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International Journal of Research in English

Vol. 3, Issue 1, Part A (2021)

Rabindranath Tagore's Education Philosophy: An Overview


Dr. Seema Rani


The main focus of India’s current education system is a means to future employment that creates an obsession with passing examinations, which in turn forces textbook-centered teaching. Learning has little relevance to students’ lives and interests today and thus is not enjoyed and valued as an end in itself. With success attributed solely to science and technology skills, the development of creativity in artistic skills is mainly disregarded. The present education system does not produce desired outcomes. It may be appropriate at this time to look at the thoughts and ideas of Rabindranath and re-examine his educational views for their relevance today. Hence Tagore’s concept of “narrative imagination” will be the most helpful model for nurturing creativity, empathy, and diversity. For him, one of the central skills needed for a democratic society was the ability to imagine and see things from varied perspectives. Starting the learning process with a textbook rather than with those things close to a child’s heart had much to do with the endless desire for material goods and well-being and the meaningless pursuit of the instruments of war and power. Education needs to nurture students’ souls and its purpose is not just employment but more importantly personal fulfillment and self-improvement. The inability to empathize with others' viewpoints is a key cause of apathy, oppression, racism, violence, and war in today’s world. Tagore said that we may become powerful by knowledge but we attain fullness by sympathy which is not only systematically ignored in schools, but it is severely repressed. He used education as a tool for social change by making young people rational, independent thinkers rather than blind followers of rituals and traditions. Tagore considered the lack of education to be the main obstacle in the way of India’s progress and it is the root of all problems. The basic objectives of any worthwhile national education system should be the promotion of creativity, freedom, joy, and awareness of the country’s cultural heritage. Tagore’s educational ideals have been agreed upon by other educationists and many of his innovations have now become part of general educational practices, but his special role lay in the emphasis on harmony balance between materialism and spiritualism in total development of personality. Talking about the crisis of education, Tagore said that a child should be permitted to read books. Our education system is lifeless as small children are burdened with piles of books. Tagore said that from childhood to adolescence and again from adolescence to manhood, we are coolies of the goddess of learning, carrying loads of words on our folded books. The problems of modern education are attendance, use of other unfair means and discipline, etc. It is more certificates oriented, irrelevant to intelligence, and less correlated with nature. These problems can be solved by providing freedom that is not applied in classrooms. The core of Tagore’s educational philosophy was learning from nature, music, and life. This is the reason why his education is easily acceptable to the human mind. The visionary in him solved the problem of today a century earlier.

Pages: 49-53  |  204 Views  63 Downloads

International Journal of Research in English
How to cite this article:
Dr. Seema Rani. Rabindranath Tagore's Education Philosophy: An Overview. Int. J. Res. Engl. 2021;3(1):49-53. DOI: 10.33545/26648717.2021.v3.i1a.118
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