Unit 2: Philosophical Foundations of Education

2.1.      Meaning and definition of philosophy, Relationship of philosophy with educational practice


2.2.      Different Educational philosophies—Idealism, Naturalism Pragmatism and Humanism— an overview;

2.3.      Prominent Educational Philosophers— John Dewey, Kilpatrick, Rousseau, —their principles and aims of education;

2.4.      Indian Educational Philosophers— Gandhi, Aurobindo, Rabindra Nath Tagore and Vivekanand—their principles and aims of education;

2.5.      Teacher and the learner: ancient ideals of a teacher, teacher in modern education; roles, functions and traits of a teacher;










2.1         Meaning and definition of philosophy, Relationship of philosophy with educational practice


Philosophy as an intellectual activity can be variously defined, depending on whether the emphasis is placed on its method, its subject-matter or its purpose. The very first question is of much importance to define and discuss the nature of philosophy. This inquiry into the nature of philosophy is called “meta-philosophy”. Philosophy is an open-ended, pioneering discipline, forever opening up new areas of study and new methods of inquiry. Here we will discuss the meaning of philosophy and try to define philosophy.

Etymological Meaning

The word “philosophy” comes from the Greek (philosophia), which literally means “love of wisdom” Etymologically, philosophy means love of wisdom but functionally it means both the seeking of wisdom (process) and the wisdom sought (product).Literal meaning therefore, philosophy means love of wisdom not “love of knowledge”. That is an important distinction. The pioneers of philosophy were interested in the kind of knowledge that enables human to live a good life and that kind of knowledge is what we call “wisdom”.

Going by this literal meaning a philosopher is most of the time and at the most of the place is preoccupied with the search for truth and wisdom. He pays little attention to the conclusions he searches in cause of his search. His search is endless because the truth is infinite. He wants to keep himself always engaged in this pursuit of truth rather than its possession. What philosophy is?, this question, has baffled the philosophers and thinkers from ancient times.

Definitions of Philosophy

Philosophy is a critical approach to the human life, all objective events and to all scientific knowledge, which is the essence of all knowledge, sciences and the human life. Here are some definition of philosophy given by famous philosophers:

§  Philosophy is t]hat which grasps its own era in thought.” — [ Hegel]

§  Philosophy is a]n interpretation of the world in order to change it.” — [ Karl Marx]

§  “… [philosophy] is the acquisition of knowledge.” — [Plato]

§  Philosophy is the science which investigates the nature of being, as it is in itself.— [Aristotle]

§  Philosophy is a science of sciences.—  [Comte]

§  Philosophy is the science and criticism of cognition.— [Immanuel Kant]

As we know that philosophy is an academic subject of study and it is progressive. It is a way of being in the world- of questioning it, interacting with it, and responding to it. The subject-matter of philosophy change with the span of time but it is philosophical attitude which give human being a quality of thinking and reflecting which differentiate him from other creatures of the world.

Philosophy of Education

Dr. K.M. Chetty in his paper “Philosophy o f Education in the Changing World Order” wrote, “in the philosophy o f education, both philosophers and educators who come together should have a common concern and commitment about the nature o f education that is required to uphold the dignity o f human beings. They should keep in their mind the different values that go into safeguarding the whole humanity. It is with this broader perspective that both philosophers and educators join together to build a philosophy of education." Therefore the chief activity of the philosophy of education is to bring out its nature of education and the values which safeguard the whole humanity.

Philosophy of education is that branch of philosophy that addresses philosophical questions concerning the nature, aims, and problems of education. As a branch of practical philosophy, its practitioners look both inward to the parent discipline of philosophy and outward to educational practice, as well as to developmental psychology, cognitive science more generally, sociology, and other relevant disciplines.

The most basic problem of philosophy of education is that concerning aims: what are the proper aims and guiding ideals of education? A related question concerns evaluation: what are the appropriate criteria for evaluating educational efforts, institutions, practices, and products? Other important problems involve the authority of the state and of teachers, and the rights of students and parents; the character of purported educational ideals such as critical thinking, and of purportedly undesirable phenomena such as indoctrination; the best way to understand and conduct moral education; a range of questions concerning teaching, learning, and curriculum; and many others. All these and more are addressed in the essays that follow.

For much of the history of Western philosophy, philosophical questions concerning education were high on the philosophical agenda. From Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle to twentieth‐century figures such as Bertrand Russell, John Dewey, R. S. Peters, and Israel Scheffler, general philosophers (i.e., contemporary philosophers working in departments of philosophy and publishing in mainstream philosophy journals, and their historical predecessors) addressed questions in philosophy of education along with their treatments of issues in epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of mind and language, and moral and social/political philosophy. The same is true of most of the major figures of the Western philosophical tradition, including Augustine, Aquinas, Descartes, Locke, Hume, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Mill, and many others.

On the face of it, this should not be surprising. For one thing, the pursuit of philosophical questions concerning education is partly dependent upon investigations of the more familiar core areas of philosophy. For example, questions concerning the curriculum routinely depend on epistemology and the philosophies of the various curriculum subjects (e.g., Should science classes emphasize mastery of current theory or the “doing” of science? What is it about art that entitles it, if it is so entitled, to a place in the curriculum? According to what criteria should specific curriculum content be selected? Should all students be taught the same content?). Questions concerning learning, thinking, reasoning, belief, and belief change typically depend on epistemology, ethics, and/or philosophy of mind (e.g., Under what conditions is it desirable and/or permissible to endeavor to change students' fundamental beliefs? To what end should students be taught—if they should be so taught—to reason? Can reasoning be fostered independently of the advocacy, inculcation, or indoctrination of particular beliefs?). Questions concerning the nature of and constraints governing teaching often depend on ethics, epistemology, and/or the philosophies of mind and language (e.g., Is it desirable and/or permissible to teach mainstream contemporary science to students whose cultures or communities reject it? Should all students be taught in the same manner? How are permissible teaching practices distinguished from impermissible ones?). Similarly, questions concerning schooling frequently depend on ethics, social/political philosophy, and social epistemology (e.g., Assuming that schools have a role to play in the development of ethical citizens, should they concentrate on the development of character or, rather, on the rightness or wrongness of particular actions? Is it permissible for schools to be in the business of the formation of students' character, given liberalism's reluctance to endorse particular conceptions of the good? Should schools be constituted as democratic communities? Do all students have a right to education? If so, to what extent if any is such an education obliged to respect the beliefs of all groups, and what does such respect involve?). This sort of dependence on the parent discipline is typical of philosophical questions concerning education.

Another, related reason that the philosophical tradition has taken educational matters as a locus of inquiry is that many fundamental questions concerning education—for example, those concerning the aims of education, the character and desirability of liberal education, indoctrination, moral and intellectual virtues, the imagination, authenticity, and other educational matters—are of independent philosophical interest but are intertwined with more standard core areas and issues (e.g., Is the fundamental epistemic aim of education the development of true belief, justified belief, understanding, some combination of these, or something else? In what sense if any can curriculum content be rightly regarded as “objective”? Given the cognitive state of the very young child, is it possible to avoid indoctrination entirely—and if not, how bad a thing is that? Should education aim at the transmission of existing knowledge or, rather, at fostering the abilities and dispositions conducive to inquiry and the achievement of autonomy?).

In addition, the pursuit of fundamental questions in more or less all the core areas of philosophy often leads naturally to and is sometimes enhanced by sustained attention to questions about education (e.g., epistemologists disagree about the identity of the highest or most fundamental epistemic value, with some plumping for truth/true belief and others for justified or rational belief; this dispute is clarified by its consideration in the context of education).

For these reasons, and perhaps others, it is not surprising that the philosophical tradition has generally regarded education as a worthy and important target of philosophical reflection. It is therefore unfortunate that the pursuit of philosophy of education as an area of philosophical investigation has been largely abandoned by general philosophers in the last decades of the twentieth century, especially in the United States. The 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s saw quite a few general philosophers make important contributions to philosophy of education, including, among others, such notables as Kurt Baier, Max Black, Brand Blanshard, Richard Brandt, Abraham Edel, Joel Feinberg, William Frankena, Alan Gewirth, D. W. Hamlyn, R. M. Hare, Alasdaire MacIntyre, A. I. Melden, Frederick Olafson, Ralph Barton Perry, R. S. Peters, Edmund Pincoffs, Kingsley Price, Gilbert Ryle, Israel Scheffler, and Morton White. But the subject has more recently suffered a loss of visibility and presence, to the extent that many, and perhaps most, working general philosophers and graduate students do not recognize it as a part of philosophy's portfolio.

