Concept of Education

Dr. V.K. Maheshwari, Former Principal

K.L.D.A.V(P.G) College, Roorkee, India


There are a lot of contradictions regarding the meaning of education. The fact responsible for this contradiction is lack of uniformity in the meaning of education. Every debater looks at its meaning in a unique form, because its sense has underwent such a massive change since earliest times that its very assumption has become quite misleading. Therefore, it is essential that the assumption of education should be explained at the very outset.

Webster defines education as the process of educating or teaching. Educate is further defined as “to develop the knowledge, skill, or character of …” Thus, from these definitions, we might assume that the purpose of education is to develop the knowledge, skill, or character of students. Unfortunately, this definition offers little unless we further define words such as develop, knowledge, and character.

Etymologically the term EDUCATION has been derived from different sources-

  1. Educate means the art of teaching of teaching or training
  2. The other way of explaining the term of Latin E means to ‘lead forth out of and duco means I lead, ; thus; education may be interpreted to means to ‘lead forth’
  3. Etymological Meaning from etymological point of view, the Hindi word ‘shiksha’ has been derived from the Sanskrit verb ‘shiksh’ which mean ‘to learn’. Thus, education mend both learning and teaching. In the Raghuvansh, the term ‘education’ has been used in these two senses. In India languages, the terms ‘vidya’ and jnana’ have been used as synonyms to the term ‘shiksha’. The term ‘vidya’ has been derived from the verb ‘vid’ which means ‘to’ know, to find out, to learn’, but later, this was fixed for ‘curriculum’. In the beginning, four subjects were included under viday, but later, Manu added the fifth, called Atma Vidya, and gradually, this number rose to fourteen, which included Vedas, Vedangas, Dharma, Nyaya, Mimansa etc. Thus, ‘vidya’ means both curriculum and learning.


4 .The term ‘janja’ means the same as education in its wide sense in Indian philosophy. In Indian philosophies, the term ‘jnana’ is not used for only information or facts, though in the west, this sense is The term ‘janja’ means the same as education in its wide sense in Indian philosophy. In Indian philosophies, the term ‘jnana’ is not used for only information or facts, though in the west, this sense is quite prevalent. In the Amarkosha, the terms ‘jnana’ and ‘vijnana’ have been distinguished saying that is reated with emancipation while ‘vijnana’ is reated with crafts. In other words, jnana or knowledge is that which develops man and illuminates his path to emancipation, while whatever is learnt and known in practical life is called vijnana or science.


On the other hand, his the English term ‘education’ has been derived from the Latin word ‘education’. On analysis, it gives out the following meaning:


Latin-education k=e+duco

Meaning-to lead=from within+to lead out

Assumption of education: To bring out inherent capabilities of a child


Some scholars opine that the term ‘education’ has been derived from the Latin words ‘educere’ or ; however, from etymological sense, all three to these are no different in meaning.


The definition of education in an act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, and generally of preparing oneself or other intellectually for mature like. It It could be a certain degree, level or kind of schooling. It is a training imply a discipline and development by means of the special and general abilities of the mind or a training by which people learn to develop and use their mental, moral, and physical power or skill. It is a gaining experience, either improving or regressing. Actually Education is a deliberate and organized activity though which the physical, intellectual, aesthetic, moral and spiritual potentialities of the child are developed, both in the intellectual, aesthetic, moral and spiritual potentialities of the child are developed, both in the individual as an individual and also as a member of society so that he may lead the fullest and richest life possible in this world and finally attain his ultimate end in the world to come.


Education is very essential in everyday to be able to cope and survive whatever the difficulties and complication may experience. Without education, life can be so hard and frustrating in every aspect.

The instances of education can be from school, society or home Internet, or anywhere. It is necessary that everyone needs to go to school, to learn academically and socially. If help build up confidence in every person, if gives a high self-esteem as well. Also, we need to educate oneself in the society, so that we are aware in catastrophic situation. To know what’s going on around us, it is an advantage to be one of the biggest technologies that revolve around the word, from researching or communicating. It is a big help to explore and educate our self to the word of technology. It is a big help discipline, patient, time hard-work and effort. With these important behavioral qualities, it will be easier ot deal with life. Education doesn’t require a perfect physical appearance but it requires attention and focus. Having the knowledge in everything, it refers to a high intellect power, a power that ready for anything. The skills to educate our self is something that we couldn’t share to anyone but we could extend if is some ways.


