1. Dewey developed a philosophy that called for the unity of theory and practice.
2. His thinking was grounded in the moral conviction that ‘democracy is freedom’
3. Dewey’s philosophical views probably reached more readers via books aimed at educators, such as The school and society (1899), How we think (1910), Democracy and education (1916) and Experience and education (1938), than through those directed principally to his fellow philosophers. Democracy and education,
4. Over the course of the 1890s Dewey steadily moved away from absolute idealism toward the pragmatism and naturalism of his mature philosophy.
5. Thought, he argued, was a mediating, instrumental function that had evolved in order to serve the interests of human survival and welfare.
6. This theory of knowledge emphasized the ‘necessity of testing thought by action if thought was to pass over into knowledge’,
7. His work in education was intended, in part, to explore the implications of his functional pedagogy and to test it by experiment.
8. Dewey was certain that there was no difference in the dynamics of the experiences of children and adults. Both were active beings who learned by confronting the problematic situations that arose in the course of their activities. For both children and adults, thinking was an instrument for solving the problems of experience, and knowledge was the accumulation of wisdom that such problem-solving generated.
9. By the time the child entered the classroom, he was ‘already intensely active, and the question of education is the question of taking hold of his activities, of giving them direction’
10. When children began their formal education they brought with them four basic ‘native impulses’ —the ‘impulse to communicate, to construct, to inquire, and to express in finer form.’
11. Children also brought their own interests and activities from home, and it was the task of the teacher to make use of this ‘raw material’ by guiding their activities at school toward ‘valuable results’
12. He believed that it would be wrong, to cultivate the purposes and interests of children ‘just as they stand’. Effective education required these purposes and interests to be used by the teacher in order to guide the child toward his understanding of the sciences, history, and arts.
13. The curriculum was based on the experiences of the human race, and therefore it was designed to encourage the immature experience of the child in their activities. Thus, ‘To oppose one to the other is to oppose the infancy and maturity of the same growing life;
14. Deweyan pedagogy called upon teachers to perform the extremely difficult task of ‘reinstating into experience’ the subject-matter of the curriculum
15. In this model, children were told how to do something rather that given the freedom to discover, first-hand, how to do it themselves.
16. Dewey called upon teachers to ‘psychologize’ the curriculum by constructing an environment in which the activities of the child would include problematic situations. In order to solve these problems, children would have to call on their knowledge and skills of science, history and art.
17. In effect, the curriculum told the teacher ‘such and such are the capacities, the fulfilments, in truth and beauty and behaviour, open to these children. Now see to it that day by day the conditions are such that their own activities move inevitably in this direction, toward such culmination of themselves’

Skills of a teacher

If teachers were to teach in this fashion, they would, Dewey acknowledged, have to be: highly skilled professionals, thoroughly knowledgeable in the subject-matter they were teaching, trained in child psychology, and skilled in the techniques of providing the necessary stimulus so that the subject-matter would become part of a child’s growing experience. Such a teacher had to be capable of seeing the world as both a child and an adult saw it. She must see all things with their eyes and limited by their experience; but, in time of need, she must be able to recover her trained vision and from the realistic point of view of an adult supply the guide posts of knowledge and the skills of method’. He called the teacher ‘the usherer of the true kingdom of God’His confidence that children would develop a democratic character in the schools he envisioned was rooted less in a faith in the ‘spontaneous and crude capacities of the child’ than in the ability of teachers to create an environment in the classroom in which they possessed the means to ‘mediate’ these capacities ‘over into habits of social intelligence and responsiveness’

Democracy and education

1. The way a child’s character is shaped, the moral and political agenda of schooling, is sometimes termed the `hidden curriculum.’
2. The critical task of education in a democratic society was to help children develop the character, the habits and virtues, that would enable them to achieve self-realization.
3. Dewey argued that in order for a school to foster social spirit and develop democratic character in children, it had to be organized as a co-operative community.
4. In order to educate for democracy the school had to become ‘an institution in which the child is, for the time, to live — to be a member of a community life in which he feels that he participates, and to which he contributes’
5. Insofar as schools played an important part in the shaping of the character of a society’s children, they could, if they were designed to do so, transform that society.
6. The difficulty with this belief was that most schools were not designed to transform societies but rather to reproduce them.
7. If schools were to be made agencies of social reform rather than agencies of social reproduction, they would have to be thoroughly reconstructed.

The Dewey school

1. ‘The school, is the one form of social life which is abstracted and under control — which is directly experimental, and if philosophy is ever to be an experimental science, the construction of a school is its starting point’.
2. Dewey proposed a school to university officials that would keep ‘theoretical work in touch with the demands of practice’ as the most essential component of a department of pedagogy ‘the nerve of the whole scheme’
3. In January 1896, the Laboratory School of the University of Chicago opened its doors.
4. The institution soon became known as the ‘Dewey School’, for the hypotheses that were tested in this laboratory were strictly those of Dewey’s functional psychology and democratic ethics.
5. At the centre of the curriculum of the Dewey School was what Dewey termed the ‘occupation’, that is, ‘a mode of activity on the part of the child which reproduces, or runs parallel to, some of work carried on in social life’
6. Skills such as reading were developed when children came to recognize their usefulness in solving the problems that confronted them in their occupational activities.
7. If a child realizes the motive for acquiring skill, he is helped in large measure to secure the skill
8. Books and the ability to read are, therefore, regarded strictly as tools.
9. This method introduced children to the methods of experimental problem-solving in which mistakes were an important part of learning.
10. Providing children with ‘first-hand experience,’ the problematic situations largely of their own making, was the key to Dewey’s pedagogy.
11. He believed that ‘until the emphasis changes to the conditions which make it necessary for the child to take an active share in the personal building up of his own problems and to participate in methods of solving them (even at the expense of experimentation and error) the mind is not really freed’
12. As far as subject-matter was concerned, Dewey’s goals for education were rather conventional, only his methods were innovative and radical.
13. Children shared in the planning of their projects, and the execution of these projects was marked by a co-operative division of labour, in which leadership roles were frequently rotated. The Dewey School was above all an experiment in education for democracy.
14. In the Laboratory School Dewey tried to implement a sort of workplace democracy. The work of teachers was organized much like that of the children.Teachers played an active role in shaping the school curriculum.
15. In the school, he said, ‘the typical occupations followed are freed from all economic stress. The aim is not the economic value of the products, but the development of social power and insight’
16. Freed from ‘narrow utilities’, occupations in the school were organized so that ‘method, purpose, understanding shall exist in the consciousness of the one who does the work, that his activity shall have meaning to himself’

Criticism: Dewey’s philosophy of education came under heavy posthumous attack in the 1950s from the opponents of progressive education, who blamed him for virtually everything that was wrong with the American public school system. His legacy is less one of established practice than of adversarial vision. Most schools are far from the ‘supremely interesting places’ and ‘dangerous outposts of a humane civilization’ he would have had them be.

Prospects: the quarterly review of comparative education (Paris, UNESCO: International Bureau of Education), vol. XXIII, no. 1\2, 1993,p. 277-91.©UNESCO :International Bureau of Education, 1999





  • He believed that the Guardians of the city (whether it be the intellectual guardians or the military guardians) must be educated.
  • Disorder, or order, in the souls of the guardians originates from the education they receive. This disorder in their souls is the source of injustice in society.
  • After admitting that men are physically stronger than women, he suggests that women are equal in their reasoning abilities and should be able to perform the same tasks in society as men. Therefore, they should receive the same type of education.
  • He split up education into music and gymnastics and explained that the subjects that relate with music develop the soul and the subjects that relate with gymnastics develop the body. However, he explained we must understand that gymnastics develops the soul in some ways as well.
  • Playing sports teaches us virtues such as perseverance and justice. Additionally, Socrates explained that young children should be thought through play rather than formal education.
  • Socrates also believed that we must filter what is taught to the young philosophers. When they are young, students learn myths about the gods and the evils that they perform. Socrates believed that these kind of stories help disorder enter the souls of the young children. They must be told stories that teach that the gods only did good and never performed evil.



