Textbook of Nursing Education KP Neeraja
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Philosophies of EducationUNIT 1

It is a scientific, systemic inquiry about the ultimate reality in the universe; it is the basis for understanding man. Etymologically, the term, ‘Philosophy’ has been derived from two Greek words: Philos means love, Sophia means wisdom. It is the loving and searching for wisdom and truth.
  • Philosophy is the science of knowledge. —Fitche
  • Philosophy is the science of all sciences. — Coleridge
  • Philosophy is the mother of all arts. —Cicero.
  1. Philosophy is a search for a comprehensive view of nature, an attempt at a universal explanation of nature of things. — Henderson.
  2. Philosophy is an unceasing effort to discern the general truth that lies behind the particular facts (i.e., the reality that lies behind the appearances).
Meaning of Philosophy
  • It is a search for a comprehensive view of nature, an attempt at a universal explanation of nature of things.
  • It is a living force, a way of life, an attitude towards life and a search for truth and reality. It is a speculation about the nature and value of things. It is a search for deeper and finer values of life.
  • Philosophy refers to a certain way of thinking. It arises out of an attempt:
    1. To arrive at the solution of a problem through the use of human reasoning and experience.
    2. To find the deeper meanings of the problems.
  • Each individual should have a philosophy of life i.e., a set of standards, ideals which are based on the principles that he has chosen as being acceptable to him.
  • Philosophy is the study of the general principles and understanding all i.e., God, the world, and man himself, of origin, nature and the activities that come in the range of human experience. It is a comprehensive view of nature. Through philosophy man tries to understand himself and the world in which he lives. It answers the inevitable questions. It is an inquiry into the wholesome of things.
  • It is what we believe and the principle which governs our life.
  • It is acting like a guide to have a concrete outlook on the world, life, human conduct, and actions.
  • Philosophy is the earliest and the most original intellectual discipline.
  • Plato said, ‘he who has a taste for every sort of knowledge and who is curious to learn and never satisfied’ may be just termed as philosopher.
  • Questions of philosophical enquiry:
    • What is life?
    • What is man?
    • What is man's origin?
    • What is man's destiny or goal?
  • Philosophers try to answer these questions according to their own mature reflection and thinking.
These different answers lead to different philosophies, lives of great men prove that 2philosophy results in a certain way of life, beliefs, values and ideals formulated in terms of experiences and background of the person, who expresses them.
It is mostly an idea of what is possible and not a record of accomplished facts. Hence, it is hypothetical (it may or may not be proved true). There is no finality, it defines the difficulties and suggesting ways and means of dealing with them. Thus philosophy is described as ‘generalised thinking’.
Philosophy influences the daily life of every individual, it is particular way of looking at things, e.g. everybody will have their own philosophy of life i.e., some are pessimists, some are optimists, some are idealists, some are realists, some are materialists, some believe in destiny, some are atheists (don't believe in God) and so on.
Major Branches of Philosophy
  • Metaphysics or discussion about the reality and the cosmos.
  • Epistemology or the theory of knowledge.
  • Ethics or the theory of morality.
  • Aesthetics or the discussion of beauty.
  • Logic or the study of ideal method of thought and reasoning.
A well-marked attitude takes the shape of a particular school of philosophy or an ‘ism’. There are different philosophical approaches, e.g. idealism, pragmatism, naturalism, realism, humanism etc.
Philosophy, life and education are intimately linked with one another. Infact philosophy and education are like the two sides of the coin. While philosophy is the contemplative side, education represents the dynamic side.
All philosophers were also great educators. Thus philosophy is a major concern of education and there is, infact, an intimate relationship between philosophy and education. The truths and principles established by philosophy are applied in education. The arch of education will never attain complete clearness without philosophy. All the aspects of education are influenced by philosophy and there is a direct bearing between education and philosophy.
Philosophy Points out the Way to be Followed by Education
Education is the modification of child's behaviour, whereas philosophy shows the way to be followed by educators in the modification of child's behaviour. Education is a laboratory in which the philosophic theories and speculations are tested, thus education will be said as, ‘applied philosophy’. Philosophy is wisdom, education transmits wisdom from one generation to the another.
Education is the Best Mean for the Propagation of Philosophy
A philosopher arrives at the truth after a great deal of contemplation on the real nature of the universe, man, his destiny and lays down aims, ideals and values and then he tries to live in accordance with them.
Relationship between Philosophy and Education
1. It sets the ideals, principles, goals, standards, values thus it is in reality and truth.
1. Education works out those values.
2. It is the theory and speculative.
2. It explains how to achieve the goals through man's educational efforts.
3. It is the contemplative side.
3. It is the practice.
4. It deals with abstract ideas and ends the situations process.
4. It is the active side (dynamic)
It is the applied philosophy.
It deals with concrete and means.
5. It is the art.
5. It is the science.
6. Philosophy formulates the method.
6. It deals with the process of method.
He wants others to be converted his beliefs and live according to them, thus it can be achieved through education, which is the best mean for the propagation of his philosophy. Education becomes more prominent than philosophy as action speaks louder than words or beliefs. Beliefs (philosophy) are vital, thus it results in a prominent educational efforts.
All Great Philosophers are Great Educators
Philosophers reflected their views in their educational schemes. Most of the educational movements of the world own their origin to the philosophical schools of different philosophers. When a philosopher wishes to spread his ideals, beliefs, he formulates a scheme of education based on his philosophy, e.g. Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, etc., European philosophers like Locke, Rousseau, Spencer etc., were great educators. The great thinkers and philosophers of India are Buddha, Tagore and Gandhi.
Philosophy Determines the Broad Aspects of Education
Philosophy provides aims of education, it determines the curriculum (course of study), methods of teaching, school discipline, role of teacher, school problems etc., philosophy will continuously influences and determines both the matter and the method of education. Thus philosophy contributes to the development of the educational theory and practice.
Philosophy and Aims of Education
Philosophy is the determining force in laying down the aims of education. Aims of education (moral, vocational, intellectual and spiritual) are based on views and ideals, beliefs, values, standards of philosopher. The philosopher struggles hard with the mysteries of life and arrives at his solution after mature reflection and thinking. He will suggest the ways and means of dealing with them through educational efforts. The educator selects the material for instruction, determines the methods of procedures for the attainment of goals. Thus the entire educational system proceeds with its foundation on sound philosophy, e.g.
  • Idealism believes in self-enhancement.
  • Naturalism prefers self-preservation.
Philosophy and Curriculum
Curriculum is the sum total of all the activities and experiences provided by the school to its pupil to achieve the aims of education. The philosophy determines the content and discipline that subject will promote curriculum. It is not fixed at all times, it changes in accordance with philosophy. Thus, curriculum differs with different schools of philosophy according to their own beliefs. Thus education needs leaders, who hold a sound comprehensive philosophy through which they can convince others and who can direct its consistent application to the formation to the function of appropriate curriculum.
The content of curriculum varies according to the philosophy it follows, e.g.:
Idealists emphasise higher values of life and prescribe the study of religion, ethics, logic, literature, arts and humanities.
Pragmatists advocate the study of functional subjects and social sciences, practical arithmetic, arts and crafts in their curriculum.
Naturalists are mainly concerned with physical sciences and direct experiences. The subjects are selected according to the aptitude and ability of the child.
Philosophy and Textbooks
The textbooks must reflect the prevailing values of life fixed by philosophy, an appropriate textbook must be in accordance with norms of knowledge which the children are expected to know and accepted ideals of the society and the prevailing philosophy of education and the nation 4as a whole. Then only it will serve the desired purpose. The persons who select the textbooks must have standard of judgment, which should enable them to select the right type of books based on standard, supplied by philosophy. Through textbooks the aims of education are realised. It will meet needs of ideals and principles.
Philosophy and Method of Teaching
Philosophy is a way of thinking and a way of working. Method is the process of establishing and maintaining contact between the pupil and the subject matter. Every system of education has its own method of teaching based on its own philosophical background. Method is the procedure through which aims of education are realised. Thus different schools of philosophy have laid down their own methods of teaching, e.g.
  • Idealism: advocates question, answer, lecture and discussion methods.
  • Naturalism: emphasises child-centred methods of learning by doing and direct experience.
  • Pragmatism: recommends project methods, problem-solving method and socialized techniques.
Philosophy and Discipline
Philosophy determines the nature and forms of discipline. Discipline is nothing but the conduct of the pupil. Internal discipline concerned with inner code of conduct of the individuals sustain a nation. Philosophy and education are inseparably linked, they exist together, philosophy leads and education follows the path shown by philosophy. Discipline is mainly governed by the aim of education.
‘Spare the rod and spoil the child’ was the maxim for the guidance of teachers. In the past, perfect order and silence prevailed in the educational institutions, now we insist on self-government of students and free discipline.
Philosophy and the Teacher
Teacher is the backbone of the entire process of education. Philosophy of life should be in perfect consonance with the philosophy; the educational system is based on successful teachers. A teacher needs the study of philosophy as a person and as a teacher. A teacher is also having his/her own ideas and beliefs. Teacher influences the personality of the child and instills in him a new outlook and a new way of life, e.g.
  • Idealistic teacher is a person of high ideals, ethics and morals, he is role-model for the pupil.
  • Naturalism sees the teacher as the stage-setter and works behind the screen.
  • In pragmatism teacher is a friend and guide of the pupil, facilitating the process of the growth of individual.
Philosophy and Evaluation
Evaluation is the pivot of education system. It determines the extent to which aims and objectives are being attained, but also helps to bring about an improvement in the techniques and procedures of education. There is a close relationship between objectives, learning experiences and evaluation. It is therefore legitimate to ascertain how far our evaluation programme is in conformity with the philosophy that has determined the aims and objectives of education, its curriculum and its methodology. Evaluation takes into account the growth of the child as a whole individual and in his total environment. Philosophical analysis, which is responsible for the movement of objectivity in the field of relationship between philosophy and environment.
General Impact of Modern Philosophies on Education
Common elements in all modern philosophies:
  • Education has been psychologised, instructions are based on child centred, individual differences have been recognized.
  • The principle of activity i.e., learning by doing is the common watchword.
  • Social discipline is a patent factor of educational development, the child is to be trained for community life.5
  • Democracy has been developed and it is the guiding factor of educational practices.
  • There is a scientific outlook on all matters of life.
  • The concept of discipline in education has undergone a radical change.
Importance of Educational Philosophy to a Teacher
  • To understand and accept the prevailing values of the society.
  • It results in intellectual development of the teacher.
  • It helps to improve the standard of his life.
  • It guides and improves the state properly.
  • It helps to bring about changes in various aspects of education.
  • It reforms the society.
Philosophy of Nursing Education
A philosophy of nursing education includes beliefs and values with regard to man in general and specifically man as the learner, teacher, nurse and the client and the beliefs about health, illness, society, nursing, and learning etc.
Traditionally nursing education had adopted ‘children philosophy’ which was based on ‘super-naturalism’. According to it, God is creator, redeemer and provider of man and the universe. The maxims of Christian philosophy are ‘love of god’ and ‘love thy neighbour’. Every phase of nursing education will be influenced by the philosophy upon which it is based.
Christian philosophy considers man to be dualistic in nature i.e., man was created by God as a unit, (a composite made up of a body and a soul, possessing intellect and the likeness of god) and he was created for the purpose of serving him in heaven. Education based on this philosophy takes in all aspects of human life with the view in regulating and perfecting life in accordance with life of Christ, by which man may attain the eternal end for which he was created. It affects all aspects of the nursing student's life i.e., spiritual, moral, intellectual, emotional, physical and social as they relate to the preparation of a Christian nurse motivated by supernatural motives. According to Christian philosophy, nursing is considered as, ‘profession of charity’.
Religion should serve as the primary integrating factor in the development of the curriculum in a school of nursing. The principles of religion and morality are unchanging. By this stable truth, the nurse will be able to meet intelligently the changing conditions of modern social living. Religion provides the motives for the nurse influenced by religious principles.
