Tagore's theory of education is marked by naturalistic & aesthetic values. He had a belief that "The widest road leading to the solution of all our problems is education."
Education can develop a new pattern of life. Culminating in the realization of Universal man. Tagore's system of education emphasizes the intellectual, physical, social, moral economic and spiritual aspects of human life. By which a man can develop an integrated personality.
Aims of Education According to Tagore:
The aims of education as reflected in educational institution founded by Rabindranath Tagore in Santiniketan are as follows:
(1) Self Realization:
Spiritualism is the essence of humanism; this concept has been reflected in Tagore's educational philosophy. Self-realization is an important aim of education. Manifestation of personality depends upon the self-realization and spiritual knowledge of individual.
(2) Intellectual Development:
Tagore also greatly emphasized the intellectual development of the child. By intellectual development he means development of imagination, creative free thinking, constant curiosity and alertness of the mind. Child should be free to adopt his own way learning which will lead to all round development.
(3) Physical Development:
Tagore's educational philosophy also aims at the physical development of the child. He gave much importance to sound and healthy physique. There were different kinds of exercises. Yoga, games & sports prescribed in Santiniketan as an integral part of the education system.
(4) Love for humanity:
Tagore held that the entire universe is one family. Education can teach people to realize oneness of the globe. Education for international understanding and universal brotherhood is another important aim of his educational philosophy. The feeling of oneness can be developed through the concepts like fatherhood of God and brotherhood of man all creatures are equal on this earth.
(5) Establishment of relationship between man & God:
Man bears the diverse qualities and potentialities offered by God. These qualities are inborn and innate. The relationship between man and God is strong and permanent. However the dedication to spiritualism and sacredness will lead to the harmonious relationship with man, nature and God.
Freedom is considered as an integral aspect of human development. Education is a man-making process, it explores the innate power exists within the man. It is not an imposition rather a liberal process their provides utmost freedom to the individual for his all round development. He says, Education has leaning only when it is imparted through the path of freedom".
(7) Co-relation of Objects:
Co-relation exists with God, man and nature. A peaceful world is only possible when correlation between man and nature will be established.
(8) Mother tongue as the medium of Instruction:
Language is the true vehicle of self-expression. Man can freely express his thought in his mother-tongue. Tagore has emphasized mother tongue as the medium of instruction for the child's education.
(9) Moral and Spiritual Development:
Tagore emphasized moral and spiritual training in his educational thought. Moral and spiritual education is more important than bookish knowledge for an integral development of human personality. There must be an adequate provision for the development of selfless activities, co-operation and love fellow feeling and sharing among the students in educational institutions.
(10) Social Development:
According to Tagore, "Brahma" the supreme soul manifests himself through men and other creatures. Since He is the source of all human-beings and creatures, so all are equal. Rabindranath Tagore therefore said, "service to man is service to god". All should develop social relationship and fellow-feeling from the beginnings of one's life. Education aims at developing the individual personality as well as social characters which enables him to live as a worthy being.