Technically, education is really important and it is a necessity for us, to have a better life and a better future. We need to get the best of education that we want to, it is worth it to have the knowledge, and intellect the capacity to participate in the word and it can change our life tremendously.


Mostly education is accepted as a learning and training process which is applied in school.


In the past few years, another sense of education has come to be applied, according to which education is looked at as an or a science  of guidance and teacher-training departments.

The above point of view is clear to a great extent, but there is an element of ambiguity in it. When the meaning of education is analyzed in the context of the time spent in school, refined form for behavior and other points of view, a need for developing a clearer meaning of education is felt. Thus, the environment in which education is imparted, and the form of for giving a distinct meaning of education, on the above basis, it become essential in the context of its meaning, nature and scope.


Assumption of Education

In fact, man continues to learn lifelong and he evolves on its basis.

School provides a definite direction to this evolution, but school education in included under the wide form of education.


Every living being takes birth in the universe in one or the other species, and he learns certain activities during his existence. These activities are not limited to only adjustment with the prevailing circumstances; rather they also cultivate a capability to concept of hedonism. This capability of construct is called education.


The term ‘Education’ is applied for knowledge, for a process in physiological and psychological behavioral change and for studying as a subject under the curriculum.


When the term ‘education’ is applied for knowledge, its scope is pervasive all through the universe. Each element of the universe becomes its component. In this form, the scope of education has no limit.

The term ‘education’ is applied as a process for bringing about behavioral  change in man. In this form too, ,it is used in two senses: in wider sense and in narrow sense. In its wider sense, educational process has education three components: teacher, student and social environment. All these three education elements are equally important.


As a subject, under education are studied different components of education process, like teacher, student, social sentiment and curriculum.

Meaning and Nature of Education

For a common man, education is synonym to literacy in which a person is supposed to elicit a specific behavior. In his view, a literate of education person should necessarily have specific civil living style, conversation style. Manners, clothing language etc.

Education is biologically and philosophically evolved, psychologically developed and socially based. It has various dimensions. It will be interesting to see it different perspectives.


Education in social Perspective

In social context, the meaning of education can be taken only on one basis, that is whither to attach importance to man’s happiness or society happiness. In the wider perspective, education encompasses not only individual but also the whole universe.

As education process is adopted in each society for its development during a period under consideration, which is a replanted individual. Each society places before itself certain human ideals which determine an individual intellectual physical and moral behavior. This idealism is the basis of education. A society can live when its members are quite uniform. The basic manners or norms of norms of behavior which are necessary for community life are made uniform by education, it also strengthens these manners. It is education but the uniformity is relative.

Thus, education is that process which is imparted to those generations which are not yet ready for social life. It is aimed for creating and expected by political society.

Thus the above standpoint means that the systematic socialization of young generation is inherent in education.

Education in Moral perspective

The moral context comprises many aspects, such as guidance, direction, rules, codes of conduct and behaviors etc.

Morality is analyzed in the context of three eternal values: Satya (truth), Shiv (goodness) and Sundar is (beauty ). Satya, shiv and sunder cannot be explained, they are eternal for all ages. What is morality? It is the highest aim of humanity What objective is it that which creates bliss. Whose crates bliss. whose bliss is it? That of individual or universe. Education is an effort to explain these contexts. Therefore, from moral point of view, education can be called a novel synthesis of certain characteristics, attitudes, aptitude and habits in objective way. Thus education can be called the establishment of this type of thinking by which values can become meaningful only when both means and end are sacred, the doe and the soon are good , and which does good of both individual and universe.


Education in Biological Perspective

When a child is born, he is no different from an animal biologically. Later, his social personally undergoes a change according to the social assumptions. In fact it is behavior of an animal or a man is governed as per the by innate disposition, while that of a social individual is governed as per the social assumptions. The society has assigned this responsibility of behavioral modification to schools. This behavior medication is called education, which is realized through interaction between teacher and students.

Education in Spiritual Perspective

In spiritual context, education is looked in three forms: knowledge, learning and science. Knowing the truth is dependent on methods. Science is based on matter. Philosophy is based on thought.

All that knowledge which is based on spiritual field is called learning, and is accepted as the only means of attaining emancipation.

Sa Vidya Ya Vimuktaye.