Through understanding of moral principles governing man's conduct and action leading to the nurses to study ‘ethics’ (it is the philosophic science of human acts) from the point of the view of the order they should have regarding one another and man's ultimate destiny which they ought to help him achieve and it also teaches the individual how to judge accurately the moral goodness or badness of any action. Nurse has to apply right conduct, in various situations of her daily life based on a sound moral character, adequate understanding and habitual application of proper moral standards. Nurse has to develop right conscience.
To provide a systematic development and training of the intellect, so that it may be enlightened, disciplined and disposed to function in accordance with the purpose for which it was created.
For the fulfillment of nursing functions, nursing education should give training in:
  • Memory.
  • Direction of imagination.
  • Strengthening and expansion of the capacity for association.
  • Cultivation and training of the intellect.6
  • Judge wisely.
  • Reason soundly.
  • Acquire prudence, wisdom and intellectual virtues.
  • Imparts knowledge.
  • Provide opportunity for the student to analyse nursing care situations and problems, to apply various theoretical knowledge and skills in the field of clinical situation.
  • Development of communication skills to express their thoughts.
Emotional Needs
Nurse must be able to function as a mature, self-dependent and responsible individual and must be able to relate well to other people. It shows emotional maturity where by all her emotional needs were met.
The primary emotional needs are:
  • Affection and love.
  • A feeling of belongingness.
  • Achievement or status i.e., prestige or self-esteem.
  • Approval from the group and from the authority figures.
These needs must be met, if the student is to mature into a well integrated personality and who can use mature judgment and make the decisions in professional life.
To promote the harmonious development physi-cal needs also has to be met, to preserve her body and the essentials of her health. Nurse should have knowledge of how to guide the others, who need assistance in learning, how to keep well or how to improve health.
Nurse is a social being, who must pass her life in society in relation to which, she has both privileges and obligations. Nursing is linked with social culture, in which nursing activities are carried out. The nursing student should be taught, to use her will power in gaining control of her own impulses. To acquire self-mastery and to be a virtuous member of a social group nurse practices democratic principles.
Nursing is a service to individual, families and to the society. It is based upon art and science, which mold the attitudes, intellectual competence and teaching skills of the individual nurse, to help the people sick or well, to meet their health needs in medical direction.
Nursing is a social institution where,
  • An organised group of people working together toward a common goal directly concerned with the welfare of the people.
  • A way of acting, specific to the group for the accomplishment of a common goal. The responsibility of nursing includes:
    • Prevention of illness.
    • Promotion of health.
    • Direct supportive and therapeutic care.
    • Rehabilitation.
    • Body-mind-spirit unity.
During the course of time, changes have taken place in the field of education, health care, sociocultural aspects, science and technology. There was need for change in the existing value systems and beliefs; changes had taken place in the field of nursing and nursing education also. It is not advisable to adhere to only one type of philosophy so, the nursing also is following the path of electism i.e., to draw the best and useful aspects from various educational philosophies and make one's own philosophy.
Nursing is concerned with human welfare, it acknowledges the uniqueness of each individual. It considers health as a fundamental human right. Nursing is a service to individual, people or community without any distinction between caste, creed, sex or color, rich/poor, age or religion. Hence nursing is concerned with a philosophical outlook i.e., ‘the individual has intrinsic value and there is worth inherent in human life’.
Nursing requires critical thinking, logic and judgment; it is a problem-solving and decision-making process, nurse has to use a rational 7activity. Nurse is legally and morally accountable person.
The learning experiences should equip the learner with skills in problem-solving, decision-making and critical thinking.
Nursing actions are based on scientific principles, which are drawn from bio-psycho-social sciences. Nursing curriculum should include physical sciences, biological sciences, anatomy, physiology, microbiology and other relevant subjects.
Nurse will have active voice as a democratic citizen has some control over and responsibility for the political, legal, and social milieu related to health care matters, in which she lives.
Nurse is a socializing agent, consumer advocate and protector. She has to play active role in bringing social change.
Nursing is a process to attain an end. It includes:
  1. Inherent purpose: The optimum level of wellness of health of the individual.
  2. Internal organisation: The series of actions to attain the aim of optimum level of wellness of health of the individual.
  3. Infinite creativity: The dynamics of evolving unique, effective, efficient nursing activities for the achievement of the goal of optimum health.
Nursing is a crucial component of multidisciplinary healthcare system, it reflects the independent, dependent and collaborative positions of the nurse involving respective functions. Nursing evolves as a holistic process with central and common philosophy, purposes, knowledge and functions. Nursing is a profession and nursing practice must reflect professionalism, professional adjustment and research.
Nursing roles in the order of priority are: Educative, Preventive, Promotive, Rehabilitative, Therapeutic, Supportive.
Democratic processes include in nursing role are: Authority by mutual consent, individual accountability, group activities, leadership and organizational set-up.
The requirements for professional nursing care includes: Clinical knowledge, judgment, technical competency, health knowledge, teaching skills, realisation of professional responsibilities. Philosophy will determine the selection of students, preparation of faculty, development of curriculum, attitudes towards client and community, personal life and professional growth of students and faculty.
It must be specific about the specialised functional roles and responsibilities within a profession and society. The purpose of nursing education is to prepare a person who can fulfill the role, functions and responsibilities of professional nurse within the society. The philosophy is developed by each faculty of individual school of nursing together with nurse leaders and nurse administrators. It should be clearly stated and directly related to the aims.
Concept and Meaning of Nursing Education
“The unique function of the nurse is to assist the individual, sick or well, in the performance of those activities contributing to health or its reco-very or to peaceful death thus he would perform unaided, if he had the necessary strength, will or knowledge and to do this in such a way as to help him to gain independence as rapidly as possible”.
— The concept of nursing, according to Virginia Henderson(1958).
The essential components of professional nursing practice (according to American Nurses Association) include; care, cure and coordination. Nursing is based on scientific principles (systematized knowledge) and an art i.e., composed of skills that require expertisedness and proficiency for their execution.
Nursing is a dynamic, therapeutic and educative process in meeting the health needs of the society. Assisting the individual or family to achieve their potential for self-direction.
Education brings change in behaviour of the individual in a desirable manner. It aims at all-round development of an individual to become mature, self-sufficient, intellectually, culturally refined, socially efficient and spiritually advanced.8
Nursing education brings changes in the behaviour of student nurse so as to prepare her to play her roles effectively as an individual and as a good responsible citizen.
Three phases are included in nursing education.
Pre-nursing Education
Spread information of nursing to the prospective candidates, publicity and guidance about nursing education, nursing services, working conditions of nurses, career development, job avenues, opportunities and responsibilities of nurses has to be given. Booklets or brouchers can be developed like ‘nursing as a career’ ‘profile of a nurse’. The prospective students can introspect, think and make a right decision. Careful intelligent planning is required to develop personal and professional satisfaction.
Nurse Education
Nurse educators have to take care to produce skilled and efficient nurses in order to provide qualitative care, select the candidate who is having interest for admission into nursing is the first step. Nurse educators monitor continuously; implement the curriculum which consists of theoretical and practical hours of training in a critical manner, give equal weightage to develop the right attitudes, social and moral values, human relations, skills, ethics, civic sense, professional etiquette to have perfect background in nursing. Along with the technical skills, the personal qualities of the students also have to be promoted. Evaluation of students' performance is essential.
Post-nursing Education
After completion of the nursing training, nurse has to register their names in professional organization. The nurse still needs to be educated either in the form of in-service or continuing education. The teacher has to develop teaching material and conduct of research to improve the standards of nursing. Post-nursing education consists of orientation, supervision, in-service education, evaluation and re-registration. New graduates need to have a well-planned and organised orientation to the area of their posting. They must be oriented to the staff, equipment, working conditions and clients with whom they have to work. They need guidance and supervision in achieving professional standards. Nurses on the job must be evaluated periodically in-terms of knowledge and performance and in-service education needs to be planned on the basis of their needs.
Steps for improving nursing education are:
  • Development of educational material.
  • Conduct of research.
Historical Development of Nursing Education in India
  • In 1871, training for midwives were given for a period of six months with supervised nursing practice.
  • In 1918, first Lady Health Visitors course was started in Lady Reading Health School, Mumbai.
  • Later diploma in General Nursing and Midwifery course was started with 3 years 9 months and later it was condensed to 3 years duration.
  • In 1946, 4 years basic nursing training programme started at RAK College, New Delhi and CMC Vellore.
  • In 1953, post basic degree programme was started in Thiruvananthapuram.
  • In 1959, the first master's programme in nursing was started at RAK College of Nursing, New Delhi.
  • In 1986, M Phil at RAK College of nursing, New Delhi was started.
  • In 1991, the first doctoral programme in nursing was established in Institute of Nursing sciences, MV Shetty Memorial College, Mangalore.
Pattern of nursing training programmes in India are:
  • Vocational nursing (at 10+2 level)9
  • Multi-purpose health assistants (after 10+2; 18 months duration)
  • Diploma in General Nursing and Midwifery course (after 12 years of schooling, for 3 years)
  • Basic BSc, Nursing (10+2 with sciences, 4 years duration)
  • Post basic BSc Nursing (after diploma nursing with 2 years experience and 2 years duration)
  • MSc (N) with any speciality (after BSc nursing with 2 years of experience and 2 years duration)
  • M Phil in nursing (after MSc nursing 1 ½ years–regular; 2 years–part-time)
  • PhD. in nursing (after MSc nursing 3 years duration–regular; after M Phil nursing-2 years duration)
Objectives of Nursing Education
  • To prepare nurses who will give expert bedside nursing care in the hospital and home.
  • To provide integration of health and social aspects; theory and practice in generalized public health nursing.
  • To provide an adequate, sound scientific foundation, intelligent nursing to understand the functioning of body and mind in health and disease.
  • To prepare nurses who will be able to work cooperatively with team members who are engaged in health and welfare work.
  • To provide opportunities through curricular and extra-curricular activities for the full development of the personality of each individual student.
  • To ensure opportunities for initiative and resourcefulness, sense of responsibility for oneself and others and broad professional and cultural interest.
Purpose of Nursing Education
The basic purpose of nursing education is to prepare the nurse who, after completion of the educational programme, is able to plan for and give comprehensive nursing care and health guidance to individuals and families according to their needs. The nurse must be prepared intellectually and morally enlightened and technically proficient. Nurse should be competent in teaching, oriented to community health and research-minded. Nurse must have the necessary knowledge, principles, skills and attitudes which are essential to professional nursing practices. Nursing students must develop competent health team members with sound judgment, intellectual and moral enlightenment, professional competence and expertise. The nurse educators should guide the learning activities of students by acting as facilitators. The nursing education and training programme is to give a broad based preparation with capacity building in students for doing the required nursing jobs with appropriate nursing interventions. The teachers should concentrate on the essential facts, skills and attitudes. The teachers should base their teaching on the nursing needs out of the real health problems of the community and in accordance with the job responsibility.
Trends in Nursing Education
Records of civilization in ancient India exist from 2500 BC when the Indus valley civilization flourished. The sacred ‘books of learning’ the Veda were produced in the Vedic period from 1500 BC. The history of nursing in India goes back through the centuries to about 1500 BC. The beginnings are shrouded in the mist of ancient myths (Wilkinson A. 1965).
The advent of Christianity and the teachings of Christ, which included the statements such as ‘love thy neighbour as thy self’, ‘I was sick and ye visited me’ ……… enjoined the care of the sick and the helpless. Charaka and Susruta leading authorities on the ancient Hindus system of Ayurveda (the science of life) though lived in the Christian era, they were not influenced by the Christianity. The following reference is found regarding the nurse in Charaka-Samhita:
Nurse: Knowledge of the manner in which drugs should be prepared and compounded for administration, cleverness, devotedness to the patient waited upon, and purity (both of mind and body) are the four qualifications of the attending nurse.
Subsequently, monastic orders further emphasized knowledge based health and nursing care. Nuns, monks had to acquire special knowledge and skills before being assigned to take care of the sick. The renounced Roman Matrons, Fabiola, Marceba and Paula stand out as early intellectuals associated with organisation of hospitals and nursing. Later, the many Christian religious orders emphasized the special knowledge needed by caregivers.
