Book Reviews, India

About contentwriter | Contact Us

More Articles

Submit an Article/Poem


Content Services


Additional Web Services


Articles Center


Jobs Bank


Content Tip



Write Articles to share your ideas, views and experiences.



Paper on Tagore’s Views on Education

Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) was essentially a poet but his interests were not confined to poetry.

His creative fecundity was inexhaustible and the unlimited variety of his literary output is so extraordinary that the phrase myriad minded which Matthew Arnold (1822- 88) has used for Shakespeare can appropriately be used for him. His writings include more than one thousand poems and over two thousand songs in addition to a large number of short-stories, novels, dramatic works and essays on the most diverse topics. He took to painting when he was almost seventy and yet produced within ten years about three thousand pictures some of them of exceptional quality. He made notable contributions to religious and educational thought, to politics and social reform, to moral regeneration and economic reconstruction. His achievements in all these fields are so great that they mark him out as one of the greatest sons of India and indeed one who has a message for entire mankind.

Rabindranath Tagore was born in Calcutta at Jorasako house of the Tagore at 6 Dwarkanath Tagore lane (at present known as Maharashi Bhawan) on Tuesday 7th May 1861.1

'Rabi' as he was known in his family was the 14th child of his parents. At the age of twelve he took extensive tours of northern India with his father. He left St. Xavier College at the age of fourteen. The last desperate effort for his college education was made in 1878 when he sailed for England and went to school it Brighton. He studied English literature with Prof. Morley for sometimes and in 1880 at the age of 19th without completing any course of study he came back to India.

Rabindranath Tagore got Nobel Prize for literature in 1913 for 'Gitanjali' (Song offerings).

Among the major works of Tagore are:

Poems – The Cresent Moon (1913) The Gardener (1913) Fruit Gathering (1916) Lover's Gift (1918) Crossing (1918) The fugitive and other poems (1921)

Plays :- Chitra (1892), The Post Office (1914), The Cycle of Springs (1917), Sacrifice (1917), Red Oleanders (1925), Stray Birds.

Fiction :- The Home and the world (1919), The wreck (1919), Gora (1922)., Hungry stones (1916), Broken Ties (19251). Chaturanga (1916).

Philosophy - Sadhna (1913) Personality (1917) Creative Unity (1922), The Religion of Man (1931)

The word education has a Latin derivation. Latin dictionary give the meaning of the word 'educare' as bringing up children physically and mentally. In common parlance education is regarded as synonymous with school instruction. But it is not true. Schooling is just one part of the whole process of education, the aim of which is to prepare the child for future life so that he acquires the necessary equipment to discharge his responsibilities successfully.

According to Sidney Hook: "Education is the one that plays a certain integrative role within its culture and in this sense a good education will formally be the same in every culture."2

Education is a life long process and an individual, goes on increasing his store of experience through contact with the environment, he receives some education in one form or another.

Education is basically a social process which is concerned with how the student develops as an individual and in group relations. Its objective is to prepare the individual for participation in society, and it serves as a vehicle by which the culture of the group can be transmitted and perpetuated. Education is preparation for life. Education is experience. The word education has sometimes been used in a very broad sense to designate the totally of influences that nature or other men are able to exercise on our intelligence or on our will.

Tagore's views of education are not available in any single volume. lt is traceable in his various expressions. It may be gleaned from his addresses and may be read in his essays. It may also be obtained from his conversational Viswa – Bharti. Tagore’s ideas on education were derived mainly from his own experience. Tagore's educational ideals have been shared by other educationists and many of his innovations have now become part of general educational practices, but his special contribution lay in the emphasis on harmony balance and total development of personality. Discussing the problems of education. Tagore said that a boy should be allowed to read books of his own choice in addition to the prescribed text books he must read for his school work. Tagore wrote. “A boy in this country has very little time at his disposal. He must learn a foreign language, pass several examinations and qualify himself for a job in the shortest possible time. So what can he do but cram up a few text books with breathless speed? His parents and his teachers do not let him waste precious time by reading a book of entertainment, and they snatch it away from him the moment they see him with one."3

Another problem is that the men who teaching the primary schools are not adequately trained for their job, Tagore wrote. "They know neither good English nor good Bengali and the only work they can do is misteaching"4

