-Satish Kumar

-Sajjad Ahmad


Generally speaking, ‘Education’ is utilized in three senses: Knowledge, Subject and a Process. When a person achieves degree up to certain level we do not call it education .As for example if a person has secured Masters degree then we utilize education it a very narrower sense and call that the person has achieved education up to Masters Level. In the second sense, education is utilized in a sense of discipline. As for example if a person had taken education as a paper or as a discipline during his study in any institution then we utilize education as a subject. In the third sense, education is utilized as a process. In fact when we talk of education, we talk in the third sense i.e. education as a process. Thus, we talk what is education as a process? What are their importances etc.? The following debate on education will discuss education in this sense and we will talk education as a process.

By going through the text you will be able

·         To know the meaning and concept of education

·         To define the narrower and wider meaning of education

·         To explain the analytical meaning of education 

·         To know the aims and scope of education

Etymological Meaning of Education

In English the term “Education” has been derived from two Latin words Educare (Educere) and Educatum. “Educare” means to train or mould. It again means to bring up or to lead out or to draw out, propulsion from inward to outward. The term “Educatum” denotes the act of teaching. It throws light on the principles and practice of teaching. The term Educare or Educere mainly indicates development of the latent faculties of the child. But child does not know these possibilities. It is the educator or the teacher who can know these and take appropriate methods to develop those powers.

In Hindi, the term “Siksha” has come from the Sanskrit word “Shash”. “Shash” means to discipline, to control, to order, to direct, to rule etc. Education in the traditional sense means controlling or disciplining the behaviour of an individual. In Sanskrit “Shiksha” is a particular branch of the Sutra literature, which has six branches –Shiksh, Chhanda, Byakarana, Nirukta, Jyotisha and Kalpa. The Sutra literature was designed to learn the Vedas. Siksha denotes rules of pronunciation. There is another term in Sanskrit, which throws light on the nature of education. It is “Vidya” which means knowledge. The term “Vidya” has originated from “Bid” meaning knowledge.

If we mention certain definitions of education of great educators of the East and the West, we may have a clear picture of the nature and meaning of the term education.

·         Education is the manifestation of perfection already in man. Like fire in a piece of flint, knowledge exists in the mind. Suggestion is the friction; which brings it out.

Swami Vivekananda

·         By education I mean an all-round drawing out of the best in child and man’s body, mind and spirit.

Mahatma Gandhi

·         The highest education is that which does not merely give us information but makes our life in harmony with all existence.

Rabindranath Tagore

·         Education is something, which makes a man self-reliant and self-less.


·         Education is that whose end product is salvation.


·         Education according to Indian tradition is not merely a means of earning a living; nor it is only a nursery of thought or a school for citizenship. It is initiation into the life of spirit and training of human souls in the pursuit of truth and the practice of virtue.


·         Education develops in the body and soul of the pupil all the beauty and all the perfection he is capable of.


·         Education is the creation of sound mind in a sound body. It develops man’s faculty specially his mind so that he may be able to enjoy the contemplation of supreme truth, goodness and beauty.


·         Education is the child’s development from within.


·         Education is enfoldment of what is already enfolded in the germ. It is the process through which the child makes the internal-external. 


·         Education is the harmonious and progressive development of all the innate powers and faculties of man- physical, intellectual and moral.


·         Education is the development of good moral character.


·         Education is not a preparation for life, rather it is the living. Education is the process of living through a continuous reconstruction of experiences. It is the development of all those capacities in the individual which will enable him to control his environment and fulfil his possibilities.

John Dewey

·         Education is the complete development of the individuality of the child so that he can make an original contribution to human life according to the best of his capacity.


