By Prof. Ma. Arve B. Bañez
The COVID- 19 pandemic has transformed the world into a huge classroom and laboratory. (Intuitive to the truism, learning is not confined to the four walls of the classroom) Many of our assumptions have become contingent as new norms and cultural adaptions progresses daily. All of us became students and teachers, learning, teaching from our everyday ‘bare life’ experiences.
Lisa Heldke (1987) proposed Coresponsible Option, a philosophy of education which I find relevant as we grapple with the COVID- 19 pandemic. The term coresponsible denotes the“communal aspect of inquiry” and suggests in conduct, ethical guidelines such as “…have responsibilities to each other” and “…have obligations to treat each other with respect and care” (p. 104). The term option connotes, “provisional ground”, “springboards for future investigation”, “modification in the light of new evidence” among others (p. 105). The Coresponsible Option advocates for a critical, ethical, and democratic teaching and learning modalities.
We can spend the remaining months of the Academic Year 2019- 2020, writing, reading, and doing care work to help ourselves and our fellow humans to survive and live to tell the tale about this pandemic. Our students have narratives waiting to be written even published with our promptings and guidance. We can generate essays to express the singular and shared voices of lockdown and quarantine experiences, of everyday life adaptions amidst physical and social distancing. We can write research proposals and our public service engagements shall be rife. Under normal circumstances we can resume classes even tomorrow. However, we can also pass our students and end the semester even tomorrow? In times of precarity, we cannot speak in absolutes and certainties.
In my view, we cannot risk more lives, not in the name of productivity porn. Unless, the national government presents a comprehensive plan how to level the contagion tomorrow. A pandemic is in our midst, at this time, thinking only about metrics and rubrics for teaching and learning is insensitive (even insane). In solitude and in solidarity, let us reflect if we have regained our sense of humanity and community sans COVID -19.
The COVID -19 pandemic is the biggest lesson at the start of the decade. Let us not fall into the trap of myopia in the year 2020. A clearer vision of our philosophy of education must be anchored on buen vivir where humans and life- forms co-construct the post- development pluriverse./www.panaytoday.net
About the author:
Prof. Bañez is a feminist-activist and peace advocate. She is currently a faculty of UP Visayas, Division of Professional Education. She is also a member of Congress of Teachers and Educators for Nationalism and Democracy (CONTEND).
 Lisa Heldke, PhD is a feminist education philosopher. Heldke, Lisa (1987). Hypatia vol, 2, no. 3.