  • The most permanent influence exerted by Comenius was in practical educational work.
  • He outlined a system of schools that is the exact counterpart of the existing American system of kindergarten, elementary school, secondary school, college, and university.
  • Comenius formulated the general theory of education i.e. he was the first to formulate that idea of “education according to nature”.
  • Comenius first applied or attempted to apply in a systematic manner the principles of thought and of investigation, to the organization of education in all its aspects. The summary of this attempt is given in the Didactica Magna.
  • Books- Janua Linguarum Reserata (The Gate of Tongues Unlocked), issued in 1631. the Vestibulum, and a more advanced one, the Atrium, and other texts. In 1657 the Orbis Sensualium Pictus was published, probably the most renowned and most widely circulated of school textbooks. It was also the first successful application of illustrations to the work of teaching, though not, as often stated, the first illustrated book for children.
  • These texts were all based on the same fundamental ideas:

ü  learning foreign languages through the vernacular;

ü  obtaining ideas through objects rather than words;

ü  starting with objects most familiar to the child to introduce him to both the new language and the more remote world of objects:

ü  giving the child a comprehensive knowledge of his environment, physical and social, as well as instruction in religious, moral, and classical subjects;

ü  making this acquisition of a compendium of knowledge a pleasure rather than a task; and

ü  making instruction universal.

  • While the formulation of many of these ideas is open to criticism from more recent points of view, and while the naturalistic conception of education is one based on crude analogies, the importance of the Comenian influence in education has been recognized since the middle of the nineteenth century.




Education and child rearing

  ‘The noblest work in education is to make a reasoning man, and we expect to train a young child by making him reason! This is beginning at the end; this is making an instrument of a result. If children understood how to reason they would not need to be educated.”–Rousseau, Emile.

Rousseau’s philosophy of education is not concerned with particular techniques of imparting information and concepts, but rather with developing the pupil’s character and moral sense, so that he may learn to practice self-mastery and remain virtuous even in the unnatural and imperfect society in which he will have to live.

The hypothetical boy, Émile, is to be raised in the countryside, which, Rousseau believes, is a more natural and healthy environment than the city, under the guardianship of a tutor who will guide him through various learning experiences arranged by the tutor. Today we would call this the disciplinary method of “natural consequences.”

Rousseau felt that children learn right and wrong through experiencing the consequences of their acts rather than through physical punishment. The tutor will make sure that no harm results to Émile through his learning experiences.


Rousseau was one of the first to advocate developmentally appropriate education; and his description of the stages of child development mirrors his conception of the evolution of culture.

He divides childhood into stages: the first is to the age of about 12, when children are guided by their emotions and impulses. During the second stage, from 12 to about 16, reason starts to develop; and finally the third stage, from the age of 16 onwards, when the child develops into an adult.

Rousseau recommends that the young adult learn a manual skill such as carpentry, which requires creativity and thought, will keep him out of trouble, and will supply a fallback means of making a living in the event of a change of fortune.

Rousseau was a believer in the moral superiority of the patriarchal family on the antique Roman model.

Sophie, the young woman Émile is destined to marry, as a representative of ideal womanhood, is educated to be governed by her husband while Émile, as representative of the ideal man, is educated to be self-governing. This is not an accidental feature of Rousseau’s educational and political philosophy; it is essential to his account of the distinction between private, personal relations and the public world of political relations.

The private sphere as Rousseau imagines it depends on the subordination of women, in order for both it and the public political sphere (upon which it depends) to function as Rousseau imagines it could and should. Rousseau anticipated the modern idea of the bourgeois nuclear family, with the mother at home taking responsibility for the household and for childcare and early education.





  • Pestalozzi was a Romantic who felt that education must be broken down to its elements in order to have a complete understanding of it.
  • He emphasized that every aspect of the child’s life contributed to the formation of personality, character, and reason based on what he learned by operating schools at Neuhof, Stans, Burgdorf and Yverdon.
  • Pestalozzi’s educational methods were child-centered and based on individual differences, sense perception, and the student’s self-activity.
  • In 1819, Stephan Ludwig Roth came to study with Pestalozzi, and his new humanism contributed to the development of the method of language teaching, including considerations such as the function of the mother tongue in the teaching of ancient languages.
  • Pestalozzi and Niederer were important influences on the theory of physical education; they developed a regimen of physical exercise and outdoor activity linked to general, moral, and intellectual education that reflected Pestalozzi’s ideal of harmony and human autonomy.
  • Pestalozzi’s philosophy of education was based on a four-sphere concept of life and the premise that human nature was essentially good.
  • The first three ‘exterior’ spheres – home and family, vocational and individual self-determination, and state and nation – recognized the family, the utility of individuality, and the applicability of the parent-child relationship to society as a whole in the development of a child’s character, attitude toward learning, and sense of duty.
  • The last ‘exterior’ sphere – inner sense – posited that education, having provided a means of satisfying one’s basic needs, results in inner peace and a keen belief in God.




Froebel’s Kindergarten Curriculum Method & Educational Philosophy


  • Kindergarten was the first organized early-childhood educational method.


  • As a keen observer of nature and humanity, Froebel approached human education from both a biological and a spiritual perspective.


  • Froebel discovered that brain development is most dramatic between birth and age three, and recognized the importance of beginning education earlier than was then practiced.


  • The number of innovations that Froebel pioneered through his research is startling, and includes multiple intelligences (different learning styles), play-based, child-centered, holistic education, parent involvement/training, educational paperfolding, use of music, games, and movement activities for education.


Humans Are Creative Beings
From a spiritual perspective, Froebel understood that what separates us from other life forms is that we alter our environment. More than simple tool-building, our brains allow us to visualize in 3-D and imagine a different future. True education therefore must help children to understand their role as creative beings.


Play Is the Engine of Real Learning
Froebel concluded that play is not idle behavior but a biological imperative to discover how things work. It is pleasurable activity, but biologically purposeful. Froebel sought to harness this impulse and focus a child’s play energy on specific activities designed to lead them to create meaning from their experiences.


The Froebel® Gifts are educational materials developed for Friedrich Froebel’s original Kindergarten. Perhaps the world’s most intricately conceived playthings, these materials appear deceptively simple, but represent a sophisticated approach to child development. The Gifts are arguably the first educational toys.

Froebel developed Spielgabe (“play gifts”) for his Kindergarten schools. They were so named because they were both given the child (to be properly respected as gifts) and also function as tools for adults to observe the innate human “gifts” each child posseses from birth.


One observes the remarkable qualities and innovative ideas that make each child unique when they have the opportunity to explore and create according to Froebel’s method. Froebel spent a great deal of time observing children and refining the design of the Gifts.





Social Darwinism in Education



  • Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) was known as one of the leading Social Darwinists of the 19th century.


  • As a Social Darwinist, Spencer helped gain acceptance of the theory of evolution which also became the basis for most of his books and teachings.


  • The principle of evolution believed in the process whereby all things change from the simplest of forms to the most complex.


  • It was Herbert Spencer who actually coined the phrase “survival of the fittest” which depicted a constant struggle amongst the species.  As a result of this continual struggle, the stronger species survived and multiplied while the weaker species perished. His work “Synthetic Philosophy” applied this evolutionary process to all branches of knowledge specifically biology, psychology, sociology and ethics.


