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Social Change: Role of Education & Role of Teacher

Social Change: Role of Education & Role of Teacher

Education and Social Change

The school is the formal agency education. Education occurs both in school and in the society. Education has to bridge the gap between technical culture and value culture. Value culture should be changed with greater speed. Some people think legislation as important tool of this change. But the legislation can do very little in this connection. Education can help us a great deal in this context. Following points may be explained in this regard-

  1. Education as an Agent of Social Change-

    Education is an agent or instrument of social change. Brogan says, “The social and political role of American education cannot be understood if it is thought of as being primarily a means of formal instruction. But it is not to be so judged for the schools are doing far more than instruct (pupils) they or letting them instruct each other in how to live in America. In the United States, then the schools are agencies for the creation from immense heterogeneity to a homogeneous citizenship with a common language, common habits, common tolerances, a common political and national faith”. What is true of American society is also true about Indian education to a very great extent.

  2. Education as a condition of Social Change-

    Trow argues that the nature of higher education in the United States has been fundamentally, affected by changes in the American occupational structure (themselves, in part, produced and affected by proceeding changes in secondary education caused by earlier shifts in economic base and technology). Education then, has been a condition of economic change, while simultaneously economic change has been a condition having immense consequences for education. Education, thus, may be viewed as a condition of change as well as an agent of it not only in American society but also in India.

  3. Education as an Effect of Social Change-

    Clark describes five major trends or forces which have influenced the institution. They are-

  • Rising level of educational preparation and re-preparation for work.
  • The increasing economic relevance of education.
  • Population growth.
  • A growing educational participation by that population.
  • An increasing political concern with education.

The impact of these forces on the educational institution seems to have had three effects according to Clark

  • The erection of institutional alliance primarily for the purpose of solving organizational problems introduced by the new technologies and political concern.
  • The increasing centralization of educational decision making with the process of decision moving from local to state levels and from state to national.
  • The emergence of patterns of voluntary relations between institutions, academic disciplines and various private and public agencies to meet the new need for co-ordination and action imposed by social change and impossible to resolve within the older structures of authority and initiation.
  1. Education for Social Change-

    John Dewey has written “Attention has been continually called of late to the fact that society is in process of change, and that the schools tend to lag behind. We are all familiar with the pleas that are urged to bring education in the schools into closer relation with the forces that are producing social change and with the needs that arise from these changes. Probably no question has received so much attention in educational discussion during the past few years as the problem of integration of the schools with social life”.

Education is thus, the chief instrument of social change. Kothari Commission (1964-66) has observed, “If this change on a grand scale is to be achieved without violent revolution (and even then it would still be necessary) there is no instrument, and one instrument only that can be used- Education. Other agencies may help and can indeed sometimes have a more apparent impact. But the national system of education is the only instrument that can reach all the people. It is not, however, magic wand to wave wishes into existence. It is difficult instrument, whose effective use requires strength of will, dedicated work and sacrifice. But it is a sure and tried instrument which has served other countries well in their struggle for development. It can give the will and the skill to do so for India.”


In the modern world due to great scientific inventions and discoveries there is a rapid change in the society. Changes are unavoidable. These changes in the society are referred as social change. This social change is complex in nature. It implies a change in both technical and value culture. These are various factors that cause changes in the social order. Scientific inventions or technology is important factor. Education, too, is an important means of social change. Education is regarded as an agent of social change, as a condition for social change and as effect of social change. Education has very great role to play for the desired social change which a country needs. It is a very effective agency for social change. We conclude with the words of Santayana, “For democracy, is a blind grouping adventure which implies open mindedness sensitiveness to the need of flexibility and adaption of social institutions. These are qualities which education can cultivate as the basis of social change”.

Role of Teacher in bringing up the Social Change

Teacher is the central figure in any formal educational system. He must respond to the duty. He is regarded as an effective agent of social change. Any social change without teacher is a mere figment of imagination. The teacher should know well the needs of the society and the nature and direction of social change. The present democratic society expects that the teacher should really act as an agent of social change.

Regarding teacher’s role, the following points need special mention-

  1. Model of Modernity-

    In the process of social change, important role can be performed successfully by the teacher only when they make themselves a model of modernity i.e., when they themselves imbibes modern values and allows them to manifest in their own conduct. In other words, the following qualities should be imbued in the behavior of the teacher: scientific attitude, rational thought, empathy, mobility, democratic style, sentiment of respect for individual personality, secularism, faith in change and transformation.

  2. Competent and skilled-

    The teacher should be competent and skilled because he is to lead the younger generation, the future citizens of tomorrow.

  3. Psychological climate-

    The teacher must prepare the psychological climate favorable to new attitudes and values.

  4. Reorientation-

    The teacher should reorient himself to accelerate the process of social change.

  5. Suggestions for change-

    The teacher should come forward with his wise suggestions of bring about social change. He has to be ready for bringing about an implementing social change. Apart from giving wise suggestions, the teacher should welcome the positive changes taking place. He should welcome what science and technology has bestowed on mankind and inculcate proper attitudes and values in students. He should encourage non-formal education, women education, education of the backward classes and participate, actively in these activities in the larger interest of social change.

  6. Remove obstacles-

    The teacher is to help remove the obstacles in the way of implementation of social change. The Government wants social change by implementing family planning. The teacher should help the government by breaking down the resistance of people to this program.

  7. Scientific attitude among students-

    The teacher should develop a rational, curious, thoughtful, positive, constructive and scientific attitude in his students by encouraging debate and discussion in the classroom as well as in co-curricular activities.

  8. Secular attitude-

    The teacher should have secular attitude. He should have respect for all religions. He should eschew all caste, community and class considerations in dealing with students and colleagues. If the teacher can modernize the entire atmosphere of the school, he can give powerful impetus to the process of social change because the students of today will become the pillars of society of tomorrow.

  9. National and international outlook-

    The teacher should have national and international outlook. He should try to inculcate emotional integration, national integration and international understanding in the students.

  10. Pupil-centered and community-centered education-

    The teacher should impart pupil-centered, life-centered and community-centered education. He should provide opportunities for the maximum and best development of the pupils. He should constantly strive to improve community life through the best possible use of material and human resources of the school and community.

  11. Use of modernized instructional technology-

    The teacher should make effective use of science and technology in the routine activities of the school, and in this way, habituate students to their use and give them practice in applying science and technology in other situations. Kit-based instruction for teaching of science, language laboratories for teaching languages, programmed learning for all subjects, wise exploitation of radio and television lessons and educational journals etc. to supplement classroom teaching are essential steps.


Thus, it can be concluded that the teacher through his multifarious roles and activities can accelerate the process of social change in a very powerful way. To quote E. W. Gordon, “It is the task of the teacher to educate for change, to educate through change and to educate for orderly planned revolution, and if necessary to educate through revolutionary action.

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