The reasons for this loss are complex and are mainly contingent historical ones that I will not explore here. It remains, nevertheless, that this state of affairs is unfortunate for the health of philosophy of education as an area of philosophical endeavor, and for general philosophy as well. The “benign neglect” of philosophy of education by the general philosophical community—an area central to philosophy since Socrates and Plato—not only deprives the field of a huge swath of talented potential contributors; it also leaves working general philosophers and their students without an appreciation of an important branch of their discipline. One purpose of this volume is to rectify this situation.



2.2         Different Educational philosophies—Idealism, Naturalism Pragmatism and Humanism— an overview;



It is oldest system of philosophy known to man. Its origin goes back to ancient India in the east, and to Plato in the west. Its basic viewpoint stresses the human spirit as the most important element in life. The human spirit is most elements in life, the universe is essentially nonmaterial in its ultimate nature. Idealism is concerned with supremacy of mind and self, and views man and universe in terms of spirit or mind. Matter or objective may be the projection or creation of mind, but ultimately real is the idea behind it. The physical world is ephemeral and can be changed through the ideas or imagination of man. Plato, the greatest philosopher of all ages, claimed that the ultimate reality consists of ideas. Plato and his teacher Socrates conceived ideas as the basis of their philosophy. Socrates, an idealistic philosopher placed importance on question-answer and dialogue as the method of acquiring information or gaining knowledge whereas Plato emphasized on logical reasoning as the method of gaining knowledge.

Idealism: Plato- father of idealism

Definition: System of thought that emphasizes the importance of mind, soul or spirit. Idealism believes in refined wisdom.

Principles of idealism:

·      Presence of universal mind.

·      Regards man as a spiritual being.

·      The world of ideas and values are superior than the materialistic world.

·      The real knowledge is perceived in mind.

Idealism & aims of education

·      Self-realization

·      Exaltation of personality through self-realization

·      Universal education

·      Development of inventive and creative powers

·      Conservation, promotion and transmission of cultural heritages

·      Bringing out or the enrichment of the cultural environment

·      Development of moral sense

·      Cultivation of spiritual values.

Teaching methods

·      Lecture- discussion method

·      Excursion

·      Question method

·      Project method


It is oldest philosophy in western world. The naturalists view the world that we live in is made up of the matters, and believe that the material world, the world of nature, is the real world. In other word nature is the source of knowledge. The human life is the part of nature and is therefore controlled by external laws of nature. In fact, the essence of all things is nature. The universe and man are the results of physical, mechanical and biological forces acting upon them, which is called natural laws. The process of growth and development in man was the result of force of energy prevailed in nature. Man’s natural endowment, including his instincts and emotion are the guiding force of all his conducts. The theory of struggle put forward by Charles Darwin implicates that the aim of education is to equip individual to struggle for existence and thus to ensure his survival. It should help the learner to adjust physically and mentally to ever changing circumstances of life. Education should aim at developing the child joyful, rational, balanced, purposeful and mature person in order for him to survive.

Naturalism: Rousseau & Aristotle

Definition: is a system denying anything in reality that has supernatural significance. Truth can be discovered only through nature.


·      Child centered education

·      Education as the natural development of the child’s power and capacities

·      Negative education in early childhood

·      Education should be based on child's psychology

·      The role of teacher should be that of a guide

Naturalism and methods of teaching

·      Learning by doing

·      Play way method

·      Observation and experimentation

·      Self education or self-effort naturalism and methods of teaching



Pragmatism adopt a midway between idealism and naturalism. The word pragmatism derived from Greek word “pragma” means action. Pragmatism is otherwise known as instrumentalism or functionalism. Since emphasis was given to learning by doing and learning by experience, it is also called experimentalism According to Ross, pragmatism is essentially a human philosophy maintaining that man creates his own values in course of activity, that reality is still in making and awaits its part of completion from the future. This definition emphasis on creation through continuous activity and states that certain values are essential for growth and development of individual.

Pragmatism: John Dewey, William James, Charles Saunders Pierce

Definition: according to Ross, pragmatism is essentially a humanistic philosophy maintaining that man creates his own values in course of activity, that reality is still, in making and awaits its part of completion from the future.

Principles of pragmatism

·      Man is considered as essentially a biological and social organism.

·      Knowledge should be experimentally verified and it should be useful to the learner. Pragmatism has faith in man's capacity to shape his destiny.

·      There are no absolute values, all values are relative. What works as useful becomes a value.

·      Only those theories which can work in practical situations are true.

·      Pragmatist is more concerned with the present and immediate future.

·      Pragmatism accepts only the knowledge which is empirical, i.e., which can be experienced at sensory level.

·      Only those ideas which can be realized in life are real.

Pragmatism and methods of teaching

·      Principle of progressive learning

·      Principle of learning by doing

·      Principle of integration

Pragmatism and aims of education

·      Harmonious development of the individual

·      Continuous experience

·      Social efficiency



The roots of humanism are found in the thinking of Erasmus (1466-1536), who attacked the religious teaching and thought prevalent in his time to focus on free inquiry and rediscovery of the classical roots from Greece and Rome. Erasmus believed in the essential goodness of children, that humans have free will, moral conscience, the ability to reason, aesthetic sensibility, and religious instinct. He advocated that the young should be treated kindly and that learning should not be forced or rushed, as it proceeds in stages. Humanism was developed as an educational philosophy by Rousseau (1712-1778) and Pestalozzi, who emphasized nature and the basic goodness of humans, understanding through the senses, and education as a gradual and unhurried process in which the development of human character follows the unfolding of nature. Humanists believe that the learner should be in control of his or her own destiny. Since the learner should become a fully autonomous person, personal freedom, choice, and responsibility are the focus. The learner is self-motivated to achieve towards the highest level possible. Motivation to learn is intrinsic in humanism.

Humanism: Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, Malcolm Knowles

Definition: An approach in study, philosophy, or practice that focuses on human values and concerns.

A system of thought that rejects religious beliefs and centers on humans and their values, capacities, and worth.



1) Students' learning should be self-directed.

2) Schools should produce students who want and know how to learn.

3) The only form of meaningful evaluation is self-evaluation.

4) Feelings, as well as knowledge, are important in the learning process.

5) Students learn best in a nonthreatening environment.

Classroom implication


·      Curriculum is up to the students. They learn what they want to learn, when they want to learn it. It is based on students will know what lessons will be useful to them and which is just a waste of time.

·       as long as students have a passion or drive to learn this theory becomes easy for teachers.

·      Students that don’t have that drive to learn will either need to be pushed by a teacher or parent or try another teaching theory, because if students don’t want to learn they won’t.


·      Teachers would almost guide students as they set off into their own educational journey to learn.

·      Facilitating students would be the main role of teachers. Also being careful not to force what to learn but rather force wanting to learn something on the student is genuinely interested in.



2.3         Prominent Educational Philosophers— John Dewey, Kilpatrick, Rousseau, —their principles and aims of education;


John Dewey

John Dewey is nothing less than a rock star of modern education. His ideas and approaches to schooling were revolutionary ideas during his lifetime and remain fundamentally important to modern schooling today. In this video, we will take a brief look at the background of John Dewey as well as a more in depth look at his educational philosophies and ideals. When we're done, you should be able to describe Dewey, but more importantly, you should be able to identify his philosophy in action.

John Dewey is probably most famous for his role in what is called progressive education. Progressive education is essentially a view of education that emphasizes the need to learn by doing. Dewey believed that human beings learn through a 'hands-on' approach. This places Dewey in the educational philosophy of pragmatism.

Pragmatists believe that reality must be experienced. From Dewey's educational point of view, this means that students must interact with their environment in order to adapt and learn. Dewey felt the same idea was true for teachers and that teachers and students must learn together. His view of the classroom was deeply rooted in democratic ideals, which promoted equal voice among all participants in the learning experience.

Dewey defines education as the ' development of all those capacities in the individual which will enable him to control his environment and fulfill his possibilities". It is a process that begins with the very birth of the child, and goes on throughout the whole life. It is a process which has two sides- one psychological and the other sociological.

The main aims of education as advocated by Dewey are:-
Social Efficiency: According to Dewey the development of social efficiency is one of the aims of education. To him school is a social institution. The school should be organised in such a way that the activities of the outer world are reflected.

Education is life: Dewey emphasises that education is not a preparation for life, it is life itself. The child lives in the present. The future is meaningless to him. Hence it is absurd to expect him to do things for some future preparation.
Education is experience: Dewey favoured an education by, of and for, experience. Every new experience is education. An old experience is replaced by a new experience. The human race he gained experience in its struggle to meet the needs of life. This ' struggle for existence ' is a continuous process.
Education should combine theory & practice: The aim of education, according to Dewey should be create a balance between theoretical and practical activities. He has stressed equal importance to both action and thought. These two should go hand in hand.