  • Spencer was an agnostic who believed that the only way to gain knowledge was through a scientific approach.  He felt that religion was a futile attempt to gain knowledge of the unknown.


  • Spencer wanted to replace the theological systems of the Middle Ages with his philosophical system which stated that all knowledge could be placed within the framework of modern science.


  • Science was the only way to gain “useful”  knowledge.  It was through this “scientific” knowledge that people learned to live in society.


  • Spenser perceived society to be a progression of small homogeneous groups evolving into large complex groups over an extended period of time


  • Spencer was a noted non-conformist who detested authority and strongly emphasized individualism.


  • In Spencer’s work “Social Status”, he stated that individual freedom was extremely important and that the government should play a limited role in society especially in the schools.


  • He did not believe in the public school system. His major criticism of the school system was that it did not prepare children to live in society.


  • Instead, Spencer believed in the private school system which competed for the brightest students.  Because of his belief in competition, conflict and struggle, Spencer felt that the most exemplary schools would eventually acquire the best teachers and students.


  • Spencer, not surprisingly, stressed the importance of the sciences in the schools.


  • Learning should be a sensory experience where a student interacts within his/her environment; a slow, gradual, and inductive process.


  • Children should be encouraged to explore and discover which would allow them to acquire knowledge naturally.


  • Education should also be a pleasant experience for children with the least restrictions possible.


  • Rote memorization and recitation were strongly opposed.


  • A student should only engage in those activities that would ultimately allow him/her to
  • survive in society.


  • Special emphasis was placed on the physical, biological, and social sciences while English grammar and literature were believed to be outdated.


  • Spencer became one of the major proponents of modern curriculum theory. He created quite an uproar in England with his curriculum theory because the major focus of education continued to be the Latin and Greek languages and literature.  In his work “What Knowledge is of Most Worth?” Spencer stated that this question needed to be answered before any curriculum was chosen or any instruction commenced.


  • Once this question was answered, it should be made certain that the curriculum aid in advancing survival and progress.


  • To achieve this advancement Spencer believed that there were five activities necessary in curriculum.  These activities assisted in-self preservation, performance of occupations, child-rearing, social and political participation, recreation and leisure.  Once again, the main goal was to teach subjects that would contribute to successful living.


  • Education today continues to be influenced by Spencer’s Social Darwinist theories.  In fact, his curriculum activities based on human needs are still being implemented in one form or another.


  • Spencer’s works- “Principles of Biology” , “Principles of Psychology”,  “Study of Sociology”






o   Foundations of Education, Ornstein & Levine

o   Educational Philosophy, Edward J. Power

o   Educational Ideologies, William F. O’Neill

o   Herbert Spencer on Education, Andreas M. Kazamias



Analytic philosophy

Bertrand Russell helped to develop what is now called “Analytic Philosophy.” Russell suggested, held that in order to know any particular thing, we must know all of its relations. Russell argued that this would make spacetimescience and the concept of number not fully intelligible. Russell and Moore were devoted to clarity in arguments by breaking down philosophical position into their simplest components. Russell, in particular, saw formal logic and science as the principal tools of the philosopher. He did not think we should have separate methods for philosophy. Russell thought philosophers should strive to answer the most general of propositions about the world and this would help eliminate confusions. In particular, he wanted to end what he saw as the excesses of metaphysics.

Religion and theology

For most of his adult life Russell maintained that religion is little more than superstition and, despite any positive effects that religion might have, it is largely harmful to people. He believed religion and the religious outlook serve to impede knowledge, foster fear and dependency, and are responsible for much of the war, oppression, and misery that have beset the world.


While Russell wrote a great deal on ethical subject matters, he did not believe that the subject belonged to philosophy or that when he wrote on ethics that he did so in his capacity as a philosopher. Russell himself did not construe ethical propositions as narrowly as the positivists, for he believed that ethical considerations are not only meaningful, but that they are a vital subject matter for civil discourse. Indeed, though Russell was often characterised as the patron saint of rationality, he agreed with Hume, who said that reason ought to be subordinate to ethical considerations.

Philosophy of science

Russell claimed that he was more convinced of his method of doing philosophy than of his philosophical conclusions. Science was one of the principal components of analysis. Russell was a believer in the scientific method, that science reaches only tentative answers, that scientific progress is piecemeal, and attempts to find organic unities were largely futile. He believed the same was true of philosophy. Russell held that the ultimate objective of both science and philosophy was to understand reality, not simply to make predictions.

Russell’s epistemology went through many phases. Once he shed neo-Hegelianism in his early years, Russell remained a philosophical realist for the remainder of his life, believing that our direct experiences have primacy in the acquisition of knowledge.[2] While some of his views have lost favour, his influence remains strong in the distinction between two ways in which we can be familiar with objects: “knowledge by acquaintance” and “knowledge by description“.


Logical atomism

Perhaps Russell’s most systematic, metaphysical treatment of philosophical analysis and his empiricist-centric logicism is evident in what he called logical atomism, which is explicated in a set of lectures, “The Philosophy of Logical Atomism,” which he gave in 1918.[15] In these lectures, Russell sets forth his concept of an ideal, isomorphic language, one that would mirror the world, whereby our knowledge can be reduced to terms of atomic propositions and their truth-functional compounds. Logical atomism is a form of radical empiricism, for Russell believed the most important requirement for such an ideal language is that every meaningful proposition must consist of terms referring directly to the objects with which we are acquainted, or that they are defined by other terms referring to objects with which we are acquainted.

Philosophy of language

Russell made language, or more specifically, how we use language, a central part of philosophy


Views on Education       

“Education should take a form that enables it to be available to all children or at least all children capable of benefiting from it. The education system we should aim for is one in which every boy and every girl are given the opportunity to attain the highest level of education in this world.”

Russell argues that, not only should all children be given equal opportunities to receive the best possible education, but individuals with special needs should be given specific education.  He was aware of the danger of equal opportunity leading to inequality and the necessity of individual education where individuals with special needs were concerned.

Russell points out the dispute “whether education is for practicality or for embellishment; whether education should focus on technical skills that would train a merchant or a professional as quickly as possible.  We are faced with the problem whether education shall aim for packing the children’s brains with practical knowledge or giving them intellectual treasures.”  Russell’s answer to the question “whether education should be practical” is “of course it should,” because “the educational process is a means to an end, and not an end in itself.”  He goes on to say, “the essence of practicality is that it benefits something that is not purely practical.  A ‘good’ final result sometimes requires a long series of results.”

Education should aim for the happiness of each student.  Therefore, Russell opposed dividing the society into practicality and embellishment.  He argues that both types of knowledge should be provided.  Children should acquire knowledge for material gain as well as knowledge for intellectual pleasure.

Education should have both  utility and humanity as components.

Russell writes, “children are not the means but the purpose.  Educators must love children more than the nation or the church.  What is required of the educators and what the children should acquire is ‘knowledge dominated by love’.”

Russell is prescient in pointing out the importance of early education.  He emphasizes the importance of the role of parents in that.  In order for the education for happiness to work, the recipient of such education must be ready, too.  The formation of a child’s characteristics starts at the point of birth.  The role of parents as educators in the formative years is vitally important.  It is the foundation and the first step of the education for happiness.






