Agencies of Education- Meaning and Classification
Meaning of Agencies of Education
Education not only shapes the behaviour of the individuals but also helps in transformation of rich cultural heritage to the rising generation. Therefore, society establishes and develops institutions for achieving the medication of behaviour and passing on cultural heritage to the successive generation.
These institutions are called “Sources” or “Agencies of Education”. More precisely, society has created a number of specialized institutions to carry out these functions of education, these institutions are known as “Agencies of Education”. Sources through which the child directly or indirectly receives education-formal and informal are called agencies of education.
Classification of Agencies of Education
Agencies of Education are broadly divided into two categories, viz. formal and informal agencies and another way of classification of agencies is Active and Passive Agencies. Professor F.J. Brown has classified agencies in 4 ways- formal, informal, commercial and non- commercial agencies. These are discussed as below-
Formal agencies are those institutions and organizations which are set up by the society deliberately with the exclusive aim imparting definite and ready-made tidbits of knowledge in a specified time under a structured environment. There are well- defined aims and objectives, specific curriculum, definite teachers and students, definite and fixed time and place in such agencies. In short, everything or every aspects of education are pre-planned or planned in advance. Such agencies include school, college, university, library, religious institution, the recreation club, the museum, picture, and art galleries, zoo, etc.
Informal agencies are those institutions which exercise a great educative influence upon the individuals indirectly and ceaselessly throughout their life. They are called indirect agencies influencing the behaviour of the individuals. Education is provided to the individuals informally and unconsciously. These agencies lack all formalities, rules, systematization, pre-planning, premeditation or training. There are not particular places or location for imparting education. Individuals learn incidentally and naturally by their own initiatives and efforts. Among the agencies of informal education are family, community, state, social gathering, playground, associations, religious ceremonies, crowds, market places, cinema house, newspaper, fairs, exhibitions, radio, television, public meeting, field trip etc.
Those agencies which provide for education through the interaction of the persons are called active agencies of education. The interaction is a two-way process. Both the educator and the educant or the individual and the group influence and react to each other. The agency is called active because both the agency and the individual actively participate and share in the educative process. Examples of such agencies are the family, the school, the church, the youth activity groups, associations, social welfare agencies, sports club, museum, art galleries, entertainment programmes, etc.
Passive agencies are those agencies which potentially influence the individual but are not influenced at all by the individual. The interaction is one-way traffic. Such agencies are called passive, for the individual plays passive roles as he is not able to influence the agencies. Examples of such agencies are library, press, cinema, newspaper, radio, television, theatre, magazine, etc.
Commercial agencies are those agencies which give various kinds of knowledge, discoveries, inventions and achievements of human race. Through these agencies, the child develops social attitudes and receives all kinds of social interaction and experiences. These agencies have commercial objectives and include cinema, press, radio, television, theatre, clubs, newspaper, magazines, periodicals, etc.
Non-commercial agencies are those agencies which come into being for social good. Social well-being is their concern, not the profit making. The examples are sports club, educational tours, debates, scouting, youth forums, welfare programmes, adult education centres, red-cross units etc. These are meant for social good and character formation of children.
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