01 February, 2010

Education as a Tri-Polar Process

Adams in his book ‘Evolution of Education Theory’ said that education is a bipolar process in which one personality acts upon another to modify the development of other personality. It considers that the in the process of education two persons are involved. The one is the educator and the other is the educand. It proposes that the teacher seeks the modification of the development not only through imparting knowledge and skills, but also through her direct influence on the child’s personality. The bipolarity of the educational process ceases to exist when the educator and the educand both become one and the same person. It so happens when the educand feels a drive to educate himself, when he tries to modify his own nature, develop his own will and purpose, build his own character, acquires knowledge and skills by his own efforts. In that case, education becomes unipolar. It is then when educational process achieves the main ideal. Self-ex-pression, self-motivation, self-improvement and self-control become the key words and bipolarity ceases to exist.

The educational process not only has a psychological side involving the educator and the educand, it has the sociological aspect too. The educand has to live in and for the society he belongs to. True education comes through the stimulation of the educand’s endowments by the demands of the social situation in which he/she finds them. The educator is requires to stimulate the educand’s power in the total social setting. Thus, the social aspect of the educational process becomes more important than the psychological aspect. Hence, educational process is tri-polar in nature as it involves the interaction between the two of the three namely the social factors, the educator and the educand. The function of the educator becomes then the modification of the personality of the educand in the light of the needs of the society. In this sense, John Dewey holds, education is a tri-polar process and not bipolar one.

Relationship between School and Society

School and society are interdependent. Education is an activity that goes in the society and its aims and methods depend on the nature of the society in which it takes place. ‘As is the society, so is the school’. The school functions according to the needs and cultural backgrounds of the society and modifies the society by providing leaders and reformers.

Role of School in Society

The society establishes school to provide education to its members. School should act as a social agency and an agency of social control.

1. School is an institution that fulfills the needs of the society. School transmits the cultural heritage to the younger generations. The school moulds the innate capacities of the child, so as to fit in the society. It makes the individual social animal. The school provides better understanding for interpersonal and inter-group relationship.

2. School is a miniature society. School reflects all qualities of the society. By attending the school, a child learns how to accustom with the society. Individual should develop according to the needs of the society. “School must become child’s habitat to be a miniature society.”

3. Goals and methods are decided by the society. Society is dynamic. It grows and changes and as such these social changes must not only be reflected in education but also must effect it. The goals and aims are decided according to the nature of the society. The goals of the totalitarian society differs from that of democratic society, individual is as important as the society. Flexibility and diversity is the main feature in democratic society.

4. School should seek the co-operation of the society. School should take two-way traffic activities. It should educate not only the children, but it should throw open its doors to the members of the society also. By providing books, by eradicating literacy in adults, the school should enter into depths of the society. Flexibility and diversity is the main feature in democratic society.

5. School provides leader and reformers. By providing good leaders and reformers, school leads the society towards the social change. It prepares the members of the society to accept the change. It changes traditional society into transformational society.

6. School transmits culture with necessary changes. Culture changes from generation to generation with the influence of other cultures. Moreover, there may be traditional dogmas and orthodox superstitions beliefs in the existing culture. School considers the above things and transmits the modified culture to the younger generations. Thus, schools established by society remodels the future society so as to fit in the ever changing world.

Schools have a big role in strengthening the society and its members. Schools must be able to cater to the present needs of the society. It is a most powerful instrument of social change. But, unfortunately, today many schools are participating in the race of competition and have become profit/business oriented. The very foundation of the schools has become weak. Today, schools are working as manufacturing plants by producing a good earner, rather than working on ethics and morality issues. Students have been motivated to become multitalented in the race of globalization and less priority has been given to the development of moral and social values among them. Schools are the main agent of social change that can eliminate various social evils and problems. But, this can be make possible only when the schools of today would start realizing that their primary responsibility is not just to prepare the students for the sake of student’s own life, but to prepare them to work as leaders and reformers for the sake of whole society.
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