What are the factors that determine the educational aims?



Aims of education cannot be just "pulled out of a hat". A large number of factors contribute to the determining of educational aims. These factors touch every phase of human life that was, that is, or that will be. The following factors usually determine aims of education.


1. Views about the nature of reality.

2. Views about human nature.

3. Political ideologies and Individual-State relationship.

4. Socio-economic problems.

5. Exploration of knowledge.

1. Views about the Nature of Reality.

Aims of education have direct relationship with the prevailing philosophy of life. The philosophy of life at a certain time is influenced by the views of eminent thinkers and schools of philosophy.

According to idealistic view, the aim of education should be self-realisation or unfolding of what is potential within the child. According to the naturalistic view-point, self- expression or self-gratification should be the aim of education. The pragmatists think that education should aim at enabling the individual "to control his environment and fulfill his possibilities."

2. Views about Human Nature

Educational aims have often been decided keeping in view one or the other element which comprises human nature. Idealists regard 'unfolding the divine in child and man' as the aim. To naturalists, the aim of education is 'self-expression.'

3. Political Ideologies and Individual-State Relationship.

Political ideologies influence aims of education. Under a totalitarian system, the aims of education will be much different from those under a democratic political system. Under the former, the system of education becomes stereotyped and education takes the form of indoctrination. School and text-books must promote the ideology of the State.

Under the later (democratic), the individual enjoys freedom and free play. The goal of education is the good man who is to be educated for a life of freedom. Education aims at developing the full personality of each individual, irrespective of caste, creed, class or religion.

4. Socio-Economic Problems.

Socio-economic problems of a country also determine the aims of education. For example, the Indian Education Commission (1964-66) put emphasis on "increasing productivity' as one of the national objectives of education."

5. Exploration of Knowledge.

Exploration of knowledge is a potent factor in determining aims of education. With the advancement of scientific and technical knowledge, education all over the world has become science-oriented.