            From the above discussion it is now clear that since the times of Plato to the modern times of John Dewey and Gandhi, various educationists have defined education in various ways. Speaking frankly, the field of education is so vast and varied that to give a specific definition of education about which all educationists agree is very difficult. We see that some educationists have defined only one aspect of education whereas the others emphasize its other phases. The reason of this difference of opinions is that different educationsts, most of whom are philosophers, have different views about the aim of life. According to Idealists, the aim of life is spiritual development. As such, they regard education as a spiritual process, which aims at bringing together the soul and the creator leading to self-realization. Pragmatists think about education as a process of social progress. Because of this difference in the philosophy of life, different educationists define education differently. The fact is that the real concept of education is not related solely to any of the above-mentioned views. It is more than either of them. In a real sense, education is a sort of synthesis of all the above viewpoints. In this sense, education includes the individuals, the society, the environment, the social fabric and the prevailing traditions. Hence, the definition of education ought to be a very comprehensive and all-inclusive one.

True Definition of Education

            The different meanings and definitions of education as given above lead us to the conclusion that education should have a comprehensive definition. Thus, education may be defined as a purposive, conscious or unconscious, psychological, sociological, scientific and philosophical process, which brings about the development of the individual to the fullest extent and also the maximum development of society in such a way that both enjoy maximum happiness and prosperity. In Short, education is the development of individual according to his needs and demands of society, of which he is an integral part. The above remarks of different educators highlight the following special features of education:

·         Education is both unilateral as well as bi-polar in nature.

·         It is a continuous process.

·         It is knowledge or experience.

·         It is development of particular aspects of human personality or a harmonious integrated growth.

·         It is conducive for the good of the individual or the welfare of the society.

·         It is a liberal discipline or a vocational course.

·         It is stabilizer of social order, conservator of culture, an instrument of change and social reconstruction. 

Narrower and Broader Meaning of Education

Education in the Narrower Sense

In its narrow sense, school instruction is called education. In this process, the elders of society strive to attain predetermined aims during a specified time by providing pre-structured knowledge to children through set methods of teaching. The purpose is to achieve mental development of children entering school. To make of narrow meaning of education more clear, the following opinions of some other educationists are being given-

·               The culture which each generation purposefully gives to those who are to be its successors, in order to qualify them for at least keeping up, and if possible for raising the level of improvement which has been attained.

            John Stuart Mill

·               In narrow sense, education may be taken to mean any consciously directed effort to   develop and cultivate our powers.

S. S. Mackenzie

·               Education is a process in which and by which knowledge, character and behaviour of the young are shaped and moulded.

Prof. Drever

·               The influence of the environment of the individual with a view to producing a permanent change in his habits of behaviour, or thought and attitude.

G. H. Thompson

            Education, in the narrower sense, is regarded as equivalent to instruction. It consists of the “specific influences” consciously designed in a school or in a college or in an institution to bring in the development and growth of the child. The word school includes the whole machinery of education from Kindergarten to the University. The education of the child begins with his admission in the school and ends with his departure from the University. The amount of education received by the child is measured in terms of degrees and diplomas awarded to him. The school represents formal education as it imparts education directly and systematically. There is deliberate effort on the part of the educator to inculcate certain habits, skills, attitudes or influences in the learner, which are considered to be essential and useful to him. According to John Dewey: “The school exists to provide a special environment for the formative period of human life. School is a consciously designed institution, the sole concern of which is to educate the child. This special environment is essential to explain our complex society and civilization”.

            The influences or modes of influences in the school are deliberately planned, chosen and employed by the community for the welfare of the members of the rising generation. The purpose of these influences is to modify the behaviour of the child in such a way that he may become different from what he would have been without education. It makes possible a better adjustment of human nature to surroundings. According to Mackenzie, education, in the narrower sense, is conscious effort to develop and cultivate our innate powers.


            Education, in the narrow sense, is also regarded as acquisition of knowledge. According to it education is a process by which knowledge or information on a subject is acquired. But many sensible educationists have criticized this view. They argue that emphasis on the knowledge is likely to reduce all schools to mere knowledge-shops. The acquisition of knowledge is not the only or supreme aim of education, yet it is one of the important aims of education.

Education in the Broader Sense

         In its wider sense, education is the total development of the personality. In this sense. Education consists of all those experiences, which affect the individual from birth till death. Thus, education is that process by which an individual freely develops his self according to his nature in a free and uncontrolled environment. In this way, education is a life long process of growth environment.

