HomeΦιλοσοφια: International Journal of Philosophyvol. 21 no. Special Edition (2020)


Juan Rafael G. Macaranas



The Laborem Exercens (1981) offers a philosophy, a rational discourse that can serve as a timeless guide in examining work. Starting with a brief review of John Paul II’s personalistic view of the human person under the aspect of work, this paper expounds on work in pedagogy. Since work is always a personal action, it follows that the whole person, body and spirit, participates in it, whether manual or intellectual. Work is a personal action; the one who carries it out is a person, a conscious and free subject. The philosophy puts to light the teacher’s work purpose, by itself and in relation to society, and its contributions to the teacher’s well-being. The tenets espoused by the encyclical, such as upholding just wage, can be used as a lens in rethinking teachers’ objective realities. Fictionalized mini cases are presented to illustrate some of the real challenges that teachers deal with. An educator’s work is a daunting and noble task. Pedagogical work is not just a job; it is a venue for self-fulfillment. Laborem Exercens reminds us that teachers particularly express the nature and dignity of the human person by their work. Moreover, through pedagogy, the teacher can perfect him/herself in solidarity and participation with others.