1. Based on Science
The supporters of Realism emphasized the importance of useful and purposive education. They advocated the inclusion of scientific subjects in the curriculum and in place of academic and artificial education; they laid stress on the natural education which gave birth to Naturalism. Thus, the emphasis on scientific education is the first characteristics of realistic education.
2. Emphasis on Present Life of Child
The second characteristic of realistic education is to make the present life of child as the focal point of educational system.
As we know the fact that Realism was born as a reaction to excessively Idealism, it opposed the academic education of mere ideals and values and emphasized the immediate real and practical problems of day to day living which only can promote individual goods and welfare.
3. Emphasis on Experiment and Applied Life
The third characteristic of racialist education is emphasis on experiments, experiences and application of knowledge learnt.
It lays great stress on learning by doing, by developing creativity and urge of political work in children so that they are able to solve their immediate practical problems and lead a real successful life.
4. Opposition of Bookish Knowledge
Realists decry mere academic, theoretical and bookish knowledge which develops only rote memory and encourages cramming.
It does not enable the child to understand the realities of external things and natural phenomena.
According to Realists, education should inculcate in the child an understanding of both the thing and the environment. Thus, the slogan of realistic education is ‘Not words but things’. Such type of education promotes intelligence and a sense of judgment which the bookish education does not do.
5. Emphasis on Training of Senses
The sixth characteristic of realistic education is to train and develop the senses of child.
Unlike Idealists who impose knowledge from above, Realists advocate self-learning through senses which ought to be trained. These senses are the gateways of knowledge and develop by use and experience.
6. Limited Freedom of Child
Realistic education realizes the prime importance of child. Hence, according to Realists the child should be given full freedom to develop his self according to his innate tendencies. But this freedom should promote self-discipline and self-control. In other words, the child should proceed from ignorance to knowledge slowly but surely through his own efforts and self-discipline.
7. Equal Importance of Individuality and Sociability
The seventh characteristic of realistic education is to emphasize equally the individuality and sociability of the child. Thus, the aim of realistic education is to develop both the individual self and the society of which he is an integral part.
Bacon clearly asserts that realistic education develops the individual on the one hand and on the other hand tries to develop society through the development of social consciousness and sense of service of the individual.