The Learning Theory of PROACTIVism

Dedicated by the first PROACTIVist from 2014 to the memories of a first Filipino school principal and district superintendent during the American Thomasites, Senor Don Guillermo Santos of the 20th century, and master Marcus Christus Santos of the 21st century and their generations

“The past, the present and the future are happening in simultaneous broadcast” Marc Guerrero, First PROACTIVist

THE LEARNING THEORY of PROACTIVism is an openminded, openhearted and openspirited theory of learning, unlearning, relearning, sharing and doing your thing for (y)our world.

It was first presented by Filipino journalist Marc Guerrero in July-August 2014 to the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s GSE2x Leaders of Learning course class of professor Richard Elmore at HarvardX and edX OpenEducation or OpenKnowledge platforms, for which he was accorded a general grade of 98 percent upon completion.

The Learning Paper had validated what Senor Don Guillermo Santos of the 20th century was saying and practicing when he became a classmate of Philippine Commonwealth President Manuel Luis Quezon at the University of Santo Tomas (UST). UST was the oldest university in the Far East; it predated Harvard and Yale by 25 and 75 years, respectively. Maestro Santos was one of a few Filipino educators who became first principals and school district superintendents under the American Thomasites that introduced the public educational system in the entire Las Islas Filipinas or P.I. (circa-20).

Thomasites were soldier-teachers together with a few of their professional colleagues, friends and families transported from America to the Islands onboard USS Thomas in 1900.


PROACTIVism is not just a learning theory innovation, but a confluence and synergy of viable principles or “ideaologies” — the no-hardline ideologia of let a thousand ideas and ideals bloom for humankind — on 21st century (or circa-21) learning, unlearning, relearning, sharing what you learned, unlearned and relearned, and doing your thing for (y)our world.

Its essence was first ventured by the author in the early-2000s in a Manila Observer Magazine and subsequently in the San Francisco, CA-based PENT Magazine of the one million-strong Filipino-American community in the US West Coast.

The Observer essay explored the “3Ts of Education in The Philippines” that drives readers back and forward, respectively, to how the Spanish Tomasinos (the “first T,” in the 19th century), then the American Thomasites (the “second T,” early-20th century), and onwards the circa-21 technology-mediated and disruptively-innovative learning (the “third T,” as it unfolds today) that shaped the Philippine educational system.

The PENT essay was an update that discussed the “Dynamism of Education in The Philippines” quite comprehensively.

In the 2003 worldwide celebration of the United Nations’ Press Freedom Day, the essays inspired their spinoff into the crafting of a “Media 101 for Children and Young People” course curriculum outline that aims to teach parents, teachers, children and the youth how to discern good and bad media. It was experimented on in a multiple intelligence school within the vast, century-old University of the Philippines, Los Banos (UPLB) learning complex in the province of Laguna. It was also explored with gradeschool and highschool campus journalism students of the Division of City Schools (DCS), Manila in a series of lectures and workshops that won for them leadership in the National Secondary Schools Press Conference writing, arts and photography competitions.

Media 101 first ventured the teaching and learning concept behind the ideas and ideals of free, responsible and responsive journalism that incorporates truth in advertising, advocacy public relations, free and fair marketing, and transformative technologies development, in the practice.

Redefining learning

PROACTIVism is an innovative, dynamic and transformative learning theory, design, organization, leadership and “followship” (a new learning fellowship) that employ not the usual brand or style of activism but a more disruptive nurturing of the individual mind, heart, body and spirit for the greater good of the collective communities and the world.

The core ethics, virtues, values and morals of PROACTIVism learning theory

One: Parents, teachers and social, political, economic, cultural and spiritual leaders (organizations and institutions) do not know it all. We can be right or wrong, true or false, good or bad, and we can all make things right for the common good, for the higher good, for the greater good.

Two: The concepts of creativity, imagination, synergy, institution, organization, order and anarchy are within the very core of our own being and becoming.

Three: Students are you and me. He, she (or it) can be anyone. No age, gender, color, class or creed limitations.

Four: There are always people greater than us and people lesser than us, even as we all strive to become equal and equitable in our own realities and idealism and in our own hopes, dreams and aspirations.

Five: Students learn, teach and share. They can study alone or with their peers; test, assess or grade, tutor or mentor, and review or critique themselves or others in their work input or output regarding their impact, including that of their teachers, administrators, parents, leaders, ordinary people and communities.

Six: You can learn anywhere, anytime as you wished at your own pace.

Seven: Teachers and students can create, build, develop and sustain their own schools or centers of learning.

Eight: School is not the physical classroom or campus alone, as we knew it. It had evolved into a learning center that chooses no specific place, nor particular time, using any learning or teaching and sharing methods and modes.

Nine: Any platforms — indigenous, appropriate, popular, high-tech and next media technologies — can be used in learning, teaching and sharing ideas, ideals, programs of action, systems, evaluations and analyses.

Ten: Modes of learning, leadership, organization and designs are subjective, case-to-case or custom-built, and responsive.

Eleven: It is free, responsible and responsive to the call of the times.

Twelve: It is transformative, awe-inspiring, selfactualizing, life-enhancing, spiritual and compassionate.

Thirteen: It is revolutionary, evolutionary and disruptively innovative, yet, ethical, and based on the virtues, values and morals of the live-and-let live principle.

Fourteen: It is the way to go, in the next 1000 years. PROACTIVism can outlast us all.

Fifteen: Why all-caps in PROACTIV? It is not activism as usual.

Sixteen: The learning theory of PROACTIVism has a physical, material, reel and real, actual and not just virtual, learning design: The program is called the “Media Farm School” system.

Seventeen: PROACTIVism is, for all its intents and purposes, fun in learning. It is equated with the principle of fun at work and work as fun models.

Eighteen: All of us are the stakeholders of PROACTIVism.

Nineteen: The ultimate aim, however, is still traditionalist: pursuit of health, happiness, prosperity, wellbeing and freedom for you to do the right thing, everytime, so that living a full life to the optimum may be achieved better than we do today.

Twenty: But the psychology of humans dictate that life can go on in its natural course on its own free time even without the benefit of any theories of learning. PROACTIVism has been conceived to inspire, to guide, to move and to enlighten. It is your choice proactive option to go in the ways of learning, but only faster than the speed of thought.

Twenty-one: PROACTIVism is our individual and collective work-in-progress for all the others who are interested to know, understand and do.#


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