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Educational Philosophies

Categories: EducationPhilosophy

Education is derived from the Latin word’ Educare’ which means ‘to bring up’ and Latin word ‘Educere’ which means ‘to bring forth’. It was Latin author ‘Varro’ who said ‘Educit Oberix, Educat, Nutrix institut Padagogogus, Docet, Magister’ which means ‘the mid- wife brings forth, and nurse bring up, the tutor trains and the master teaches. Accordingly, Education does not merely mean the acquisition of knowledge or experience but it means the development of habits, attitudes and skills which help a man to lead a full and worthwhile life.

Since theorists retrieves it from word ‘Educate’. They say ‘e’ means ‘out of’ and ‘duco’ means ‘to lead’. To educate means ‘to lead forth’ or to extract out of the best in man. Education is an attempt to develop the man. William James has remarked “Education as an attempt on the part of adult members of the human society to shape the development of the coming generation in accordance with his own ideals of life.

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(Encyclopedia Britannica Vol. -viii, p. 951) Education is recognized as the mirror of society and educational institutions as society in miniature. Education is a significant and most potent activity to bring about desired changes in the society. Every country develops its own system of education for the promotion and expression of the socio cultural identity and to meet the challenges of time. Education is considered as necessary equipment for the social and political development of the country.

Education not only provides knowledge and skills but also inculcate values, training instincts, fostering right attitudes and habits.

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Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with reality, existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument. It is derived from two Greek words i. e. ‘phileo’ (love) and ‘Sophia’ (wisdom), which literally means “love of wisdom”.

Philosophy is a search for a general understanding of values and reality by chiefly speculative rather than observational means. It signifies a natural and necessary urge in human beings to know themselves and the world in which they live and move and have their being. Education and philosophy are related like flower and fragrance, Skelton and flesh and blood, shadow and substance. Educational philosophy provides original ideas regarding all aspect of education and society. Education philosophy helps to preserve the cultural, social, national traditions of country through educational programs.

It harmonizes the old and new aspects in education. Education philosophy guides the student through social, cultural and mental complexities, it establish a co-ordination between different branches of the subject of education. All Education activities aims, curriculum, discipline, techniques of instruction and organization helped by educational philosophy. Education develops a sense of discrimination between good and bad. This discrimination based on values, are tested in schools. Values of education are the same as of life. These educational values are individual as well as social.

True value orientation cherished values into:- Satya Dharma Prem Shanti Ahimsa In Vedas, there are four personal values- Dharma Artha Kam Moksha Besides these there are three impersonal values are- Truth Goodness Beauty (Satyam)(Shivam) (Sundram) India has produced many great men and earnest seekers of Truth. They developed many noble educational ideas and contributed to educational ideas and practices. True education is the acquisition of knowledge followed by action. Tagore (1861-1941) , the writer of famous hymn ‘Jana Gana Mana ‘ which is our National Anthem ,is popularly known as Gurudev, the respected teacher.

His various educational experiments – The Bholpur school, The Institute of Rural Construction, Shiksha Satra and Vishwa Bharti represent all crystallize his various aims and objects of education, on which the foundation of super structure has been built. He made unique contribution in the renaissance of modern India and achievements in field of literature, philosophy art and education. “The fundamental purpose of education is not merely to enrich ourselves through the fullness of knowledge, but also to establish the bond of love and friendship between man and man. R. N. Tagore Educational philosophy of Rabindra Nath Tagore Tagore realized that education system of India suffered from the loss of contact with the environment and education. He made unique contribution in the renaissance of modern India and achievements in the field of literature, philosophy, art and education. He tried to make educational experiments and innovations on the basis of intellectual, moral and spiritual values of ancient India and worked for an understanding between Eastern and western culture.

Tagore was a poet and a Saint too; who had through his imagination and insight realized the universal soul in him and in nature. He believed that this realization was the goal of education. Because the universal soul is the root of our soul; man’s aim in life is to reach that universal soul of which all human beings are parts. Principle of self – education based on self- realization, and the process of self realization is as permanent as that of education. Education must make individuals to have faith in self and in the universal self, underlying his own individual soul is most important.

Education in its aim must have, Integrated Development, Moral Development, Physical fitness, Harmony with environment, National and International understanding, Earning livelihood and multifaceted aims. He believed in dynamic and activity methods of teaching by emphasizing aesthetic subjects like dancing, music, art, dramatization an one hand and socially useful productive works like book binding, gardening and other crafts. He had liberal and progressive outlook and he strongly advocated woman education. In this way R. N. Tagore has contributed in education for human re-generation, to prevent defects.

