AIMS OF EDUCATION

Introduction

Education is an art of living, closely associated with human life. In the words of Aristotle, "Every art does something good. Education is an art. It is to be seen what good is done by education to man and society". Education is a very comprehensive term having different meanings and multiple aims. In fact, man always develops new ideas, tries them out and rejects or modifies them in the light of experience and knowledge. As a result, no aim can be final and it is changed by the influence of time, conditions and needs of the individual and the society. Hegel declares, "There is no philosophy but only philosophies". It is a universally accepted fact that every educational aim is an expression of a philosophy of life. We have a number of aims in education due to the complexity of human character.

Meaning of Aim

All activities in the universe can be classified under aimed and aimless. Education is said to be a living activity and a social necessity. So, it must have some aim to make its activity, effective. What is the aim or the goal or the objective of this activity? It is sure that this kind of question will arise in the minds of the literate and the illiterate or even sometimes in an expert in the field of education. Hence, it has to be answered clearly and precisely, particularly when everyone is confused about education. Generally, aim is a predetermined goal which inspires the wilful activities of an individual till it is achieved. John Dewey defines "An aim implies an orderly activity, in which the order consists of the progressive completion of a process". He believes that a systematic activity is always directed to some goals which influence each step taken in the desired direction for achieving some end. The word orderly denotes the systematic nature of the activity. The word ordered refers to the direction implied in the activity. Thus, aim is that which gives a sense of order and direction to "an activity". In the words of John Dewey, "Aim is a foreseen end which gives direction to a certain activity or motivates human behaviour". In short, we can say that aim is the steering wheel by which the vehicle called ‘education’ can be directed in a possible and a desirable way.

Importance of Aim in Education

Education is a purposeful and planned activity. Therefore, its various aims have been emphasised by scholars, philosophers, educators, psychologists and sociologists in all ages. To have an aim is to act with meaning, unlike an automatic machine. The importance of educational aims lies in the fact that they give foresight to the educational planners. In fact, there can be no educational activity without an aim. Educational practices at all times have been determined by the accepted educational aims. Professor B.D.Bhatia says, "Without the knowledge of aims, that educator is like a sailor who does not know his goal or his destination and the child is like a rudderless vessel which will be drifted along somewhere ashore". The aims of education have changed in the present age, as they function as a light for the blind, a stick for the crippled and literacy for the illiterate. The importance of aims in education has also been emphasised in the encyclopedia of modern education. According to it "Education is a purposeful and ethical activity. Hence, it is unthinkable without aim". Therefore, we observe that the aim of education is like the blood of man without which it becomes a dead process that yields nothing.

Need for Aim

Education is related to human life; It is life itself. Hence, it should grow and for that it should have certain aims in itself. In fact, it needs aim in the same way as a plant needs sunlight, water, air and fertilizer, and man needs water, air, food, dress and shelter.

(a) Aims provide direction to our efforts

(b) Aims provide action to the teachers

(c) Aims assess outcomes of educational process

(d) Aims allow us to act intelligently

(e) Aims make school administration efficient

(f) Aims change human life in the technological age

(g) Aims help to evaluate school organization

(h) Aims impart guidance to the teachers

(i) Aims promote national integration and international understanding

(j) Aims increase national development

(k) Aims help us to apply the right method of teaching

(l) Aims modify environments

(m) Aims prepare the child for life

(n) Aims develop democracy

(o) Aims preserve our culture

(a) Aims provide direction to our efforts

John Dewey says, "An aim is a foreseen end that gives direction to an activity or motivates behaviour". Our efforts can be directed properly only if we have information about aims. The aim of education provides light for the teacher and the students to direct their efforts in the proper direction.

(b) Aims provide action to the teachers

The aims of education activate the teachers to work shoulder-to-shoulder with one another, and make it a joint enterprise. The whole educational planning in the school will be reduced to a muddle in the absence of consensus with regard to aims of education.

