Education is an integral part of the total social pattern. It takes place in the interaction of individual groups and entire culture. It is the process of interaction resulting in changes in behaviour both the individual and the society Education through its various processes of instructions tries to modify the society and the behaviour of the individual.
The education and society are closely related. Education functions as the chief agency of society for socialising the human beings living in it. Functions of education towards society are as follows-
Education as a Social Process :
Man is essentially a social being a citizen, growing and thinking in a vast complex of interactions and relations. The term complex interaction refers to the democratic scientific and industrial movements of the society. Right education help the child’s to adjust him to the social environment.
He can also change them according to his own needs. Among the great variety of aims that have been advocated by the philosophers, some are partial aims. They are good in themselves, but quite inadequate in their application to the whole process of education and attainment. “Thus through education, the child is able to develop reasoning in social relations, cultivates social virtues and thus becomes socially efficient.
He also develops social awareness and social sensitiveness.” When Dewey speaks about social efficiently, he refers to economic and cultural efficiency. He technically calls it “socialisation of an individual.” Education thus is the fundamental method of social progress and individual upliftment.
School as a Society-in-miniature :
The school is to be considered a society-in-miniature. The school must be vitally inter-linked with the society outside. Varied experiences are to be provided to the child so that in his own way, he is prepared to shoulder the responsibilities of after school life. The school is to be place of training providing him with ample experiences of life thus mirroring the outside society.
Life without society is uncertain, incomplete and meaningless. Social education is necessary for man so that he can mix with other members of the society and get the inspiration to move at the same place with them. Society guarantees the safety of man’s life and prosperity. It is the custodian of man’s religion and moral principles preserved by society for centuries. Man realises his social existence through education.
Education as Continuous Reconstruction and Integration of Activities and Experiences :
In words of John Dewey, “Education is the process of living through a continuous reconstruction of i experiences. It is the development of all those capacities in the individual which will enable him to control his environment and fulfil his possibilities.” This statement of Dewey refers to social function of education.
At the time of birth, the child is immature and helpless. He depends charging and potentially rich in meaning, knowledge and values. An important feature of his experiences is that they have continuity and future consequences.
Experience is the only source of true knowledge. One experience leads to further experiences and each new experiences, calls for the revision, modification or rejection of previous experiences.
The aim of education is to create suitable Conditions for the promotion of continuity of experience. Dewey therefore says that education is by experience, for experience and of experience. The child does not receive education from special subject’s life reading, writing, geography etc. but from experience, which provides him with knowledge and modifies his behaviour.