Dewey on School Curriculum
• Dewey advocates that broader curricular programmes are needed and emphasis should be placed in the total development of the person as being equally important as the intellectual and the academic.
• The teacher is a guide and director he steers the boat, but the energy that people it must come from those who are learning. The more a teacher is aware of the past experience of students of their hopes, desires, chief interests the better will be.
• The teacher is engaged not simply in the training of individuals but in the formation of the proper social life. In this way the teacher always is the prophet of the true God.

Dewey's Method of Teaching
Dewey's method of teaching is based on his pragmatic philosophy. He is of the opinion that direct experience is the basis of all method. Knowledge takes place from concrete and meaningful situations. Hence knowledge should come from spontaneous activities of the children. Dewey's method of teaching are based on the principles of learning by doing activities in connection with the life of the child.
The project or problem method which Dewey advocated, the child's interests and purposes are the most important things.
For his problem or project method, Dewey laid down the following five steps as essential.
(1) The pupil should have a genuine situation of experiences.
(2) A genuine problem should arise from this situation and should stimulate the thinking of the child.
(3) The child should obtain information or make observation needed to deal with the problems.
(4) The suggested solution(s) should occur to him.
(5) He should have an opportunity to test his ideas by application.

Dewey's contribution to educational thought and practice
(1) Dewey's social theory of education coupled with the logic of experimental method has been very influential in the development of modern education practices.
(2) The greatest change has been in the recognition of the worth of the expense of the child. The child is no longer regarded as a passive subject meant for the imposition of external information but is considered an active living being those interests have to be stimulated by participation in socially significant experience.
(3) Dewey has been one of the significant leaders who have tried to introduce a more human touch in the processes of education.
(4) He has been a powerful influence in interpreting the school as a commonly for the realization of the significance of the immediate experiences and present opportunities of the child if he is to be a contributor to the march of the social process.
(5) His insistence on activities of diverse kinds in school is also an other aspect of his social theory of education.
(6) The pragmatic method of instrumentalitic experimentation reacts against all kinds of mysticism, transcendentalism and absolutism.
(7) The supreme contribution of Dewey to a philosophy of education is the theory of scientific democratic humanism.
(8) Dewey is quite right in pleading for the wide use of the experimental method of science in education.



Kilpatrick supported Dewey’s view of getting away from rote memorization and a rigid curriculum and replacing it with a child-centered approach. He was a major critic of the Committee of Ten with their emphasis on acquiring knowledge through traditional means. Kilpatrick saw school not only fulfilling an intellectual purpose but also a social one.

For Kilpatrick, education was about the social development of the child rather than their cognitive development through the mastery of content. This is not saying that the mind did not matter. The emphasis was on learning to think and not focusing on what to think.

The curriculum should come from real-life and not compartmentalized subject matter.  This idea calls for a need for an integrated curriculum that stressed maximum student participation. These beliefs led Kilpatrick to create a unique form of teaching.

The Project Method

Kilpatrick’s Project Method is a blend of behavioral psychology and progressivism. It was behavioral in that student behavior was observed but it was also progressive in the focus on child-centered learning. The four steps of the Project Method are as follows.

1.     Purpose

2.     Plan

3.     Execute

4.     Judge

Teachers first need to decide what are they trying to do. Next, the need to develop a plan for achieving these objectives. The development of observable goals is clearly the behavioral aspect of this method. Execution involves the implementation of the the plan. Last is judge, the teacher assess the success of the plan. Again, assessing the students and curriculum is a behavioral aspect of the Project Method.

The progressivist aspect of this method was the constant revision of the curriculum based on student need and interest. The curriculum was developed jointly with the students. This was a core belief of Kilpatrick that students should be leaders in the development of their learning as nothing would motivate them more. This also led to the development of decision-making skills.

It is important to remember that the Project Method was not a rigid method but actually a philosophy. The steps in the method were really just an idea of approaching a child-centered learning experiencing.


·         A project is a whole-hearted purposeful activity proceeding in a social environment – W. H. Kilpatrick.

·         A project is a problematic act carried to completion in its natural selection – R. L. Stevenson.

·         A project is a bit of real life that has been imported into the school — Ballard.

·         A project is a unit of activity in which pupils are made responsible for planning and purposing — Parker.

·         A project is a voluntarily undertaking which involves constructive effort or thought and eventuates into objective results – Thomas and Lang.



            According to Kilpatrick there are four types of projects. They are:

1. Constructive project:

Practical or physical tasks such as construction of article, making a model, digging the well and playing drama are done in this type of projects.

 2. Aesthetic project:

Appreciation powers of the students are developed in this type of project through the musical programs, beautification of something, appreciation of poems and so on.

3. Problematic project:

In this type of project develops the problem solving capacity of the students through their experiences. It is based on the cognitive domain. For instance, how to operate a bank account? or how to send a thing at distant place?

4. Drill project:

It is for the mastery of the skill and knowledge of the students. It increases the work efficacy and capacity of the students.  For instance, this type of project may be taken up to give drill in singing or swimming.

Other types

Individual and Social (Group) projects:

In individual projects, every student solve the problem in their own according to their interest, capacity, attitude and needs. It develops the problem solving qualities individually and not the social qualities.

In Group projects, the problem is solved by the group of pupils in the class. Here the social, citizenship qualities and synergism are developed.    

Simple and Complex project:

In the simple projects, the students complete only one work at a time. They also focus the work in one subject or one area only. It gives the deep information about the project in one angle. The students get deeper and broader knowledge about the problem.

In the complex projects, the students carry out more than one work at a time. They focus on the work in various subject and angles. Here the students get the knowledge about the work in various activities and dimensions.


·      Principle of Purposefulness: The project should be purposeful, and that should have some main objective. The objective should give the enthusiasm and work to the students, otherwise that will be a wastage of time and energy.

·      Principle of Utility: The project should be useful to the students and the society. It should be of some value to the students. From a good project, the students as well as the society may get the benefit a lot.

·      Principle of Freedom: The students should be free to select the topic and execute the work according to their will and wish, interest, attitude and capacity. The teacher should only be a “guide on the side” and give guidelines to execute that.

·      Principle of Activity: Project means the purposeful activity so at the end of the project the students must gain knowledge through their activity. It is also a demand of the principle of learning by doing.

·      Principle of Reality: Project should be real and related to the life situation of the students and the society. Only then they would be able to complete the project naturally and really. Imaginary problems must not be taken up in the project.

·      Principle of Social Development: A good project focuses society needs, social development, and usefulness to the society. A single project solves the problem of the thousands of the people or the society.

·      Principle of Planning: The students plan in advance about the project. They find solutions for - How? When? What? Where? Why? So, good project develops the problem solving capacity and prior planning for the execution.        




Project method has the following steps:

1. Creating Situation: In the first step teacher creates the proper situation to the students in the class. He shares the knowledge about the project method procedure, steps, and uses with the students. After that he provides proper motivation through conversation about the day to day life problems to the students.

2. Selection of the problem: Then the teacher helps the students to select the problem and guide them. Here the students are having freedom to choose the topic or problem based on their interest and ability. Before choosing the topic the principles should be taken in to an account.

3. Planning: The teacher discuss with the students about the problem through various angles and points. He should create the situation of the discussion with the students and they are allowed to talk freely and openly. After the free expression of the students’ opinion about the problem, the teacher writes down the whole program of action stepwise on the blackboard. The grouping is made by the teacher based on the interest and ability of the students.

4. Execution: The students start their work in this step. They collect the relevant information/data and materials at first. The teacher should give time to the students according to their own speed, interest and ability. If need arises, he may provide the necessary help and guidelines to the students. He demands the groups to complete the project in the particular time.

5. Evaluation: Here the students evaluate their task. They determine whether the objectives have been achieved or not. After that they criticize and express their feeling about the task freely. The planning, selecting the task, and execution are discussed in the class. All these things are collectively reported to the teacher.

6. Reporting and Recording: It is the last step of the project method in which each and every step of the work are reported. The reported things are recorded in a certain order in a book form. The record is useful for the further use and future reference about the project. It reveals many ideas about the concerned project. The book formatted report is submitted to the teacher at the end.  


·      It is students centered, activity based method.

·      Students involves whole-heartedly in the learning process according to their needs, attitude, interest and ability.

·      This method is related to the life situation of the students.

·      This method develops the problem solving ability to the students.

·      It makes the students independent and confident.

·      It gives the real work experience to the students.