Modern Scientific Nursing: Nightingale's Model of Nursing Education
Florence Nightingale emphasized on cognitive knowledge and skills (1909). Preparation of nurses in Florence Nightingale's school of nursing at St. Thomas hospital included a years training with instruction by the Matron, the ward sister and the physician before assignment for 2-year hospital apprenticeship experience, during which students were granted stipends. These students were called ‘ordinary probationers’. Those who did not receive stipend, but paid tuition for the first year were educated for higher positions and were called ‘lady nurses’. Nightingale model of nursing education, the hospital based diploma school appears to have been the first model in almost all countries.
The most conspicuous and widespread modification of the Nightingale system had occurred in the United States and Canada and this is referred to as ‘American system’ or professional model in contrast to the British or Nightingale's apprenticeship model. A span of 60 odd years since nursing schools were first established in US divides itself into three periods of about 20 years each.
1. A pioneering period: 1873–1898
The immediate problem was not to build a finished educational structure but to clear the ground, to provide decent conditions for both patients and nurses, and to lay the foundations of an adequate nursing service.
2. Boom period in nursing education: 1893–1913
Every hospital wanted to have a school of its own. The number of schools of nursing increased tremendously. The young nursing profession organised its forces and tried its level best to control over expansion with the resulting slump in standards. Though laws were passed, variations existed in admission standards, in programs of instruction and also in the product of these schools.
Collaboration of nurse leaders in England and the US resulted in the funding of the International Council of Nurses in 1899, under the leadership of Ethal Fon Wick and Isabel Hampton. From its inception, the council worked toward professionalization of nursing in many countries and promoted national licensing, accreditation laws, and improvement in nursing education.
3. Period of standard setting and stock taking: 1913–1933
National League of Nursing Education under the leadership of Miss A Adelaide Nutting published standard curriculum for nursing schools in 1917. Nursing students' preparation was service oriented rather than education oriented, as nurse educators did not hold advanced educational preparation. Gold Mark report identified many inadequacies in the education and concluded that advanced educational preparation was essential for teachers, administrators and public health nurses.
1940s–1960s: This period is considered as basic science era.
Brown (1948) a social anthropologist, reassessed nursing education at the request of national nursing council for war service, supported Winslow–Gold Mark report stressing on inadequacies in nursing education and stated that within 50 years, the education of nurses should occur in collegiate settings.
The Disease Body System Curriculum Model
The classic nursing curriculum model is the disease-based model, cross-gridded with body 11systems. In the curriculum the principles of nursing action lies in the disease itself –
  1. Disease or injury–etiology and nature.
  2. Medical therapy and
  3. Nursing care.
Nursing care is deduced from knowledge of the disease and its medical treatment. In the traditional formulation of this curriculum model. Nursing trends to be highly programmed and prescriptive. For example, turn the patient Q2II, blood pressure Q4II etc. Nursing is dependent on the medical plan and medicine depended on the existence of the disease or injury.
Disease or injury → Medical plan →Nursing care.
Both medicine and nursing are derived through logical analysis of the preceding phenomena.
The method of the classic nursing curriculum is logistic with invariant relations among disease, medical therapy and nursing care. The curriculum focuses on the parts and is additive. Once the student learns all pieces (every disease) she is ready to graduate.
Another variant of the classic curriculum makes body systems than the disease entities. This alteration has the advantage of providing larger functional units: The body systems instead of the diseases. The components of the whole are how body systems rather than diseases and the curriculum is presented in logistic fashion.
In the 1940s, nurses concern for the whole person resulted in adding the psychosocial studies to the curriculum. This has supplanted the knowledge of the biologic systems which had previously dominated nursing education. With this change an emphasis on the interpersonal process in nursing intervention soon emerged. The focus in the 1940s led to the holistic approach in the 1950s in which the patient emerged as a logical focal point of the content presented in nursing schools and colleges. The person-centered approach conceptualized the patient as having common human needs and the goal of nursing was to meet these needs. Though systematic training in hospital schools had taken place, still traditional task oriented care was provided in hospital settings.
1960s–1980s: Clinical Science Era
Impact of Abdellah on curriculum development:
Abdellah's work was the stimulus to 2 quiet different approaches to nursing–a problematic approach and an operational approach. The problematic approach led to 2 modes of care –
Those based on patient problems and
Those based on nursing problems.
The operational approach led to a typology of nursing acts and eventually to today's common focus on the nursing process–patient-centred approaches to nursing.
The Problem-based Curriculum Model
The selected problems may be patient problems or nursing problems. Often curriculum fail to differentiate between patient needs and patient problems. Such curricula often combine problematic and operational approaches, seeking solutions to patient problems and achievement of predetermined goals for patient needs. The principle of the curriculum is reflexive and rests on the interaction between man and his environment. A problematic mode allows for variance from patient to patient and from nursing act to nursing act. In the problematic method, each problem is considered to be unique and to have its own unique environment.
During the period nursing practice focused attention on individual / patient centred and family centered care. Social and behavioural sciences have occupied prominent role in curriculum research.
Nursing Education Programmes
Diploma, College, Masters and Doctoral pro-grammes concentrated on clinical specialization and on clinical nurse specialists. Many nursing models emerge during this period forges: Nurses role to promote behavioral stability of the patient (Johnson), Smith, Germaine and Gibbs (1971) identified specific nursing goals; prevention intervention model (Hodgman 1973) etc.12
1980s–2000 AD: Political health-scientific approach era
The model course around nursing acts. The curriculum is operational when focus is placed on selection among nursing acts. The curriculum is logistic when the acts are seen as an invariant sequence of steps to be followed with every patient for, e.g. nursing process. In either case the focus is on what the nurse does, cognitive, psychomotor or affective behaviour, basing on action principle steaming from the motivation to the act by the nurse agent. Nurse patient relationship (or lando's) promotes the sharing between nurse and the patient.
The movement of health for all and primary health care initiated people oriented, value based, holistic and humanistic approach to care.
Holistic Curriculum
Refers to the curriculum that takes a single subject matter in its entirely as the care of the educational programme. The most common subject matters are man and health.
  1. Holistic curriculum asserts, the nursing is the profession that deals with the whole man in relation to his health.
  2. Nursing is the profession, which deals with the ‘whole of health’ as it relates to man.
The curriculum focuses attention to the health and its relatedness to socioeconomic, cultural and political development, advancement in bio-medical technology, nuclear medicine etc. Health can be perceived on a wellness-illness continuum. Birth to death life phase motion. Each course in such a curriculum is one reflection on the birth to death continuum, giving the student increased knowledge of the whole. Such a curriculum might organize its courses around life phases–infancy, childhood, adolescence, adult-hood and old age.
People oriented/community oriented curriculum is geared to prepare nurse practitioners–community nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, and in institutions-special units. Primary nursing is the answer to primary health care and primex nurse coming out of holistic curriculum would be able to participate in achieving health for all through primary health care organisation.
Aim is a predetermined goal, which inspires the individual to attain it through appropriate activities. As education is a planned and purposeful activity, the aims are necessary in giving direction to the education.
Factors Determining Educational Aims
  1. Philosophy of life: Education is the best means for propagation of philosophy. Philosophy and education are the two sides of a coin.
  2. Elements of human nature, e.g. unfolding of the divine in man (Idealists)
  3. Religious factors, e.g. Buddha preached ahimsa and truth are the two weapons which have to be prevailed in educational system.
  4. Political Ideologies.
  5. Socioeconomic factors and problems of the country.
  6. Cultural factors–education has to preserve and transmit the cultural heritage and traditions from one generation to another.
  7. Exploration of knowledge.
General Aims of Education
  • Vocational efficiency–education should prepare the child to earn his livelihood and make him self-sufficient and efficient economically and socially.
  • Knowledge–it is essential for intellectual growth, good interpersonal relationship, healthy adjustment in life, modification of behaviour, self-awareness and for social growth. Knowledge is power, attainment of knowledge is an important aim of education.
  • Complete living — education acquaints the person with activities of complete living, e.g. self-preservation, performance of social, political responsibilities, and beneficial utilization of leisure time.13
  • Harmonious personality development–harmonious cultivation of the physical intellectual, emotional, mental, moral character, spiritual aspects of human development thus a well balanced personality development will take place with education.
  • Self-realization–education should help a person based on his potentialities what he is going to become.
  • Cultural development–every individual has to become cultured and civilized through education. Cultural development, if attained it gives refinement, aesthetic sense, concern and respect for others and their culture.
  • Citizenship–the child has to be educated to become a good citizen of his country. He should be beneficial to the society.
  • Leisure–leisure is a part of human life, where enjoyment and recreation occurs. It is needed to keep up rest and regain energy. Artistic, moral and aesthetic developments can be inspired through the beneficial use of leisure time. Educate the child to utilize his leisure in creative and useful manner.
  • Development of leadership—education should train the youth to assume leadership responsibilities in various fields like social, political, industrial and cultural fields.
  • Initiating the students to the art of living— education should enable a person to acquire the necessary interpersonal skills and adjustment abilities for successful and happy living together in society.
  • Education for increased productivity— education should help to satisfy this need through the production of manpower, i.e., people who are equipped with advanced scientific knowledge; complex, technical ability and efficient work experience.
  • Social and national integration–education should inculcate the feeling of oneness and belongingness.
  • Education for modernization–education should produce the people who are able to think and judge independently and effectively, intellectually efficient and technically competent persons must be prepared.
  • Education for social, moral and spiritual values.
  • For scientific temper.
  • For national cohesion, socialism, secularism and democracy.
  • Fostering research in all areas of development.
  • Education for equality.
Educational aims are correlative to the ideals of life. There are two ultimate aim of education–individual and social; of all other aims, these two are the most important because the remaining aims of education stress either the one or the other of these two. An individual is born with certain potentialities or natural endowments. It is the task of the education to develop them into a distinct individual personality. But personality development does not take place in a vacuum. It takes place in associating with others in co-operative living and in working together for the welfare of the group or society. We have to decide whether the individual and social aspects are totally contradictory to each other or is it possible to strike a balance between the two. In other words, it is to be decided whether the individual owes the existence to society or the society exists for the individual.
Educators who Emphasise Individual Aim of the Education
Rig Veda: Education is something which makes a man self-reliant and selfless.
M Gandhi: By education, mean, an all round drawing out of the best in child and men–body, mind and spirit.
Aristotle: Education is, the creation of a sound mind in a sound body.
Pestalozzi: Education is, the natural harmonious and progressive development of man's innate powers.14
Froebel: Education is the process through which the child makes internal and external.
Importance of Individual Aim
The Biologists Support to Individual Aim of Education
Every individual is new and unique and different from others. He is a new experiment with life. We cannot change his nature just as we cannot change the color of his eyes. According to Prof. Thompson–“education is for the individual, its function is to enable the individual to survive and live out its complete life”. Education is imparted to perceive the individual life. Community exists for the individual. Community being the means and individual being the end. Education should not set the means over the ends. Education is given for the sake of individual with a view to save him from destruction. Therefore, individual or not society should be the virtue of all educational efforts and activities.
The Naturalists' Support to the Aim
The naturalists like Rousseau and TP Nunn told that “the central aim of education is the autonomous (self) development of the individual”. It is therefore that education should be according to nature which would make an individual what he ought to be. According to Rousseau, “everything is good as it comes from the hands of God, but everything degenerates in the hand of men”. God makes all things good. Man meddles with them and they became evil.
The Psychologists Support to the Aim
The psychologists are of opinion that education is an individual process. No two children are identical in intellectual capacity and emotional disposition. It is therefore that a rigid and uniform curriculum for a large number of children is not justified. It should be replaced by a broad based and flexible curriculum. The work of education should be to find out the individual child's innate powers and possibilities and to provide the means by which he may enable to realize the highest of them. The teachers and books are the signboards to the road within.