(Education is that which emancipates.)

Therefore, is spiritual context, education means the attainment of learning, which prepares for the future. In the context of science, the attainment of knowledge based on matter can be called education, and it is related to the present situation.

In both its wide and narrow senses, education is a social process. Man is born with certain faculties. These facilities are developed and refined in the physical and social environment, and human behavior and thinking too undergo specific changes. The development of entire human civilization and culture occurs in the social environment itself. Educational process cannot exist in the absence of social environment.

In its narrow sense, education is limited to school life, but in its actual sense, it continues lifelong, from birth till death. Man begins to learn right from his birth and he keeps acquiring some learning with every experience of life. Thus, continuity is one of its characteristics.

Generally, educational process takes place between tow aspects: one who is influenced and one who influences. On its basis, John Adams has accepted education as a bipolar process. According to him, these two poles of education are student and teacher. John Dewey too accepts tow components of education, he has termed them psychological and psychological and social aspects. Sometimes, social environment is accepted as the third pole of education, which makes education a tripolar process which are student, teacher and curriculum.

Man’s behavior at birth is just like an animal’s. He wants to effect changes to his behavior living in the social environment. This process of modification is called education .Thus, man effect his development by education, at the same time, he constructs a basis for transmitting learning to the next generation. Thus, the civilization and culture of a race of community is developed.

Any type of education proceeds ahead accepting social changes. Its aims, objectives, curriculum and teaching process are influenced by social needs. This influence makes education dynamic.

different meanings of educationThough the above diagram explains different senses of education, yet it is necessary that their systematic analysis should be carried out.

In the Amarkosha, the term ‘education’ is used as one of the parts of the Vedas. At that time, the aim of education was to teach correct pronunciation of the Vedic rhymes. Perhaps, the reading the studying of Vedas was only aim of education, therefore education become a fixed term for the science of speech.

Education as a process – Education is conscious and deliberate process in which one personality acts another in order to modify the development to that other by the communication and manipulation of knowledge Adams. Thus education is the process of living through a continuous reconstruction of experience. It is the development of all those capacities in the individual which will enable him to control his environment and fulfill his capacities an individual as a result of his interaction with the environment constitutes learning. The child learns through his experience. His gains experience, when he comes in contact with different social institutions, persons, places and things. There is no end to thie experience. It goes on forever without any break or barrier. thus, education becomes and active and dynamic process. It is much more than schooling, memorizing or learning a prescribed syllabus. Therefore J.S.Mackenzie  rightly says. "Education is a process that goes on though out life and is promoted by almost every experience in life." Thus the child goes on recons trusting experiences throughout the whole life. When the learn comes in contact with real situation, he utility all his part experiences that are relevant to it and gains new experience throughout the whole life. Therefore, education is considered by the educationists an active and dynamic process.

Education as a product – Education may also be considered as a product… A person is said to be educated, when he acquires knowledge, skills attitude etc. Which are the product of group life at a great cost of time and suffering. Education becomes a product only when it is used. As assimilation of the culture of any society and its transference  from one generation to another. As such it perpetuates and give continuity to the society.

Since culture is dynamic in nature, education fosters to the people, the values, which are universally accepted as valuable at particular point of time. For example, in the present day world, scientific attitude, spirit of inquiry of habit of co-operation are accepted as desirable values. Therefore, education should inculcate these values n the minds of the people.

Formal and Informal Education

The Definition of education is living life. We are constantly being educated, regardless of age or race. There are two types of education: formal and informal. Formal education is what a person receives from the age of five in structured classrooms, be it public or private, through college. the quality of this formal education solely depends on where one may live, or how much money one’s parents may have. Public educations are a hit or miss. The school system may be well reputed, but there will be classrooms in these systems that aren’t up to par. This could be for man reasons; inexperienced teachers, teacher burnout, very disruptive students, and the list could go on. There is not a national standard, so schools across our country are completely different. A child, therefore, gets a formal education, through schools, but not necessarily ne of excellence.

The second type of education is informal. People of all ages receive thids type of education throughout their lives. Let’s begin from birth. Babies are taught from birth, First how to suckle. They are taught how to eat, talk, and walk usually by family. Each year of life brings about different types of informal education. Don’t doubt there aren’t things being learned on the playground in play groups. In every sports arena coaches are dispersing wisdom. Sunday school classes across the nation are guiding children through the doctrine of their particular faith.