  • True Value of Education-“We want to provide only such education as would enable the student to earn more. We hardly give any thought to the improvement of the character of the educated.”
  • Education is not mere literacy 
  • Education as Training-Education does not mean a knowledge of letters but it means character building, it means a knowledge of duty.
  • Education as Service– True education lies in serving others, oblige them without the least feeling of one-uppishness. The more mature you grow, the more you will realise this. A great deal of religious obligations on us are fulfilled when we nurse the sick.
  • Service Before Self-To do good to others and serve them without any sense of egoism—this is real education.
  • Moral Path-The true occupation of man is to build his character. It is not quite necessary to learn something special for earning [one’s livelihood]. He who does not leave the path of morality never starves, and is not afraid if such a contingency arises.
  • Living a Good Life-He who does his duty is all the while studying. Learning to live a good life is in itself education. All else is useless.
  • Laying Strong Foundation-What is the meaning of education? It simply means a knowledge of letters. It is merely an instrument, and an instrument may be well used or abused. Whether you take elementary education or higher education, it is not required for the main thing. It does not make men of us. It does not enable us to do our duty.
  • The Three R’s-But although much good and useful work can be done without a knowledge of the three R’s, it is my firm belief that we cannot always do without such knowledge. It develops and sharpens one’s intellect, and it increases our capacity of doing good.
  • Education as Liberation-That is true education which leads to freedom.” That which liberates is education. Liberation is of two kinds. One form of liberation consists in securing the freedom of the country from foreign rule. Such freedom may prove short-lived. The other kind of liberation is for all time. In order to attain moksha, which we describe as our paramadharma, we should have freedom in the worldly sense as well. He who is ridden with many fears cannot attain the ultimate moksha.
  • Education as Assimilation-It is the duty of students to assimilate whatever they have learnt. They should have religious and moral instruction, as much of it as they can usefully apply. They need education in such measure that it would not become too much of a useless burden on them.


  • Overcoming Fear-For us, fear has become synonymous with life. What is the use of that education which does not help us to overcome fear, but which, on the contrary, strengthens it?
  • Culture of the Heart-Culture of the mind must be subservient to the culture of the heart.
  • Learning and Courage-Let them (students) realize that learning without courage is like a waxen statue beautiful to look at but bound to melt at the least touch of a hot substance.
  • Character vs Knowledge-In brief, formation of character should have priority over knowledge of the alphabet.
  • Education as Contemplation-Education, character and religion should be regarded as convertible terms. There is no true education which does not tend to produce character, and there is no true religion which does not determine character. Education should contemplate the whole life. Mere memorizing and book-learning is not education. I have no faith in the so-called systems of education which produce men of learning without the backbone of character.
  • Education of the Whole Child-Education does not mean a knowledge of the alphabet. This type of knowledge is only a means to education. Education implies a child’s learning how to put his mind and all his senses to good use. That is to say, he really learns how to use his hands, feet and other organs of action and his nose, ear and other organs of sense. A child who has acquired the knowledge that he should not use his hands for stealing or for killing flies nor for beating up his companions or younger brothers and sisters has already begun his education. He has started it, we can say, when he understands the necessity of keeping his body, his teeth, tongue, ears, head, nails, etc., clean and keeps them clean. That child has made good progress in education who does not indulge in mischief while eating and drinking, eats and drinks alone or in society in a proper manner, sits properly and chooses pure foodstuffs knowing the difference between pure and impure foodstuffs, does not eat like a glutton, does not clamour for whatever he sees and remains calm even if he does not get what he wants. Even that child has advanced on the road to education whose pronunciation is correct, who can recount to us the history and geography of the country surrounding him without knowing those terms and who understands what his country means. That child has made very good progress in his education who can understand the difference between truth and untruth, worth and worthlessness and chooses the good and the true, while rejecting the bad and the untrue.
  • Education as Self-discipline-All your scholarship, all your study of Shakespeare and Wordsworth would be vain if at the same time you do not build your character, and attain mastery over your thoughts and actions. When you have attained self-mastery and learnt to control your passions you will not utter notes of despair.
  • Right Learning-I have discovered in the course of my travels in India that, without dharma, learning is barren. This raises the question: “What is right learning?” Religion is not a matter for reflection but of conduct. It is not a subject for talking about, be it noted. Teachers can create the thing only by their conduct.
  • Becoming Strong-In the circumstances in which you pursue your studies, you can only learn to fear man. I would say, on the other hand, that he alone is a real M.A. who has given up the fear of man and has learnt to fear God. Any education you receive will have justified itself only when you have become so strong that you will not beg of anyone for your living. It will have justified itself when the feeling has grown in you that, so long as you are strong of limb, you need not humble yourselves before anyone for a livelihood.
  • Literary Training-Literary training by itself adds not an inch to one’s moral height and that character-building is independent of literary training.
  • Development of Body, Mind and Spirit-

ü  Education can also be understood in another sense; that is, whatever leads to a full or maximum development of all the three, the body, mind and spirit, may also be called education. A well-educated mind serves man in the desired manner.

ü  A trained body is healthy, vigorous and sinewy. The hands and feet can do any desired work. A well trained body does not get tired in trudging 30 miles. It can scale mountains without getting breathless. We can assert that modern curricula do not impart physical education in this sense.

ü  The less said about the spirit the better. And education without such enlightenment is like a wall without a foundation or, to employ an English saying, like a white sepulcher. Inside it there is only a corpse eaten up or being eaten by insects.

  • Science and Responsibility-At the time when emphasis in education is put more upon literary knowledge than upon character building, the following article of Principal Jacks in the Sunday School Chronicle will be read with profit:

o   Our life presents itself as an endless movement, in which the march of science never quite overtakes the final problem of its own application. The point where responsibility rests upon us all is always just ahead of the last point reached by advancing science. The more the pursuer quickened his pace the more the fugitive quickens his. This inability of science to overtake responsibility is what I mean by its limitations. Applied science will tell you how to make a gun, but it will not tell you when to shoot nor whom to shoot at. You say that moral science will look after that. I answer that moral science in revealing the right use of my gun, inevitably reveals the wrong use also, and since the wrong will often serve my selfish purpose better than the right, my neighbours run a new risk of being shot at and plundered. At that point moral science and natural science are both in the same boat….Let education look to that. This is the point where all the enterprise of education and all the activities of religion come to their focus—the point of responsibility. If we do it at all other points and leave the point of responsibility uncared for, we shall inevitably come to grief.