·               In the wider sense, it is a process that goes on throughout life, and is promoted by almost every experience in life.

S. S. Mackenzie

·               By education, I mean the all-round drawing out of the best in child and man’s body, mind and soul.

M. K. Gandhi

·               Education in its widest sense includes all the influences, which at upon an individual during his passage from cradle to the grave.


·               Education, in its broadest sense, is the means of the social continuity.

 John Dewey


            Education in the wider sense is a life-long process. It begins with the birth of a child and ends with his death. It is a continuous process. Continuity is the law of life. Education is not limited to the classroom only; it is also not limited to a particular period of life. Education is a life long process and goes on from birth to death. Throughout life one goes on learning to adjust oneself to the changing patterns of life. Change it’s the fundamental law of human existence. Life is a continuous process of growth and development and so education is also a continuous process.

            An individual learns through his experiences, which are acquired throughout his life. Education is not merely collection of some information.  It is acquisition of experiences through life in the social and natural environment. It includes all the knowledge and experiences, acquired during infancy, childhood, boyhood, adolescence, youth, manhood or old age through any agency of education- the press, the travels, the club, the nature- formally and informally. Thus, education becomes the sum-total of all experiences that the child receives either in the school or outside. In this wider sense, life is education and education is life. Whatever broadens our horizon, deepens our insight, refines our reactions and stimulates thought and feeling, educates us.” In other words, education is the process whereby a human being gradually adopts himself in various ways to his physical, social, and spiritual environments. It is the development of all those capacities in the individual, which will enable him to control his environment and fulfill his possibilities. Education, in the broader sense, is transmission of life by the living, to the living, through living and for living”. Education is a means for the development of balanced all- round harmonious development of personality. Personality includes not only body and mind but also spirit.

Analytical Meaning of Education

         In the above discussion, we have thrown light on the etymological, narrow and wider meaning of education. In the following lines, we are trying to make the meaning of education. In the following lines, we are trying to make the meaning of education more clearly by explaining its constituent factors in greater details-

·               Not Limited to knowledge imparted in Schools- Education cannot be confined to the   processes of giving knowledge to children in schools only. Its programme goes on from birth till death. n other words, every one learns something or the other throughout life by various experiences and activities. All this is education.

·               Education as the Development of Child’s Innate Power- While explaining the etymological meaning of education we have made it clear that education is developing the native endowments of a child rather than something forced into the mind from outside.

·               Education as a Dynamic Process- Education is not static but a dynamic process, which develops the child according to changing situation and times.

·               Education as a Tripolar Process- John Dewey, regards education a process of development. According to John Dewey education has two aspects- (1) Psychological and (2) Sociological. He asserts that the development of a child does not take place in vacuum. It takes place in and through the society in which the teacher and the child both live. Thus, it is the society, which will determine the aims, contents and methods of teaching. In this way, the process of education contains three poles, namely- (1) The teacher, (2) The child, (3) The society. These three factors actively cooperate in the efficient and successful working of the educational process. 

True Meaning of Education

            We have discussed above the meaning of education in its narrow, wider and analytical sense, but none of them is the true meaning of education. In its narrow sense, education is a formal conservative process mainly confined to school campus. In its wider sense, education becomes a vague and informal process aiming at nothing but allowing the child uncontrolled freedom for arbitrary activities. Through such a process it is not possible to inculcate social, moral and spiritual values in children Thus, both the processes are one-sided and emphasize the two extremes. The real concept of education is a synthesis of these two processes. This synthesis will develop the child to the full according to his inherent tendencies with emphasis on concurrent development of society, of which he is an integral part. Such an education will develop both the child and the society to higher and higher positions of glory and cultural eminence.





