Tuesday, June 25, 2013



The aims of education serve as broad guidelines to
align educational processes to chosen ideals and
accepted principles. The aims of education
simultaneously reflect the current needs and aspirations
of a society as well as its lasting values, and the
immediate concerns of a community as well as broadhuman ideals. At any given time and place they can be
called the contemporary and contextual articulations
of broad and lasting human aspirations and values.
Educational aims turn the different activities
undertaken in schools and other educational institutions
into a creative pattern and give them the distinctive
character of being ‘educational’. An educational aim
helps the teacher connect her present classroom activity
to a cherished future outcome without making it
instrumental, and therefore give it direction without
divorcing it from current concerns. Thus, an aim is a
foreseen end: it is not an idle view of a mere spectator;
rather, it influences the steps taken to reach the end. An
aim must provide foresight. It can do this in three ways:
First, it involves careful observation of the given
conditions to see what means are available for reaching
the end, and to discover the hindrances in the way.
This may require a careful study of children, and an
understanding of what they are capable of learning at
different ages. Second, this foresight suggests the proper
order or sequence that would be effective. Third, it
makes the choice of alternatives possible. Therefore,
acting with an aim allows us to act intelligently. The
school, the classroom, and related learning sites are
spaces where the core of educational activity takes
place. These must become spaces where learners have
experiences that help them achieve the desired curricular
objectives. An understanding of learners, educational
aims, the nature of knowledge, and the nature of the
school as a social space can help us arrive at principles
to guide classroom practices.
The guiding principles discussed earlier provide
the landscape of social values within which we locate
our educational aims. The first is a commitment to
democracy and the values of equality, justice, freedom,
concern for others’ well-being, secularism, respect for
human dignity and rights. Education should aim to build
a commitment to these values, which are based on
reason and understanding. The curriculum, therefore,
should provide adequate experience and space for
dialogue and discourse in the school to build such a
commitment in children.
Independence of thought and action points to a
capacity of carefully considered, value-based decision
making, both independently and collectively.
A sensitivity to others’ well-being and feelings,
together with knowledge and understanding of the
world, should form the basis of a rational commitment
to values.
Learning to learn and the willingness to unlearn
and relearn are important as means of responding to
new situations in a f lexible and creative manner. The
curriculum needs to emphasise the processes of
constructing knowledge.

Choices in life and the ability to participate in
democratic processes depend on the ability to
contribute to society in various ways. This is why
education must develop the ability to work and
participate in economic processes and social change.
This necessitates the integration of work with education.
We must ensure that work-related experiences are
sufficient and broadbased in terms of skills and
attitudes,that they foster an understanding of
socio-economic processes, and help inculcate a mental
frame that encourages working with others in a spirit
of cooperation. Work alone can create a social temper.
Appreciation of beauty and art forms is an
integral part of human life. Creativity in arts, literature
and other domains of knowledge is closely linked.
Education must provide the means and opportunities
to enhance the child’s creative expression and the
capacity for aesthetic appreciation. Education for
aesthetic appreciation and creativity is even more
important today when aesthetic gullibility allows for
opinion and taste to be manufactured and manipulated
by market forces. The effort should be to enable the
learner to appreciate beauty in its several forms.
However, we must ensure that we do not promote
stereotypes of beauty and forms of entertainment, that
might constitute an affront to women and persons with


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