughts and actions. His decisions must be a product of careful
thinking, thus becoming a contributor to the upliftment of the society. These show the
effects of both the philosophy of Plato and Locke in societal development. Plato reiterates
the importance of developing individual’s faculty for cognitive and moral development,
while Locke focuses on the empowerment of the individuals and to be free to do what he
intends to do.
The movie, Bad Genius was successful in presenting the conflicting philosophy
that resulted to human being’s confusion and conducting bad judgment and dispositions.
Institutions and the people whom we look up to as examples are expected to model high
morals and must initiate teaching by example. The movie, gives too much focus on the
development of academic prowess and significant tool to make man successful. Too much
focus on this, however, led the main character to become susceptible to the call of
temptation, as they saw that they can take advantage of their high intelligence. This led to
greed and if not prevented could become a ground for violence especially when those who
are trained like Lyn and Bank become leaders. Here, the role of the school and the teacher
came into focus. Schools must strike a balance between what must be given importance in
the development of students. While academics still play a major element of one’s
development, there are other faculties that students can become good at. Another thing that
schools must be careful is the modelling of the high morals that it intends to develop among

Gregorio T. Mueco
students. The cliché “Practice what you Preach.” Though not given much focus in the
movie, it was evident that Lyn took a swipe of the “tea money” that the principal collects
from parents and stakeholders for the teachers’ consumption. She made it as an excuse for
her own wrongdoing, that she receives money for the purpose of helping her classmates pass
the examinations. I am also reminded that teaching, as a noble profession, and teachers as
setters of good example, must devote their lives to teach students not just the concepts but
must set examples that learners will emulate. Outstanding character is needed in order for
our students to be morally upright. Lyn’s father was brave and gracious enough to face the
consequence of her daughter’s wrongdoing, and that is the cancellation of the scholarship,
which I believe was the right thing to do to show that for every wrong action, there follows
a consequence that each one of us must face. Knights and Collins (2013) are right to impose
the importance of opening the children’s minds to philosophy and the significant role of
teachers to make it possible. If we look forward for children flourishing in schools,
educators and institutions should do better. This is a call for everyone who has a stake in
the education of children. Plato, Locke and other philosophers have provided us with
foundations and guides as to where we should lead our minds, actions and thoughts. Our
role now is to consider the essentials and act for the improvement of teacher education to
help teachers be prepared in developing the minds of students. In this world of uncertainty,
philosophy must be present ever in our classrooms. To help students find reasons and
justifications for the beauty of moral actions and eventually develop learners who are
upright and models of good citizenship.
In the classroom, teachers can use common disputes – such as arguments over
who should clean the reading corner – to help pupils learn about issues such as fairness,
responsibility and punishment. The school authorities in the movie “Bad Genius” was
successful in showing that there is a moral consequence for the wrong deeds of the geniuses.
At secondary level, pupils can be encouraged to discuss controversial issues such as
abortion, population education, gender equality, among others to help them become critical
thinkers
Universal standards in education maintain that schools are the bastion of moral
and ethical development among young people. Teachers, as Knights and Collins (2013)
contend, play a crucial role in opening the learners’ ability to reason and to think critically.
Teachers, themselves must reflect and work on their epistemological practice so that they
can help children to develop their abilities to discern and act morally based on their
reasoning. In the movie Bad Genius, there is conflicting ideals that resulted to the
characters’ confusion. The school is supposed to hold the highest standard that it instills
among learners but the idea of “tea money” gave a sense of justification to students that
cheating in any form can also be justified. It could have been better if the school, in all its
dealings follow the highest standard of ethics so as to serve as model to the students. The
movie also showed that people, young and old are always faced with temptations with series
of temptations that the main character faced. Lyn, knowing the fact that her friends live a
life a luxury, might have tempted her to pity her status and to accept the offer of wrongdoing
in exchange for money. This reminds us that money, indeed, is the root of all evil. The
hefty sum that Lyn received from simple acts of cheating even escalated to a crime of a
wider proportion and even caused them to engage people who at the start of the movie was
honest.
Lastly, I realized that we, as human beings must use our gifts wisely. Lyn was
gifted academically and all of us have gifts that we can use to serve people and God. We
should not use it for our own selfishness, instead we should use our knowledge and our
potential to acquire it to unleash our potential, be of service to our family, and become an
empowered member of the society.

Gregorio T. Mueco