Narrow and Broader Meaning of Education

Education is a Dynamic concept. Therefore divergent view have been expressed by the eminent scholars from Socrates to Plato from Dewey to Gandhi. Because of its dynamic nature, there is no common agreement o the question of education .People look upon it differently according to their personal interests and expectations, when a parent desires his child to achieve material progress in life and to earn name and fame, another parent may expect him to prosper spiritually to realize the self. When an educational administrator desires his son to complete course within a limited time and to pass examination, a teacher desire him to master the subject matter. A statesman may desire the child to be trained as an ideal citizen. Thus, the significance of the meaning of the education of differs from person to person. It is also a continuous process, which being at a particular point of life and ends at another point. This point of beginning the point of end of education fifers in narrower and broader sense.

The common sense of education is very narrow. It includes only school. The community makes it still narrower when only intellectual knowledge experiences are included in it, and all those experiences which are imparted at school other than falling under intellectual aspect, are called co-curricular activities. Thus, in common sense, education means only school instruction.

However, in the past few years, a change has become perceptible in educational thought. As a result of which, co-curricular activities have been attached importance, and they are not considered extra-curricular activities. They are accepted as those activities which are run concurrently with education are educational curriculum.

Narrow Meaning of Education- Establishing the meaning of education, however special and specific, must begin with consideration of it essential nature. In order to establish its essential nature and distinguish it from the various forms of education, one must first of all distinguish between spontaneous incidental education, and the planned organized and formalized education provided in schools, colleges and universities. Education becomes wider in the former sense and narrow in the latter sense.

Education in narrow sense is a planned, organized and formalized process. It is imparted at a particular place (school, college or university) and at a definite time. It is also imparted to definite persons (the students). Its curriculum too is formal. The amount of education received by the child is measured –in terms of number and grade of examination passed by him. The teacher makes deliberate efforts to inculcate certain values, attitudes or habits in the children which are considered to be most essential and useful.

The teacher in narrow sense aims at producing the literate man, professional man, bureaucrat, mechanic, politician or a religious man or to produce a thinking or intellectual man. Thus, man is deliberately ‘taught to think’ as the teacher thinks. It is a specific influence brought to bear upon the child with a definite purpose, in a pre-planned, suitable and methodical manner, According to John Stuart Mill, "In narrow sense education means the culture, which each generation purposely gives to its successors in order to qualify, to keep up and to improve the level attained. It includes whatever we do for ourselves and whatever is done for us by others for the purpose of bringing up somewhat nearer to the perfection of the nature." Thus, in narrow sense, education is nothing but a purpose for activity deliberately planned for the optimum development of an individual’s potentialities. To quote T. Reymont "In the narrow sense in which the term is used in common speech and in legal enactments education does not include self-culture and the general influences of one’s surroundings but only those special influences which are consciously and deliberately brought to bear younger by the adult person of the community, whether trough the family the church or the state."


Broader Meaning of Education

In wide sense, education is a process of all-round development which runs lifelong. The pragmatist philosopher John Dewey and Indian educational thinker Mahatma Gandhi are of the view that education is a lifelong process and the changes which occur within us as a result of experiences occur due to education. From this point of view, the experiences which are attained outside the four walls of school are also included under education. When this wide sense of education is accepted, all desirable or undesirable influences and experiences are included which a child gets from the family, society, community, state, religion, peer group, films, means of communication etc, which are called informal agencies. This reduces the role of school to a secondary place, and education jumps out of human control, and it makes difficult to determine the definite direction of child’s development.

Both common and wide senses present incomplete and vague analysis of education. In real, sense, education is the chronological and systematic development of a child’s personality. Physiological development of a child is governed automatically, and the traits that he acquires from heredity become mature with the growth of mind and body. However, the development of a child’s inherent personality can be possible only by conscious effort. Personality is an outcome of heredity and environment in which heredity is constant because the traits obtained from parents cannot be changed, thought they influence personality all thought life, environment is variable and this environment has to be controlled in order to effect desired development of child’s personality.

Thus, education is a product of action-reaction between tow important elements: Heredity and environment. Every child is born with certain facilities and capabilities right from birth which expresses his reaction to words physical and social environment.

Education, in the wider sense, is used for the purpose of teaching people all characteristics which will enable them to live and act like normal and civilized human beings n the society.