Need of Aims of Education

            Education is a purposeful activity. By education we intend to bring certain desirable changes in the students. Education is a conscious effort and, as such, it has definite aims and objectives. In the light of these aims the curriculum is determined and the academic achievements of the student are measured. Education without aim is like a boat without its rudder. Aims give direction to activity. Absence of an aim in education makes it a blind alley. Every stage of human development had some aim of life. The aims of life determine aims of education. The aims of education have changed from age to age and thus it is dynamic because the aims of life are dynamic.

Nature of The Aims of Education

            In order to know the aims of education, we must know the nature of aims. Aims of education are not fixed, eternal and universal. These are changeable and relative. The nature of the aims of education can properly be understood in the light of two distinct philosophies of life-idealism and pragmatism. Idealism stands for absolute, ultimate, eternal and universal values. It advocates high ideals of life, which are mainly spiritual in nature. Idealism pleads “knowledge for knowledge’s sake.” In an idealist society, education is for the general and moral development of a person. According to idealism, the aims of education are spiritual and idealistic in nature and they are predetermined, absolute, unchangeable and universal. The aim of idealist education is to realize these pre-existing, absolute and universal values. It is “Education for complete living.”

            Pragmatism deals with life as it is and not as it should be. It is also known as the realistic approach to life. In realism the existing or prevailing social, political and economic conditions of life are taken into consideration. The existing conditions of life determine the aims of pragmatic education. Pragmatism does not believe in absolute and eternal values:  philosophy of life is always reflected in the aims of education. Plato considered that the guardians of the state should have high philosophical ideals. Locke emphasized “the disciplined and well-ordered mind.” Hegel stress on idealistic aim of education, i.e. glorification of the state and the fulfillment of the will of the absolute. Marx was a materialist. So he emphasized material aim of education, i.e., the practical economic needs of man. In a materialist society, educational aims are based on the materialistic outlook of the people. In such a society moral or spiritual values have nothing to do with education. The idealist society tries to glorify those values and emphasize moral upliftment of personality.

            The socio-political ideologies also determine the aims of education. A democratic government, a fascist government, a communist government- each one formulates its own ends and means of education. Democratic ideals of life are flexible and change with the changing conditions of life. Hence, in a democracy aim at the highest development of the innate potentialities of the individual. In fascism the individual exists for the state and education aims at glorification and welfare of the state. Man is regarded to be the creature of the state. Social and economic issues also serve as determinants of educational aims and objectives. Education must prepare the future generation for the economic and social system of the country. In determining its educational objectives, every country has to take into consideration its economic conditions. Thus we find, variability is the nature of educational aims. The Secondary Education Commission (1952) puts it: “As the political, social and economic conditions change and new problems arise, it becomes necessary to re-examine carefully and re-state clearly the objectives which education at definite stage should keep in view.”

Historical Evolution of Aims of Education

            In Ancient India the ideal of life was spiritualistic. Educational aim was determined by the conception of life. Thus the aim of education was self-realization or the realization of Brahma or the Absolute.

            In ancient Sparta education was not individualistic but socialistic. Each man was born not for himself, but for the state. The state itself was a school. The immediate aim of this state-controlled system of education was to train the youths in military barracks away from home, to develop a hardy mind in a hardy body, to produce courageous soldiers. Individual liberty was thus not allowed. Education was primarily physical.

            In Athens, the individual occupied the pivotal position in the education field. Athenian education aimed at harmonious development of personality physical, intellectual, moral and aesthetic. It secured harmony between the individual and the state, between physical and mental development, between thought and action. Its immediate aim was to develop a beautiful mind in a beautiful body. Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, the Greek idealists, discarded extremely individualistic aim of education. Socrates emphasized on the acquisition of universal and eternal knowledge or truth. Plato advocated harmonious development of all the powers of the individual and equated personal realization with social solidarity. Aristotle championed the ideal of harmony between the individual and the society, between intellect and character and theory and practice.

            The ancient Romans had no interest in the acquisition of purely theoretical knowledge. Their outlook was materialistic. Their highest aim of life was the attainment of material success. The aim of Roman education was, therefore, to produce a worthy citizen of the Roman state, able to enjoy the rights and perform the duties of a citizen.

