What is the impact of Gandhi's philosophy on education?
impact on todays education
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Gandhi believed that education is very important for development and well of individuals as well as of a society. He also had very specific views about methods of education. For example he believed in education that aims at overall development of individual rather than just learning of facts and figures relating to different subjects. At the same time he did not favour religious instructions as a part of formal education system of a nation. He believed that imparting of religious education should be left to religious organization. He favoured making education job oriented. He believed that the education system should prepare individuals to take up useful jobs in the society.
He was opposed to use of punishment in schools. Also he was against making young children learn alphabets mechanically. He said that language is an art burdening young children with such mechanical learning, which appears quite meaningless to them tens to create an aversion towards language.
There is no clear evidence to show that any ideas of Gandhi about education system have been implemented in India or any where else directly as his ideas. However, indirectly ideas of Gandhi have resulted in education receiving high priority in India, and in making education system more progressive as compared to practices in the past.
There are many who believe that Gandhi's emphasis on education as a means for social and personal independence planted the seeds of India's modern university structure today.
But in case you meant how has Gandhi's philosophy affected education in general, here in the United States, let me offer a few ideas.
1) Gandhi's philosophy of nonviolence is taught widely in schools, and related to the actions of Martin Luther King Jr. and others
2) I teach Gandhi's "Seven Sins in the Modern World" as a basis for a discussion of morals and their place in today's society
3) Gandhi has influenced my teaching of history as it relates to empires, the power of empires, and those who have successfully challenged their rule over distant colonies without resorting to violence.
The primary focus of Gandhi's tenets in education was to develop both the moral sensibilities within the student as well as their commitment to social change. Unlike most education of the time period, Gandhi's belief in education was to enhance the notion of individual and social change, believing that both are connected to one another. Education is not something to remain in the claustrophobic domains of books only. There has to be an outreach between students and the outside world. Some of this can happen on a smaller level, while other implications are on a more profound level of social change. Part of what makes his beliefs so strong on education is that he believed that there could not be a price tag associated with learning. In this idea, Gandhi helped to place an intrinsic worth or primacy on education that lies outside of the realm of earning capacity or end products that were commonly associated with education. In this light, everyone should be able to gain access to education as it can help to change both individual and society for the better. In a more globalized modern setting, this is quite a rich belief as individuals are becoming more attune to challenges and problems around the world.
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