In the wider sense, education is not limited to a classroom or school only. There is no time limit for the purpose. It is rather a ‘life-long affair’. The point of beginning of this ‘continuous education’ is conception and the point of end is death. Every platform of lie –the playground, the library, the temple, the office, the market, the sea shore, the hotel etc. educate the individual. All the event, and experience, knowledge and wisdom, an individual….acquires during infancy, childhood, adolescence, youth manhood or old age through different channels of education (incidental, formal and non-formal) is education.

In this broad sense, life is education and education is life. “Whatever broadens or horizon, deepens our insight, refines our reaction and stimulates our thought and feeling, educates us.” In the process of living, and individual is both a teaches and a taught. He received education in two ways. One type of education; he receives from other and another he gives to himself from his experience. Education in wider sense includes all our experiences whatever we do, think or say educate us.

Thus, in the broader sense “Education is neither teaching nor instruction. Instruction is an artificial and limited activity. It influences the child only in a limited time and place. But life-long education goes on influencing an individual throughout his life.” Instruction ends in the classroom, but education ends only with life

Innate and Acquired Education

According to yet another standpoint, behavior is of two types: natural or innate behavior and acquired or social behavior. Education is behavioral change. When a child takes birth, he is no different from an animal, as per the biological standpoint, because his behavior is governed by innate tendencies; however, his behavior becomes as per social assumptions gradually. An animal-man’s behavior is governed by his innate tendencies while that of the social-man as per the social assumptions or approvals. Thus, education is to modify the behavior of an animal-man into social-man. The society in which an individual takes birth, learns several behaviors and sanctifies according to that. These activates are not limited to only adjustment with the environment, but they are capable of construction favorable circumstances. This construction is based on hedonism.


Thus, each society assigns the responsibility of behavioral change according to its social goal to schools, where teacher (mature personality) and students (immature personality) interact mutually, and thus teacher transforms a child into a social and mature personality.

According to J.D.Butler, education is such an activity or endeavor in which more mature people of human society make an effort for more maturity of the latest mature people, and thus, contribute in making human life better.

This process of behavioral change by education is laid down by three poles : objectives or goals, means and evidences.

It is evident from the above figure that a teacher has certain goals of behavioral change as per the social assumption, to realize which he provides learning experiences to a student through such means as curriculum and methods of teaching, and then compiles evidences by educational tests, on the basis of which evaluation is undertaken to find out how far the objectives have been realized, how effective the learning experiences have been. Thus, the last pole provides feed back to the other two poles.

Though all the above meaning of education are distinct from each other, yet they all are related to human development, change or learning in essence. However, the term ‘education’ has come to be applied in altogether different context too. Today, the term ‘education’ is also used as ‘subject’ or ‘discipline’. As a discipline, also called education or science of education, it comprises of different components of education, such as teacher, student, curriculum, method of teaching, evaluation, testing, objectives etc. for intensive study in training colleges and universities. Thus, the subject of ‘education’’ is a private curriculum which is taught at academic level in Inter, BA and MA classed and in professional class of B.ED.


Besides, the term ‘education’ is also used to mean training, because the teaching of ‘education’ at professional level of preparing future teachers is taught for providing theoretical knowledge as well as practical knowledge, so that they become adept in the art of teaching. This training is imparted in real time school conditions.


Nature and Characteristics of Education

The above discussion brings to the fore the following characteristics of education:


Education is a social process. Though man is born with certain innate traits and faculties, yet his development depends on social interaction in social environment. Each society formulates educational objectives as per its assumptions. Thus, education is a total in the hands of a society or community which transforms as animal-man into a social-man in order to realize its social goals.

The means employed are commensurate to the end to be realized. Therefore, educational objectives and curriculum to the etc. undergo a change according to social needs. Thus, education assumes dynamism. In wide sense, education is a lifelong process. Man continues to learn from every life experience. Thus, continuity is one of its characteristics.

Education is described as a bipolar process. According to it, education is performed between two poles, which are teacher and student in which teacher make a conscious effort to bring about desirable change in a student’s personality. This becomes possible by two means : teacher’s personality and his knowledge.

The above diagram presents the interaction between teacher-student as a one-way process. It appears that the teacher produces the change while the student receives it. It appears as if the teacher remains unaffected by this change. This type of  absence is not seen in the process as described in the Kathopanishad. This treatise describes the teaching process in these words:

“Both teacher and student are helpful in each other’s morel development and protect each other from possible fall”.