The Spiritualists Support to Education
The spiritualists are of the view that every individual is a separate entity and responsible for his own actions. Since the spiritual development of man is individual the main function of education should lead the individual to self-realization and the realization of higher values in life. Swamy Vivekananda says, “Man is potentially divine. The goal is to manifest this potentiality within by controlling nature external and internal through education”. Lroothee always said, “No one can be like another, but every one can be like the highest, how is that to be? Let every one be perfect in himself”.
The Progressinists Support
According to this opinion, the progress and advancement of mankind is due to great individuals born in different periods of history. They include great scientists, inventors, explorers, religious leaders, social reformers and philosophers and the like. But for such individuals, the world would not have moved beyond what it was a few thousand years ago. It is only through the activities of such individuals that the world has become better and a happier place to live in. Perry Nunn says, “Nothing good enters the human. World expect in end through the free activities of the individual men and women and that educational practices must be shaped to accord with the truth”. According to him, the purpose of educational efforts is to create conditions for the promotion of complete development of individuality.
Limitation of Individual Aims
  • It makes an individual self-centred and indiscipline. He can be vain and only interested in his personal development and achievements. He is not interested in his fellow beings or society. The undisciplined person can be an undesirable individual in society. He will do anything perhaps, to gain his ends.15
  • It ignores rich heritage: Great individuals have no doubt contributed much to the advancement and progress of mankind. But they could do so only after assimilating the rich heritage of thought and wisdom provided by society in the form of religion, tradition, arts and science.
Social Aims of Education
As against the individual aim, there is the social aim of education. The individual is endowed with a social nature, he is social by instinct. An individual seems everywhere and always to be caught up in an intricate web of social relations. Without them the newborn baby would almost perish (The social process and the educational process are essentially one and the same). The individual cannot live and develop in isolation from society.
The individual being a social animal will develop through special contact.
The social aim in its extreme form regards the state as idealized super-human entity, over and above the individual. The state or society alone is the reality and the individual is only a throb in the social pulse. The state is the embodiment of reason, justice and morality. The individual is inferior to it in all respects. The supporters of the social aim of education do not conceive of an individual living and developing in isolation from society, in the words of T Raymont. The isolated individual is a fragment of the imagination. According to Ross — individuality is of no value and personality a meaningless term apart from the social environment in which they are developed and made manifest.
According to John Dewey, social aim in education is stressed as education should make such individual to understand and appreciate the environment which he lives. He is ready to sacrifice his own desires if their satisfaction is harmful to others or if their gratification does not consist socially efficient and this social efficiency must be achieved by the positive use of individual powers and capacities in social occupations. A socially efficient individual is able to earn his livelihood. He also conforms to moral and social standards of conduct.
Gandhiji formulated the basic scheme with the objective of making people realize that education was not merely for the benefit of the individual, but for the needs of a predominantly rural and agrarian population.
State Socialism
The social aim of education in its extreme stage, neglects all the claims of an individual. Man is not born human, he becomes so. The state or society is superior to the individual in all respects. The individual citizen is totally subservent to the state, which is all-powerful. The state has the right to mould and shape the individual so as to suit its own purposes or progress. The individual does not have the freedom to express his own views. The needs of society dictate the needs of education. The state uses the most convenient weapon for preparing individual to play different roles in society. He is to obey what the authorities dictate. His needs, usages and nature are completely ignored. The exponents of this school of thought believe in imparting education through social control and their watchwords in the educational process are discipline and obedience. The individual is to be given education not because he must develop his own individuality, but because he is required to serve the specific purpose, which the state has already determined. The state is supreme to dictate what shall be taught and how shall be taught. Discipline is its watchword, willing acceptance of authority is the method and obedience is the rule.
The social aim of education has been stressed upon by the following:
  1. Education means the culture which every generation purposely gives to its successor in order to qualify, to keep and to improve the level attained — Brown FJ.
  2. The teacher's aim is not to educate his pupils in the abstract, but for life in any existing society — Bruebaker JS.
  3. Education is the process of reconstruction of experience, gives more socialized value 16through the medium of increased social efficiency–Dewey.
  4. Education is an attempt in the part of the adult members of the human society to shape the development of the coming generation in accordance with its own ideals of life–James Welton.
  5. True education involves three things:
    1. A sincere appreciation of one's country.
    2. A readiness to recognize its weakness frankly and to wish for their tradition and
    3. An earnest resolve to serve it to the best of one's ability, harmonizing and sub-ordinating individual interests to broader national interests.
The school has to build up this three-fold concept of patriotism. Thus the social aim of education finds expression in such concepts as education for social service, education for citizenship, education for social efficiency, e.g. ancient Sparta, ancient Greece, Italy (Fascist), and modern Germany.
Social Aim of Education in Democratic Countries
The social aim finds expression in such concepts as education for social efficiency. A society is considered to be efficient only, when it is physically strong, intellectually enlightened, economically self-sufficient and morally well disciplined. Such a society requires individuals who are physically fit, intellectually well-off, economically self-sufficient and morally high. It is only such individuals who can contribute really towards welfare of that society. In democratic countries the education aims at developing socially efficient individuals. Social efficiency implies social awareness, economic productivity and cultural and moral refinement. Social awareness will produce in the mind of the child, a sense of fairness in dealing with others, open mindedness to the ability to follow and lead as the situation warrants. Economic independence will help him to pull his own weight and he will not be a parasite or a drag on society, culture and moral refinement means that he will have a spirit of social service and self-sacrifice. He also conforms to a certain standard of conduct known as the ‘moral conduct’. John Dewey says ‘In the democratic and technological environment, the aim of education should be to enable the individual to control his environment and fulfill his possibilities’. He further adds, ‘all education proceeds by the participation of the individual in the social consciousness of the race’. This process begins unconsciously almost at birth and is continually shaping the individual's powers, saturating his consciousness, forming his habits training his ideas and arousing his feelings and emotions.
The individual is trained to be unselfish to part the needs and desires of others before his own. The experiences of the individual are communicated to others, so that they may benefit from them. There is no social satisfaction. The mind of the individual so socialized that he has an intelligent sympathy and good will for the whole social group. Accordingly school must teach the duties and responsibilities of individual citizens, they ought to train their pupils as a spirit of cheerful, willing or effective.
Synthesis between the Individual Aim and Social Aim
Apparently the two aims seem to contradictory and opposed to each other. The individual aim, if stressed greatly, will produce one, who are selfish, boastful and egoists. While extreme emphasis on social aim will create suppressed personalities and turn them into automation.
The two aims of education are complemen-tary and not conflicting. We find neither the individual nor the society can exist without each other. The individual is the product of society; while the society in its own turn, finds its advancement in the development of the individual members.
John Adam says, ‘individuality requires a social medium to grow. Without social contacts we are not human. Individual development is not conceivable without being social. Human being has no meaning apart from society. Education 17has two-fold objects, ‘the perfection of the individual and the good of the community. Education is making good men as well as good citizen’. In the words Humayun Kabir, ‘ if one is to be creative member of the society, one must not only sustain one's own growth, but contribute something to the growth of the society’.
According to Ross, “individuality is of no value and personality is a meaningless term apart from the social environment in which they are developed and manifested. Self-realization can be achieved only through social service and the social ideal of real value can come into being only through, free individuals who have developed valuable society and the individual. An individual can only develop in a progressive society and society can only make progress with developed individuals. The circle cannot be broken.
National Aims of Education
India has become a secular and democratic country, when India becomes free, there was need for reorientation and restructuring of all our existing social, political and educational needs of the country. Aims of independent India were; preparation for democratic citizenship, increased productivity, national integration and achievement of goals. The total education system had to be reoriented and restructured to facilitate the achievement.
The Secondary Education Commission of 1952 (Mudaliar Commission) suggested the following aims of education in free India.
Democratic Citizenship
Democratic citizenship is one of the important aims of education. Education should prepare people for democratic citizenship. It means to train persons with capacity for clear thinking, receptivity to new ideas, clarity in speech as well as in writing and true patriotism.
Development of Personality
All round development of personality is an important aim of education. Education should develop the literary, artistic, aesthetic and cultural interests of students. For this purpose, subjects like art, music, dance, craft etc., should be included in the curriculum.
Development of Leadership
If democracy is to function successfully, there should be people to assume leadership in the social, political, industrial and cultural fields. Education should train the youth to assume such responsibilities.
Vocational Efficiency
For improving the poor economic situation of the country, the Commission emphasized the need for increasing productivity through vocational and technical efficiency. One of the aims of education is to develop vocational efficiency of the youth. Education help to create a new attitude toward work and dignity of labour.
Initiating Students to the Art of Living
Through education, the child should learn the art of harmonious living. Education should enable a person to acquire the necessary interpersonal skills and adjustment abilities for successful and happy living together in society.
The Kothari Education Commission of 1964–66 proposed aims of education in India are:
Education for Increased Productivity
Increased productivity is an essential need of our country. Education should help to satisfy this need through the production of man power i.e. people who are equipped with advanced scientific knowledge, complex technical ability and efficient work experience.
Social and National Integration
Education should include the feeling of oneness and belongingness. This is a very important aim of education of our country which has the tendency to divide on the basis of language, culture, caste, religion and so on. This aim should be accomplished through some kind of public 18educational system and some form of obligatory national service.
Education for Modernization
The world is moving very fast with all kinds of scientific and technological advancements. India also should keep pace with the advancements of the modern world. Our education should aim at producing people who are able to think and judge independently and effectively. Intellectually efficient and technically competent persons must be prepared.
Education for Social, Moral and Spiritual Values
Another important aim of education is to integrate social, moral and spiritual values in the minds of children and young people. The curriculum should include instruction in these subjects. There should be set times for moral and spiritual instruction in all educational programmes. All religions should be given equal importance.
These are the educational aims for independent India suggested by the two commissions. Though we have come a long way in achieving these aims, still there is much more to be accomplished. Various commissions and committees appointed by the Government did periodic comprehensive appraisal of the existing educational scene in our country. Based on their reports, Government has drawn National Education Policies which specify the renewed aims and objectives of our education.
The National Education Policy of 1986 have set the following educational aims of our country which are still in force. They are:
  • All round material and spiritual development of all people.
  • Cultural orientation and development of interest in Indian culture.
  • Scientific temper.
  • National cohesion.
  • Independence of mind and spirit.
    zoom view
    Aims of Education
  • Furthering the goals of socialism, secularism and democracy.
  • Man power development for different levels of economy.
  • Fostering research in all areas of develop-ment.
  • Education for equality.
Aims of Nursing Education
Nursing education is the professional education for the preparation of nurses, to enable them to render professional nursing care to people of all ages, in all phases of health and illness, in a variety of settings.
Factors Influencing Nursing Education
  • Health needs of the people in the society.
  • Needs of the student and time.
  • Philosophy of nursing.
  • Current trends in general and professional education.
  • Advances in science and technology.
  • Nursing man power development: Well-qualified, competent nurses are needed to meet the needs of people in the society. Nursing care is an important and integral aspect of health care. Nurse has to implement advanced scientific knowledge and professional skills in meeting the needs of people by adopting nursing process and its steps.
  • Nursing education should impart scientific and up-to-date knowledge in the area of medical, social, behavioural and biological sciences.
  • Inculcate the appropriate nursing skills and the right attitude to the students. Theoretical and practical knowledge is essential for rendering intelligent and efficient nursing care.
  • Nursing education should have sufficient theory content and practical experience.
  • Nursing education should prepare nurses as good leaders to provide qualitative care. Nurses have to participate in decision-making and policy making in health care matters and allocation of resources for health development.
  • Nurses have to implement health care programmes and health care services in community. They have to collaborate and coordinate health care functions. The nurse leaders are responsible for effective Nursing education. Nursing education should aim to identify potential nursing leaders and facilitating for their development.
  • To improve professional development of each nurse and their profession.
  • For all round personality development of individual with nursing education, nurse will develop and grow as a person of self-awareness, self-direction and self-motivation.
  • Nursing should prepare nurses in participating scientific nursing research investigations, its results will be added up to the body of nursing knowledge.
  • Nursing education should inculcate democratic values, e.g. respect to individuality, equality, toleration, cooperative living, faith in change.
