Pragmatism: Aims of Education | Features of Education

Pragmatism: Aims of Education | Features of Education

Aims of Education in Pragmatism

Pragmatism does not believe in setting fixed aims of education. According to this thought, the aims of education are changeable. However, there are some specific aims of education according to this philosophy. These specific aims of education can be mentioned below-

  1. Harmonious Development- The aim of education is essentially all round development of an individual. Like idealists pragmatists do not believe in spiritual values but they do not ignore the harmonious development of man viz. physical, intellectual, aesthetic, social, moral and religious. Therefore, the essential aim of education is to direct the impulses, interests and abilities towards the satisfaction of the felt needs of the child in his environment.
  2. Continuous Reconstruction of Experiences- The important aim of education according to pragmatism is also to reconstruct experiences in the light of new situations. Every experience leads to another and the purpose of education is to give learner experience in effective experiencing. Learning takes place through experiences transmitted as well as shared.
  3. Social Efficiency- To produce socially efficiency for individuals is also another aim of education for pragmatism. According to John Dewey, social efficiency should mean the cultivation of power to join freely in shared to the common activities. In fact, it includes economic and cultural efficiency of the society or of the individual. Therefore, the school should impart training to its scholars for complete living in the social world of today. To the pragmatists, culture is somewhat synonymous with social efficiency. So, socially efficient person should be the cultured man and he should be the man of socially efficient.
  4. Continuous Growth- According to Pragmatism, the aim of education is said to be the capacity for continuous growth. This growth takes place through mutual interactions and changing social order and such type of growth is possible in a democratic society only. Therefore, the aim of education should also be included to provide the conditions that make growth possible.
  5. Proper Adjustment- Education is to enable the child to create new realities and values for himself. The main problem before any human being is the problem of adjustment with his new environment. Pragmatism state that education should be enabled the person to be fairly adjusted in his existent environment. Education must form and cultivate dynamic and adaptable mind which may, in turn, successfully cope with life situations and problems.
  6. Creation of Values and Enrich the Present Life- Creation of values is the main aim of education. These values are created by activity and experience. Therefore, education should provide different Medias for the creation of the values of physical, intellectual, aesthetic, moral and religious activities. Simply, we can mention that the aim of education for pragmatism is to make the present life of the child enriched abundant for a successful creation of values and maintaining progress.

Features of education in Pragmatism

Pragmatism lays stress on dynamism and flexibility that should characterize all aspects of education viz. aims curriculum, methods of teaching, discipline and teachers etc. These are discussed below-

  1. Education as Continuous Process- According to John Dewey, education is a process of living through continuous process. Educational process has no beyond itself. It can be considered as a continuous social need of an individual. Educational process does not concern itself with the ultimate and pre-planned aims. It is more concerned with the immediate problems of life and hence with the immediate aims.
  2. Education as Life- John Dewey, the chief exponent of the thought of pragmatism emphasized that education is life itself and not a preparation for life. Life is a product of activities and education is born out of these activities. Here, John Dewey means life for social life not for individual or personal life.
  3. Education should be Child Centered- The child is a potential creator of values in the environment. So we should start to give education with the child as he is and provide suitable experiences and activities in which he can participate. The most importance should be given to the needs, interest and capacities of the child.
  4. Education for both the Child and the Society- The social aspect of education should be emphasized. Our human beings should strive to build up a better society. We also try to satisfy it fully. The individual has to be development to meet the social demands and it is considered as the duty of education.
  5. Child’s Freedom- We should respect the freedom of our child. There should not be imposed the adult’s standard to the child by the authority. Therefore, education should be for the satisfaction of child’s needs, interest and abilities and not for set values. This philosophy also believes in the free discipline and the teachers stand for their guidance only.
  6. Based on Child Psychology- Different educational aspects should be planned on the basis of psychological findings. So, education should be provided according to different stages of growth and development. It is also needed to recognize the individual differences among the children. We should be given due weight age to the interest, needs and capacities of the individual.
  7. Education as a Social Necessity- According to pragmatism, education is a social necessity. It is a means by which society renews itself. A society cannot fulfill the educational task with an institution designed for this purpose. This school of thought changed the whole course of American education and also influenced educational policies and practices of other countries.
  8. Progressive Education- Progressive is the real function of education. Education should enable the individual to grow to his maximum. So, pragmatism is considered as the progressive philosophy of education that can be influenced our thinking as regards the different aspects of education. The greatest quality of progressive education is that it stands for flexibility, change and adaptability.

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