            During the middle ages, education was wholly a priestly affair. Mysticism, monasticism, chivalry and scholasticism dominated life in every field. Education was absolutely formal in character and religious in outlook.

            With the passage of time this liberal humanistic education degenerated into an artificial and formal system. Against this artificial education the Realistic movement started under the leadership of Bacon and Comenius. According to them, ignorance was at the root of all evils. So they pleaded spread of universal and integrated knowledge. The child’s individuality, his powers and interests were given supreme importance. Due to religious, social, psychological and pedagogical reasons, a new theory of education, known as theory of mental or formal discipline came into vogue. John Locke was the historical representative of this new doctrine. According to him, the aim of education should be to produce a sound mind in a sound body. The aim of education would be to discipline all the faculties such as memory, imagination, perception, thinking etc.

            A true individualistic ideal of education came into existence in the 18th century. J.J. Rousseau revolted against the existing artificial and demoralized system of education. He not only championed the cause of the common people but also the cause of the child in the field of education. Thus naturalism appeared in education. Rousseau’s concept of negative education emphasized education according to nature. The child was regarded as the important and the central factor in the field of education. The aim of education should be therefore, spontaneous natural self-development of the child’s nature in close contact with nature. Kant was greatly influenced by the individualistic concept of education and defined education as the process by which man becomes man through his voluntary efforts.

            Pestalozzi introduced the psychological tendency in education and with it the child-centric movement in education received a new momentum and fillip. According to him, education was the process of the spontaneous unfolding of latent powers of the individual towards perfection. Herbart shouldered this task and he developed a systematic psychology of the methods of teaching. Froebel, the German idealist, regarded education as the spontaneous development of  a joyful, creative self-activity.

            From the above survey of the educational ideals it is evident that the aims and functions of education have been variously defined in different ages by different educators. Hence, we can conclude by saying that aims of education are not fixed and static but these are subject to constant change and dynamic.



The Vocational Aim

            The vocational aim is also known as “the utilitarian aim or the bread and butter aim.” The above stated ideals of education are useless unless these aims enable us to procure the primary needs of our life- food, shelter and clothing. Education must help the child to earn his livelihood. Education, therefore, must prepare the child for some future profession or vacation or trade. The vocational aim is a narrow aim of education. Therefore, the vocational aim is not a complete aim by itself.

The Knowledge or Information Aim

            Educationists who hold the knowledge or information aim of education justify their stand with powerful arguments. They argue that knowledge is indispensable for all right action and it is the source of all power. “It is knowledge which makes a realist a visionary successful in any profession.

The Culture Aim

            The cultural aim of education has been suggested to supplement the narrow view of knowledge aim. The cultural aim of education is no doubt a nice aim as it produces men of culture. But it is ambiguous and has too many meanings. It cannot serve as the major aim of education.

The Character Formation Aim or the Moral Aim

            Character is the cream of life and, as such, it should be the aim of education. Vivekananda and Gandhi both emphasized character building in education. Character formation or moral education is concerned with the whole conduct of man. The Secondary Education Commission (1951-52) has rightly remarked: “character education has to be visualized not in a social vacuum but with reference to contemporary socio-economic and political situation.” Therefore, we can conclude that only character building cannot be the aim of education.


The Spiritual Aim

            The idealist thinkers have opined that the spiritual development of an individual should be the supreme aim of education. Mahatma Gandhi has attached great importance to spiritual vales in education.

The Adjustment Aim

            Adjustment is the primary rule of human life. Without adjustment to environment none can survive. Life is a struggle for adjustment. In the words of Horney: “Education should be man’s adjustment to his nature, to his fellows and to the ultimate nature of the cosmos.

The Leisure Aim

            “Free and unoccupied time” of an individual is generally known as leisure. It is a time when we can use it in a creative way. During leisure we can pursue an activity for own sake and not for earning a living, which is dull and monotonous. During leisure we can also regain our lost energy and enthusiasm. Leisure can make our life dynamic and charming.