  • Against Atheism-The education which leads to the negation of God cannot make for the service of the country nor of humanity. Whatever I have been doing is done with a sense of my duty to God. And this I consider to be the right thing. God is not seated in the skies, in the heavens, or elsewhere. He is enshrined in the heart of everyone—be he a Hindu, Mohammedan, Christian or Jew, man or woman.
  • Education and Culture-Education is a means and culture is the end. The latter is possible even without education. For instance, if a child is brought up in a truly cultured family, it will unconsciously imbibe culture from its environment. In our country at any rate, present-day education and culture have no connection with each other. If the educated still retain some culture, that is in spite of their education. This fact shows that the roots of our culture are deep.
  • Strengthening of Character-We also found that real education consists not in packing the brain with so many facts and figures, not in passing examinations by reading numerous books but in developing character.
  • Knowledge of the Self-True education is that which helps us to know the atman, our true self, God and Truth. To acquire this knowledge, some persons may feel the need for a study of literature, some for a study of physical sciences and some others for art. But every branch of knowledge should have as its goal knowledge of the self.
  • Ideal Education-When it is remembered that the primary aim of all education is, or should be, the moulding of the character of pupils, a teacher who has a character to keep need not lose heart.
  • Education of the Hand-It is a superstition to think that the fullest development of man is impossible without a knowledge of the art of reading and writing. That knowledge undoubtedly adds grace to life, but it is in no way indispensable for man’s moral, physical, or material growth.
  • Fighting Social Evils-That education alone is of value which draws out the faculties of a student so as to enable him or her to solve correctly the problems of life in every department.
  • Making the Whole Man-Man is neither mere intellect, nor the gross animal body, nor the heart or soul alone. A proper and harmonious combination of all the three is required for the making of the whole man A proper and all-round development of the mind, therefore, can take place only when it proceeds pari passu with the education of the physical and spiritual faculties of the child. They constitute an indivisible whole.
  • Self-supporting Schools-By education I mean an all-round drawing out of the best in child and man—body, mind and spirit. Literacy is not the end of education nor even the beginning. It is only one of the means whereby man and woman can be educated. Literacy in itself is no education. I would therefore begin the child’s education by teaching it a useful handicraft and enabling it to produce from the moment it begins its training. Thus every school can be made self-supporting, the condition being that the State takes over the manufactures of these schools.
  • Training in Crafts-My purpose in saying this is to put training in crafts on the same footing as education in letters. Those who thoroughly understand this point will never be eager for a literal education at the cost of training in crafts. Their book-learning will shine better and also prove of greater benefit to the people.
  • Making the Right Choice-Mere book knowledge does not interest the child so as to hold his attention fully. The brain gets weary of mere words, and the child’s mind begins to wander. They are not taught to make the right choice and so their education often proves their ruin. An education which does not teach us to discriminate between good and bad, to assimilate the one and eschew the other is a misnomer.
  • Freedom from Servitude-Knowledge includes all training that is useful for the service of mankind and liberation means freedom from all manner of servitude even in the present life. Servitude is of two kinds: slavery to domination from outside and to one’s own artificial needs.
  • Culture as the Foundation-Inner culture must be reflected in your speech, the way in which you treat visitors and guests, and behave towards one another and your teachers and elders.
  • Education for a New World-Education must be of a new type for the sake of the creation of a new world.


  • Nationalism-The object of education is not to be able to earn money, but to improve oneself and to serve the country.
  • Public Good-Knowledge is justified only when it is put to good use and employed in the public cause. Otherwise, as everyone will readily admit, it is like poison.
  • Not Mere Employment
  • National Service-Pupils are to receive education which will incline them to do nothing but national service when their studies are over.
  • Thinking and Becoming-In my opinion, to think of education as a means of earning a living betrays an unworthy disposition of mind. The body is the means of earning a living while the school is the place for building character.
  • Knowing the Self-“He who has known the Self knows all.” Knowledge of the Self is possible without any literary education. Prophet Mohammed was an illiterate man. Christ too did not attend school. But it would be impudent to deny that these great men had acquired knowledge of the Self. Though they did not pass any examination, yet we hold them in high esteem and worship them.
  • Building Character-All education must aim at building character. I cannot see how this can be done except through religion. If pupils in schools lose their character, everything will have been lost.
  • Manliness and Self-Respect-If education is to be bought at the price of manliness and self-respect, the price is too heavy. Self-respect and character are above means of livelihood or a career.
  • Kindness to All-He said the essence of all education was kindness—kindness to all, friends, foes, men and beasts.
  • Reaching the Ideal-In my humble opinion, knowledge should never be used for acquiring wealth. Business should be the only means of doing so. The means of livelihood should be labour, i.e., weaving, carpentry, tailoring and such other occupations essential for maintaining human life. I believe that one of the chief reasons for our moral fall is that doctors, lawyers, teachers and others acquire their knowledge mainly for getting money and, in fact, use it for that purpose.
  • Making a True Student-The outcome of education is that the student becomes an ideal citizen, an ideal patriot and an ornament to his family, his community and his nation.
  • Service of Humanity
  • Fearlessness-Fearlessness is the foundation of all education, the beginning and not the end. If you do not build on that foundation, the edifice of all your education will topple over.
  • Purity of Personal Life-And all the great religions of the world, however much they may differ, are absolutely one on this fundamental thing that no man or woman with an impure heart can possibly appear before the Great White Throne. All our learning or recitation of the Vedas, correct knowledge of Sanskrit, Latin, Greek and what not will avail us nothing if they do not enable us to cultivate absolute purity of heart. The end of all knowledge must be building of character.
  • Freedom from Bondage
  • Quest for Truth-True education is that which helps us to know the atman, our true self, God and Truth. In an activity carried on as education, a proper understanding of its meaning, devotion to duty and the spirit of service are necessary. There is a science of every type of work—whether it be cooking, sanitation, carpentry or spinning. Everybody who does his work with the attitude of a student knows its science or discovers it.
  • Sparing the Rod-Our aim is not just to impart education to children or teach them discipline, but to build character in them. Education, discipline, etc., are means to that end. If the result of building character in them is that education and discipline are neglected, let that be so. I understand your arguments, though. I also see that there is no ill will behind your use of the rod. But there are certainly anger and impatience behind them.
  • Selfless Service-Studies should be undertaken only with the aim of equipping oneself for service. Since, however, service of others gives one the highest joy, one may say that studies are for joy. I have not heard of anyone, however, who found unbroken joy in life through literary pursuits alone without devoting himself to service.
  • National Character-I would try to develop courage, strength, virtue, the ability to forget oneself in working towards great aims. This is more important than literacy. Academic learning is only a means to this greater end. I would feel that if we succeed in building the character of the individual, society will take care of itself. In a nation where character is developed in all individuals, there can be no conflict between the dictates of one’s own conscience and those of the State.
  • Self Control-The true aim of education is spiritual development. One should, therefore, go in for such kind of education as will bring it about. It need not be of one fixed type. Hence it is not necessary to say anything on that subject. One should lead a life of self-control.
  • Humility-One who is not humble cannot put one’s learning to proper use. One does not achieve everything by just passing an examination. It is possible that it may help in securing a good job or a good marriage alliance. But, if learning is to be put to proper use, if it is to be used only for the sake of service, one should acquire more and more humility every day. No service is possible without it.
  • Developing Independent Thinking-At present, the minds of the students become dull there. They can only imitate. Instead of this, they must acquire the power of independent thinking. We are born into this world not for indulging in sensuous activities but for sacrifice, for restraint. The purpose of education is that we know God and progress towards the ideal, and get closer to Him. It is the strict law of God that anyone who desires to be close to Him should renounce the world and yet be in it. It is easy if we believe that we have to live for service. We acquire learning not for sensuous pleasures and for earning but for mukti. Education is considered necessary to save ourselves from darkness, sensuous pleasures and capricious behaviour.
  • Wholesome Educational Environment-That boy will grow into a courageous, healthy and service-minded boy, provided he gets a wholesome, environment.1 His body as well as his mind will develop in right proportion. He will be free of any fraud or immorality. Staying in the village he will serve the villagers and will be content to live on the subsistence provided by the villagers. Through his service and the knowledge acquired by him he will provide proper guidance to the people around him and thus train more young men. I expect that a student trained under the Nayee Talim would develop on these lines.


  • Improve Teaching Methods-

ü  My ideas about education are very exacting. If we want to pour our souls into the pupils, we should constantly exercise our mind on how to teach them. We should not get angry with them.

ü  Passing on to them in the best possible language from day to day whatever we wish to give them, will take up much of our time. Moreover, we must for the present think of teaching methods as well. Everything will have to be taught in a new way.

ü  The teachers will have to come together at least once a week to exchange ideas and make such changes as may be called for. The intelligent students should be consulted and their suggestions invited about methods of teaching.

ü  The students’ health is the collective responsibility of the teachers; the main responsibility, however, will rest on the teacher in charge of hygiene.