It is a philosophical position adopted by naturalists, who approach philosophy from purely scientific point of view. They believe that nature alone represents the entire reality. There is nothing beyond/behind and other than nature.
  • It is a system, whose salient characteristic is the exclusion of whatever is spiritual or indeed, whatever is transcendental (supernatural) of experiences from our philosophy of nature and man—George Hayward Joyce.20
  • It is the doctrine that separates nature from God, subordinates spirit to matter and sets up unchangeable laws as supreme–James Ward.
  • It is a philosophical generalisation of science; the application of the theories of science to the problems of philosophy — Ralph Barton Perry.
Chief Exponents of Naturalism
Bacon, Comenius, Herbert Spencer, Huxely, Bernard Shaw, Rousseau JJ, George Hayward Jayce, James Ward, Ralph Barton Perry, Darwin MC Dougall, Lamarck, Thomas Hobbs, Tagore.
Naturalism is a doctrine that separates nature from god, subordinates spirit to matter and setup unchangeable laws as supreme. According to naturalists, human life is a part of nature, it is a self-sufficient entity having its own natural matter natural force and natural laws. It emphasises, on ‘matter and the physical world’. It does not believe in spirituality and supernaturalism.
Forms of Naturalism
Naturalism, as a philosophical doctrine has three distinct forms:
Physical Naturalism
Nature is the reality, human life is wholly controlled and influenced by the eternal laws of nature, and it governs the human life, since it is moulded by natural laws. Reality does not exist within the individual. It is rather outside him, in the natural universe. Tagore calls, ‘nature’ as the ‘manuscript of god’ since human life is moulded and controlled by external nature, it should be in accordance with the natural laws.
Mechanical Naturalism
There is no spirit or soul, only matter is everything. Man is also matter, which is made up of atoms, empty space and motion. It regards man is merely a machine, governed by mechanical laws, he has no creative capacity, purpose or direction. This philosophy aims at training man as a good machine and keeping it in good working condition.
Thomas Hobbs, an Englishman described nature as an aggregate of things outside our mind which is moving in space.
Biological Naturalism
Based on Darwin, Herbert Spencer's view, by the process of growth and development man was energist identifying reality as a force of energy. Man's natural endowments (emotional and temperament) are the real springs of his behaviour. If our behaviour is according to our instincts, we feel happy, if not we feel unhappy and disappointed. Education should try to sublimate these natural impulses for socially desirable ends.
Development of Naturalism
Natural surroundings and freedom are the important factors for the growth and development of the child.
Thomas Hobbs, in 17th century described nature as an aggregate of things moving from one place to another.
JJ Rousseau in his Emile describes the education of a child is close to nature. Nature yields all kinds of good things, but the society of man grasps them and perverts them to evil ends. Herbert Spencer (19th century) used the word ‘force’ to describe ‘reality’.
Naturalism and Education
Human nature develops according to the laws obeyed by heavenly bodies, as they move in their orbits. The duty of education is to learn, what these laws are and how to use those laws. Educational materials should be the facts and phenomenon of nature. Education makes the individual, a natural man.
Herbert Spencer's views, the educational objectives are: Self preservation, securing the necessities of life, raising children, citizenship and education for leisure.21
Naturalism gives maximum freedom and central position to the child. Watch words in naturalism are: ‘Follow nature’, ‘Back to nature’, ‘Maximum happiness’ and ‘Utmost freedom to children’, ‘Instincts are basis of education’, ‘Senses are the gate ways of knowledge’. Naturalism believes that education should be according to the nature of the child, it advocates creation of conditions in which the natural development of the child can take place in a natural way. Textbooks, timetable, syllabus, and even teachers are not so important as the child, who is to be taught.
According to Rousseau, there are three sources of education i.e., nature, men, and things. The nature consists of natural development of organs and faculties, education from nature is to prepare a natural man.
Man is governed and directed by the laws of his own nature rather than those of social institutions. Thus naturalism is a revolt against the stereotyped system of education.
Naturalism and Education Process
  • Education must confirm to the natural process of growth and mental development. Pupil will be given freedom to determine the form of the learning process, e.g. inductive methods of learning.
  • Education should be a pleasurable activity for children and it engages the spontaneous self-activity of the child.
  • Acquisition of knowledge is an important aspect of education related to body and mind. Punishment should be based on the consequences of wrong deeds, but with sympathy its frequency will be reduced.
Naturalism and Aims of Education
  • Self-realization.
  • Self expression.
  • Self preservation.
  • Habits formation related to action and thought which are appropriate to the age.
  • Cultivation of self-restraint and sense of value (Herbert Spencer–biological school of naturalism).
  • Pleasure and pain are instincts of man are real guiding forces which are basis of the conduct of the child (MC Daugall's view).
  • To make the child to adjust himself both physically and mentally to his environment and to the changing circumstances in life. (Lamarck's view).
  • Equip the individual to struggle for existence and ensure his survival (Darwin's view).
  • Evolution of a better humanity through the transmission of not only physical traits, but also for the cultural ones.
  • Education of the man as the ‘back of God's creation’. Education should aim at the evolution of a better humanity through the transmission of not only physical traits, but also the cultural ones. (Bernard Shaw's view).
  • Education is universal spirit, according to the nature of the child. (Rousseau's view).
  • Development of individuality (Sir Percy Nussy's view).
  • Struggle for existence and survival of the fittest. (Herbert Spencer's view).
  • Education should be according to the nature of the child's tenderness, capacities, instincts, likes and dislikes. It should aim at providing full opportunity for the development of natural endowments of the child.
  • Perfect development of individuality, develop the child into a joyous, rational, balanced, useful and mature person.
Thus naturalism ignores the spiritual side of the child's personality by omitting the development of his will, conscience and morality.
Naturalism and Curriculum
  • No fixed curriculum.
  • Every child is given the right to determine his own curriculum.
  • The child is expected to learn directly from nature through personal experiences.
  • Naturalists give prominence to subjects like gardening, agriculture, nature study, art, crafts, botany, geology, geography and astronomy etc, as they are directly related to the nature of the child.22
  • The subjects should be correlated with the play activity of the child and with the life around him.
Naturalism and Methods of Teaching
  • Naturalists are not in favour of direct training through teacher or textbooks.
  • In the place of textbooks, they emphasise the value of ‘concrete objects’.
  • They advocate the direct experience of things and believe in the principle of ‘learning by doing’, e.g. observation and experimental methods.
  • Direct methods are advised as to ensure the vocabulary of a student.
  • In the training of science and mathematics “Heuristic method” is emphasised in the place of ‘chalk and talk procedure’.
  • Geography is through practical exercises, actual excursion and observation.
  • Play-way method is used to develop spirit of joyful, spontaneous and creative activity.
  • Dalton plan method is suggested, which gives freedom to the pupil to choose his own schedule of work. They learn through observation and experiment, self-government and self-effort.
  • Naturalists emphasises ‘open air schools’ self-government in schools and establishment of co-education in educational institutions.
Thus the centre of naturalism to the field of modern methodology of education is most outstanding and most abiding.
Naturalism and the Teacher
Teacher can neither interfere with the activities of children nor can impose his own ideas and ideals, will power upon them or a moulder of character formation. His place is ‘behind the scene’. He is a ‘spectator’ or an ‘observer’ of the child's development. He cannot impose any activity, restrictions or limitations for the learner. He will allow the child, provided opportunity for free development of their own motives, growth and development in an atmosphere of non-intervention and freedom. He does not expect undue respect from his pupils nor does he pose as superior. He tries to understand the pupils and approves their behaviour. Teacher cannot dictate to pupils, what they have to do.
According to naturalistic concept, a teacher is only a setter of the stage, a supplier of materials and opportunities. Teacher is a provider of an ideal environment and creator of conducive conditions to the natural development of the pupils.
Naturalism and Discipline
  • Extreme discipline is not desirable, as it stands in the way of the child's natural development.
  • Free discipline may be applicable, as naturalists give utmost freedom to the child to do and learn whatever he likes, they do not advocate any sort of punishment for the child except that he is allowed to support the natural consequences of his actions.
For regulating the conduct of students, naturalists have evolved the concept of student self-government in tune with the demand of a democrative society.
Weakness of Naturalism in Education
  • The simplicity of naturalistic educational practices may not be possible in urban areas.
  • Higher order of discipline may not be possible as textbooks and teachers are not playing crucial role and leisure pace of learning through experience is taking place.
  • The physical nature alone is not the power which can be used to control and direct education or any other human endeavour. Nature alone cannot find peace or beauty, there is something higher, which can direct man's purposes, strivings towards positive ends.
  • Lacks ideals, no place for spiritual values.
  • No constructive suggestions to offer regarding a goal for educative effort thus it does not point to a higher end in the educational process.23
Education is based on psychology of the child and in accordance with his nature. Naturalists keep the child in the forefront in the entire process of education. The teacher school, curriculum, methods of training are not so important as the child, who is to be educated. Naturalists want the school, to provide an environment, which is conducive to the free development of the growing child.
Introduction and Meaning
The word, ‘idealism’ has been derived from ‘ideal’ or ‘ideas’. Ideals or higher values are much more significant in human life than anything else. This philosophy seeks to explain man and universe in terms of spirit or mind. This philosophical thought, is originated by the great Greek philosophers, Socrates and Plato. They conceived ideas as the basis of their philosophy. Plato in his dialogues indicated the importance of mind and reason in the experience of man. Idealism idolizes ‘mind and self’; it explains man and the universe in terms of ‘spirit’ or ‘mind’. Man's spiritual nature is considered to be the very essence of his being.
Exponents of Idealism Philosophy
Plato, Socrates, Kant, Hegel, Berkley, Guru Nanak, Tagore, Mahatma Gandhi, Comenius, Kapila, Pestalozzi, Schopenhauer, Freebel, Dayanannda, Rusk.
Chief Assertions of Idealism
  • Idealism believes in the ‘universal mind’ or ‘God’. He is the creator and he creates entire world. It is the source of all human values. The goal of all human activities is the realization of ‘universal mind’ in his own self.
  • It regards man as a ‘spiritual being’, superior to animals. Reality is found in the mind of man and in the external world.
  • Main aim of human life is to achieve spiritual values i.e., truth, beauty and goodness. These values are absolute, undying and permanent, with these terms, man rises higher and higher in the moral plane, till he becomes one with the ‘universal mind’. These are all attributes of god.
  • God is the source of all knowledge and real knowledge is perceived in mind. According to idealists, knowledge gained through mind is more important, than knowledge gained through the senses.
  • The world of ideas and values is more important than the world of matter. Idealism has full faith in eternal values which never change. They can neither be created nor destroyed.
  • Man can express himself in language and communicate through various forms of art and culture. Man expresses his spiritual aspirations through morality and religion.
  • Idealists maintain the distinctiveness and superiority of man's nature, not only from his spiritual capacities but also seen in his power and control over the environment.
  • Man can change and manipulate the physical environment and shaping it according to his needs, he has also the power of controlling the spiritual and cultural environment and values, it can be represented by communi-cation through art, culture, knowledge, morality and religion.
  • Reality is spiritual. It exists in ideas, purposes, intangible values and internal truths.
Idealism in Education
Educational idealists believe that man is born with spiritual self. He can realise his spirituality and understand its true nature only through the agency of education. Education is expected to enlarge the boundaries of the spiritual realm. Ideals of race and its cultural pattern are preserved, transmitted and modified subsequently in the light of new situations.
Intellectual Training
The world is based on natural laws that are eternal and unchanging, logical consequence, 24physical laws are based on reason must be taught, as nature is simply the outer expression of an inner logical order.
Unique Nature of Man
In nature, man alone can understand logic order in existence through the power of his mind by reasoning and self-discipline. It is provided by the family and school, acquires an effort of mind and will.
Social habits can be formulated with the process of rational development.
Idealism and Aims in Education
Idealism lays proper stress on the glory and grandeur of human life, which is the best creation of god. It has provided human life with very high aims.