The Citizenship Training Aim

            A citizen has to perform multifarious civic duties and responsibilities. Children should be so trained by education that they can successfully discharge their various civic duties and responsibilities. The Secondary Education Commission in India (1951-1952) has greatly emphasized citizenship training in schools. Such training includes the development of certain qualities to character such as clear thinking, clearness in speech and writing, art of community living, co-operation, toleration, sense of patriotism and sense of world citizenship. 

The Complete Living Aim

            Some educationists have insisted upon the need of an all-comprehensive aim of education. This viewpoint has led to the development of two aims- “the complete living aim” and the “harmonious development aim.” According to Horney “there is no one final aim, subordinating all lesser aims to itself… There is something in all these aims but not everything in any one of them.”

The Harmonious Development Aim

            Educationists are of the opinion that all the powers and capacities inherited by a child should be developed harmoniously and simultaneously. Gandhiji is a strong advocate of the harmonious development

The Social Aim

            From the above discussion it is clearly evident that no individual can live and grow without social context. Individual life became unbearable to man and that is why he formed society. Individual security and welfare depend on the society.  Individual improvement is conditioned by social progress. Education should make each individual socially efficient. A socially efficient individual is able to earn his livelihood. 

Aim of Education In India

            Educational aims in India should be judged in relation to the lives of the Indian people. Indian civilization is one of the ancient civilizations of the world.

Aims of Education in Ancient India

            The aim of education in ancient India was the ultimate outcome of the Indian theory of knowledge and the corresponding scheme of life and values. People in ancient India were greatly impressed and affected by the fact of death as the central fact of life. Their one aim of life was to solve the problem of death by achieving knowledge of the whole truth of which life and death are arts and phases. The aim was not simply abstract and theoretical. There were practical and concrete aims too. The first was the acquisition of knowledge. This was evident in the Vedic period. Inculcation of social and civic duties in the minds of the students was also regarded as an important aim of education in those days. Education for occupation was another important aim. Character training and moral education was regarded as very important aim of ancient Indian education.

Aims of Education in Medieval India

            During medieval age religion was the main guiding force in life and society. Medieval civilization centered round religion. The Muslim rulers of India generally took a keen interest in education, and many of them founded schools, colleges and libraries in various places in their kingdoms. The mosque was a center of instruction and of literary activity. Muslim education included those eternal teachings and values of the Quran and Haditha, which would promote moral and spiritual knowledge. Islamic education aimed at both physical and mental development of the students. Thus, it aimed at total development of personality of individual. 

Aims of Education in British India

            The British uprooted the indigenous system of education in India with definite intentions. The educational system established by the British was colonial in character. It was designed to prepare Indians only for taking certain subordinate positions in Government offices.  It was not intended to develop among the people capacities to take leadership and initiative in different walks of life. The main educational objective can better be understood from the following declaration in the educational policy or Lord Bentinck (1835): “We want a class of persons Indian in blood and colour but English in tastes in opinion, in morals and intellect.” The Wood’s Despatch declared almost the same policy. The aim of British education was to inculcate European knowledge in the minds of the Indians.

Aims of Education in Independent India

            After independence the Indian leaders realized the inherent defects in the system of education introduced by the British. Universalisation of education was the need of the hour. Education must be linked with national development in all directions. With these national goals in view the Government in independent India set up different committees and commissions for educational reforms in the desired lines. These committees and commissions have formulated educational aims and objectives. 

Indian University Commission

            Just after independence an education commission was set up to enquire into the various problems of education, particularly higher education, and to recommend proposals for its improvements. It is commonly known as Radhakrishnan Commission as Dr. Commission, 1948-49. This Commission has given many important recommendations regarding higher education. It has also formulated the aims of education of India.

