Notes on the true Meaning, Definition and Concept of Education

Meaning:

According to some learned people, the word "Education" has been derived from the Latin term "Educatum" which means the act of teaching or training. A group of educationists say that it has come from another Latin word "Educare" which means "to bring up" or "to raise".

According to a few others, the word "Education" has originated from another Latin term "Educere" which means "to lead forth" or "to come out". All these meanings indicate that education seeks to nourish the good qualities in man and draw out the best in every individual. Education seeks to develop the innate inner capacities of man.

By educating an individual we attempt to give him some desirable knowledge, understanding, skills, interests, attitudes and critical 'thinking. That is, he acquires knowledge of history, geography, arithmetic, languages and sciences.

He develops some understanding about the deeper things in life, the complex human relations, and the cause and effect relationship and so on. He gets some skills in writing, speaking, calculating, drawing, operating some equipment etc. He develops some interests in and attitudes towards social work, democratic living, co-operative management and so on.

As an individual in the society, he has to think critically about various issues in life and take decisions about them being free from bias and prejudices, superstitions and blind beliefs. Thus, he has to learn all these qualities of head, hand and heart through the process of education.

Definitions of Education:

The Concepts of Education as given by prominent Indian educationists are as follows.

Principles of Education and School Organization;

1. Rigved: "Education is something which makes man self-reliant and selfless".

2. Upanishad: "Education is for liberation".

3. Bhagavad Gita: "Nothing is more purifying on earth than wisdom."

4. Shankaracharya: "Education is the realization of self'.

5. Gunrunner: "Education is self realization and service to people".

6. Kautilya: "Education means training of the country and love of the nation".

7. Panini: "Human education means the training which one gets from nature".

8. Vivekanand: “Education is the manifestation of the divine perfection, already existing in man."

9. Gandhi: "By education, I mean an all-round drawing out of the best in the Child and man body, mind and spirit."

10. Tagore: "The widest road leading to the solution of all our problems is education."

11. Sri Aurobindo: "Education which will offer the tools whereby one can live for the divine, for the country, for oneself and for others and this must be the ideal of every school which calls itself national".

Concepts of Education as defined by Western philosophers.

1. Socrates: "Education means the bringing out of the ideas of universal validity which are latent in the mind of every man".

2. Plato: "Education is the capacity to feel pleasure and pain at the right moment. It develops in the body and in the soul of the pupil all the beauty and all the perfection which he is capable of."

3. Aristotle: "Education is the creation of a sound mind in a sound body. It develops man's faculty, especially his mind so that he may be able to enjoy the contemplation of supreme truth, goodness and beauty of which perfect happiness essentially consists.

4. Rousseau: "Education of man commences at his birth; before he can speak, before he can understand he is already instructed. Experience is the forerunner of the perfect".

5. Herbert Spencer: "Education is complete living".

6. Heinrich Pestalozzi: "Education is natural harmonious and progressive development of man's innate powers".

7. Friedrich Willian Froebel: "Education is unfoldment of what is already enfolded in the germ. It is the process through which the child makes internal external".