Exaltation of Human Personality
Education should lead to perfection in the individual. Human personality is of supreme value and constitutes the noblest work of god. The aim of education should be the exaltation of the self, which implies self-realisation. It is the one i.e., specially associated with idealism, since man is a spiritual being, the divine in man should be unified and brought to his consciousness by means of education.
  • Duties to self.
    Cleanliness, neatness, moderation, satisfaction of all desires, self-control, self-sacrifice, punctuality, regularity, avoidance of obscenity, profanity and immoral language.
  • The function of education is to enable the individual to realise this unity within him and to establish a harmony between his nature and the ultimate nature of universe. Indian idealism practices liberation, mukti or nirvana as the ultimate aim of life.
Swami Vivekananda Explained the Fourfold Path
  • Gyana (wisdom)
  • Bhakti (devotion)
  • Karma (action)
  • Yajna (meditation)
Idealists aim at the full and complete training of man for manhood and not the development of some parts of man.
Acquisition and Enrichment of Culture Environment
Man himself is the creator of cultural environment. It is a product of man's creative activity. Idealists therefore, emphasise that each child should enter into the cultural heritage of mankind which is free from the limitations of the material environment. Man has to preserve the culture, what he has inherited, and also make to contribute the enrichment of that culture, so that the boundaries of spiritual realm will be enlarged. Education must help the individual in this contribution. Education should aim at providing the mean of acquainting the student with great achievements in art, literature, mathematics and sciences. Man should be able to invent, create, produce new and beautiful ideas and objects of community and society. Education should emphasise, encourage invention and creation as a part of culture.
Development of Moral Sense: Powers and Rationality
Intellectual development requires training in logical understanding and perception.
When the child develops moral sense, he is able to distinguish between right and wrong. Education should also develop the will power of the child, so that he may be able to follow the good and reject the evil. This power of truth, beauty and goodness which are the higher moral values.
The pupil has to learn:
  • Polite behaviour.
  • Good manners.
  • Self-control.
  • Reliability.25
  • Sincerity.
  • Perseverance.
Duties to Others
  • The virtues of modest.
  • Respect for the opinions of others.
  • Cooperativeness.
  • Liberality and generosity.
  • Religious education.
Universal Education
Since all human beings are equally, the children of god. In idealistic society education should be universal without any distinction of caste, creed, color or social status.
Development of Inventive and Creative Powers
Man should not accept his physical environment as unchangeable. He should modify the environment according to his needs and mould it according to his own purposes through his inventive and creative skill. Education must foster those inventive power of man to ensure his mastery over the material given to him.
Idealism and Curriculum
In idealism, the curriculum will be selected based upon ideas and ideals. It aims to develop a true sense of appreciation of truth, goodness and beauty by which spiritual perfection will result. Spiritual act consists of moral, intellectual and aesthetic events.
The three acts are inspired by the three corresponding desires of the spirit i.e., knowledge (gyan); feeling (bhakthi); and effort (karma); therefore the idealistic curriculum provides the training and cultivation of the intellectual, moral, aesthetic acts for intellectual advancement of the child.
Languages, literature, science, social studies and mathematics are included in the curriculum. For aesthetic and moral development: fine arts, poetry, ethics and religion are provided.
Idealistic philosophy and education also insists on the creation of sound mind in a sound body. Therefore, physical exercises, hygiene, gymnastic and athletics are also included in the curriculum.
Thus the idealistic curriculum comprises of physical, intellectual and spiritual acts which will enable a man to develop completely.
Idealism and Methods of Teaching
  • Self activity, project method, play way methods can be adopted to gain knowledge. (Pestacozzi advocated)
  • Froebel developed ‘kindergarden method’.
  • Questioning, discussion, lecture method, single and group projects, imitation etc., also included as techniques of idealism.
Idealism and Discipline
  • Strict discipline is essential for self-realization.
  • Teacher's guidance is necessary at every step.
  • As far as idealists are considered, freedom is not a means but it is an end.
Idealism and Teacher
  • Idealist teacher has attained self-realization. He is a practical man based on ideal and virtuous life. He should live a life of contentment contemplation, poverty and detachment. His personality is a source of inspiration for his pupils to follow and to learn the acts like a friend, a philosopher and guide.
  • The teacher personifies reality for the pupil. The student understands and learns about the universe through his teacher.
  • The teacher has to be a specialist in the knowledge in view of his pupils.
  • Good teacher commands the respect of pupils by virtue of his own, high standards of behaviour and conduct.
  • Teacher initiates the pupil into the life of the intellect, but he provides standards of attitudes, imitation. The social atmosphere of the school, pattern of speech, conduct and appearance encouraged in the school provide attitude for limitation by the student.
Weakness of Idealism in Education
  • Scientific research study does not support the idealistic view of a spiritual universe.26
  • Ideals cannot be simplified.
  • The social order today discourages imitation of ideas, ideals, behaviours and the standards that governed the lives of people of the older generation.
  • The emphasis on good manners, polite behaviour, docility, modesty sums out of tune with the present day world, where aggressiveness reiteration of demands, outspokenness and frankness are regarded as essential qualities in a competitive society.
  • A polite, restrained manner may be mistaken for snobbery.
  • Docility and modesty would be dubbed as evidence of diffidence.
  • Overloaded information — selectivity in reading and learning has become a necessity.
Viewpoint of Realism
What is true and real in daily life is admissible; whose reality is not felt and unreal is inadmissible.
This doctrine is against spiritualism and opposes to idealism.
Meaning and Importance
  • Realism is an outcome of scientific development.
  • By observation, experimentation and exami-nation if it is found to be true, can be considered as real.
  • Realism is directly related to man and society.
  • Through realism, man is able to enjoy the comforts of society, after getting all the joys of life.
  • Realism provides education, which is useful for life where man can enjoy his activities and comforts in reality.
Supporters of Realism
J Friedrich Herbart: He gave educational ideas on principles of realism and development of many-sided interests among the children. He explained, scientific effort has to be made by the teachers, which interest is for better welfare of the child and society. After identifying this analysis, interests among the children should be developed in the context of different circumstances of life.
Herbert Spencer: According to Herbert, education has to teach man to lead a complete life and live full happy life. The learner has to engage in the following acts in a desired manner.
  • Self-preservation (care of health).
  • Earning a living (preparation for vocation).
  • Fulfilling responsibilities related to race preservation.
  • Fulfilling citizen responsibilities.
  • Utilization of leisure time.
Franklin Bobit (American educationalist): Education should be provided according to the reality of life. Human responsibilities and obligations which are necessary to lead a happy life are:
  • Acts concerned with language.
  • Acts concerned with hygiene.
  • Citizenship acts.
  • Ordinary social acts.
  • Leisure acts.
  • Acts of mental health.
  • Religious act.
  • Acts concerning race preservation.
  • Vocational behaviour activities.
Nature of Education
Scientific attitude based on realistic principle, where the learner can extends his knowledge, which he learnt through books can be developed. Spiritual need has not considered as a real need of education.
Aims of Education
  • Through education man leads a happy and comfortable life.
  • It enables the man to capable of earning by vocational form.
  • To develop the memory of the child.
  • To strengthen wisdom and power of decision-making.27
  • To create the capacity against struggles with adverse situations arising while earning a living.
  • To meet the felt needs of individual/related to materialistic.
  • To make the man as ‘utilitarian’ with the usage of mother tongue, experiments, demonstration and tours etc.
  • Education will be provided according to the reality of life.
  • To develop the child capacity for success in the struggles of future life.
Realism and Curriculum
Science, mathematics, hygiene, vocational activities etc., have been given prominence in the curriculum.
It is derived from Greek word, ‘pragmatism’ which means ‘practice or action; active and efficient’. A pragmatist lives in the world of facts rather than ideas or ideals. In American philosophy, ‘prag-matism’ means ‘utility’. For them whatever useful is good end, whatever good is useful.
William James is the founder and father of this philosophy.
Chief Exponents of Pragmatism
  • William James.
  • John Dewey.
  • S Kil Patrick.
  • Margaret H.
  • Mead.
Pragmatism is a matter of fact, treatment of things based solely on their practical utility. It is the element of utility that has the greatest appeal for a pragmatist. For him, utility is truth and truth is utility. Pragmatism believes in practical and utilitarian philosophy.
Pragmatism is a typical American philosophy. Americans experimented upon many new ideas and adopted those which proved useful for them in solving their day-to-day problems. Consequently they built up a ‘Pragmatism of life’, based on their own experiments and experiences. This is the pragmatic philosophy of life.
Man as a natural biological organism, schools become secular, scientific, practical and technical, scholarly pursuits became an extension of problem solving. The experiences which are helpful for the learner and help for direct training. It will be helpful for occupational activities.
Principles of Pragmatism
  • Man creates his own values during the course of act. There are no fixed values for all times.
  • Every truth is man-made product. There is nothing like absolute truth.
  • Pragmatism laid special stress on the value of experimentation. It stands for testing every statement by finding out its practical implications. If these implications are desirable, the statement is accepted, otherwise it is rejected.
  • True pragmatism is one, that helps in the solution of practical problems of life.
  • Pragmatism should have meaning and utility in the solution of human problems (John Dewey).
  • Pragmatism should be practical and useful in influencing the conduct of life and not a passive enquiry or contemplation.
  • The growth of human personality takes place because of interaction with the environment. Man tries to adjust himself to his environment and this results in his growth. During the process of adjustment, man adopts himself to his environment but he also tries to mould the environment according to his needs, purposes and desires.
  • Pragmatism has deep faith in democracy, it is a Government by the people, of the people and for the people. Through democracy only individual can realise the maximum development of his personality. This development is possible only in social context.
  • Individual development also leads to the development of society.
Revolt against Traditionalism and Absolutism
Reality or truth works out in a practical situation whatever fulfils one's purpose and develops one's life is true.
  • Movement in education is preoccupied with change.
  • Man shares his fundamental drives with other living creatures.
  • Moral values, e.g. truth, goodness, beauty etc., have evolved through social processes.
  • Man has biologically unique features; the phenomenon of language gives him the power to reflect upon experiences to identify, criticize, evaluate and judge them.
  • Man and his universal are natural; Man is an organism struggling to satisfy his need and to perpetuate himself in a natural world. The methods he has used in conserving life and satisfying his needs are scientific or empirical.
  • A new logic and concept of the nature of thought and enquiry.
Forms of Pragmatism
  1. Humanistic pragmatism: Truth satisfies human nature and welfare as a whole. Whatever fulfils one's purpose, desires and develops one's life is true
  2. Experimental pragmatism: Which can be verified or whatever work is the true.
  3. Biological pragmatism: It stresses the human ability of adaptation to the environment and that of adapting the environment to human needs.
Pragmatism in Education
It is a practical and utilitarian school of pragmatism; It believes in imparting education with reference to human needs. It enables the child to solve his daily problems and also to lead a better and happy life by creating new values.
Education therefore must have its intellectual, moral, aesthetic, social and physical aspects. Pragmatism is the product of education, i.e. is outcome of educational experiments.
Pragmatism of education is not an external application of readymade ideas to a system of practice. It is on the other hand, a formulation of the problems of right mental and moral habitudes which should help a person to meet the difficulties of contemporary social life— Dewey.
Pragmatism stands for progressive trends in education. According to pragmatism, activity lies at the centre of all educative process, which is progressive and flexible. It stands for freedom and worth of the individual.
Pragmatism works on the principle of democracy and education is a social necessity. Pragmatists believe that pragmatism is the product of educational practice and it has its effects on the various aspects of education. Educated person should be in command of skills and knowledge to meet and master the new problems that come in their lives.
Educational Applications
  • The school becomes child centred, education will help the child to grow.
  • Education is centred in the experience of the children and this sense of need experienced by the children should be fulfilled.
  • In the school, the child learns the activities by practicing it, so the school has to provide conducive environment for the children. The child will learn most of the life things within the school. The teacher will act as a guide or counsellor. The pupil actively participates in the planning of activities with the teacher.
  • Cultivate creative interest among the child, intelligent cooperative effort is necessary.
  • Child centred education is to build a future centred society.
