TAGORE AND HIS EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY: A METAMORPHOSIS OF EDUCATION -” The highest education is that which does not merely give us information, but makes our life in harmony with all existence. “- Rabindranath Tagore
Rabindranath Tagore, our divine poet, was the first Indian to win a Noble Prize for literature. Born into the aristocratic and renowned Tagore family of Jorasanko, Rabindranath Tagore grew up in his sprawling ancestral home in an atmosphere of culture, active social life, and surging nationalism. The profound social and cultural involvement of his family would later play a strong role in the formulation of Rabindranath’s educational philosophies.
Tagor family, with a rich history of over 300years, has played a significant role in Bengal Renaissance and has yielded several gifted individuals who have contributed substantially to the fields of literature, art, music, business, culinary crafts, classy fashion, religious and social reformation and so on. However Tagore himself was a versatile genius who shone like a morning star on the horizon of education in India. Above all , His brainchild “Visva Bharati” bears a telling testimony of his high ideals and educational philosophy,
TAGORE’S CHILDHOOD EDUCATION :
“Some people get hammered into shape in the book-learning factories, and these are considered in the market to be goods of a superior stamp. It was my fortune to escape almost entirely, the impress of these mills of learning”. – Rabindranath Tagore
This quotation more or less sums up Tagore’s childhood tryst with school and formal education. As a child with a fiercely independent spirit, he found his outside formal schooling to be inferior and boring . How everafter a brief exposure to several schools, he refused to attend school. He regarded schools as mills of rote learning with no freedom for creativity. His father, the renowned Maharshi Devendra Nath Tagore, let him choose to learn whatever he wanted . His elder brothers taught him . He understood that a formal education might help people become more disciplined but could make them less creative, less imaginative and they might lose their balance and connection with nature. This way of informal education was not normal in those days .
TAGORE AND HIS EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY:
Tagore was a great champion of education and his educational philosophy was quite unique in itself. The tremendous cultural richness of his extended family, permitted him to absorb and learn subconsciously at his own pace . This gave him a dynamic open model of education, which he later tried to recreate in his school at Shantiniketan. According to him, the primary objective of education was to enable the preservation of the perfect symphony between one’s life and the world outside.
Thus there are four fundamental principles in Tagore’s educational philosophy – Naturalism, Humanism, Internationalism, and Idealism.TAGORE AND HIS EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY: A METAMORPHOSIS OF EDUCATION
Both Shantiniketan and Visva Bharati are based on these very principles. He believed that education should be imparted in natural surroundings and believed in giving children the freedom of expression. Accordingly, the main objective of his school was to cultivate a love for nature, to impart knowledge and wisdom in one’s native language, provide freedom of mind, heart, and will, to proffer a natural ambiance, and to eventually enrich Indian culture. Armed with all these views and philosophies he founded Visva Bharati in 1921 .
A university that was truly international in its philosophies, goals, and curriculum. Tagore’s idea on education was that all students may not bloom at the same time. Scholars from all over the world come to Visva Bharati, considered as a great seat of learning.