What is Education?

The term Education has also been variously understood and defined by experts. In its derivative sense, the term ‘education’ is said to have been derived from Latin words ‘educare’, ‘educere’ or ‘educatum’.

  • Educare means ‘to bring up’ or ‘to nourish’. This means education is the process of bringing up or nourishing the child according to certain aims and ideals.
  • Educere’ means ‘to lead out’ or ‘to draw out’. In this sense, education is the process by which the child is lead out of darkness into the light. It may also mean to draw out the best that the child is endowed with.
  • Educatum’ implies the act of teaching or training.

In its ‘narrower’ sense, education is confined to school and university instruction. In its ‘broader’ sense, education includes all the influence which act upon the child and modify his behaviour.

Education is chiefly concerned with the development of man, the modification of his behaviour. Its main province is total individual and it aims at equipping him in the art of living. According to Drever, ‘Education is a process in which and by which the knowledge, character and behaviour of the young are shaped and moulded.’ Education also helps the individual to have adjustment with the environment-physical and social.

Education and Psychology

Psychology, as we know, is the science of behaviour. It is the science which gives us “better understanding and control of the behaviour of the organism as a whole.” Education, in its simplest meaning, implies the modification of behaviour. In order to modify behaviour, the, educator must know how a certain child behaves in a certain situation and why he behaves as he does behave. It is in this sense that psychology and education are inter-related. What psychology studies is used by education for its purpose.

Pestalozzi gave the slogan ‘psychologize education’. By this he meant the practical application of psychology in the classroom. The modern aim of education is the harmonious, all round development of the child’s personality. It is possible only if the school and the teacher create such situations in which the personality of the child can be fully developed in psychologically free environment.

To day, education implies many more things than mere knowledge. It is not only the modification of the individual’s behaviour or the harmonious development of the personality of the child but is also a “phase of social process” which enables an individual to become an enlightened member of the society. Modern concept of education is dynamic in its nature and aims at modifying human behaviour in terms of changing goals and objectives. Psychology provides the basis for good education. It provides data to the educator and he can use these data for behaviour modification. Thus, psychology and education are interviews and the result is Educational Psychology.

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