Present system of education does not allow us to cultivate the power of thought and the power of imagination Tagore wrote. "To read without thinking is like accumulating building materials without building anything. We instantly climb to the top of our pile and beat it down incessantly for two years. Until it becomes level and some what becomes level and some what resembles the flat roof of a house.”5

Our education system is joyless. Small children are burdened with tons of books. Tagore wrote. "From Childhood to adolescence and again from adolescence to manhood, we are coolies of the goddess of learning, carrying loads of words on our folded backs."6

It has no relation to our life, the books we read have no vivid pictures of our homes and our society. Our first twenty two years are spent in picking up ideas from English books. But these ideas are of no use because these do not resemble with our society. Education and life can never become one in such circumstances and are bound to remain separated by a barrier. Tagore writes "We being to think that we are learning untruths and the European Civilization is wholly based on them, that Indian civilization is wholly based on truth and our education is directing us to a land of enchanting falsehood. Tagore calls a school in this country is really a factory. Tagore writes "At half past ten, in the morning the factory opens with the ringing of a bell, and then as the teachers start talking, the machines start working. The teachers stop talking at four in the afternoon when the factory closes and the pupil then go home carrying with them a few pages of machine made learning”.

Ancestors in India cared little for social formalities and much for social duties but we do the opposite. They regarded furniture as part of wealth, but not of civilization.

Economic forces compel the teachers of today to look for pupils, but in the natural order of thing it is the pupil who should look for the teacher. The teacher is now a tradesman, a vendor of education in search of customers.

There are not enough text books in our own language. Ancient learning has not been applied for those scientific, historical and rationalistic methods that we apply to western learning. For education, a foreign language can not be the right medium. English the knocking at the gate and the turning of the key take away the best part of our life. The ideas came late and the tedious grinding over grammar and a system of spelling which is devoid of all rationale take away our relish for the food when it does come at last.”

Tagore laid equal emphasis on development of body along with that of children to take care of their body should be treated as very important. This is due mainly to the joyless education. Tagore writes in this concern, "Human beings need food and not air to satisfy their hunger but they also need air properly to digest their food.”

Freedom is essential to the mind in the period of growth and it is richly provided by nature.

The crux of Tagore's educational philosophy was learning from nature and life. Tagore also attached great importance to Tapasya and Sadhana. In 'Siksa' there is an indirect exposition to Brahamcharya (a life of abstinence and discipline during student’s life) as a mean of real education in early year.

Tagore was critical of the way in which education designed to be job-oriented. Referred to its end of earning bread and butter Tagore observed, "From the very beginning such education should be imparted to village folks so that they may know well what mass welfare means and may become practically efficient in all respects for earning their livelihood."7

The experiment at Sriniketan was undertaken with a limited end in view. Tagore was a man of wider vision one who had extensively travelled. He visited various universities of America and Europe in the west and Japan and China in the East. He went on to establish Visva - Bharti as an international University where the values of the East and the West could be combined to develop to truly universe and humanitarian out look based over faith in man.

Santiniketan, Visva Bharti and Sriniketan may said to consititute Tagore's educational trinity
through which he endeavoured to develop his education theme.

The visionary in Rabindranath and the great educationist in him solved the problem of today as far back as fifty years. The problems of modern education are attendance, copying or use of other unfair means and discipline. Tagore solved these problems in a noble way. Freedom in the class solved the problem of attendance, absence of invigilator solved the copying or use of unfair means. Thus Tagore's educational system is a great feat. It is regretted that we did not try to apply the formulas suggested by Tagore.

WORKS CITED 1. A Centenary volume Genealogy P- 451 by Sahitya Academy, New Delhi
2. Hook, Sidney – Education for modern man (1946) P- 29.
3. Tagore, R.N. – Towards Universal Man Ed by Prof Humayun Kabir P- 34.
4. Ibid P- 74.
5. Ibid P- 34.
6. Ibid P- 67.
7. Tagore, R.N. – ‘Svadhin Siksa P- 522.

Contributing Writer: Dr. Ram Sharma, Lecturer in English, Janta Vedic College MEERUT, U.P. [email protected]





Content Writing News | Online Writing Job Profiles | Content Writer Blog |  Online Press Release | Post Part Time/Freelance Jobs | Writing Courses - Affordable Website Content Writing, Article Submission Services

Copyright © 2005 - 2011,, [email protected]