Pragmatism and Aims of Education
Creation of New Values
The pragmatist does not start with any fixed aims or scheme of values. The main task of the education is to put the education into a position of developing values for himself. The man has to create the values in the light of his own 29experience and felt needs. The child must learn, which values will fulfill and satisfy his needs and wants in the environment, he has to create such environment for the child.
Activity and Experience
For the creation of new values, activity and experience are essential. Education should therefore provide physical, intellectual, social, moral and aesthetic acts as the media for the creation of values, and for the development and selection of what the child wants to learn to satisfy his own needs for the present as well as for the future.
Personal and Social Adjustment
All the aspects are developed for meeting the individual and social needs of man, this will help him to cope with the varied problems and situations in life successfully. Direct the impulses, interests and abilities towards the satisfaction of the felt needs of the child in the environment.
Reconstruction of Experience
Pragmatists will provide a social setting for the development of cooperative and correlated learning in the school. Pragmatism emphasises adaptation to environment construction and reconstruction of experience and development of capacities to control the environment.
All-round Development
The learner through pragmatism will develop physically, mentally, socially, morally and aesthetically.
Pragmatism and Curriculum
Activity Curriculum
Pragmatists will not fix the curriculum in advance or in the beginning itself. Only an outline of the acts may be kept in view in the beginning and curriculum can be evolved according to the requirement of the situations. Thus, it will be a flexible and changing curriculum. While deciding it, the nature of the child and the multiple acts of life must be taken into consideration.
The curriculum should be based on child's occupations and activities, his own experiences learnt by doing the activities. The principle of integration and correlated activities should guide in curriculum construction.
Utilitarian Curriculum
It includes the subjects, which will impart knowledge and various types of skills, which the child needs in his present as well as future life. The curriculum is to be governed by the child's natural interests and felt needs during the successive stages of development. The experiences are provided which give knowledge and skills to the child. At the elementary stage reading, writing, arithmetic, nature study, drawing and handwork are provided.
At a later stage, practical subjects like languages, social studies, physical sciences, mathematics and hygiene are included in the curriculum. Agriculture for boys and home sciences for girls is prescribed. Training in some craft or vocation also advocated.
Principle of Integration
While deciding the subjects of curriculum, the principle of integration is kept in view. Instead of dividing knowledge into various subject fields, integrated knowledge around various problems of life is preferred. Pragmatism emphasises only the utilitarian aspect, so it will neglect useful subjects like art and poetry.
Pragmatism and Methods of Teaching
  1. Project method and practical oriented (learning by doing): According to pragmatists, the method of teaching are devised by the teacher in the light of real life situations. Education is not training or imparting knowledge, but to encourage training through self effort and creative activity. Knowledge is not only obtained from books, but also actually doing things.30
  2. Provision of real life situation and touching and handling of objects, tools and making things: Project methods are carried out in natural settings. The child is given a real and purposeful task to carry out. Thus the child gets knowledge and skills from the experience gained in accomplishment of that task.
    Psychologically also these methods are effective because the child is always interested in doing things with his own hands.
    The school, the curriculum and the subject matter all are considered from the child's point of view.
    Six stages in this method:
    • Providing a real situation.
    • Selection of the project.
    • Planning.
    • Execution of plan.
    • The evaluation.
    • Judgment of its utility.
  3. Discussion, questioning and inquiry: Methods also considered in philosophy of pragmatism.
Pragmatism and Discipline
  • Purposeful and cooperative acts carried in a free and happy environment are conducive to good discipline. Thus, they go a long way in the training of character and the establishment of self-discipline.
  • Self discipline is not exposed control by an external authority.
  • ‘Pragmatism’ also emphasises on social discipline through participation in cooperative acts in the school society.
  • Social discipline enables the child to have the virtues like toleration, mutual respect, sympathy, self-control, initiative, service of humanity and originality.
Pragmatism and the Teacher
  • The teacher will create real life situation in which some problems may emerge and the child is interested in the solution of those problems.
  • The teacher will keep the pupil in the position of a discoverer and experimenter.
  • Teacher will not impose anything in the child. The child will decide his own goals, aims and purposes independently.
Strengths of Pragmatism in Education
  • The student will learn the skills and meet his needs, prepared himself to live in society.
  • The student will try to meet the immediate felt needs.
  • The child learns the activities by doing. He will develop his qualities, abilities, thinking, reasoning, judgment based on either individual or social behaviour.
  • Both teacher and student should explore in the adventure of seeking knowledge.
  • The pragmatic approach is based upon recognition of technological and industrialized felt needs.
  • Applicable in American settings.
Weaknesses of Pragmatism
  • It does not give raise the question of the ultimate reality behind the things.
  • Artificiality in situation.
  • Problem-solving activity may be pleasurable and challenging for the pupils, but it may have little or no relationship with problems that occur in real life situations.
  • The teacher may be unable to cope with the demands of teaching.
  • Humanities, cultural acts have no place.
  • Teacher will act as information officer only. No faith in eternal truth, which is a stable body of knowledge.
  • Many gaps and deficiencies in the learning approach has been observed.
  • Denial of spiritual, cultural values are unpalatable.
  • Less practiced in Indian settings.
  • Pragmatism emphasises on child's individuality, his needs, interests and aptitudes. 31Principles of learning by doing, activity and experience, it stresses on integration of knowledge and relating the curriculum to real life situation, project method.
  • The teacher has to provide opportunities for act and to have the experience both in school and play ground.
  • The teacher is a friend and a helper.
  • The teacher should be alert, well informed and able to discuss the facts, subject matter with students.
The world and its values are continuously changing, the educational system also changes from time to time. Each one philosophy has its own contributions and limitations; no one philosophy is complete in itself and can be applied successfully in all situations. Education has to be flexible and dynamic. It has to adopt, to the changing conditions and environment through out the ages.
It is the youngest philosophy, described as modern 20th century philosophy, however a wide general recognition in educational field is not yet received.
A modern philosophy which is primarily built upon the work of the contemporary scholars of the 20th century.
This philosophy views man as, participating in a world of things and events, human existence is the nature of man to exist, to stand out into reality, to participate in being, to be present to all.
Chief Exponents
Soren Kierkegaard (Danish philosopher); Jan Paul Satre (French writer); Karl Jaspers (German philosopher); Paul T; Reinhold Niebuhr.
According to Soren Kierkegaard (founder of existentialism), it is ultimate aim of man in life is ‘to be that which is truly, man must accept the existence of God, is by faith, nor by reasoning’.
Later the thinkers did not consider God to be a necessity.
Jean Paul Satre, argued that human life has no purpose, existence is ultimate and that we must choose, by choosing, we become ourselves.
  1. The centre of existence is man rather than truth, laws, principles or essence: The recognition of the individual existence, man makes himself through choices among many alternatives in the environment.
    Man is characterized by decisions, will and choice; certain uniqueness and mastery about the human person.
  2. The uniqueness and mystery of man: The uniqueness of man comes from his emotions, feelings, perception and thinking. Man is the maker and master of culture. Man imposes a meaning on his universe.
  3. Man is not alone in the world: Man is a social being, he is gregariousness in nature, and he cannot live in a state of anarchy. Life is seen as a gift and mystery. Man is free to choose commitments in life, he is the product of the choices. Man's existence is more important than his essence.
  4. Man cannot accept the ready-made concepts of existence forced upon him: Man is free agent capable of shaping his own life and choosing his own destiny. We cannot treat people as machines.
  5. Self-knowledge: Self-knowledge is the key to all truth and knowledge. ‘know thyself’ is the basic premise of this philosophy.32
  6. Freedom and responsibility: Based on freedom and responsibility, man can create his own values.
  7. Man is not complete: Man has to meet the challenges in the changing society. He has to accomplish all tasks and activities.
Existentialism and Education
George Kneller has written ‘existentialism and education’.
Educational Implications
  • Becoming a human being, as one who lives and makes decisions about what he will do. Human existence and the value includes knowing oneself, social relationship and biological development etc.
  • Trainers have to provide healthy atmosphere and environment for the children to find sense of securing encouragement, trust worthiness and acceptance.
  • Children have to receive from emotional stress, e.g. intense competition, harsh discipline, fear of failure.
  • Each individual has to grow to understand his own needs and values and take charge of the experiences for changing them.
  • Self-evaluation is the end of learning process. Education has to make the child to have free growing environment, fearless, understan-ding individuals.
  • Classroom atmosphere has to prepare young people to become active, trust worthy and responsible.
  • All school subjects should present situations for the development off human beings.
  • The teacher should facilitate development of originality and creativity by providing necessary material and equipment.
  • The teacher is in a position to foster individual growth and he is the foreground and is the centre of attention.
  • The teacher is very active and welcomes challenges to his ideas from the students.
  • The democratic ideals must pervade the school environment in which the students has to grow.
  • Concern and respect for the individual student should be the main concern of the school.
  • Mechanization and impersonality are to be counteracted in schools.
Limitations in Existentialism
  • Educational methods applied are said to be impractical, anti-intellectual and romantic because they appear to be inapplicable in the industrial society.
  • Time and effort consuming.
  • The concepts like ‘being’ ‘meaning’ existence’ ‘person’ are ambiguous and not clear.
It is an American philosophy, which is a revolt against the ‘formal/conventional/traditional’ system of education. It became popular, in 1929 the economic depression of USA adversely affected the educational system of the country.
Education is centred around for the present life itself. The development of an individual and the society is only possible, when education facilitates the growth of every phase of the child.
John Dewey; William James; G Thomas Lawrence; William Kilpatric.
A large number of schools in Europe and USA were started.
Aims of Education
  • To develop the personality of an individual through providing a democratic environment in the educational institutions.
Progressivism and Curriculum
It should be based on the actual giving environment of the child. It must reflect his daily life.33
Curriculum Includes
Political; Moral; Social; Vocational; Intellectual; Mathematics; General science, Languages; Integration of experiences.
Progressivism and Methods of Teaching
  • Project method–active participation of the pupils in learning.
  • Socialized methods–to bring all the individuals into a group system of interaction.
  • Conferences.
  • Consultation.
  • Planning and participation in the activities.
Progressivism and the Teacher
The human elements, human beings are given more importance. The teacher has to meet the needs of pupil as good human being.
The teacher, who is vital in education process and having richer, superior experience and can analyse the present situation. Teacher will act as a stage setter, guide and coordinator but he is not total authority, just he guides the situation.
Progressivism and the School
School is a cooperative enterprise, it provide conducive environment for democratic growth of the child.
Person's behaviour is the result of environmental conditioning. Man is a passive recipient, who reacts to external stimuli, he has no will or decision of his own or the capacity to take spontaneous action.
According to Skinner, each individual is having an ‘ego’ / ‘mind’ centre of consciousness which enable him to choose any course of action, that he wanted to do. Individual's actions are predetermined by his heredity or immediate surroundings.
  • Man is not separate from his surrounding environment.
  • Human behaviour is controlled with creativity.
  • Reflexes and other patterns of behaviour evolve and change as they increases the chances of survival of the species.
Techniques/Methods of Teaching
  • Law of effect.
  • Reinforcement.
  • Reward.
  • Shaping.
  • Modeling.
  • Programmed behaviour.
  • Token economy.
  • Classical conditioning.
  • Extinction.
  • Reciprocal inhibition.
  • Desensitization.
  • Cognitive learning.
  • Flooding.
  • Avertion.
  • Response prevention and restraint.
  • Self-control technique.
  • Contingency management.
  • Assertiveness training.
  • Negative practice.
  • Contact.
  • Time-out
  • Punishment.
  • Satiation.
  • Relaxation technique.
  • Operant conditioning.
Educational Applications
Systematic applications of principles of learning aims at changing maladaptive behaviour with adaptive behaviour.
Learning is governed by man's action and reaction to various media (oral, written, machine). Learning occurs as a personal achievement through interaction between the learner and environment.
  • Man tries to understand, predict, influence and control human behaviour with rapidity.34
  • Individualized instruction.
  • Auto instruction.
  • Self corrective.