ü  The teachers should read up the subjects in the curriculum which they do not know. Especially Hindi. I can see from my work here how very essential Hindi is.

  • Build National Education

ü  So long as education in the country is not imparted by persons of integrity and conditions are not created in which the highest knowledge will be available to the poorest of Indians, so long as a perfect confluence of education and dharma has not taken place and education has not been brought into relation with conditions in India, so long as the intolerable burden imposed on the minds of the young by imparting education through a foreign medium has not been lifted, so long will there be no upsurge of national life; there is no denying this.

ü  Purely national education should be imparted in the regional language. The teachers must be of a high calibre. The school should be situated in surroundings where the student has fresh air and water, where he enjoys peace, where the building and the adjoining land are object lessons in healthful living; and the educational pattern must be one which will instruct (the pupil) in the main professions and religions of India.

  • Cultivate the Spirit of Sacrifice-As the second condition for the success of national education we need teachers of good character. Once you are absorbed in your work, money will come in of itself.
  • Be Makers of New India-You are shouldering a great responsibility. You are counting yourselves among the makers of India of the future. And if you realize this responsibility
  • Develop Positive Outlook-The value of teachers is recognized neither by the public nor by the teachers themselves. They are valued according to their salary. A teacher is paid less than an ordinary clerk. Teaching should be regarded as the teachers’ dharma. If the teachers would forget the question of their livelihood and think only of their duty, the schools will come to have new vitality and become truly national, and then alone will they be of use to the national movement.
  • Make Teaching Absorbing-Experience shows that students’ interest in a subject is sustained not by the subject-matter but by the teacher. My own experience has been that one teacher used to bore me to sleep while teaching chemistry, whereas another teacher kept me wide awake and interested in the same subject. The former, who talked and talked without clarifying the topic, was not liked while, as the other teacher elucidated the theme, one wished that his period should never end.
  • Working for Livelihood-When plenty of students are available, the teacher should draw an allowance sufficient for his living, but his true test lies in his ability to accept nothing and starve to death if the need arises, and let his dependents also starve to death. When teachers are idle for want of students, they should, of course, take up some other activity, but even while doing so, they must try to revive the school.
  • Build Heart to Heart Contact-I have felt that the teachers’ work lies more outside than inside the lecture-room. Unless the teachers are prepared to give all their time outside the class-room to their students, not much can be done. Let them fashion their hearts rather than their brains. Let them help them to erase every word out of their dictionary which means disappointment and despair.
  • Freedom for All-round Growth-The students’ minds must not be caged nor for that matter those of the teachers. The teachers can only point to their pupils what they or the State considers is the best way. Having done so they have no right to curb their pupils’ thoughts and feelings. This does not mean that they are not to be subject to any discipline. No school can be run without it. But discipline has nothing to do with artificial restraint upon the students’ all-round growth.
  • Use All Resources to Be Constructive and Creative-What we need is educationists with originality, fired with true zeal, who will think out from day to day what they are going to teach their pupils. The teacher cannot get this knowledge through musty volumes. He has to use his own faculties of observation and thinking and impart his knowledge to the children through his lips, with the help of a craft.
  • Develop Sense of Belonging-You can teach best by identifying yourself with your students. In order to do so, the teacher must prepare himself fully in the subject he has to teach.
  • Make Schools Ideal-To teachers, Gandhiji said that they must not make any use of books for imparting education, as books spoiled eyes and blunted the intellect. On truth depended the foundation of education, and they must always resort to truth.
  • Develop Motherly Love-A teacher is a mother. She who cannot take the place of a mother can never become a teacher. A child should not feel that it is receiving education.
  • Develop Proper Relationship-A girl who is my student should be as safe (with me) as my daughter, and a girl in my class as safe as a sister. That pure brother-and-sister relationship is the only proper relationship between boys and girls studying together.
  • Teaching For the Love of It-The unfortunate position is that educated Indians take to teaching not for the love of it, but because they have nothing better and nothing else for giving them a livelihood. I believe in the ancient idea of teachers teaching for the love of it and receiving the barest maintenance.
  • Be Affectionate-Students must not be given corporal punishment. But there should be such a rapport between the teacher and the taught that if the teacher punishes himself in some way the children, because of their affection for him, should feel sorry, their hearts should melt and they should change for the better.
  • Strive Continuously to Improve-No one is perfect. Character in teachers is not much in evidence today. One may well feel satisfied if one remains watchful in one’s work and continuously strives to improve oneself. But there can be no single rule which would cover all such cases. Everyone must think for himself and do what is best.
  • Inculcate Sense of Honour-The greatest lessons in life—if we would but stoop and humble ourselves, we would learn not from grown-up learned men, but from the so-called ignorant children. Jesus never uttered a loftier or a grander truth than when he said that wisdom cometh out of the mouths of babes. I believe it, I have noticed it in my own experience that, if we would approach babes in humility and in innocence, we would learn wisdom from them.
  • Follow Golden Rule-It is my firm belief that just as a brother and a sister cannot have a husband–wife relation even so a teacher and his girl-student too cannot have a husband–wife relation. This is a golden rule and its non-observance can only result in the destruction of the institution. This rule serves as guarantee for the protection of the girls from their teachers. The teacher’s is a high office and it enables him to exercise great influence upon the boys and girls in his charge. They regard what he says as gospel truth. They are not likely to suspect him of any illicit designs and he must, therefore, observe these essential rules.
  • Be a Student of Students-A teacher who establishes rapport with the taught, becomes one with them, learns more from them than he teaches them.





Meaning of Education

Swami Vivekananda thought that it was a pity that the existing system of education did not enable a person to stand on his own feet, nor did it teach him self-confidence and self-respect. To Vivekananda, education was not only collection of information, but something more meaningful; he felt education should be man-making, life giving and character-building. To him education was an assimilation of noble ideas. Swami Vivekananda stressed on giving the public only positive education, because negative thoughts weaken men. He said, if young boys and girls are encouraged and are not unnecessarily criticized all the time, they are bound to improve in time.


According to Swami Vivekananda:

1) “Education is the manifestation of the perfection already in man.”

2) “The training by which the current and expression of will is brought under control and become fruitful is called education.”

3) “Education may be described as a development of faculty, not an accumulation of words, or, as a training of individuals to will rightly and efficiently.”

4) “Real education is that which enables one to stand on his own legs.”

5) “If you have assimilated five ideas and made them your life and character, you have more education than any man who has got by heart a whole library.”

Philosophy of Education:

  • The educational philosophy of Swami Vivekananda is a harmonious synthesis between the ancient Indian ideals and modern Western beliefs. He not only stressed upon the physical, mental, moral, spiritual  and vocational development of the child but also advocated women education as well as education of the masses.
  • The essential characteristics of the educational philosophy of Swami Vivekananda are idealism, naturalism and pragmatism.


  • As a naturalist, he emphasized that real education is possible only through nature and natural propensities.


  • As an idealist, he insisted that the aim of education was to develop the child with moral and spiritual qualities.


  • As a pragmatist, he emphasized the need of Western education of technology, commerce, industry and science to achieve material prosperity.


  • Vivekananda stressed the need for physical education in curriculum. He said, “You will be nearer to Heaven through football than through the study of Gita. You will understand Gita better by your biceps, your muscles a little stronger. You will understand the Upanishads better and the glory of the Atman, when your body stands firm on your feet and you feel yourself as man.”


  • Vivekananda advocated education through the medium of mother tongue.


  • He said “Besides mother tongue, there should be a common language which is necessary to keep the country united”.