·      It develops the social qualities and synergism in the students’ heart.

·      It develops the responsibility realization of the students.


·      It is a time consuming method.

·      It is difficult to complete the prescribed syllabus in a particular time.

·      It is a very costly method.

·      It is not applicable for the lower classes.

·      All topics cannot be through this method.

·      It is not applicable for the all schools.

·      It needs so much material for the execution.



Rousseau is known as a revolutionary philosopher, who wrote against the contemporary social and political set up, hypocrisy, artificiality, cruelty, correlation, despotism prevalent at that time. The key notes of his philosophy is termed Naturalism, It contains his concepts of “Natural state”, “Natural man” and Natural civilization.

‘Natural state’ is a simple farming community or state without the evils of large cities corrupt rulers, social classes and luxury. He believed that ‘Goodness was innate and evils as acquired’. About natural man he says,” Man is born free, but everywhere he is in chains” In the words of Rousseau, “Civilized man born, lives and dies in a state of slavery”

‘Natural man’ according to Rousseau is governed and directed by the laws of his own nature rather than those of social institutions. He believed the man would have been happier if he had been allowed to remain in his natural stage. He was against so called Civilization.

By natural civilizations, he meant the simple farming life. Rousseau, “God makes all the things good; man meddles with them and they become evil”. He declared that Everything is good as it comes from the hands of the Author of nature, but everything degenerates in the hands of man.

Rousseau remarked, “Leave the child alone. Let him be a natural man rather than a civilized man. Let him have a state of nature rather than artificial surroundings that stunt the proper growth and arrest his natural development”. Natural civilization is free from artificial surroundings and rigid barriers that pollute the goodness of our nature. ‘Return to nature’ was his method to cure all troubles, human nature his natural heritage is essentially good and must be given the full opportunities for free development. He advocated the concept of liberty, equality and fraternity.

Fundamentals of Nature:

He has given three fundamentals of the Nature considering them the best sources of education.

1. Isolation from society: Child should be isolated from society and brought up by laws of nature. He should not be allowed to acquire the evils of the society.

2. Innate Tendencies of the child: In the words of Rousseau, the innate tendencies to primitive emotions, instinctive judgment and natural instinct are more reliable bases for action than the experience gained from the society .In this sense education means the spontaneous development of these innate tendencies of the child .

3. Contact with Natural Environment: Allow individual to make contact with the natural environment i.e. hills, trees, plants, birds, animals, woods, stones and physical forces. Thus the child should be brought up in natural environment. As a result of it, he will automatically become a rational being and act according to the voice of his conscience.

Concept of Education – Rousseau:

For Rousseau education does not mean merely imparting information or storing knowledge. It is not accretion from without. It is the development of the child’s natural powers and abilities from within. According to nature, Men, Things.

A] Education from Nature: By education of nature, he meant development according to the child’s natural endowments, abilities and capacities. It consists in the spontaneous development of our endowment and faculties. i. e of child’s natural tendencies and interests. He gave it the top priority.

B] Education from Man: By education from men, he emphasized the importance of social environment in development. It consists in influencing our social contacts and various groups. He did not favor it at least in initial stages.

C] Education from Things: By education from things, he understood physical environment, helping to gain experience by ourselves. It consists in the acquisition of knowledge and information through contact with physical surroundings and our experience of dealings with the things.

Rousseau conviction was that education should be considered as “the process of development into an enjoyable, rational harmoniously balanced useful and hence natural life”.

Types of Education:

Jean Jacque Rousseau is known for his Negative Education, although he said little about the Positive Education too. His two educational ideas are –

                        A. Negative Education and

                        B. Positive Education.

A] Negative Education: Rousseau wanted that the first education to the child should be given in negative. During the age of 5 to 12, the child should be given negative education. Rousseau held the opinion, “I call negative education that which tends to perfect the organs that are the instruments of the knowledge, and before giving this knowledge directly and that endeavors to prepare the way for reason by proper exercise of the sense. A negative education does the time of idleness, far from it. It does not give virtues, it projects from vice. It does not inculcate truth. It projects from errors”.

B] Positive Education: Rousseau viewed that the positive education is one that tends to form the mind prematurely and to instruct the child in the duties that belongs to man.

Though Rousseau put forwarded the idea of positive education, he revolted against the positive education and also these characteristics. He termed it as unnatural and inhuman and opposed it fully. It was in revolt this that he introduced negative education.

Rousseau’s Aims of Education:

Aimless education is like an oar less boat which has no specific destination. Hence, Rousseau put forwarded the following mentioned aims that guided the education to meet its real goal.

i. Development of child’s inner facilities: Rousseau says that the most important aim of education is the natural development of the child’s inner faculties and powers. To live is to work, to develop and to properly utilize the various part of the body. In his book, ‘Emile’, Rousseau seeks to train Emile in the profession of living so that he may become a human being before becoming a soldier, a magistrate, or a priest education aim at making the child a real human being.

ii. Different aim at different stages: In addition to the above mentioned aim, education should be different at each stage in the life of the individual.

 a] Development of well-regulated freedom: During the period of infancy i.e. .up to 5 years the aim of education is to develop well regulated freedom according to his capacities.

b] Develop sufficient strength at childhood stage: At the childhood stage i.e. from 5 to 12 years, the aim of education is to develop the child sufficient in order to have well regulated freedom. Rousseau’s advice for this period is that Exercise the body, the organs, the senses and powers and keeps the soul lying fellow, as long as one can.

c] Intellectual development in Pre- adolescent Period: At the boyhood stage i.e., from 12 to 15 years, the aim of education is to develop the intellect of the child. Education should help in the acquisition of knowledge which may enable him to the practical needs of life.

d] Emotional, Moral and religious development during Adolescence: During the fourth stage i.e., from 15 to 24 years, child should learn to live for others and to live together in social relationships. His emotions should be sublimated. Moral and religious bias should be given to education. In short, during this stage, education should aim at emotional, moral and religious development of the child.

Rousseau’s Curriculum:

Even in framing the curriculum, Rousseau paid attention to these four stages in development, which have discussed under aims above infancy, childhood, boyhood and adolescence.

A] Infancy state [up to 5 years]: “A feeble body makes a feeble mind. All wickedness comes from weakness. Give his body constant exercise, make it strong and healthy.” During this stage of infancy the child should be properly protected.

B] For childhood stage [from 5 to 12 years]: Rousseau says, “childhood is the sleep of reason and the educator is not to disturb him in this sleep”.

 So at this stage, neither intellect nor moral or social education is to be imparted to the child. Negative education will consists of the free development of his physical organs and the exercises of his senses. The child should be given maximum freedom. There should be no verbal lessons, in language, History and geography. Physical exercises constitute the core of the curriculum at his stage.

C] For Boyhood Stage [from 12 to 15 years]: Physical sciences, languages, mathematics, manual work, a trade, social relations, music and drawing will constitute the curriculum at this stage. Sciences will develop heuristic attitude, mathematics will develop precise thinking, manual craft will develop qualities of character of drawing will train eyes and muscles. However the knowledge of social relations will impress upon the boy the need of cooperation an economic inter dependence of man upon man.

D] For Adolescence Stage (from 15 to 20 years): Rousseau laid special stress on moral and religious education at this stage. Moral education is to be given through activities and occupations and not through lectures on ethics. Besides moral and religious education, history Geography sex education, physical culture and aesthetics are to constitute the curriculum. For all these subjects he has specific aims i.e. History is to be taught for the service of moral instructions. Religious education for realizing the existence of god and sex education about sex affairs. Aesthetics is to be taught for the cultivation and improvement of tastes.

Rousseau’s Methods of Teaching:

 A] Learning by Doing: Rousseau says, “Learning by doing whenever you can, and only for fall back upon words when doing is out of question.”  The child should take part in various activities and learn in natural way. It will help him in satisfaction of creative activity.

B] Direct Experience: Knowledge acquired through books is easily forgotten. On the other hand knowledge directly acquired from various learning situations is permanent. He also urged experience before expression and object before words.

C] Method of Individual Instruction: Rousseau asserted that the teacher should properly recognize the individual difference of the child and place emphasized individual instructions according to the needs and requirement of the child.

D] Heuristic Method: In this method the child is placed in the position of a discoverer. He is to be given an opportunity to make experiment with the apparatus that he made himself or invented. Rousseau also advocates the heuristic method of teaching.

E] Example is better than precept: For imparting moral education Rousseau stated, “Example is better than precept”. Teacher should practice morality before going to teach. He should provide opportunities to practice virtue. Lectures on morality will not prove useful.

