Sunday, September 25, 2011

37. Museum and Humanities: What Students Say about Humanities

By Dr Abe V Rotor

The SPUQC Museum is the ideal place to conduct classes in Humanities. The following findings were derived from the perception and reaction of students who took Humanities in the summer 2005 at St Paul University QC. Humanities or Applied Aesthetics, formerly Introduction to the Arts and Music, is a three-unit subject offered in the second year as part of the general college curriculum. The findings will shed light to the general impression that Humanities is one of the least understood subjects.


As a professor in humanities, the author looked into how functional knowledge and skills derived from the course could be best cultivated, and how the historical and philosophical perspectives are inculcated in the student. He believes that this can be done by formulating an effective way of teaching this broad subject which comprises four major fields, namely visual art, literature, stage play, music and dance.

One can only imagine how, in a semester’s time – or in one summer period - a college freshman or sophomore could imbibe the subject from the level of appreciation to actual application. But the author believes in the potentials of the course – if only it could be taught the “effective” way.

The other consideration why this study was made is to determine to what extent can awareness in the arts be built in so short a period, and how such awareness would affect behavior and perception of the student, not only in the arts, but also about life itself. It would give both teacher and students the idea when appreciation begins so as to influence attitudes and values.

Does Humanities bring out awareness of culture and history as well? To what extent does it influence ones perception about the environment, society and the changing times? Is the syllabus of the course sufficient in bridging art’s traditional history and conventional styles with one that is progressive and liberal in keeping up with the call of the times? If this is so, are the students prepared to critique art, not so much for art’s sake, but for its relevance and application in their lives?

Profile of the student-respondents

There are 43 students, all female, with a narrow age range of 17 to 20. The average age is 17.71. The students are in their second year taking up the following courses.

IT (Information Technology) 31 72%
HRM (Hotel and Restaurant Management) 8 19
MC (Mass Communication) 3 7
Biology 1 2

Total 43 100%

Of the 43 student-respondents, 26 of them or 60 percent are bona fide residents of Metro Manila, while 17 (40 %) have provincial addresses. Thirty (80 %) live with their parents, while 5 (12 %) live with their relatives. In general, the students belong to small families as shown by the computed average number of brothers and sisters, which is 1.69 and 0.87, respectively. This is equivalent to three children per family, two girls and one boy.

What students say about the venues of the course.

The Likert Scale (1 very poor, 2 poor, 3 pair, 4 good, and 5 very good) was used for each question or item.

1. Classroom (3.67 = Good) The classroom is on the fourth floor of the Administration Building. It is quite small for a class of 43. It is newly repainted. Two air conditioning units (window type) units and two ceiling fans maintain favorable room temperature. Lighting is adequate.

2. Museum (4.42 = Very Good) The school museum has a floor area equivalent to two large classrooms. The ceiling is high and floor plan is ideal for lecture-demonstration and workshop. Exhibits and panel boards are movable to allow students to sit on the floor, or work in groups. One advantage of the museum as a venue for Humanities is the availability of teaching aids and subject models, like paintings, and its convenience in exhibiting the works of students. The museum also served as “Little Theater” for drama skit presentation.

3. The Eco- Sanctuary or Botanical Garden as venue for on-the-spot drawing and painting garnered 4.4 or Very Good rating. This explains the enjoyment of students in outdoor exercises and to be close to nature. The Eco-Sanctuary is a miniature replica of a Tropical Rainforest with waterfall and running stream, surrounded with trees. It has a spacious lawn between small trees, wooden benches and pathways which are parts of the landscape.

4. The Instructional Media Center (IMC) is the venue for the viewing of The Little Prime and My Fair Lady. The students rated the IMC with 3.54 or Good. Two facilities were used: Audio-Visual Room 1 has carpeted floor, and the TV Barn, temporarily made for film viewing. Both conventional and panoramic screens were used. The films were highly defined, so with the sound system.

As a whole, the students rated the venues - classroom, museum, Eco-Sanctuary and IMC - 4.0 or Good. This shows the awareness of the students on the need for school facilities in the enhancement of the teaching of Humanities.

What students say about the conduct of classes.

Four methods of instruction were used. These are the ratings obtained from the respondents for each method.

1. Lecture- Demonstration 4.38 Very Good
2. Hands-on and on-site 4.16 Very Good
3. Group dynamics 3.93 Good
4. Film viewing and critiquing 3.86 Good

Preference to lecture-demonstration, followed by hands-on and on-site instruction is shown by the ratings, but the scores are not significantly better than those obtained in the other teaching methods. On the average the instruction methods garnered 4.08 or Good rating

What students say about the teacher.

Three aspects about the teacher were evaluated, namely competence or proficiency, attitude towards his students, and professionalism becoming of a true teacher and Christian.

As an information background, the professor has been teaching humanities at SPUQ since 1994. He holds a doctorate and masteral degrees, and two BS degrees in arts and sciences. He is author of several books, a columnist, painter and violinist. He is presently the curator of the SPCQ museum. He also teaches at UST and DLSU. He was chosen one of the Outstanding Teachers of the Philippines by CHED in 2002. These are the scores for the following criteria.

1. Competence (knowledge and skill) 4.38 Very Good
2. Attitude/ treatment to student 4.35 Very Good
3. Professionalism 4.52 Very Good



Angeline Deguzman said...

As a student, I can say that humanities are academic disciplines that study the human condition, using methods that are primarily analytical, critical, or speculative, as distinguished from the mainly empirical approaches of the natural sciences.

-Angeline Deguzman 3CA5

emmie said...

The humanities are the stories, the ideas, and the words that help us make sense of our lives and our world. The humanities introduce us to people we have never met, places we have never visited, and ideas that may have never crossed our minds. By showing how others have lived and thought about life, the humanities help us decide what is important in our own lives and what we can do to make them better. By connecting us with other people, they point the way to answers about what is right or wrong, or what is true to our heritage and our history. The humanities help us address the challenges we face together in our families, our communities, and as a nation.

-Emmie Sapitan 3CA3