Secondary Education Commission

            For reconstruction of Secondary Education, Secondary Education Commission was set up (1952-53) under the chairmanship of Dr. Lakshmanswami Mudaliar, a noted educationist and ex-Vice Chancellor of the Madras University. The Commission has made important recommendations for the reconstruction and development of secondary education in the country. The Commission formulated the following aims of Secondary Education after considering the dominant needs of India. These are, mainly, four:

1. Developing Democratic Citizenship

            The adoption of the goals of democracy and socialism necessitate the development of habits, attitude and qualities of character, which will enable its citizens to bear worthily the responsibilities of democratic citizenship. Among theses qualities, which are to be fostered through curricular and co-curricular activities in secondary schools, are:

·         The capacity for clear thinking (clearness in speech and writing);

·         The scientific attitude of mind;

·         Receptivity to new ideas;

·         Respect for the dignity and worth of every individual;

·         The ability to live harmoniously with one another

·         A sense of true patriotism; and

·         A sense of world citizenship.

2. Vocational Efficiency

            One of the urgent problems of the country was to improve productive efficiency and to increase the national wealth and thereby to raise the standard of living. In this respect the commission recommended fostering dignity of manual labour and promotion of work and technical skill for the advancement of industry and technology.

3. Development Personality or Character

             An important aim of democratic education is the all-round development of every individual’s personality. This requires that education should take into account all his needs- psychological, social, emotional, and practical and cater to all of them. It should provide in him the sources of creative energy so that he may be able to appreciate his cultural heritage, to cultivate rich interests, which he can pursue in his leisure, and contribute in later life to the development of this heritage. Hence, education should be so organized that subjects like life, art, craft, music, dancing and the development of creative hobbies should find place of honour in the curriculum.

4. Education for leadership

            Since the youth of today assume leadership in different walks of life tomorrow, special function of the secondary education is to train persons who will be able to assume the responsibility of leadership in social, political, industrial and cultural fields. To achieve success in this work, the qualities of justice, courage, discipline, tolerance, wisdom, sacrifice, initiative, understanding of social issues, civic as well as vocational efficiency should be developed in the young men and women of our country.

The Indian Education Commission on Educational Aims (1964-66)

            In July 1964 the Government of India set up an Education Commission to overhaul and reconstruct the entire field of Indian education under the chairmanship of Dr. D. S. Kothari. The Commission submitted its comprehensive report in July 1966. According to it education should aim at:

·         Increasing national productivity;

·         Achieving social and national integration;

·         Accelerating the process of modernization;

·         Cultivating social, moral and spiritual values.

National Policy of Education 1968

            The Government of India after considering the Report of the Education Commission tried to formulate a national policy of education. With this report Parliamentary Committee on education was set up in 1967. This Committee approved the recommendations of the Education Commission and formulated a national policy of education in 1968.

National Education Policy –1968- Challenge of Education Policy Perspective

            After seventeen years of experiment an attempt was made to evaluate the national education policy,1968. In 1985 the Government of India published and circulated a White Paper entitled  “Challenge of Education: Policy Perspective.”  On the basis of these opinions and the evaluation of different Government agencies, The Government of India declared its new education policy under the title “ National Policy on Education, 1986.”


Education by Accretion or Storage

            “According to this view, education is the process of gradually filling up the empty mind of the child with grains of knowledge. The teacher’s mind and the books are the store-houses of mental granary of the child. This is called the gold-sack theory. The books and the teacher are the sources of the springs of knowledge. From these sources the stream of knowledge is to be piped into the empty vassal of the child’s mind. This is humorously called the pipeline theory. Obviously education and knowledge is regarded as the ultimate educational aim.

            The supporters of the theory of education by accretion hold that knowledge is essential means of prompting human welfare. With the invention of the conventional symbols of language, it was easy to record, pressure and to transmit human experiences systematically.

            The theory is really narrow and unsound. It neglects the essential elements in the theory of knowledge .It regards knowledge as information of facts and statements to be condensed into compact and logical forms and memorized by the pupils.

            This theory is quite un-psychological as it neglects the child who is to be educated, his innate equipments for bearing, his inherited potentialities, propensities, attitudes and abilities, the psychological processes and products of learning.

Education as formation of mind

            Education as formation tries to form the mind by a proper presentation of materials. It is formation of mind by setting up certain association or connection of content by means of a subject matter.