I] Social Participation: During the period of adolescence, child will get knowledge about social relations by actually visiting places and establishing contact with the members of the community practically.

Rousseau’s concept of Discipline:

1. No imposed discipline: Rousseau was strictly against the imposed discipline. He was in favour of ‘leave the child free’. It is only free atmosphere that the child can develop his innate power.

2. No Punishment: Rousseau opines that the punishment hinders development of the child. No punishment should be given to the child for improving his behavior.

3. Discipline by Natural Consequences: Rousseau advocated discipline by natural consequences. He remarked that the child should allow suffering the natural results of his acts. E.g. the child puts his hand into fire let him burn his hand and learn by consequence.

Role of the teacher:

1. As Facilitator: Rousseau did not assign high place to the teacher. Teacher should see that the education of the pupil in the free development of their interest and motives. Here the teachers role is to simply facilitate the pupil for development of students.

2. Opportunity Provider: Rousseau opines that the role of a teacher should be as an opportunity provider. He should provide suitable opportunities to the learner for their overall development. For instant, a student is good in the track event of athletics; here teacher’s role is to provide that opportunity which helps him/her to be specialized in that specific field of sports.

3. Repression Protector: According to Rousseau’s education, the teacher should protect the child from repression (suppression, crush) mental conflicts and mental disorders for all kids.

Relevance of Rousseau’s Educational Philosophy in the Contemporary Education of India:

The contemporary education of India is largely influenced by the philosophical ideas of different philosophers of different ages. Close observation of Indian Education shows that a partial relevance of Rousseau’s idea is exist in the said system. Following points shows the relevance –

1. Relevance in the Aim of Education:

·      Balanced and Harmonious Development: Rousseau emphasized on the balanced and harmonious development of the child should be the aim of education. To fulfill the same goal of education, different courses, subjects and contents are included in the curriculum of the contemporary education of India is seen. These course, subjects and contents are prepared according to the general mental capacities and abilities of the targeted section of students.

·      Well regulated freedom: About the freedom of learner, Rousseau said about the well regulated freedom for learners learning. A conducive environment of freedom should provide by the teacher to develop his learner to get holistic development. In the present education scenario of India, a well regulated freedom is seen. RTE keeps provision for that.

·      Sound health for stable mind: Rousseau said that the aim of education is to develop a stable and stretch free mind. This can be possible only when the child is the owner of a good health. To attain a sound health and stretch free mind, different physical and mental co-curriculums are included in the present education of India.

·      Moral and religious development: Rousseau emphasized on moral and religious education through work and natural consequences not by lectures on ethics. In some extent the moral and religious education is providing in secondary education of India by observing festivals like, Saraswati Puja, Mi-lad-ul-navi, Tithi of Sankardeva etc.

2. Relevance of the Curriculum:

·      No fixed curriculum: Rousseau was in against of a fixed curriculum. He thought that a fixed curriculum hinders development. A flexible curriculum as Rousseau thinks is not found in the education of India. Thus, his idea of a flexible curriculum has no relevance.

·      Exercise of senses and physical organs development: As Rousseau opines negative education where the child in initial stage keeps away from books; free physical development of organs and exercise of senses has included in his curriculum. Such exercises for development of senses and organs are seen in the pre-primary section in Indian education. E.g. to give the idea of sounds of animal, audio systems are used. Hence, it has the relevance in the present education of India.

·      Rousseau’s curriculum includes physical science, language, mathematics, manual works, social relations, music and drama for the learners of 12 -15 years age group. All these subjects are seen in the present educational curriculum. Hence, the relevance is existed in the contemporary education of India.

·      Moral and religious education was favored by Rousseau for adolescence. Relevance of such moral and religious education is seen in the Indian education.

3. Relevance in the Methods of Teaching:

·      Contemporary education of India has great relevance of learning by doing, a method of teaching forwarded by Rousseau. In every field of study practical work is practiced to get first-hand knowledge and experience.

·      Individualized instruction is another method of teaching according to Rousseau. This method of teaching is frequently used by teachers when they found isolated or weak students. As well as whenever students need teacher is always eager to help as individual instruction. Thus, this method of teaching has its relevance. 

·      Rousseau advocates Heuristic methods of teaching where the learner is provided opportunity to experiment his own creation, discoveries or inventions. Relevance of this method in the present education of India is seen in the creative writings, creative drama etc.

·      Example is better than precept; this is a method of teaching where teacher should be the example of morally ideal before going to say about the morality to students. An ideal teacher always goes through professional ethics in his teaching. These are the people who keep this pious profession to its zenith.

3. Relevance of Discipline:

·      Rousseau was against the imposed discipline. He was in favor of leave the child free. It is the free atmosphere that child can develop his innet power. A manageable level of rigidity is seen in the present education system of India. Thus, partial relevance of his imposed discipline is existing.

·      Rousseau’s discipline says that there should not any punishment to the child for improving behavior. Corporal punishment is completely abolished from the Indian education through acts and rules. Thus punishment free discipline has its prevalence in the present education of India.

4. Relevance of Role of the Teacher:

·      Rousseau said that the role of a teacher in education is of a facilitator, who facilitate learner in their free development according to their interest. Now-a-days, this role is played by the teacher as the teaching system is tending towards teacher centered education.  Hence, the relevance is seen.

·      Opportunity provider is another role of teacher in Rousseau’s education. Teacher has to provide opportunities to each and every student of the classroom in every aspect. It is nothing but the opportunity which gives a platform to express his/her dormant talent. Addition of co-curriculum activities in contemporary education to provide such opportunity as well as the active role of teacher in implementing those activities are mostly seen.

Limitations of the Educational Philosophy of Rousseau:

1] Anti-social Attitude: Rousseau had no faith in the influence and goodness of the society. One of the fundamental aim of education in democratic way of life is socialization community through the activity involved in the development of the child. All is not bad with the social set-up.

2] Women Education: Rousseau’s views, that literary education of women of culture is the plague to all. It doesn’t reflect the modern concept of equality of the sexes in all aspects of life enshrined in democratic way of life.

3] Little important to positive virtue: Rousseau laid stress on negative education and hence he left little scope for the inculcation of the positive virtues.

4] No higher ideals: There is no place for higher morality and ideals in Rousseau’s educational theory, while these are a must for a dignified society.

5] Faulty Theory of Discipline: Rousseau’s theory of discipline through natural consequences is very dangerous and not suitable to the modern way of life where the modern gadgets can prove to be fatal if proper human care or the teacher is not there.

In gist Rousseau’s contribution to education has been profound. He influenced education in its organization, aims, methods, curriculum and discipline, the auto development of personality , free discipline , lack of any restrain , utilizing the senses , interests and activities of the child have influenced the moderns education in many other ways. The rights of childhood, the human welfare are the natural rights of every man can be realized through proper type of education. A renowned philosopher cum educationist Sir Munro rightly said, “Out of Rousseau’s teachings derive ‘new education’ of nineteenth century based on interest. It gave clear formulations of direct impetus to psychological, sociological and scientific conception of education”. Rousseau was in facts the founder of the grand idea of liberty, equality and fraternity.


2.4         Indian Educational Philosophers— Gandhi, Aurobindo, Rabindra Nath Tagore and Vivekanand—their principles and aims of education;



M. K. Gandhi is known as the greatest teacher of mankind for all times to come – “a prophet of its spiritual regeneration.” As a political thinker and social reformer his contributions towards the domain of education is not any way less.

Gandhiji’s educational philosophy is dynamic and realistic. Gandhiji’s vision on education was truly civilized for the betterment of society as well as whole country. There is no question of surprising that he developed from faith on education. Education not only educates the people but brings a new change in the society. His experience of South-Africa not only changed his outlook but also helped him to see the real picture of whole world. It appears that many of the views expressed in earlier writing find in Gandhian thoughts on education. The emphasis on body, heart, mind and spirit in the educational process is most visible one. Gandhiji saw the real situation of world which is full of suffering from immense crises from many sides. Many crises, conflict, hatred and distrust between one community and the another are growing very fast. The real difficulty is that people have no idea that what type of education is perfect. We assess the value of education in the same was as we assess the value of other articles are lying around us or in our society.

This point of view manifests that materialistic spirit. The foundation of basic education is useful because its goal is to impart such skill to Indian children by which they can become self-dependent earning hands. According to Gandhiji “My idea is not merely to teach a particular profession or occupation to the children, but to develop the full man through teaching that occupation”1 . The most essential feature of Gandhiji’s philosophy of education instead of taking handicrafts of the school and impose it on the educational curriculum insisted that education must proceed from the handicrafts. Gandhi said, ‘The core of my suggestion is that handcrafts are to be taught not merely for production work but for developing the intellect of the people’. Another important feature of Gandhiji’s philosophy of education is the supporting aspect of the craft chosen as a means of education. All education to be true must be self supporting. Gandhiji also emphasized that the major aim of education should be character development. He wished that the youth generation should develop a sense of courage, strength and virtue.