They should consume together, that is, they should consume the acquired traits together. It means that knowledge or learning in augmented together.

They should enhance each other’s vigor.

They should become better as a result of study.

They should not envy each other”

They above discussion make the process two-way, which can be presented as follows:

  1. Teacher
  2. Teaching process
  3. Student

On the other hand, John Dewey has described education as a tripolar process, the three poles of which are: teacher, student and social influences. In fact, social influences present the subject matter as per the society, which is called curriculum in its extensive sense

  1. Teacher
  2. Student
  3. Curriculum
  4. Teaching process

The term ‘education’ is also used in the context of ‘discipline’ and ‘training’. Generally all subject and disciplines are divided into two classed: art and science as per their nature. From this point of view, education is both art and science.

In Hindi, the term ‘art’ means which brings bliss. All those activities which beget bliss fall under the class of art, such as music, dance, poetry, literature, drawing sculpture etc. Art influences all three domains: cognitive domain, effective domain and psycho-motor domain. It is the mind which makes feel joy or bliss. Education is also related to knowledge, emotions and activity aspects, respectively called cognitive, effective and psycho-motor domains. And a teacher also takes joy in his teaching as an artist takes joy in his creation.

On the other hand, education is also a science. The scope of science is external world and it is used in the steps of experimentation, analysis and inference etc., and as it is related with intellectual human being as against the matter, education cannot be used as a science; though some psychologists have conducted successful experiments on dogs, mice, cats, chimpanzees etc., and gave deduced inferences which are taught as fundamental principles of education. These principles provide a solid scientific basis to education despite certain limitations and exceptions.

Functions of Education

In the words of Daniel Webster “The function of education is to discipline feeling, to control emotions to stimulate motivation and develop religious sentiments”.

In the words of John Dewey “the function of education is to help the growing of a helpless young animal into a happy, moral and efficient human being”.

Basically; education means “what education is”?

Function of education means:-“what education does”

There are three main functions of education which are as follows :–


Preservation function of Education- The main function of education is to preserve and protect the old values, customs, beliefs, traditions, etc. Education shows the path of righteous living and guides us how to preserve the old education ideas and how to organize the educational system of a country in such a way that one makes progressive development in every field. It includes fulfillment of public and civic duties and also the preservation, protection and propagation of national cultural.


In the words of Pt. Nehru, “Education must help in preserving the vital elements of our heritage. The core of India’s cultural heritage is love of beauty and truth, spirit of tolerance, capacity to absorb earlier cultures and work out new synthesis.”

As a matter of fact, it is the duty of education to educate people of the country to preserve the precious old. In a way education acts as the custodian of the culture. The cultural heritage is a great wealth which has been gathered with great labour over a number of centuries. This precious wealth has to be preserved with a greater care than we devote to material wealth

Transmission function of Education- Another important function of education is to transmit the best preserved traditions of thoughts is and actions (i.e the cultural heritage) from one generation to another.

Education plays an important role. It transfers knowledge, ideologies, theories, principles and attributes from one generation to another and thus contributes greatly to the general progress of society. In the words of Ottaway, “One of the tasks of education is to handover the cultural values and the behavior pattern of society to the young potential members.” Education helps in creating favorable atmosphere to pass on the best experiences of the race to the next generation.


Enrichment function of Education-Education also helps in enriching the existing cultural heritage by making use of latest technologies in the field of education which are invented for adding novelty so that the concept become more enriched for the learner. Actually each generation had to enrich its predecessors otherwise no intellectual or social development would be possible and the present state of the society would be no different from the society of the Old Stone Age.”


Education provides opportunities to recognize and restructure human experiences and as a result of this, there is development of human civilization and culture. Through education cultural groups strive for the enrichment of their lives.


Theories of Education

The jet theory of education.


Education is the outcome of man’s desire to preserve and promote his heritage and transmit it to be oncoming generation. His heritage is as old as his civilized life. So also his education. In the early period, knowledge was considered as the centre of instruction. All educational effort was directed towards the acquisition of knowledge only. A person could work as a teacher, only when he could master some branches of know knowledge only. A person could work as a teacher, only when he could master some branches of knowledge. “Knowledge was supposed to issue forth from the teacher as in a jet, and the pupil was expected to each the jet and scope as much of it as he could.” This may be called the ‘Jet Theory of Education’. A child then, had to undergo a series of cruelties in order to receive knowledge by harsh discipline an a code of conduct people believed that learning cannot take place in the midst of comforts and pleasure. Therefore, physical hardships were deliberately included as and integral part of learning.


