What is the Naturalists View on Aims of Education?

According to Rousseau education means “natural development of organs and powers of the child” He said child’s first education should be negative which means avoiding teaching of virtue or truth to him. He was against imparting any education to the child in early years of life.

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Development of body, development and strengthening of every part of the body and making the child grow healthy and strong was considered the most important aim of education during infancy. Then, developing child’s sense organs and personality were considered important during childhood and adolescence.

Development of emotions and sentiments leading to development of moral and social qualities including religious sentiment was emphasized at the level of the youth between 15 to 20 years.


Thus the aim of education according to Rousseau was bodily, sensory, mental, social and moral development of the individual. Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) another modem naturalist, in his book ‘Education’ (1961) enumerated the following aims of education:

1. Self-preservation which means growth and development of both the body and the mind.

2. Earning a living.

3. Upbringing of children which means making the students successful parents in future.


4. Development of citizenship through scientific study of history.

5. Teaching the individuals how to utilize their leisure time by teaching them painting, music, sculpture, poetry, recreation.

And all these subsidiary aims must ultimately aim at “preparing the child for complete living”.

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