Aims of education

Gandhiji has mentioned several aim of life keeping in view its different aspects and ideals. These aims can be divided into two classes:

·       Immediate Aim

·       Ultimate Aim

1.     Immediate Aims of Education

·      Aim of Livelihood: According to Gandhiji, the aim of education is to enable an individual to earn his livelihood by which he can become self-dependent.

·      Perfect Development aim: Gandhiji wrote, “The real education is that which fully develops the body, mind soul of children”

·      Cultural Aim: According to Gandhiji, a child should be trained to express his culture in his conduct. He says that culture is the foundation, the initial thing which should be manifested in your abstract behavior

·      Moral Aim: Gandhiji has laid more emphasis on morality or character building. He regarded character building as to proper foundation for education.

·      Aim of Emancipation: According to Gandhiji, the aim of education is for an individual to attain emancipation. He has used ‘emancipation’ in two sasses-one, freedom from all types of slavery in the present life, and two, the second sense of emancipation is salvation of an individual from worldly binding and take forward the spirit towards a higher life, so an aim of education is to guide an individual for spiritual freedom to take him forward to his goal.

2.     Ultimate Aims of Education

·      Self-Realisation: Self-realisation and spiritual development find perfect support in Gandhian scheme of education. Education should provide spiritual freedom. Development of the moral character, development of the whole, all are directed towards the realization of the ultimate reality, the merger of the finite being into the infinite.

·      Perfect Synthesis between individual and social aim: Gandhiji had laid equal emphasis on individual and social aims of education at different times. He did not find any conflict between the two. According to him if the individuals are good, the society is bound to be good.

Principles of Gandhi’s educational philosophy

·      “Literacy is Not Education: According to Gandhiji’s literacy is not education. Education is the all-around development of child.

·      Development of all Human Qualities: education should develop all human qualities inherent are a child.

·      Harmonious Development of Personality: Education should effect harmonious development of a child’s body, heart, mind and soul.

·      Development of all Faculties: Education should develop all faculties of a child according to the general well-being of the community of which he is a member.

·      Beneficial Handicraft as the Beginning of Education: A child’s education should begin from a beneficial handicraft or skill by which he can meet the economic needs of his future life.

·      Education is related to Real Life: A child’s education should be related to his real circumstances and physical environment.

·      Self-dependent Education: Education should make a person self-dependent. The industry of handicraft chosen as the medium of education should make a person self-dependent.”

·      Active Education: A child should get his education actively and he should use it to understand his social environment and have better control over it.



Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950), the great educationist of India, has set forth his philosophy in the life Divine. He bases his philosophy on the original Vedanta of the Upanishadas. Sri Aurobindo believes that earlier Vedanta represent and integral or balanced view of life. It implies healthy integration of God and the man or world, renunciation and enjoyment, freedom of the soul and action of nature, being and becoming, the one and many, Vidya and Avidya, knowledge and works, and birth and release.

Sri Aurobindo Ghosh was an Idealistic to the core. His Idealistic philosophy of life was based upon Vedantic philosophy of Upanishad. He maintains that the kind of education, we need in our country, is an education “proper to the Indian soul and need and temperament and culture that we are in quest of, not indeed something faithful merely to the past, but to the developing soul of India, to her future need, to the greatness of her coming self creation, to her eternal spirit.”


The guiding principle of Sri Aurobindo's Educational Philosophy was the awakening of the individual as a spiritual being. It should be related to life truth and self mastery by the child. Sri Aurobindo made a five-fold classification of human nature i.e. the physical, the mental,the psychic and the spiritual, corresponding to five aspects of education – physical education, vital education, mental education, psychic education and spiritual or supermental education. Physical education includes control over physical functions, harmonious development of physical movements, over powering physical limitations and the awareness of body consciousness. Sri Aurobindo lays stress upon games and sports because he felt that these were essential for renewing energy. Vital education was the most important point in integral education. Sri Aurobindo called the vital being of man – the life nature made up of desires, sensations, feelings, passions, reaction of the desire – soul in man and of all that play a possessive and other related instincts, anger, fear, speed etc. that belong to this field of nature. Mental education included cognition, ideas and intelligence. The unique contribution of Sri Aurobindo regarding mental education was that ideas should be continually organized around a central thought. Psychic education was the special contribution of Sri Aurobindo to education systems. The key to an integral personality was the discovery of man s psychic nature. The educational theory of Sri Aurobindo ! aimed at the development of the latent powers of the child, training of six senses, training of logical faculties, physical education, principle of freedom, moral and religious education and above all, training for the spiritualization of the individual.

Sri Aurobindo principles of teaching

1.     Nothing Can Be Taught: The first principle of true teaching is that nothing can be taught. The teacher is not an instructor or task master he is a helper and guide. The teacher's work is to suggest and not to impose on the mind of the student but helps him to perfect his mind, the instrument of knowledge and encourages him every way in this process.

2.     Mind Has to be Consulted In Its Growth: The second principle is that the mind has to be consulted in its growth. “The idea of hammering the child into the shape desired by the parent or teacher is a barbarous and ignorant superstition.”

3.     To Work from the Known to the Unknown: The third principle of teaching is to work from the near to the far, from the known to the unknown. Man's nature is mold by his soul's past his heredity and his environment. The past is the foundation, the present is the material and future is the aim – and each must find its due and natural place in any national system of education.



The great poet Tagore is well known as Gurudev. From his childhood itself he had manifested all the signs of a great personality in the making. In this philosophy there is the sum total of the four fundamental philosophies of naturalism, humanism, internationalism and idealism. His philosophy is a depiction of fulfillment through a harmony with all things. There was no special treatise of his on education save a few. Hence his ideas of education are manifested through his literary creation-be it poetry, drama, novels, short stories, essays or letters. As Tagore found the education of his times inadequate, he wished that education should facilitate an individual’s all around development and result in the perfection of the individual and society at large.

As an Idealist: He believed that the man should live for the ultimate truth which liberates us from from cycle of birth and death had faith in absolute values.

As a Spiritualist: He believed that every individual should try to attain spiritual perfection.

As a Humanist: He preached human brotherhood, having faith in fundamental unity of mankind. He remarked that ”even God depends upon man for perfecting his Universe.”

As a Naturalist: He considered nature as a great teacher God revealed himself through various forms, colors and rhythm of nature.

Tagore’s Internationalism: He was an ardent prophet of world unity. ¨ He believed in world brotherhood.

The three cardinal principles of Tagore’s educational philosophy are:

·      Freedom

·      Active communication with Nature and man

·      Creative self-expression.

Tagore felt that education divorced from the streams of life and confined within four walls becomes artificial and loses its value. Tagore believed in self-imposed discipline which is not imposed from outside but drawn out from within.


Tagore attached great significance to the moral values and ethics in education. Accepting the intellect of the people of West, it would be a great degrading to forget our moral wealth of wisdom. Stressing on the importance of mother-tongue, Tagore considered that foreign language makes the learner alienated and lifeless from the living world of freedom and joy. So, education should be intervened with life and society. According to him, there are three sources of knowledge: Nature, life and teacher. There should be a close coordination and harmony among these sources.

Educational Aims as propounded by Rabindranath Tagore:-

·      Education should aim to develop the child physically. Tagore believed that a healthy mind lives in a healthy body.

·      Education should enable the child to acquire the knowledge through independent efforts and critical examination of ideas.

·      Education should inculcate moral and spiritual values in children.

·      Chief aim of education should be drawing out all the latent potentialities of child.

·      Education should create self-discipline among teachers as well as children.

·      Education should aim at the attainment of inner freedom, inner power and enlightenment.

·      Education should not only train children to be effective farmers, clerks or craftsmen, but also develop them to be complete human beings.

·      Education should aim at development of a sense of social service in pupils and teachers.



Swami Vivekananda was not only a social reformer, but also the educator, a great Vedanta’s, patriot prophet of India, born at Calcutta in 1863, who sought to modernize the nation of its social and cultural harmony. His contribution to the awakening of modern India is critique in its kind and quality. If education is viewed as the most powerful instrument of social change, his contribution to educational thought is of paramount importance. He defines education as ‘the manifestation of perfection that is already in man.