Mahatma Gandhi (1869 to1948) is considered as supreme practical philosopher who believed not in theorizing education but in putting into action. He was a revolutionary educational thinker of modern India. Like Socrates, Rousseau, Tolstoy, he made a remarkable contribution to education in India. Gandhi ji may be ranked as one of the most prominent educators of the world has ever known. He is regarded as a practical philosopher and experimenter on education to the core. Whole of his life was spent in experimentation with truth.

His educational philosophy has been rightly considered as dynamic side of his philosophy of life. His contribution for ‘Nai- Talim’ is an instrument for realizing his ideals of life. The Wardha Scheme prepared under the direction of Mahatma Gandhi attempts to replace the traditional system by dynamic and human system which helps to bring into existence a new era of planning and co-operation of India. According to Gandhi ji, education is an activity, which is necessary not only for social progress, but also for the moral, political and economic development.

Basic education considered as an effort to make knowledge easier. Educational Philosophies of Mahatma Gandhi Mahatma Gandhi emphasized Aims and Ideals of education as drawing out the best in child and man, body, mind and spirit, Livelihood, character formation, cultural development, Self reliance, and complete living aim. He wanted to bring about a silent revolution, through a balanced curriculum. He introduced craft as an essential part of curriculum and methods like Learning by doing, Project method, Co-operation, Learning through craft.

Gandhi ji stressed upon Satyagraha ,True national education, National Higher Education ,National institutions ,Salt Satyagraha ,The spinning wheel message, Self supporting education ,Nayee Tailem, Education through Crafts, Basic education ,Intellectual development ,Manual labour, Nursery education ,Primary education, Secondary education, Rural education, Woman Education, Co-Education, Education for different sections of the society, Education centers of learning. He was in favour of taking a lesson from the west and save souls by turning the face against consumer society with its ever-proliferating needs and vulgar competition.

He said that in the true democracy of India, the unit is the village. His message was above all freedom of individual. Comparison of Educational philosophies of R. N. Tagore and Mahatma Gandhi Both R. N Tagore and Mahatma Gandhi regarded as master of the man kind and the great teachers of the human society. Their educational thoughts are relevant to the life, needs and aspirations of the ever growing Indian society. They believed in the total development of personality through education and holds that education does not mean literacy alone but the literacy of personality.

Rabindra Nath Tagore and Mahatma Gandhi all felt that a sound theory of education with spiritual basis could not raise the consciousness of the individual and enable them to see objects in the external world clearly. Lack of spiritual will plug the world into chaos and disorder. The fundamental difference in their attitude to life gets reflected in Educational Writings of Gandhi and Tagore. If Tagore’s artistic bent of mind prompted him to conceive the leisure time as core of meaningful life, Gandhi’s value of manual labour made him emphasize work as fruitful way of harnessing energies.

Aims of education determined the prevailing philosophy and always change with the change in philosophy of life. The entire education process is meaningless without aims. Philosophy is the best guide for formulating aims. Tagore and Gandhi believed in the vocational efficiency as one of the aims of education. Gandhi emphasized the craft centered education. He felt that true education is calls for a proper exercise and training of the body organs and mental faculty. They also held that such training of mind and body will take the child a long way in awakening their soul.

The Important aim of Gandhian education is spiritual development may be called the ultimate goal of education. Tagore was very much concerned with poor health of students in India. Therefore he gave a great importance to improvement of health. He holds that various powers of the child should be properly attained to bring about a harmonious development of personality. Tagore established ‘Shantiniketan’ with the motive of spiritual culture. Both laid great stress on moral and spiritual development for maintenance of personality and preparation for life and self realization.

They believed that service to man is service to God. Like Idealists, they advocated the spiritual aim of education. According to Gandhi ji, the chief aim of education should be character formation, as it was the chief aim of education in Vedic and Brahamnic period. Tagore and Gandhi considered that culture is the development or improvement of mind. Curriculum is used as synonyms for courses of study. The curriculum should be reformulated in a way to realize the aims and values. Tagore and Gandhi believed that the subject provide there in must touch all aspects of the child’s life.

Tagore did not make any rigid, hard and fast scheme of subjects for this purpose. Gandhi ji emphasized the traditional subjects like History, Geography, Science, and Literature along with new subjects like drawing, dramatics, excursion, music and dancing which was also supported by Tagore later on. Science was being taught in various classes at ‘Shantiniketan’ with well equipped library. Their curriculum was activity based and experience based. Both of them introduced many crafts in their educational institutions. Both advised religious education.