The Bi-polar Theory of Education

Adams considered the relation between teacher and pupil as bi-polar. In his words, “there must always be a teacher or educator pole, and a pupil of educand pole.” A child becomes a student only because of his relationship with the students. We should not think one pole to be passive, another to be active. In the process of education, the teacher is active while giving instructions and the pupil in active while receiving it. Listening to the instruction of a teacher involves an activity of thought and imagination. In be-polar theory of education, the teacher is active in teaching and the students are active in learning.


The Uni-Polar Theory of Education

Adams pointed out that the activity of the educator and educand pole comes to a point of redistribution when the child tries to acquire certain skill and knowledge or develops a pattern of behavior. He becomes a partner of the teacher and tries to educate himself. Now, the teacher is nothing but a means by which the child educates himself. He is no more in the foreground. Thus education becomes uni-polar.


Process of education can interpreted as ‘subjective’ and ‘objective’ ‘Education becomes objective, when the student only responds to the stimulus of the teacher without unable to enter the purpose of the teacher by making it making it his own or by opposing it at times. This way never happens in case of some pupils. Hence this process is objective bi-polar . In true sense, it is uni-polar as regards the experience of most educands. In the words of Adams; “In the experience of most educands education is bi-polar throughout, in both subjective and objective spheres. It is true that at the highest point in the educational experience of the intelligent educand, there comes a time when the process appears to be uni-polar, for the educand is now fully aware of his own desires in matter of education and does all his own educating, using the external educator merely as a means. Yet even at this stage, and while the educated thinks that he is complete command of the whole educational process, he may be under education in way that he does not suspect. A school caption, a school perfect, a university student is often in this position. He thinks he is merely using his tutors as means with which to educate himself, while these tutors are deliberately molding his character”

The Tri-Polar Theory of Education

Sri J.E. Adamson proposed a tri-polar theory of education. According to him, the essence of education consists in adjustment which he describe as bringing the individual and his word into relation, the word of the individual is in reality an his words, nature, society and morality, which correspond to be activities of knowing, feeling and willing in human experience. The process of adjustment has both passive and active aspects. The child is molded by his environment but he is also to mold it.

Adams believed that there is definite though variable relation between the educator and the educand. Adamson, on the other hand, establishes a direct relation between the educand and his environment in which the educator is an external factor. In the word for Adamson, “we now come to a point of fundamental importance. It is the position and function of the teacher in relation to his business of adjustment which we take to be the end and essence of education. In the process itself, there does not seem to be any room for him. On the other hand, there is the individual and the other three worlds, and in the miracle of experience they, subjective and objective, have become one; while adjustment in but the elaboration and extension of this unity. The whole business is between the individual and his world, and the teacher is outside it, external to it”.

Thus the bi-polar relation is not between the teacher and the pupil but between the pupil and has environment (worlds).

Purpose and Functions

To make matters more complicated, theorist have made a distinction between the purpose of education and the functions of education. A purpose is the fundamental goal of the process an end to be achieved. Functions are other outcomes that may occur as a natural result of the process – by products or consequences of schooling. For example, some teachers believe that the transmission of knowledge is the primary purpose of education, while the transfer of knowledge from school to real world is something that happens naturally as a consequence of possessing that knowledge-a function of education.

Because a purpose is an expressed goal, more effort is put into attaining it. Function are assumed to occur without directed effort. For this reason it’s valuable to figure out which outcomes one consider a fundamental purpose of education. Which of the following do one actually include in his planning?

As Tom Peters reminds us, “What gets measured, gets done.” Regardless of the high sounding rhetoric about the development of the total child , it is the content of assessments that largely drives education. How is the capacity/ability to think creatively assessed in today’s schools? To what extent is the typical student recognized  and given respect? How often are students given the opportunity to recognize and evaluate different points of view when multiple choice tests require a single ‘correct’ answer?

