Back to: Philosophical Foundation of Education – Unit 2
Role of Students, Teacher and Curriculum in Idealism with Characteristics of Curriculum in Idealism
Idealism is a branch of Philosophy that deals with the central role of the ideal or the spiritual through interpretation of experience. Brubacher defines, “Idealists point out that it is the mind that is central in understanding the world. To them nothing gives a greater sense of reality than the activity of mind engaged in trying to comprehend its world.”
The word ‘Idealism’ is derived from the word ‘ideals’ meaning higher values or essence which are of supreme cosmic significance. They are considered to be the most important thing in human life. These values are eternal and unchanging. They are different from material forces because they do not have dimensions such as length and breadth. Harold Titus states, “Idealism, asserts that reality consists of ideas, thoughts, minds, or selves rather than materials, objects and force.”
Role of Students, Teacher and Curriculum in Idealism
1. The teacher is responsible for passing their knowledge to the student related to ultimate reality.
2. The teacher needs to impart this knowledge because he or she has more experience in it and in the absolute self.
3. It also believes that learners must be taught how to think in school.
4. The students gain and adapt the knowledge that has been passed by the teacher.
5. Idealism also believes that lecture is the most significant method to deliver knowledge to learners.
Characteristics of Idealism in Educational philosophy
1. Priority of mind and the self: Idealism believes that mind is prior to matter and lays emphasis on the importance of mind and the self. It suggests that the mind is real and its by-product is matter.
2. Universe exists in spirit: Idealism believes that the spirit is the fundamental element of the universe and reality, in truth, is thought or spiritual. It considers experience, thought, personality, and value to be more real than the external world or materialistic things.
3. Distinctive nature of man: Idealism suggests that man is not just a social animal but also a superior creation who possesses the quality of dignity and distinctiveness. In his environment, he cannot be regarded as a helpless creature.
Characteristics of Curriculum in Idealism
1. Idealism lays emphasis on inculcating the highest values among learners which include truth, beauty, and goodness which helps in the overall moral development of the child.
2. Educational idealism also enables learners to discover and develop the different abilities of each learner and enables them to reach their full moral potential so that they can serve the society in a better manner.
3. Idealism also helps in the complete evolution of mind, the self realisation, and the emancipation of spirit.
4. Idealism stresses upon the higher values which are perennial, eternal, and are never subject to change.
5. Idealism also believes in developing self-realisation among learners which promotes the idea of facilitating education without any differences and discriminations.
J.S. Ross defines,
“Idealistic philosophy takes many and varied forms, but the postulate underlying all this is that mind of spirit is the essential world stuff, that the true reality is of a mental character.”
He further states,
“Human personality is supreme and constitutes the noblest work of God.”