Wednesday, May 5, 2010


This post has been triggered after reading a beautiful post written by a University Professor from Chandigarh on what "Education is.. and is not....".

What is education? This is a very complex question, and would be answered differently by different individuals. How do you define 'education'? How do we plan to 'educate' our next generation? Is 'earning a living' the sole purpose of education? Are we giving the right kind of education to our next generation? Who is responsible to provide the 'education' - the parents, the teachers, the society, the individual or the state or each one of them?

I read a few interesting quotes on education that I am reproducing below.

• Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.....Will Durant.

• Education is the manifestation of perfection already in man. Like fire in a piece of flint, knowledge exists in the mind. Suggestion is the friction; which brings it out......Swami Vivekananda

• By education I mean an all-round drawing out of the best in child and man’s body, mind and spirit...........Mahatma Gandhi

• The highest education is that which does not merely give us information but makes our life in harmony with all existence.....Rabindranath Tagore

• Education is something, which makes a man self-reliant and self-less.

• Education according to Indian tradition is not merely a means of earning a living; nor it is only a nursery of thought or a school for citizenship. It is initiation into the life of spirit and training of human souls in the pursuit of truth and the practice of virtue..........Radhakrishnan

• Education develops in the body and soul of the pupil all the beauty and all the perfection he is capable of......Plato

• Education is the creation of sound mind in a sound body. It develops man’s faculty specially his mind so that he may be able to enjoy the contemplation of supreme truth, goodness and beauty.......Aristotle

• Education is the child’s development from within.....Rousseau

• Education is enfoldment of what is already enfolded in the germ. It is the process through which the child makes the internal-external..........Froebel

• Education is not a preparation for life, rather it is the living. Education is the process of living through a continuous reconstruction of experiences. It is the development of all those capacities in the individual which will enable him to control his environment and fulfil his possibilities........John Dewey

• Education is the complete development of the individuality of the child so that he can make an original contribution to human life according to the best of his capacity.........T.P.Nunn


BK Chowla, said...

At the moment, I dont care what kind of education. What is important is that every child in the country must get education. We cant talk of a few Malls and a few Flyovers as a step towards progress---it is education and I have no hope from the Govt.

Renu said...

I was also thinking on the same point.but like education only getting degrees or something more than that?

J P Joshi said...

BK Chowla: I agree with you that every child must get education. Also agree with you about malls and flyovers.. but disagree on the 'no hope'. I am a born optimist and believe that things would change, when we all change... each individual at a time, and the good news is that this is already happening, slowly but surely.

Renu: Welcome back after your vacation. Education and literacy are sometimes used interchangeably. Literacy helps in education but is not the end all of education, as is evident from the quotes by all these eminent humans and philosophers.