Definition and meaning of Education
"Teaching is very noble profession that shapes the character, caliber, and future of an individual" - APJ Abdul Kalam "Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another" - G.K. Chesterton
According to New Education Policy, 2020, education is a fundamental for achieving full human potential, developing an equitable and just society, and promoting national development. The Global Education Development agenda reflected in the Sustainable Development Goal-4 (SDG-4) of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, adopted by India in 2015 seeks to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportu nities for all by 2030”. Every human being often reflects the learnings that he has received from his elders – parents, family members and teachers. We spend almost 20-25 years of our lives in formal learning. Education is the most important foundation of a successful, learned and thriving society. In general, it is important for the social, economic, political growth and development of our society. Thus, the main benefit of education is to transfer our knowledge to the next generation so as to make our society a better place. In a formal manner, teacher functions as the facilitator of knowledge. Learning is the final outcome of teaching process. Evaluation is also done to assess the progress of students. Thus education, teaching, learning and evaluation are closely related. Research adds to the existing stock of knowledge. We are starting our discussion with education and gradually shifting towards teaching. According to Tagore, the aim of education is self realization. It means the realization of universal soul in one’s self. It is a process which cannot be realized without education. He synthesizes the ancient Vedantic. Swami Vivekananda defines education is the manifestation of perfection already in a man. Aristotle defined education as a ‘creation of a sound mind in a sound body. According to Heinrich Pestalozzi, ‘Education is the natural harmonious and progressive development of man’s innate powers. John Dewey defines education as the power by which a man is able to control his environment and fulfil his possibilities. According to Frobel, ‘Education is a process by which the child develops its inner potential in a manner so as to participate meaningfully in the external environment. UNESCO celebrates October 5 as World Teachers’ Day, while India celebrates Teacher’s Day on September 5 which is the birth anniversary of our second President Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan.
Major Approaches In Education Sector
Philosophy is a vast subject. All aspects of education, such as aims, objectives, curriculum, teaching methods, teacher, textbooks and discipline, is, required after discipline is influenced by philosophy.
1. Three Basic of Education:
The educational process decides on three types of questions. (a) ‘Why’ is decided by philosophy. (b) ‘How’ is decided by philosophy. (c) ‘What’ is decided by the social needs, Hence, education is based on philosophy, psychological, and social aspects. As per Western philosophy, Socrates is considered to be father of education.
2 . Idealism:
Let us look at the basic aspects of philosophy that becomes the basis of education. The word ‘idealism’ has been derived from ‘ideal’. It is actually about ‘Mind and Self’, that reflects ‘spiritualism’. The universal mind or God is central in understanding of the world. God is the source of all creation, and knowledge, spirit and mind constitute reality. Values are absolute, eternal and unchanging. Real knowledge is perceived in mind that is more important than knowledge gained through the senses. Man has a superior nature that is expressed in the form of intellectual culture, morality and religion. Fröbel, Kant, Plato, Swami Dayanand, Vivekananda Sri Aurobindo the main proponents of idealism.
3 . Naturalism:
Contrary to idealism, naturalism is a philosophy that believes nature alone represents the entire reality. It takes into account natural matter, natural force and natural laws. Our senses are the gateway to knowledge, and nature is the source of all knowledge. The mind is subordinate to nature. The educative process must be pleasurable and set in natural surroundings. The main protagonists of naturalism are Tagore, Rousseau, and Herbert Spencer.
4 . Pragmatism:
Pragmatism is basically a Greek word that means practice or action. Here, we focus on the word ‘utility’, whatever is useful is good, and whatever is good is useful. A pragmatist lives in a world of facts. Pragmatism focuses on activity or doing. There are no absolute values of life. Truth is created during the course of experience. Humans are active beings and have the ability to solve their problems through the logic of experiments and scientific methods. The thinkers John Dewey, Kilpatrick, Mead are some of the main exponents of this philosophy.
5 . Constructivism:
The learner actively constructs knowledge. Jean Piaget and J. S. Bruner believed that learning involves an active processing of information and that each individual activity organized and constructs knowledge for itself. Educational psychology believes that there are developmental stages for knowledge organization. According to Jean Piaget, ‘accommodation’ and ‘assimilation’ are basics to learning. A learner develops a new ‘schema’ through accommodation. New experiences are assimilated into already existing schemas, or they may be accommodated by creating new schemas.
6 . Humanism:
Humanism is a reasonable balance in life and regards humans as the centre and measure of all activities. Humanism believes in the interests and welfare of all human beings. Thus, the life of a human being should be transformed so that the welfare of all becomes the goal. This form of learning is dependent on self-actualization. It advocates cooperation, mutual tolerance and social understanding. Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow are main advocates of humanism.
7 . Rationalism:
Rationalists claim that there are significant ways through which our concepts and knowledge gain independently through our sense experience.
8 . Empiricists:
They claim that sensory experiences are the ultimate source of all our concepts and knowledge.
9 . Existentialism:
It is a philosophy that emphasizes individual existence, freedom and choice. This emphasizes the uniqueness and isolation of the individual experience in a hostile or in different universe, regards human existence as unexplainable, and stresses freedom of choice and responsibility for the consequences of one’s acts.
10 . Behaviourism:
It assumes that the learner is a pas sive organism who may be conditioned to learn new behaviour. Therefore, learning could be explained by a change in observable behaviour. E. L. Thorndike postulated the law of exercise and the law of effect. (a) Law of Exercise : Repeating a conditioned response would strengthen the bond between the stimulus and the response. In other words, practice makes a man perfect. (b) Law of Effect : The law of effect is the principle of reinforcement and punishment. Pleasures and pains resulting from previous behaviour decides our future behaviour.
11 . Gestalt Psychology :
It believes that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. For example, in the human body, there are cells, tissues, organs, systems, etc., and the sum of all these components (human body) is greater than the sum of its parts. This is because the parts are interrelated to each other. There is synergy created. Further, Gestalt psychology demonstrated the significance of perception. It also showed that complex learning need not occur gradually through lengthy practice but may develop through insight.
12 . Eclectic Philosophy :
Eclecticism is nothing but the fusion of knowledge from all sources. It is a peculiar type of educational philosophy that combines all good ideas and principles from various philosophies. There are many more philosophies of education, and each of the philosophies has its contributions and limitations. Not a single philosophy is complete in itself. Also, a single philosophy cannot be applied successfully in all situations because the world and its values are continuously changing. The educational system also changes from time to time.
Some of the important philosophies of education have been mentioned below:
|Basic education (Wardha Education System)||Mahatma Gandhi|
|Learning must take place in nature and from nature||Rabindranath Tagore|
|Integral education||Sri Aurobindo|
|Focus on the spiritual aspects of Indian philosophy||Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan|
|Education to transform the human mind||J. Krishnamurti|
|Experiential learning||John Dewey|
|Self-education through the development of individuality||Maria Montessori|
|Kindergarten focus on self-activity, creativeness, and social cooperation||Fröbel|
|No formal learning; nature is the only teacher||Rousseau|
Forms of Education
We can divide education into three parts.
Integration of these three makes education holistic and comprehensive. These forms of education have been discussed in Figure