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What is the Impact of Democracy on Education?

The impact of democratic tendency on education is evident on the working of the following elements:

1. Provision of Equal Opportunities and Recognition of Individual Differences

In a democratic set up, each child is a sacred and valuable entity of society. As such, equal opportunities are made available to one and all for their fullest development.

The Importance of Equal Opportunities in Youth's Education

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In this connection the principle of individual differences is given proper recognition and therefore each child receive proper support according to his interests, aptitudes and capacities to develop his individuality to the fullest extent.

2. Universal and Compulsory Education

In democracy, the reins of government remain in the hands of the people. Hence, common people must be so educated that they develop themselves as responsible and dynamic citizen’s conscious of their rights and duties, fully conversant with their national and international obligations, well aware with the government procedures anti-administration processes.

3. Provision of Adult Education

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Under the influence of democratic tendency, in different countries, emphasis is being laid upon adult education, women education and education of the mentally retorted and physically handicapped.

Schemes are under operation in our country also for the effective education of the adults who constitute a bulk of our entire population. Night-schools, short-term-courses, one Jay schools and the schemes are being launched to solve this stupendous problem.

4. Free Education

The principle of universal and compulsory education involves free education to all irrespective of their social or monetary status. Hence, education is now regarded as the birth right of each child irrespective of color, caste, creed and sex.

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In almost all democratic countries, education has been made free up to a certain standard. In addition, education of the physically and mentally handicapped is also receiving proper and increasingly effective attention.

5. Child Centred Education

Democratic way of thinking emphasizes the importance of each child as sacred individuality. Hence, educational schemes and plans are so structured that each child receives full attention and full facilities to develop his individuality to the fullest extent.

6. Methods of Teaching

Under the impact of democratic tendency, method of teaching is undergoing revolutionary changes. Old, traditional and mass education methods are being gradually replaced by individual attention methods. Nothing is now enforce or thrust in by force.

Self-learning devices are encouraged and such methods are promoted which motivate children to pay attention and learn by their own efforts. Such wholesome and welcome environment is created wherein children search for truth, gain knowledge by their own efforts and learn by their own experience.

7. Social Activities

Bookish and academic activities are not over-emphasized in schools now-a-days. Proper attention is paid to social, cultural and co-curricular activities, so that children develop in a wholesome way and gain more and more social experience.

8. Importance of Individual Attention

As discussed above, each child receives individual attention. His family background, his own interests, likes and dislikes, his needs and capacities are fully taken care off in all plans of educational development, the purpose being to achieve the maximum development of personality.

9. Student Unions

Student unions and student welfare associations are formed in institutions to promote student welfare in all spheres with the aim of achieving balanced, dynamic, efficient and socially motivated personalities.

10. School Administration

To inculcate in children the sense of self-discipline and self-administration, their association with school administration is being welcomed. Such schemes are being formulated in various institutions where student participation in actual educational and school administration is a fact.

11. Respect of Teacher’s Personality

Democratic philosophy respects teacher as a very dynamic and effective agency of social change for social progress. Thus, teachers are now made to participate more and more in curriculum construction and educational planning.

Side by side, they are allowed to experiment freely in respect to methods, techniques and devices of teaching as well as materials which aid teaching procedures and processes. Not only this, more and more plans are being laid and worked out for increasing the professional competency of teachers.

12. Intelligence Tests

Schemes of intelligence tests are under operation in various institutions all over the world to evaluate the mental capacity, growth and achievement of children. Diagnostic tests are proving very useful for this purpose.

13. Physical Health of Children

To promote physical well- being of children, facilities for games and sports, gymnasia, medical tests and medical help are being provided freely and on an increasing scale. Medical checkup, advice and medicines are now provided to the needy.

14. Co-operation between all Agencies of Education

In a democratic set up, all the agencies of education co-operate actively for the development of children. Hence, under the influence of democratic tendency, schemes are being formulated now-a-days to establish co-operation between all the agencies of education namely- family, school, community, church and state.

15. School

School is now regarded as a centre of promoting national consciousness and international understanding. Education for dynamic citizenship is associated with education for national and international understanding, amity and fellow-feeling. Thus, school is now regarded as a miniature of society.

The meaning and scope of Sociology of Education

Dualism has always been a popular view with the philosophers. It is quite natural also, for we always live in two worlds, namely, the world of things and the world of our own inner experience.

Some philosophers have considered the inner world and the individual more important, while a few others have stressed the world outside the individual, i.e., the environment or the society. Rousseau, for example, focused on the individual while Dewey emphasized the social setting in which the individual has to live.

Rousseau was the fore-runner of psychological tendencies in education. Dewey may be considered a pioneer to shift the emphasis to sociological tendency in education.

He maintained that philosophy must be described in terms of the problems with which it deals and which originate in the conflicts and difficulties of social life. He defined the problem of education as “…the harmonizing of individual traits with social ends and values.

“He considered education a difficult process because effective coordination of psychological make-up of the individual with the demands of the social environment was, to him, extremely difficult.

He lamented that such coordination in the schools of his time was ignored. It was held by him that the process of mental development is essentially a social process.

He said that “man is a social being who attains mind and self only when nourished in social experience.” By “social” he meant individual’s social adjustment to the group or to contemporary social realities.

The business of education, as emphasized by Dewey, was “habituation of an individual to social control, sub-ordination of natural powers to social rules.

” Thus, social efficiency aim of education was emphasized which appealed to many people of his times as it was more in line with democratic thinking of nineteenth century.

The great social change emerging from the nineteenth century industrial revolution in Europe may also be considered responsible for the origin and development of sociological tendency in education.

The pragmatic philosophy of education also emphasized the social aspect of education for it believed that socially oriented minds alone could forge a better state of society, one in which human wants are fully satisfied.

Thus, the sociological tendency has its origin in the philosophy of Dewey, the pragmatists and the nineteenth century social change resulting from the industrial revolution and acceptance of democracy as a form of government and a way of life.

The tendency emphasized the social aim of education. Its watch words are “education for social service” which means that education should be directed in a broader more elastic way to the good of the community.

It emphasizes that the individual must be trained to be unselfish, to put the needs and desires of others before his own. Prof. Bagley in America said that, “Social efficiency is the norm against which educational practice must be judged.”

He, further, emphasized that social efficiency aim of education ought to have the position of primacy in a rational theory of education the activities of the individual should be valued with reference to his social obligations.

The sociological tendency in education focused on the interaction between the individual and the social milieu in which he lives. Education, according to this tendency, was defined as reorganization and reconstruction of this interaction so that the child learns what is socially desirable.

Dewey said that education should develop individual’s ability to “share in the experiences of others and thus, widen the individual consciousness to that of the race.

“Emergence of a new branch of knowledge known as sociology in the first half of the nineteenth-century contributed significantly to this aspect of the sociological tendency in education. Study of human relations in the schools was emphasized.

Scientific study of the process of interaction of persons was considered important. Study of education in relation to social needs and social change was emphasized. Several new trends emerged in the field of education as a result of sociological tendency in education.

The relationship between the school and the society, relationship between the school climate and education of the pupils, education as an instrument of social change, influence of various social groups on education, education as related to social mobility of the people in the society, etc., many issues figured for discussion and for being resolved. The aims, content, method and other aspects of education were also affected by this tendency.

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