(c) Aims assess outcomes of educational process

Aims of education help us to look back and review the results of educational activities. Such assessment of the educational system can be done after fixing the aims of education. An aim is the tool with which one can measure the success or failure of work done in the school and the achievements of the young scholars.

(d) Aims allow us to act intelligently

Aims of education allow us to act intelligently and with a meaning in anything that we do. Thus, aims enable us to know what we are doing and why we are doing. In fact, aims save us from waste of time and energy, and help us to be wise.

(e) Aims make school administration efficient Educational aims help the school officials in organizing, equipping and administering the school efficiently. They also help in various aspects of school management such as proper selection of teachers, curriculum planning, well-equipped library and desirable planning of co-curricular activities.

(f) Aims change human life in the technological age

In the scientific and technological age, human life has become very complex and it faces many problems. As a result of technological development, urbanisation and industrialisation, we come across social, economic, political, moral, cultural, educational and religious changes. These changes cannot be faced by us unless we are trained to adjust with them. Therefore, aims of education should be changed according to the changing needs of the modern society.

(g) Aims help to evaluate school organization

We need aims in education to evaluate the school organization. In fact, educational aims provide answers to the questions such as, is the curriculum proper? Has the selection of teachers been done on the basis of experience and ability? Whether the school has proper infrastructure like buildings, laboratories, playgrounds, libraries and other facilities? The evaluation of the whole educational system can be done with the help of aims of education.

(h) Aims impart guidance to the teachers

Educational aims guide the teachers in the teaching-learning process. They exalt the status of the teachers in the society as social engineers and nation builders. Aims help them to create an atmosphere in the school in which students are encouraged to take part in various activities so that they can develop their social efficiency.

(i) Aims promote national integration and international understanding

The development of national and emotional integration and international understanding will be impossible if education is without aims. International understanding and national integration are inculcated in the children only when they possess the knowledge of the aims of education. Through these aims, they are mentally prepared for international understanding and national integration.

(j) Aims increase national development

The development of a nation depends on education. Therefore, national development should be one of the objectives of education. The educational system of a country can be successful only if it caters to the needs of national development. As a result, we find every system of education aiming at national development. For example, when the aim of education is increasing agricultural production and vocational efficiency, it will become the aims of national development.

(k) Aims help us to apply the right method of teaching

Different methods are being applied for imparting education to the child. But the most suitable method is chosen only with the help of educational aims. In fact, the aims of education help us to select a method of teaching not only according to the nature of subjects but also bearing in mind the age, interests and aptitude of the pupils. Without aims, teaching-learning will not be effective and fruitful.

(l) Aims modify environments

We need aims in education because it is powerful in bringing about desirable changes in society through modifying the human behaviour. As education is closely associated with human beings, any change in human life takes place as a consequence of change in aims of education. Thus, aims of education change in accordance with time, place and circumstances and they prepare the people to be fit in the changing environments.

(m) Aims prepare the child for life

The aims of education prepare the child for adult life and make him stand on his own feet. Today's education aims at fostering vocational and social efficiency in the child. Vocational efficiency and social efficiency are the main aims of education through which the individuals can have a meaningful and useful life in the earth.

(n) Aims develop democracy

We live in a democratic country. Hence, democratic feelings should be developed and strengthened in the younger generation. It is possible only through the aims of education. The educational aims foster fellow feeling, cooperation, brotherhood, tolerance, love and sympathy, which are the basic foundations of democracy. The aims of education direct the school to undertake various group activities and programmes, which provide an atmosphere in which teachers, parents, pupils, educationists and the public share their joint responsibilities.

(o) Aims preserve our culture

Aims of education help to preserve, promote and transmit our culture and civilization, which are the values in human life. If we find no such aims in education, our culture will be destroyed and there will be no progress in society. Thus, educational aims are essentially needed to propagate and promote our ancient culture so that national feelings can be protected and strengthened.

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