Evaluate the meaning of education from the Indian and Western philosophers’ point of view



Man is not a biological animal but a pure social one. Living in a society as a responsible social human being is the ultimate goal of human. So education shapes and moulds the overall behavior of human being and nurture the potentialities.

Since time immemorial, education is estimated as the right road to progress and prosperity. Different educationists’ thoughts from both Eastern and Western side have explained the term ‘education’ according to the need of the hour. These definitions are explained below:

While the Indian thinkers want to street on spiritualism and perennial truth, the Western philosophers differ in their meaning according to need and convenience of the circumstance.

Ancient Indian thinkers:

(1) Rig-Veda – Education man self-reliant and others.

(2) Upanishads –The end product of Education is to get salvation.

(3) Shankaracharya- Education is the realization of the Self.

(4) Kautilya- Education means training for the country and love for the nation.

Modern thinkers:

(1) Dayananda – Education is a means for character formation and righteous living.

(2) Aurobindo- Education means helping the growing soul to draw out that is in itself.

(3) 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.

(4) Vivekananda- Education is the manifestation of divine perfection already existing in man.

(5) Gandhiji- By education, I mean an all-round drawing out of the best in the child and man-body, mind and spirit.

Western thinkers:

Western thinkers interpret education as follows:

(1) Plato- Education is the capacity to feel pleasure and pain at the right moment.

(2) Aristotle- Education is the creation of a sound mind in a sound body.

(3) Pestalozzi- Education is natural, harmonious and progressive development of man’s innate powers.

(4) Froebel- Education is enfoldment of what is already enfolded in the germ.

(5) T.P. Nunn- Education is the complete development of the individuality of the child.

(6) Ross- The aim of education is the development of valuable personality and spiritual individuality.

(7) John Dewey- Education is the process of living through a continuous reconstruction of experiences.

The meaning of education has differed from age to age, from person to person. Some have emphasized on one aspect of education while others have emphasized on the other. The different views are there because of complexity of human environment, different philosophies of life and different educational theories and practices.