Notes on the Importance of educational aims

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The process of education has all along been discussed in terms of its aims. The importance of aims in Education has been emphasised by scholars, philosophers and educators through all ages. Education must have aims as “activity with an aim is all one with acting intelligently”.

This means a system of education which is not clear about its aims or which works towards undesirable ends is bound to fail. According to Rivlin, “Education is purposeful and ethical activity, hence it is unthinkable without aims.”

It has been rightly observed by B.D. Bhatia that “without the knowledge of aims, education is like a sailor who does not know his goal or his destination and the child is like a rudderless vessel which will be drifted along somewhere ashore”.

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Highlights

1. Aims give direction to activity.

2. Aims help in acting intelligently.

3. Aims are necessary to assess the outcomes of the educative process.

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4. Aims are necessary for efficient school administration.

5. Aims are useful for parents and general public.

6. Aims help in acting with meaning.

7. Aims give continuity and significance to education.

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Education at different stages is geared to different aims. Primary, secondary, university and adult education-each stage has its own specific aim. Again, different types of education-humanistic, scientific, and technical, art, commercial etc.-each have its own aim. However, education as a whole may broadly be conceived in terms of the general purpose of ‘man-making’.

Educational aims are important for the following reasons:

1. Aims give direction to the activity

Education is a planned activity. The activity is planned with certain ends in view. The aim as a foreseen end gives direction to the activity of education.

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2. Aims help in acting intelligently

“Activity with an aim.” says John Dewey “is all one with acting intelligently”. Thus by keeping the aims in view, one knows what one is doing and why one is doing it. This saves waste of time and effort.

3. Aims are necessary to assess the outcomes of the educative process

In this sense, aims help in measuring the success and failure of work done in school.

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4. Necessary for efficient school administration

Aims are necessary for efficient school management. They help in proper selection of teachers, proper curriculum planning, proper equipment of library, desirable planning of curricular and co-curricular activities, etc.

5. Useful for parents and general public

Aims are useful for parents in the sense that they put check on their undue criticism of the school system. The society reviews and appreciates the work of the school in terms of aims. In a democratic society, this assumes much greater importance.

6. Acting with meaning.

Highlighting the importance of educational aims, John Dewey says: “… to have an aim is to act with meaning, not like an automatic machine: it is to do something and perceive the meaning of things in the light of that intent.”

7. Aims give continuity and significance to education

Education is a process. It is a continuous process. Any one act or single experience does not by itself constitute education. It is neither a mere serial aggregate of facts. Education has an intrinsic continuity. “It is; the aim that gives continuity and significance to the series of events i and experiences that make up what we call education.

In short, aims are potential seeds from which grows the plant of – a well-defined educational policy.

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