  • Vivekananda appreciated the greatness of Sanskrit. He said that it is the source of all Indian languages and a repository of all inherited knowledge. Therefore without Sanskrit, it will be impossible to understand Indian culture.


  • Vivekananda said, “Religion is the innermost core of education. Religion is like the rice and everything else, is like the curries. Taking only curries causes indigestion and so is the case with taking rice alone.”Therefore, religious education is a vital part of a sound curriculum.


  • Vivekananda considered Gita, Upanishads and the Vedas as the most important part of the curriculum.


  • For him, religion is attainment of self realization and divinity. It helps not only in individual’s development but also in the transformation of total man.


  • True religion cannot be limited to a particular place or time. He pleaded for unity of world religion.


  • He realized truth while practicing religion. Truth is power, untruth is weakness. Knowledge is truth, ignorance is untruth. Thus truth increases power, courage and energy. It is the source of light and therefore, necessary for the individual as well as collective welfare.


  • According to Vivekananda, ethics and religion are one and the same. God is always on the side of goodness. To fight for goodness is service to God.


  • Moral and religious education develops self confidence among young men and women.


  • Individual development is not the full development of our nation, so it is necessary  to give education to the entire society or common people.


  • Education is not only confined to the well-to-do persons only but also the poor people. Vivekananda emphasized on the improvement of condition of the masses and for this,  he advocated mass education.


  • He looked upon mass education as an instrument to improve the individual as well as society.


  • He said-“I consider that the great national sin is the neglect of the masses, and that is one of the causes of our downfall. No amount of politics would be of any avail until the masses of India are once more well-educated, well-fed and well-cared for.”



  • Self education is the self knowledge. That is, knowledge of our own self is the best guide in the struggle of our life.


  • Vivekananda considered  women to be the incarnation of power. He rightly pointed out that unless Indian women secure a respectable place in this country, the nation can never move forward.


  • He said, “Make women strong, fear-less, and conscious of their chastity and dignity”.


  • He insisted that men and women are equally competent not only in the academic matters, but also in other spheres of life.


  • Vivekananda being a keen observer could distinguish the difference in perception about the status of women in the West and in India. “The ideal women in India is the mother, the mother first, and the mother last.


  • Vivekananda pleaded for universal education so that the backward people may fall in line with others. He said, “Education should spread to every household in the country, to factories, playgrounds and agricultural fields. If the children do not come to school the teacher should reach them. Two or three educated men should team up, collect all the paraphernalia of education and should go to the village to impart education to the children.”


  • Thus, Vivekananda favoured education for different sections of society, rich and poor, young and old, male and female.



  • To realize one’s full potential and achieve perfection.
  • Physical and mental development.
  • Moral and spiritual development.
  • Character development
  • To develop self confidence, devotion and a spirit of renunciation.
  • Searching for unity in diversity.
  • Religious development


  • Swamiji advocated the inclusion of all such subjects in the curriculum which foster material welfare with spiritual development.
  • For spiritual perfection, he prescribed –religion, philosophy, Puranic lore, Upanishads, company of saints and listening to their lectures.
  • For material advancement and prosperity, he prescribed- Languages, Geography, Science, Political Science, Economics, Psychology, Art, Agriculture, Industrial and technical subjects
  • For physical development he recommended Games, Sports and other physical exercises.


  • Close interaction between guru and his disciples.
  • To control the mind through the practice of Yoga.
  • To develop the mind through the practice of meditation.
  • To gain knowledge through lectures, discussions, self-experience and creative activities.
  • To imitate the qualities and character of teacher by intelligent and clear understanding.
  • To lead the child on the right path by means of individual guidance by the teacher.







PLATO  (427-347 B.C.)

1. FAMILY BACKGROUND. Plato was born into an aristocratic and wealthy Athenian family. His father traced his ancestry in a direct line back to the early kings of Athens. His mother was the niece of the wealthy nobleman, Critias and the sister of the rich and famous Charmides. Both Critias and Charmides were students of Socrates.




a. His Name. Plato’s given name was Aristocles, meaning “the best” and “renowned.” He acquired the name of Plato in his youth because of his wide shoulders.


b. Outstanding Accomplishments. He excelled in every area of youthful achievement. He was outstanding in sports, in music and in academics.


c. Military Hero. During the war with Sparta, Plato won the Athenian prize for bravery.


d. Student of Socrates. In 407 B.C., at the age of twenty, Plato became a student of Socrates.


3. DISILLUSIONMENT WITH DEMOCRACY. In 404 B.C. Plato witnessed the death of his uncle, Critias, during the civil war between the aristocrats and the democrats. Again, in 399 B.C., he witnessed the condemnation and execution of his beloved Socrates by the democratic regime led by Anyutus.  


5. VOLUNTARY EXILE. Plato left his native city immediately following the execution of Socrates. He visited Megara, Cyrene and Egypt. After a brief return to Athens in 395 B.C., Plato continued his wanderings. In Syracuse he was sold into slavery. Plato raised three thousand drachmas through his friends to buy back his freedom. He returned to Athens in 387 B.C.


  1. THE ACADEMY. In 386 B.C. Plato purchased a recreation grove dedicated to the god Academus. This became the location of his school. Features of the school:


a. Tuition Free. The students of the Academy paid no set fee. It was expected that wealthier students would give gifts. It is believed that Dionysius II gave as his gift a sum equivalent to about a half-million dollars in American currency.


b. Coeducational. Both men and women were welcome to study at the Academy.


c. Entrance Requirements. The Academy accepted only advanced students who possessed a knowledge of geometry.


d. Curriculum. The course of study included the following subjects: 1) Higher Mathematics (2) Astronomy (3) Music (4) Literature (5) Law (6) History (7) Philosophy


e. Teaching Method. Plato lectured, utilizing his vast knowledge to present an organized body of information to his students. He also made use of Socratic discussion by dialogue as a method of scientific investigation and instruction. At times problems would be assigned on an individual basis.


7. LAST YEARS. Plato died around the year 347 B.C. He continued to teach until the end, winning the admiration and love of his students and fellow Athenians.


8. IMPORTANCE. Plato is considered to be one of the most important philosophers of all time. His educational and philosophical theories continue to influence countless thousands. Whitehead, commenting on Plato’s contribution to philosophy, said that every philosophy after Plato is but a footnote to Platonic thought.




These are some important aspects of Platonic philosophy:




  • Ultimate reality is spiritual in nature.


  • Plato explains in the Timaeus the necessity of postulating a prior idea or form for every material object. For example, the idea of a house must exist before the material shape can take place. Where any house exists, it conforms to the general idea of house.


  • The Nature and Destiny of Man- Man has an individual soul chained to a material body. The soul is liberated at death.


  • In the tenth book of The Republic, Plato states that the proper purpose of the soul is justice. The just soul will be rewarded by God following death.


  • Suffering in life is the result of the evil one did in a prior existence. After man’s death, the soul chooses its future body and destiny. “The gods are blameless.”




Platonic epistemology was affected by consideration of:


a. Source of Knowledge. Knowledge is a matter of recalling ideas that are innate in the soul.


b. A Priori Truths. All ideas are eternal and true. Man does not know truth through the senses. The senses mislead and deceive man. Ideas are within man’s soul. Man need not experience any outward events in order to know. He turns inward, making his life more spiritual and God-like, so that, free of the limitations of the senses, he approaches the spiritual source of knowledge.


  1. Rationalism. Each man is able to arrive at innate truths through the use of his reason.


  1. Absolute Truth. All truths are eternal and absolute. What is true today will always be true.

e. Test of Truth. Something is known as true when the proposition in the mind is logically consistent with the eternal idea.