Education as preparation

            Education as preparation is a process of preparation or getting ready for the responsibilities and privileges of adult life- preparation for “complete living”, this theory is the outcome of modern scientific tendency in education and has for its exponents men like Herbert Spencer, T. H. Huxley and others.

Education as mental discipline

            The theory of mental discipline is a traditional concept of education. It was in vogue in the Western countries for many centuries. It is still highly popular even today in our country. According to this theory, the process of learning is more important than the thing learned. This theory is based upon the traditional “Faculty Theory” of psychology according to which the mind is divided into a good number of separate faculties such as memory, attention, reasoning, imagination, perception, thinking judgment etc. Johan Locke was the classic representative of this theory. The outer world presents the material or content of knowledge, through passively received sensations. After the simple stuff of experience is furnished by the senses, one’s ideas, judgments, etc. are formed through the perfection of intellect.

Education as growth and development

            It is a modern concept of education. Change is the law of nature. Man undergoes changes and transformations from cradle to grave. These changes may be of different types such as physical, mental, moral and emotional. Two factors, training and environment condition every change. The original nature of man can be changed either by training on by his reaction to the environment. Whenever there is change there is growth. Through change, a living organism can take entirely a new shape and this again gives him powers to grow. Thus, Growing is education and getting education is growing. 

Education as direction

            Educate a child means directing the child in the proper direction. The young learners have innate powers, attitudes, interests and instincts. It is the essential function of education to direct those inborn instincts and powers properly in socially acceptable and desirable channels. The native impulses of the child may not conform to the socially accepted norms and behaviour patterns. So the child has to be directed, controlled or guided. It is the duty of the teacher to see that the active tendencies of children are not dispersed aimlessly. These are to be directed at various phases of life for their proper satisfaction.

Education as adjustment and self-activity

            Adjustment is essential to an individual for self-development. Education gives an individual the power of adjustment in an efficient manner. Through education, the child learns to adjust with the environment. That is why it is said education is adjustment and adjustment is education. In the process of continuous growth man has to adjust in multifarious and diverse life situations and environment. This is called adjustment and it requires self-activity. So education is nothing but adjustment through self-activity.

Education as social change and progress

            A society is a well-organized human community. A conglomeration of people may not create a society. There must be active co-operation and intimate interaction among the members of the community. A society is not constant or static. It is rather dynamic and subject to change. A society is composed of individuals and when the ideas of individuals change the society is bound to change. According to Maciver social change is a process, which influences and change human life in different directions. Change is the law of human life and society. The function of education is to maintain this progressive trend.

Education as Process Socialization

            Education is a process both in the narrower as well as in the wider sense. Ancient people used to collect facts and information about nature for survival. This is nothing but education. In the wider sense, education is acquisition of experience throughout life. Experience brings changes in human life and behaviour. It is the primary function of formal education to accelerate and facilitate social progress.


Education: derived from educatum or educare means to train, to mould, to bring up, to lead out, to draw out or propulsion from inward to outward.

Narrower meaning:  A process for certain periods from schooling to colleges through fixed time, fixed curriculum, fixed classes, fixed subjects for degree or certificate.

Wider meaning: it goes on throughout the life from birth till death.

Need of aims: to bring certain desirable change, gives direction to activity.

Different aims:  The Vocational Aim, The Knowledge or Information Aim, The Culture Aim, The Character Formation Aim or the Moral Aim, The Spiritual Aim The Adjustment Aim, The Leisure Aim, The Citizenship Training Aim, The Harmonious Development Aim, The Complete Living Aim, The Social Aim.

Aims in India: Developing Democratic Citizenship Vocational Efficiency, Development Personality or Character, Education for leadership, Increasing national productivity; Achieving social and national integration; Accelerating the process of modernization; Cultivating social, moral and spiritual values.

Process: Education by Accretion or Storage Education as formation of mind, Education as preparation. Education as mental discipline, Education as growth and development, Education as direction, Education as adjustment and self-activity, Education as social change and progress, Education as Process Socialization.