Tagore like a staunch idealist says that a teacher can never truly teach unless he is still learning himself. Teacher should understand the relationship between their subjects and human life. Gandhi ji insist that teacher must possess the virtue that he wants to inculcate in the students. Tagore emphasized association of teacher with their student should be a fine training in the fundamental virtues. Both found that boys more imbibe from teachers. So the teach should try to establish heart to heart contact with students.

Both of them criticized the bookish and examination oriented teaching and stressed various learning, constructive and creative activities. They introduced many crafts. No rigid methods were prevalent. Tagore insisted that during crafts teaching, stress should be laid on principal of cooperative activity, planning, accuracy and individual responsibility in learning. Gandhi ji also believed in dynamic and activity methods of teaching. Both of them consider educational institutions as an open house, in which students and teachers are at one.

Tagore never liked to say ‘Don’t do this’. They boys were encouraged to manage their affairs in their own way. Gandhi ji believed that freedom comes from discipline. Discipline and freedom must co-relate. Freedom has become an important and integral part of subjects like drawing, dramatics, excursion, music, and dancing. But self imposed discipline should be there. Teacher should take a check of all activities of students. In their educational institutions mother tongue has been used ‘as a medium of instruction in their experimental schools.

Mother tongue was an instrument for the expression. Both of them called for great courage, foresight and love for mother tongue. Tagore and Gandhi both strongly advocated woman education. Tagore had a liberal and progressive outlook towards women education. Gandhi ji wanted to provide such education to woman as coincided their particular attitude and life demands. He regarded woman as the noblest creation of God. Both of them tried for social reforms and built the image of woman in her perspective.

They stressed woman education to teach the whole family and expressed their views that the greatest hope is in woman. Tagore and Gandhi were in favor of co-education. Tagore started school for boys, but in his ‘Vishwa Bharti’, all boys and girls in all standards studied in the same class. Gandhi ji advised that co-education should be adopted with open mind. Boys and girls should be educated in same class up to 14 years together for better understanding in life. They treated boys and girls on equal footing by giving them full freedom to select the subjects of their own choices in different classes.

Tagore and Gandhi did not make any distinction in different sections of society on the basis of caste, creed, colour or sex in their schemes of education. Though Tagore stated school for boys but he was not against woman education. In their educational institutions, boys and girls could select same subjects of their own choice, which included learning by doing. Vishwa Bharti’ means world culture, where East and West culture would meet at one place. ‘Shantiniketan –The Abode of peace’ imparted education in the lap of natural surroundings.

It became International University with freedom, love, peace and sympathy. In Gandhi’s Sabarmati ashram, education has been provided to all people, irrespective of caste, colour creed or sex. All these educational institutions established a relationship between East and West, to promote intercultural and inter-society amity and understanding and fulfill the highest mission of the present age-the unification of mankind. Both of them deserve credits for having retrieved the ancient Indian ideals and values of education in the modern times even under the foreign regime.

They are known as apostle of international brotherhood, modern humanism and natural libertarianism. Tagore’s Vishwa-Bharti and Gandhi’s Sabarmati Ashram wanted to achieve National and international understanding by opening its doors for all persons of the world. In these institutions, cultures of different regions could be presented in such a way to be accessible to all nations, to find a practical interest in the cultural synthesis and to promote international understanding and co operation in world’s history.

It may be true that those who have dealt with the subject so far emphasized more on similarities between the two than on their differences. Gandhi, however, was a quite radical in this respect. He was categorical in his opposition to English as medium or as a compulsory subject. Tagore wrote more than 100 pieces on education. Besides, there are other writings where reflections on education may also be found. His wrings may be classified into three groups. He was in favors of introducing mother tongue as a medium up to the highest level of Education. Both advised not to prescribe too many books for a child in schools.

In his book “Shiksher Swangikaran’ Tagore said, “In Education mother tongue is like the breast milk. ” Tagore advised to introduce English after a child became somewhat proficient in mother tongue. Tagore himself was introduced to English when he was 12 years old and had already made good progress in Bengali. Tagore wanted to learn from the west the knowledge of modern science and technology while enriching the west with spiritual wisdom and sacrificial attitude of the east. Gandhi perhaps was the only Indian leader who apprehended the eventuality of a course on which we would not have any control.

Tagore also wanted the emancipation of villages and to rouse the villagers with ‘Atamsakti’. In fact, he gave much importance to constructive work and village welfare and emphasized self-confidence and self sufficiency. To my mind, cult of play and adventure was an important component of Tagore’s concept of education while Gandhi adheres to the cult of productive work. Tagore wanted to turn work into play with Gandhi found the spirit of work. Tagore, true to his temperament, extolled the culture of leisure while Gandhi, true to its nature upheld the culture of work.

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Educational Philosophies. (2018, Sep 19). Retrieved from

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