Plato believed that justice is the most important virtue. Justice can exist only in a just state. Features of Plato’s ideal state are:


a. Rule by the Best. The ideal government would be ruled by the men or women who demonstrate ability and aptitude for ruling.


b. Organization of The Just State -Plato’s Utopia.


  • The Guardians. The ruling group would be made up of philosopher-kings especially trained for government administration. This group would never marry nor own property.


  • The Warriors. A group of warriors would be trained from youth in military skills in order to protect the state.


  • The Workers. This group would do all farming and other work necessary to feed the people.


c. Virtue. The proper virtues for each group would include:


  • Wisdom. The ruling guardians would have wisdom.
  • Courage. The warriors would have courage.
  • Temperance. The workers would have temperance.


d. The Virtuous State.


  • The state would be just when its citizens had wisdom, courage, and temperance.
  • Each citizen would serve the state to the best of his ability.
  • Man would be an organism in the body of the state.
  • The individual would be subordinated to the state.


  1. Eugenics.


  • Although Plato would permit friendship between the sexes in his utopia, the procreation of children would be controlled by the government.


  • Through the careful selection of mates, the race would be strengthened by improved children.


  • Only men above the age of thirty and below forty-five, and women above the age of twenty and below forty, would be permitted to have children.


  • Any child born in violation of the state laws would be abandoned outside the walls of the city.


1. EDUCATION FOR ALL. Plato would educate every boy and girl to the limits of their abilities.

2. STATE EDUCATION. All children would be taken from the parents and educated by the state.


a. Civil Servants. To produce future servants of the state.

b. Rulers. To develop virtuous intellectuals among the future rulers.

c. Warriors. To glorify courage and military skill among the warriors.

d. Workers. To develop competent, obedient, and temperate workers.

e. Social Disposition. To develop a social disposition among all citizens.

f. Discipline. To train the character of each citizen so that he may control his appetites, subordinating the senses to reason.


a. Elementary. All boys and girls would be educated together. They would study mathematics, literature, poetry, and music until they were eighteen years of age.

b. Military Training. The next two years of the youth’s life would be devoted to physical education alone. Thereafter, the best youths would be selected for the higher education given to future guardians of the state.

c. Higher Education. Between the ages of twenty and thirty-five, the future guardian would receive a higher education to prepare him for ruling the state. His studies would include mathematics, music, and literature. At the age of thirty he would have enough maturity to begin his study of philosophy. At thirty-five, his formal education would cease and he would enter upon a minor administrative position, prior to undertaking more important governing positions.

5. TEACHING METHOD. Plato recommended making learning as close to play as possible at the elementary level. Upon the higher levels of education, the student’s reason would be trained in the processes of thinking and abstracting.




  • Education is a dynamic process, which involves the interplay of the educator, educand and the social forces to make an individual socially adjustable and responsible.
  • The term ‘education’ means to plunge a man’s body, mind and soul from ignorance .
  • It enhances an individual’s personality and provides him confidence to reach out to the world.
  • It involves the growth and development of the individual in relation to his environment.
  • Education is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next.
  • Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts.
  • In its narrow, technical sense, education is the formal process by which society deliberately transmits its accumulated knowledge, skills, customs and values from one generation to another.
  • These days education is seen not only as an instrument of social change but is also viewed as the best investment for the future.

The word ‘Education’ has been derived from different Latin words.

a) ‘educare’ which means ‘to bring out’ or ‘to nourish’.

b) ‘educere’ which means ‘to lead out’ or ‘to draw out’.

c) ‘educatum’ which means ‘act of teaching’ or ‘training’.

d) ‘educatus’ which means ‘to bring up, rear, educate’.


  • Socrates – “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.”
  • Plato – “Education is the capacity to feel pleasure and pain at the right moment.”
  • Aristotle – “Education is the creation of sound mind in a sound body.”
  • Herbert Spencer- “Education is complete living.”
  • Rousseau – “Education is the child’s development from within.”
  • Pestalozzi – “Education is natural, harmonious and progressive development of man’s innate powers.”
  • Froebel –“To learn a thing in life and through doing is much more developing, cultivating, and strengthening than to learn it merely through the verbal communication of ideas.”
  • Montessori –

ü  Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment.

ü  “We discovered that education is not something which the teacher does, but that it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being.”

ü  “If education is always to be conceived along the same antiquated lines of a mere transmission of knowledge, there is little to be hoped from it in the bettering of man’s future. For what is the use of transmitting knowledge if the individual’s total development lags behind?”

ü  “If an educational act is to be efficacious, it will be only that one which tends to help toward the complete unfolding of life. To be thus helpful it is necessary rigorously to avoid the arrest of spontaneous movements and the imposition of arbitrary tasks.”

  • T.P. Nunn – “Education is the complete development of the individuality of the child.”
  • John Dewey – “Education is the process of living through a continuous reconstruction of experiences. Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”
  • Mahatma Gandhi – “By education I mean an all-round drawing out of the best in man – body, mind and spirit.”
  • Rabindranath Tagore – “Education enables the mind to find out the ultimate truth, which gives us the wealth of inner light and love and gives significance to life.”
  • Dr. Zakir Husain – “Education is the process of the individual mind, getting to its full possible development.”
  • Swami Vivekananda – “Education is the manifestation of divine perfection already existing in man.”








  • Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind and language.
  • It is distinguished from other ways of addressing problems by its critical and generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument.
  •  The word “philosophy” comes from the Greek word “philosophia”, which literally means “love of wisdom.
  • The main areas of study in philosophy today include epistemology, logic, metaphysics, ethics and aesthetics.



v  Epistemology is the study of knowledge and justified belief. As the study of knowledge, epistemology is concerned with the following questions:

v  What are the necessary and sufficient conditions of knowledge?

v  What are its sources?

v  What is its structure, and what are its limits?


Logic is the study of the principles of valid inference and correct reasoning.  It includes:

  • Deductive reasoning wherein an argument is constructed by showing that a conclusion necessarily follows from a certain set of premises. Such an argument is called a syllogism.
  • Inductive reasoning : It involves constructing or evaluating propositions that are abstractions of observations of individual instances of members of the same class.


  • Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world. As Aristotle explains, Metaphysics is the study of a substance and its properties which exist and cause all things, and is therefore the necessary foundation for all human knowledge. He called it the study of the first principles of things. He said it was the science of existence in general, or of ‘being as such‘. Metaphysics, then, is a comprehensive study of what is fundamental to all existence, all knowledge and all explanation. Metaphysics has two branches:
  • Ontology: It investigates the basic categories of being and how they relate to each other.
  • Cosmology: It is the study of the totality of all phenomena within the universe.


ü  Ethics, also known as moral philosophy, is a branch of philosophy that involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong behavior. The major areas of study in ethics include:

ü  Meta-ethics: It deals with the theoretical meaning and reference of moral propositions and how their truth values may be determined.

ü  Normative ethics: It deals with the practical means of determining a moral course of action.

ü  Applied ethics: It deals with the ways moral outcomes can be achieved in specific situations.



  • Aesthetics  is a branch of  philosophy dealing with the nature of beauty, art and taste, and with the creation and appreciation of beauty.
  • It is the study of sensory-emotional values, sometimes called judgment of sentiment and taste.
  • Aesthetics involves “critical reflection on art, culture and nature.




THERE IS NOTHING ORIGINAL HERE. Data has been collected from various books and the internet for the benefit of students doing-ECCE/B.Ed/M.Ed. Since I have forgotten from where I gathered all the data while making these notes, the list of references after most posts, isn't complete. I take no responsibility for the authenticity of the data presented here.