Teacher who holds a more humanistic view of the purpose of education often experience stress because the meaning they assign to education differs greatly from the meaning assigned by society or their institution. It is clear in listening to the language of education that its primary focus is on knowledge and teaching rather than on the learner. Students are expected to conform to schools rather than schools serving the needs of students.


Stopping to identify and agree upon a fundamental purpose of education is rare. One sees nebulous statements in school mission statements, but they are often of the “Mom, baseball, and apple pie” variety that offer little substance on which to build a school culture. Creating meaningful and lasting change in education is unlikely without revisiting this basic definition. At the very least, educators must be challenged to identify and reexamine their beliefs in the light of present knowledge.


It is not a function of education to get entangled in narrow and minor concepts. It is in fact engaged in understanding each process of thought. Its objective is to look into the life problems as a whole. In fact, education is only a unit of different aspects of everything that is known or should be known by man. It proves the extensiveness, humility, forbearance and all-embracing nature of education.

Dimensions of Education

“Dimension” refers to the breadth range, extent, comprehensiveness and variety of learning experiences, the extent of range view, outlook, application, effectiveness, and operation. From this point of view, education is concerned with the “whole man”, the entire life of an individual comes under the preview of education.

Education is life itself, Hence its scope is very wide. It is a wide as the whole world and as long as the history of mankind, the following subject-matter may be included under the scope of education:

1.      History of Education- History of education also comes under the scope of education. By the help of this, we understand the gradual development of education during different periods of history. Beside this, it also helps us to find out suitable system of education according to the changing needs of the society.

2.      Problem and Issues of Education – Some of the important problems of education, are vocationalization of education problems of population education non-formal education adult education development of a national system of education, religious and moral education, national integration, medium of instruction etc. Education cannot achieve progress unless it studies the problems and find out their solutions.

3.      Sociology of Education – “Education can be studied from many different views. What is here called the sociology of education is fairly a new name for an aspect of education which has always been the concern of the educator in some from or another.” Education is an activity which goes on in the society. Hence it aims and methods depend on the nature of the society in which it functions. Sociology of education may be defined briefly as a study of relations between education and society. This branch of study deals with aims of education, methods of teaching, administration and supervision, curriculum, only in relation to the socio-political, economic, cultural and religious forces of the society in which they take place.

4.      Comparative Education – In the age of globalization, Comparitive education help us to modify reform, reorient and improve our own education system in the light of the system followed in other countries. It is the study of cross cultural comparison of the structure, operation, methods, aims and achievements of various educational system and practices of different countries of the world.

5.   Education Psychology – Psychology has been considered as one of the youngest, yet one of the most influenced education in many different ways and has practically given a new turn, a psychological turn to the human mind. For a skillful teacher of the present day, knowledge of the child has been considered to be more important than the knowledge of the subject matter, Therefore, teacher at present should be equipped with those psychological skills and competencies which are badly necessary for the successful guidance of learning, adjustment and the growth of the child.

6.      Philosophy of Education – In philosophy are reflected hopes, aspirations, ideals and values of man. Philosophy reflects and meditates on them. For its realization, human society has adopted many occupations. Education is one of the chief ones through which man wishes to attain his long-desired and eternal values. From this standpoint, it appears impossible to realize the educational outcomes without a healthy philosophical basis. As Dupis defines “Philosophy of education is one of the oldest, yet one of the newest disciplines.” It is one of the oldest since Plato, the philosopher of par excellence of ancient time devoted considerable attention to the nature, purposes and content of education, it is one of the newest since philosophy of education began to emerge as a separate discipline only in twentieth century. Now it is realized that philosophy and educations are related like flower and fragrance. Philosophy determines all the aspects of education-nature of education, curriculum, method of teaching, nature of text-book, nature of discipline, evaluation role of the teacher, school organization etc.

7. Techniques of Teaching- The minds of the pupils are growing organism. Filling the minds of the pupils with ideas is not right education. To make the food of education palatable we follow different techniques of teaching. The techniques of teaching have been bided either upon the nature of the subject matter of psychology of the learning process or merely because it has been observed that certain ways of presenting the lesson is essential, to develop the interest and attention of the students. The students of education should get themselves familiarized with different techniques of teaching.

8. Educational Administration and Supervision – Administrative functions are concerned primarily with the infrastructural facilities and the operation of the schools and supervisory functions are concerned with improving the learning situation, A student of education should know how these activities are going on in our schools.

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