Vivekananda said: “The education which does not help the common mass of people to equip themselves for the struggle of life, which does not bring out strength of character, a spirit of philanthropy, and the courage of a lion – is it worth the name? Real education is that which enables one to stand on one’s own legs. Education must provide ‘life-building, man-making, character-making assimilation of ideas”. The ideal of this type of education would be to produce an integrated person.


The ultimate aim of all education and all training, according to Swami Vivekananda, is man-making and also he recommends the following major aims of education.


 Man has an immortal soul which is the treasure –house of infinite power. Man should, therefore, have full confidence in himself and strive to reach the highest goal of his life, self-confidence leads to self - realization. In Swamiji’s own words: “Faith in us and faith in God – this is the secret of greatness.” Education of the right type should aim at removing the veil ignorance from our mind and make us understand that what actually we are.


Character is the aggregate of a Man’s tendencies, the sum –total of the bent of his mind. We are what our thoughts have made us. It is, therefore, that education should aim at sublimating the evil tendencies of our mind. Swamiji said, “We want that education, by which character is formed, strength of mind is increased, intellect is expanded and by which one can stand on one’s on feet.” Education must build up character and manifest our real nature.


Personality is the influence, the impression, one creates on    the others. It is the personality of a man that counts. “According to Vivekananda, personality is two – third and his intellect and words are only one – third in making the real man.” The ideal of all education and all trainings should be this man – making.


Another important aim of education is serving the God in man. It is the God in the sick, the poor, the miserable, the ignorant and the down – trodden what we should worship. In Swamiji’s own words, “if you want to find god, serve man.” He was pained to see the wretched poverty of his countrymen. He, therefore, wanted that education must enable everyone to stand on his own feet and satisfy his own primary needs.


Swami Vivekananda’s love for mankind knew no geographical boundaries. He always pleaded for the harmony and good relationship of all nations. He said,’ through education, we should gradually reach the idea of universal brotherhood by flinging down the walls of separation and inequality. In every man, in every animal, however weak or miserable, great or small, resides the same omnipresent and omniscient soul. The difference is not in the soul, but in manifestation.” He insisted the education must call forth this power in every person and broaden it to such an extent that it may cover the whole world.


To Swami Vivekananda, the practical aspects of life must not be ignored in any scheme of education. Only then, it will be possible to make an individual self – dependent and the country prosperous. Swamiji said: “It will not do merely to listen to great principles. You must apply them in the practical field, turn into constant practice.” So he has emphasized the importance of education in agriculture and other practical arts.


The second aim of education is that the child should able to promote national growth and advancement as a fearless and physically well developed citizen of tomorrow. Stressing the mental development of the child, Swamiji wished education to enable the child to stand on his own legs economically rather than becoming a parasite of on others.


According to Swami Vivekananda, a nation's greatness is not only measured by its parliamentary institutions and activities, but also by the greatness of its citizens. But the greatness of citizens is possible only through their moral and spiritual development which education should foster.


The true aim of education is to develop insight into the individuals so that they are able to search out and realize unity in diversity. Swami Vivekananda has further asserted that physical and spiritual worlds are one; their distinctness is an illusion (Maya). Education should develop this sense which finds unity in diversity.

10. AIM OF RELIGIOUS DEVELOPMENT                                   

To Swamiji, each individual should be able to search out and develop the religious seed embedded in him and thus find the absolute truth or reality. Hence he advocated the training of feelings and emotions so that the whole life is purified and sublimated. Then only, the capacities of obedience, social service and submission to the teachings and preaching's of great saints and saviors will develop in the individual. Education should foster this development.


According to Swami Vivekananda a person with an attitude of renunciation, influence children through his ideal example, love his students,  sympathize at their difficulties, teaching according to the needs, abilities and interests of the them, contribute to their spiritual development can be a good teacher.

A student should have an inclination and eagerness to learn. He should be an observer of celibacy. He should have control over his senses. He should follow the ideals laid down by his teacher.



Knowledge is inherent within the individual himself. The individual finds out this knowledge by experiencing it within himself. Perfection is inherent in everyone. It is the function of education to lead one to perfection. Therefore, education should be made available to all.


Swami Vivekananda says that it is wrong to think that we promote the development of a child. In fact, he furthers his development himself. He says, “Everyone develops according to his own nature. When the time comes everyone will come to know this truth. Do you think you can educate a child? The child will educate himself, your job is to provide the necessary opportunity to him and remove the obstacles in his path. He will educate himself on his own. A plant grows itself, does the gardener grow it? He just provides the necessary environment to it, it is the plant itself that does its own growing.” Thus Swami Vivekananda advocates the principle of self–education. 


In order to make education useful, it must be according to the nature and need of the child. It is not the teacher, or the parents who will determine his needs and nature. His education should be patterned on the lines of these tendencies. The teacher has to visualize God in the soul of each child. Each child should be considered as manifestation of God. In fact, we have to serve God. Therefore we have to serve each child.


For the acquisition of knowledge, concentration or attention is very necessary. For the success in life also, this power is very helpful. Everyone does not have the same power of concentration. With the help of this power one can acquire useful knowledge and arrange it in mind for use whenever necessary.



According to Swami Vivekananda, the prime aim of education is spiritual growth and development. But this does not mean that he did not advocate material prosperity and physical well-being. He feelingly advocated the inclusion of all those subjects and activities, in the curriculum, which foster material welfare with spiritual advancement. For spiritual perfection Swamiji prescribed Religious, Philosophy, Upanishads, Company of saints and their preaching's and for material advancement and prosperity he recommended Languages, Geography, Science, Political Science, Economics, Psychology, Art, Agriculture, Industrial and Technical subjects together with Games, sports and other Physical exercises.


Swami Vivekananda prescribed the same ancient spiritual methods of teaching wherein the Guru and his disciples lived in close association as in a family. The essential characteristics of those religious and spiritual methods were as under:-

1. To control fleeting mental faculties by the practice of Yoga.

2. To develop the mind by concentration and deep meditation.

3. To gain knowledge through lectures, discussions, self- experience and creative activities.

4. To imitate the qualities and character of teacher intelligent and clear understanding.

5. To lead the child on the right path by means of individual guidance by the teacher.


Vivekananda’s educational ideas have been influenced by three major factors; 1) love for his master 2) love for the nation, and 3) personal convictions.


Vivekananda felt that modern education all over the world has so far concentrated on ‘the learning to do’ aspect and not on the ‘learning to be’ faculties of education. He says that education must focus on the requirement of the human mind. His philosophy of education is based on universal principles of morality and ethics. He wanted to teach the common masses of India the ideals of synthesis, tolerance and universal harmony. His philosophy gives equal importance   to the claims of spirit and matter. To him diversity is as real as unity. Matter is only ‘veiled spirit’. Thus he creates a metaphysical synthesis reconciling the claims of spirit and matter, and makes it one of the chief bases of its philosophy of education.


Vivekananda wants to place maximum emphasis on concentration and meditation in the teaching-learning process. In the practice of yoga as it is in the practice of general education, five elements are necessarily involved-the teacher, the taught, the aim, the subject and the method. He convinced of the fact that all knowledge is in the human mind and that the same can be experienced by practicing concentration and meditation.


To Vivekananda, all teaching implies giving and taking; the teacher gives and the student receives. Here he stresses the need for effective participation in the teaching-learning process. Teacher should motivate the students to acquire knowledge and develop in them scientific temper, secular outlook and civic responsibility.


Vivekananda anticipated many modern thinkers in suggesting that learning through activity should be the guiding principle of any scheme of education. He wanted every activity in Indian schools and colleges-dance, drama etc; Inter-school and inter-collegiate competitions are also required in order to enable the students learn how to sacrifice personal and selfish interests for the sake of the larger interests of society.


Vivekananda suggested that the women should be made ambitious through a good system of education.h3e made a strong appeal for raising the status of women along with that of man. He felt that it was much against the ancient ideal of India that women were not given enough opportunities for self-development.



Here, education is conceived in the broad sense; everything in the society plays an educational role. The formal education system is but part of the culture and values in the system are inevitably determined by the culture. Education is seen as an instrument for harnessing human drives, and as consequences, it becomes to some extent a method of behavior modification. Education preserves rather than changes social values. Education is seen to abide by existing culture norms of the society.


Constructive education for peace must aim to reform humanity so as to permit the inner development of human personality and develop a more conscious vision of the mission of mankind and the present conditions of social life as was so emphatically averred by Swami Vivekananda as well. What we need today is an education that is capable of saving mankind from the present predicament. Such an education involves the spiritual development of man and the enhancement of his value as an individual and preparing the young people to understand the time in which they live.