  • Reinforcement provided by correct answers is a source of encouragement to the slow learners.
  • It requires technical proficiency.
  • Goals are not kept in mind, in controlling human behaviour.
  • The concepts of freedom, capacity to choose, worthiness of individual will be completely lost.
Man is an end, not a means.
The humanist emphasis is on literature.
He has to overcome the conflicts of his own time.
  • Respect for language.
  • Ancient cultures.
  • Intellectuals for literary scholarship.
Humanism Attitude is Reflected in Certain Value Systems
  • Values are of the highest quality, benefit will occur.
  • Fall/decline in moral, esthetic standards, values results in violence and barbarism (undisciplined behaviour, crude tastes and rude manners)
  • Values are intellectual abstractions, eternal and unchanging.
  • Values are fundamental measures of human experience.
  • Human problems are problems of values.
  • Literature portrays man in historical circumstances and reflects moral decisions, civilized behaviour.
  • Absolute and eternal values are inexpressable.
The Role of Education in Humanism
  • Children must be taught to respect language, a sense of language perfection.
  • Children must be trained in modern literary standards of academics.
Music, Literature; central concern is respect for intellectual values and traditions.
The teacher is expected to be well-read, well-trained in humanities subjects and superior attainment.
Experimentalists reject the laissez-faire individualism and permissiveness. They accept a naturalistic point of view, but they want the control and utilization of nature–not submission to nature. It accepts the perspective of evolution.
Ideas of Sociology Adapted by Experimentalists (according to John Dewey)
  • Man is a social being and product of his environment.
  • Learning depends on environment.
  • Experimentalists ask people of the world, to appreciate and respect one another culture and to recognize that differences merely reflect environment circumstances.
  • Technology means progress in social development and social advance.
  • The goal of man is not only to survive but also to live a good life, economic well-being which is a motive for psychological and social behaviour. The school is social institution, democratic philosophy of education has to be represented.
To familiarize with different philosophies, draw the best and essential points inspiration from all of them and make into one harmonious whole 35and build one's own philosophy of education. It is known as, the ‘eclectic tendency’ in education.
All the philosophies are philosophy of life. it differs how one thinks about life; their own views related to life different educationists formulated different philosophies. Some gave importance to spiritual and mental aspects of life, while others gave emphasis to the physical and social aspects. Man is a complex being with physical, mental, psychological, spiritual and social aspects of life. There should be a happy and harmonious life in various aspects related to life. A holistic philosophy of education which would help for the total development of the individual, is useful. No school of philosophy meets the entire requirements of varied situations in life. No system of education can be exclusively based on a particular school of philosophy. Infact, no educator is exclusively idealist, naturalist or pragmatist. For the modern educationists, it will be beneficial and effective, if they make a thorough study of these different schools of philosophy and then rearrange and relate the essential principles into one harmonious whole and thus build their own theory of the education with the best material. This would be basis for ‘eclectic tendency’ in education.
The synthesis or harmonious blend of the diverse philosophies of education. It is the process of pulling out and putting together of the useful and essential aspects of various philosophies of education.
  • The fusion or synthesis of different philosophies of education.
  • The harmonization of principles underlying various tendencies and rationalization of educational practices–Munroe's view.
  • The process of putting together the common views of different philosophies into comprehensive whole.
  • No philosophy is complete in itself. It cannot be applied successfully in all situations.
  • To find unity in diversity through eclectic approach.
  • To meet the changing needs and demands in the world and cultivate change in behaviour, no need for the learners to stick to one dogma, ideology or philosophy.
  • Indian philosophers have always recognized the value of adjustment in the midst of conflicting ideologies. They always try to resolve the difficulties through peaceful and consistence means. So in Indian culture and civilization, we find deep-rooted eclecticism and fusion.
  • There is a diversity of thinking in all aspects of human culture and civilization. The educator tries to discover some unity of thought in all this diversity.
  • Uniform tendency or holistic approach is needed for Indian culture and its civilization.
  • The abilities and the talents of youth are properly channelized and utilized, the eclectic tendency is needed.
  • To promote good citizenship, equality of opportunity, universality in education, eclectic tendency is essential.
Areas of Agreement or the Eclectic Tendency at Work in Education
  • Idealism stresses spirituality and absolute values; naturalism emphasises the matter in man; pragmatism is regarded as a sort of compromise between spiritualism and materialism.
The naturalistic philosophy moulds the individual in natural and physical environment; it follows natural environment and prepares the child to adapt himself to it. Idealism wishes the individual to fit him in the present day individualized and mechanized world, it goes to the extreme in the concept of changing the environment. To make the learner perfect with creative values and adjusting to the changing 36demands of eclectic tendency in society, education has started. The respect for the child as an individual and placing him at the centre of the educational process, which is a common feature in most modern philosophies of education.
Meeting Ground of all Philosophies
  1. Respect for child's personality: Dignity and respect the child's personality. Child is the centre of educative process, the philosophies will mould the child according to their own view point.
  2. Powerful force of mind: Mind is powerful force in the life of man.
    Idealists regard mind as a creator of its objects and a discoverer of its own laws. The mind and spirit together form reality–naturalists believe in the impact of environment on mind. The external world within the environment influences the mind and intellect. Pragmatists view the mind is a functional behaviour.
  3. Free discipline: Discipline is only a means and not end in itself. Self-government is acceptable of all, as a powerful means of inculcating discipline.
  4. Individual and social development: Social efficiency and individual development are important aim of education.
    Health; Command of fundamental processes; Worthy home membership; Vocation; Citizenship; Worthy use of leisure; Ethical character; Enjoyment in freedom; Integrating personality.
  5. Curriculum: Unity of mind and heart of people among divergent traditions of the country. Life centred curriculum for providing total experiences.
    Humanities, language skills, mathema-tics, arts, practical arts and crafts, history, geography, sciences, logic, grammar, essential skills, desirable attitudes and social virtues are included in various curricula.
Methods of Teaching
  • Play way method.
  • Learning by doing.
  • Direct experiences through projects and problem solving etc.
Teacher Training
Teachers, need to be prepared carefully for their role through courses of instruction and practical application.
The educator seeks to find harmony among the various philosophical positions and a practical method for application of the finest principles needed in his educational work. Teacher puts altogether and creates an educational philosophy and practice of his own to suit the prevalent environment in which his institution exists.
Aims of Education
  • Education should give a child, a command of the basic processes of learning.
  • The child should become an efficient member of society.
  • The development of moral character.
  • Promotion of good health.
  • Skillful training.
  • To prepare the person to take his place in life.
  • To be able to think, reason and to adapt himself to his environment.
  • Interests and motivation of the child has to be improved.
  • The child should be educated in favourable, congenial environment. Education has to promote or encourage the child to develop skills and knowledge.
We can easily find out, where a particular philosophy has succeeded and where it has failed and in this way, we can gain the good points of all of them. Infact, all these philosophy of education are complementary and not contradictory. if we take best from all the philosophies to have harmoniousness in nature idealism is fundamental while naturalism and pragmatism are 37contributory factors in the theory and practice of education. To establish new ideals and standards, there is a necessity to formulate a holistic philosophy, where all the best means of development of child will take place and narrow feelings, mutual ill wills can be overcome.
When political independence was achieved in India, the people realised that the educational system started by the British was against the nationalism, culture and traditions of the country. The criticism of the educational system was started even before independence, because it was according to the British policy and not in the interest of India. Its aim was simply to produce clerks who might help in running the British Government. At the same time its aim was to impose English culture, civilization on the Indians. In this educational system, Indian culture was deliberately neglected. Voice against this system has continuously been raised and it has been criticized persistently. In spite of the criticism, there education continues to run on the old lines. Several committees and commissions have been appointed to reform it, but no meaningful change has been brought so far. Education in our country is still impracticable and against Indian culture and traditions. Because of the impracticability of Indian education demands for its reform have been raised.
Meaning of Reconstruction
It may be understood in two forms. First, total change. Second, desirable change. Hereby educational reconstruction, we mean both the types of reforms. The present educational system undoubtedly does not represent Indian culture and traditions. So it should be changed totally or reformed gradually.
Total change is a difficult task and it requires deep thinking, money and research. Total change done in haste is harmful and it takes time and energy to bring it on right lines. So the method of bringing desirable reforms is better and convenient. So instead of changing the educational system totally, it should be reformed gradually. But whether it is a total change or gradual reform, our educational system must be based on Indian culture and traditions and at the same time it should be practicable also. By reform it is also meant that attitudes of all persons related to education, students teachers, administration etc should begin to change.
Main Elements of Reconstruction
  1. National culture and philosophy of life: In educational reconstruction first of all we shall have to give freedom to our Indian philosophy and culture, the aim of which shall be to acquaint our students with our culture, customs, civilization, literature and history. For an all round development a person should be acquainted with his national culture and philosophy. So we shall have to familiarize our children with our culture and philosophy from very beginning in order. So we shall have to include these elements in our educational reconstruction.
  2. National education: In our education we have to include national education policy means narrow but broader nationalism. Our idea of national education should be so ambitious that it develops our national feelings and promotes our cultural development and all other types of advancement for the prosperity of the nation. This is real national education. The aim of national education should also be a development of mind and personality which may give rise to the feelings of self-control, self-regard, human love and sympathy in man.
    It should be the main aim of national education to acquaint man with his duties.
  3. Duty of government: Educational reconstruction is a difficult task. For that help and interest of the government is necessary. Education takes the nation to the path of progress. So the Government has a great responsibility in this regard. The Government has to come 38forward in educational reconstruction and it has to provide money in its budget.
    After defence, education should be given utmost priority and it should be so organised that people extend their willing, cooperation. The Government has to pay attention on the entire education. Neglect of any respect will be harmful for the country. The Government has to pay equal attention on primary, secondary, higher, technical and vocational education. Only then it will be called as real national education.
  4. Duty of countryman: Along with Government, the countrymen too have some duties in the educational reconstruction because if the citizens are indifferent, Government alone cannot do this work. They will also have to change their outlook and will have to adopt an attitude of respect and honour towards their culture, philosophy, and traditions. The leaders in the field of social, political, and educational activities will have to take the lead and participation in educational reconstruction.
Aims of Education
The primary aim of education is an all-round development of personality. It mainly includes physical, mental, moral and spiritual development. Along with it, reasoning, thinking, and intelligence should also be developed.
The aims of education is to develop faith in democratic principles.
To inculcate the feelings of social service in the student and create in him the capacity for adoption to environment and earning his living. Emotional integration with the people of other states should also be developed. People should also be taught the skill of utilizing their leisure in constructive activities. The things have to be paid attention in educational reconstruction. To create the ability to control factional tendencies such as communalism, casteism, regionalism, etc. for national integration. We should rise above narrow-mindedness, understanding and cooperation.
The curriculum will be based on the age, capacity, social status, environment and geographical conditions.
Free Education
Upto a stage, the education should be entirely free and this expenditure should be done by the state. It will be better, if education is free upto secondary stage. It is necessary to adopt democratic principles in curriculum and in the administration of educational institutions. General, technical, and vocational education should be provided and desirable changes should be made in primary secondary and higher education.
Teaching Methods
In the teaching methods, the aim should not be only to pass examination but to develop necessary qualities and abilities also; so education should be activity centred. Teaching should be so organised that the student may become self-reliant.
Education should be so organized and conducted that the problem of indiscipline may not arise at all, in the educational institution. For this, qualities like liberalism, tolerance and discretion may be developed in students.
Competent Teachers
Education cannot be beneficial in the absence of competent teachers. So proper arrangements for the training of teachers should be made. For this work, necessary changes are needed in the outlook of training institutions.
The prevailing examination system is defective, because it does not evaluate the ability of students properly. So such changes are to be made that the ability of students may be evaluate properly. The examination should be based on the work of the entire session. The defects of essay tests may be removed.39
The cooperation of teachers and guardians is needed in the reconstruction of education because the child passes his time in the company of both. So the education of guardians is also needed in this regard to fulfill their duties.
Healthy Environment
The work of educational reconstruction becomes easy if the schools are establishes in healthy environment.