Environmental education is viewed as an integral part of the education process. It is taken to be centered on practical problems and can be an interdisciplinary character. It should aim at building up a sense of values, contribute to public well being and concern itself with survival of the human species. Its force, therefore, should aside mainly the initiative of the learners and their involvement in action and it should be guided by immediate and future subject of concern. Environmental education enables them to manage the environment in which they live through a judicious use of resources.


The concept of citizenship education should target to mould the future citizens into the frame of a civic society where citizens are aware of their rights, respect democratic ideals and work for a welfare society with shared responsibility. Education for democratic citizenship is a set of practices and activities aimed at making young people and adults better equipped to participate actively in democratic life by assuming and exercising their rights and responsibilities in society.

Viewed in the light of contemporary thought, Vivekananda was actually an epoch capsule into a life span of less than forty years updating his mother country to fight against all kinds of social evils. ‘Equilibrium’ and ‘synthesis’ were the watchwords of Vivekananda. Contemplation and devotion to duty were unified in his personality. He had gone deep into the social and political decline of India and attempted to prescribe a workable formula to eradicate all social inequalities. The awakening and liberation of modern India as viewed by him was a stage for the realization of universal love and brotherhood.  He gave his fellow brethren, a dynamic gospel of supreme fearlessness and strength. He mercilessly denounced the arrogance and sophistication of the upper classes of Indian society. He was one of the great thinkers in India to offer a sociological interpretation of Indian history.

Swami Vivekananda was actually the greatest synthesizer of ever time. He wanted to remove the evils of the society by giving re-orientation to politics, sociology, economics and education. Swami Vivekananda laid stress on education as a powerful weapon for this change. As an educationalist he believes in absolute values which have to be realized by a good system of education.  Education should be the preparation for life. It should develop a feeling of nationalism and international understanding, it should leads to the development of character and make individuals self-dependent. Today there is a deterioration of cultural ethics and standards. The supreme need of the hour is to counteract this emotional, moral and cultural collapse. Only a process of a good system of education can bring about a healthy political and social life. Swami Vivekananda stands for this and his message is for all time.



2.5         Teacher and the learner: ancient ideals of a teacher, teacher in modern education; roles, functions and traits of a teacher;


Technological improvement has boosted the economic growth in India. Science and technology have an important role in the economic development of India. Compared to other developed countries, India has more youth manpower. Proper education will play a significant role in making youth future-ready and increasing economic growth by providing skilled persons which will also boost industrial development. In the modern era of education, every institution or university is adapting new teaching methods using their teaching methodologies. Indian education is the biggest and well-known education systems in the world. During ancient education, there were 5 big well-known universities like Takshashila, Nalanda, Vallabhi, etc., which focus on the all-round development of students and those in the medieval period there exists 2 institutions madrasah and maqtabs which mostly focus on building student religious and leaders of the future. In modern education, there are well known autonomous institutes like IITs and IIMs which are famous all around the world.

During ancient education, students live away from their parents, their education comprises of subjects like physical education, mental education, politics, economics, etc. They were shaped in a way that they can live in any condition considering how difficult the situation will be? Medieval education also followed the same protocol as ancient education in spite that their education mostly focuses on religion. In today’s modern era of big institutes like the Indian Institute of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institute of Management (IIMs), everything is changed like the living standard of students, curriculum, all-round development. The principle objective of the student has been to just achieve its goal and be successful. Only the big institutes like IITs, IIMs, and some other private and aided universities have adopted modern methods of learning. There is a difference in curriculum, teaching methods, and living standards of students in every institute. The syllabus of the current education system is not industry-oriented and also not according to new upcoming trends. The main objective of education is mostly theoretical and not practically implemented [1].

The main purpose of this paper is to convey what all the things need to adopt in our current education system from ancient and medieval times and also some new trends associated with it. The paper is mainly categorized into three sections Ancient, Medieval and Modern education system, including sub-sections such as curriculum, method of learning, the aim of education, characteristics of education, educational institutes, higher educational institutes, advantages, and disadvantages of the particular education system.

Ancient education

During the ancient period, two systems of education were developed, Vedic, and Buddhist. The medium of language during the Vedic system was Sanskrit, while those in the Buddhist system were pali. During those times the education was of Vedas, Brahmanas, Upnishads, and Dharmasutras. From the Rigveda onwards, our ancient education started with the objective of developing the students not only in the outer body but also on the inner body. The ancient education focused on imparting ethics like humility, truthfulness, discipline, self-reliance, and respecting all creations to the students. The education was mostly imparted in ashrams, gurukuls, temples, houses. Sometimes pujaris of the temples used to teach students. The education system of ancient India has some special features and uniqueness which was not found in any other ancient education system of the other countries. The education was mostly given in forests under the blue sky, which keeps the student’s mind fresh and alive. During ancient times people used to live a simple life and doing their work with devotion and hard work

The main objective of education was to equip the students with a good quality of education. The education mostly focused on the enrichment of culture, character, and personality, development, and cultivation of noble ideals. The objective was gaining the mental, physical, and intellectual personality of students, to make the students future-ready and survive in any situation.

Methods of learning

·      The teachers at that time paid special focus to their students and teach them according to their knowledge and skill level. Teaching was basically via orals and debates, and the different methods were as follows:

·      At that time books were not there, so students had the habit to learn and memorize all the things taught in the class, and teachers also helped them in memorizing.

·      The students used to deep dive into the concepts taught by their teachers and explore new methods to learn it.

·      Listening, Contemplation, and concentrated contemplation were some new methods of exploring the way of learning.

·      The teachers used the storytelling methods to teach the students.

·      Students used to ask questions about the topics taught by the teachers and these topics were discussed and then answered to the students.

·      The education of that time mainly focused on practical knowledge of the topics taught in the class.

·      The students got plenty of knowledge through seminars and debates conducted at frequent intervals.


·      The system focuses on the all-round development of students.

·      More emphasis was given to practical knowledge rather than theoretical knowledge.

·      The students were not just involved in bringing the ranks, but their main focus was on knowledge.

·      Classrooms were built-in forests which provide a pleasant study environment to the students.

·      There was no pressure laid on students related to studies so that they can learn effectively.

·      The government did not interfere with the formation of curriculum, kings at that time helped in the development of education.


·      Women were not admitted to the Gurukuls.

·      There was caste discrimination as only Kshatriya was allowed, Eklavya was not given admission to the Gurukul.

Modern education

In the middle of the medieval age, the British invaded India and started to capture it. The modern education was introduced during the British empire. In the 1830s Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay introduced the English language. The subjects and the syllabus were limited to some extent, the main aim of modern education of the British was to spread Christianity. As time passed education started to develop and entered into the modern era that is in the twenty-first century, the era of science, technology, and innovations. And the demand and the need for education stills remain the same as it was in ancient and medieval times. In the modern era of science and technology, the industrial sector is increasing day by day. As demand increases our education sector also needs to change and adapt to that environment.

The objective of modern education was to inculcate values in students such as equality, secularism, education for all, and environmental protection, etc. To understand the culture as well as people of our country, every student must be provided at least a minimum level of education and also to provide education to the people who cannot afford it, to prepare the students with the ever-increasing demands.

Methods of learning

·      Students mostly learn concepts through online platforms like YouTube, Coursera, and Udemy.

·      Students refer to the notes given by the teacher’s side by side while learning online.

·      During class hours doubts are solved through discussions, debates, etc.

·      Pupils were assessed based on mid-sem written exams and practical exams to check their practical knowledge.


·      Use of technology in learning, students is learning free-lancing and many other new technologies.

·      Many programs and missions have started to increase the employment of India.

·      Top class universities and colleges with good infrastructure and environment.


·      Interference of government in education, management, and syllabus.

·      Lack of quality teaching as well as the environment in government schools and colleges.

·      Increase in fees of schools and colleges of private institutes.

·      Lack of practical knowledge orientation.

·      Due to the increase in fees, the family, which is below the poverty line cannot afford education and hence there is an increase in the number of laborers in India.

·      Lack of connectivity of the students who lived in rural areas.

In the modern era, industries and technology are increasing day by day. Every industry sector is looking for a person who best suits their industry. With the ever-increasing demand for industrial sectors, our current education system also needs to be upgraded. In universities, students are learning just for competing with each other to come first, no practical knowledge is gained. There is a lot of pressure and burden of work and studies on them, due to this student are committing suicide. Our education system needs to learn from ancient and medieval education system regarding the implementation of practical knowledge, student-teacher relations, ways of life student lived in that age, the contribution of kings towards the education, there was no stress laid on students and much more. The future of industries and commercial sectors will be very tough and ever demanding, so our government has to provide such an education system which will bring all-round development in students and make them future-ready and also teach them to live in any critical situation.