My name is Amrita Mitra. Iam a teacher in Sociology at The Shriram School- Aravali.I teach classes XI and XII.My other interests include music and painting.
MY EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND
I completed my schooling from St Josephs Convent,Bandra-Mumbai, and graduated in Sociology from Sophia college-Mumbai. Thereafter i did my post graduation in Sociology from Bombay University.
MY WORK EXPERIENCE
I have taught Sociology at the graduation level for three years,and took a career break after marriage to give time to my family. I am currently teaching Sociology in Shriram School -Aravali
TAGORE AS AN EDUCATIONIST
We had to sit inert,like dead specimens of some museum,whilst lessons were pelted at us from on high, like hailstones on flowers
One of the most precious gifts given to us by Rabindranath Tagore is Shantiniketan. At Shantiniketan Tagore established the world famous Vishwabharati University.He believed that children should always be close to nature, and should be free from classroom restrictions. The Open Classroom System was introduced by him.
Shantiniketan grew over the decades and has been described as an ashram where the forest ideals of the ancient Indian sages have been revived.It started as an experiment in child education, as a centre of Indian Renaissance in art and music,as an international seat of learning , and as a socio-economic movement for the upliftment of the rural people.
Through his new educational system, Tagore intended to introduce a system which would be different from the prevailing one which he felt stunted the young minds.In his essay Shikshar Her-Pher he emphasized that education should be a part of life, and should not be detached from it.Education should not be abstract, and extra curricular as well as co-curricular activities should be part of the educational process.
The important features of Tagore's school were as follows:-
- classes were held outdoors
- music and the arts were an important part of the curriculum
- the children should be trained to become self-reliant and hardy
- both individual initiative and co-operation should be stressed upon
- learning one's mother tongue and one's cultural heritage should be emphasized upon
THE RELEVANCE OF TAGORE'S EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM IN TODAY'S INDIA
Tagore in his writings and educational experiment left behind a legacy for a better India.This vision was deeply rooted in the Indian belief system, values and culture,and eliminated the injustices and problems that were manifest in the traditional nineteenth century Indian society. In today's world, with the pace and quality of life that we are experiencing, we are increasingly finding ourselves faced with various types of socio cultural,moral and spiritual crises.Problems such as crime,juvenile delinquency,drug addiction,environmental degradation,malnutrition,violence and terrorism are rapidly escalating.Our new generation is being swept away by the influences of the western value system.Perhaps it is time for us to sit and re-look Tagore's educational module and its relevance to todays educational system.
In the life of a child the teacher is his greatest guide and influence, and must watch his activities not only inside the classroom but outside it as well.The teacher must help the children have a balanced moral,social and economic life and establish their self respect before they gain the respect of others.Through work and play children should be encouraged to become self reliant and hardy. Alas!Most children belonging to urban Indian upper middle class and upper class families are used to being mollycoddled.In school self reliance and discipline should be instilled through role playing as members of various activity clubs, and holding responsible positions in clubs and associations.
Rabindranath Tagore emphasized on early teaching through play and activity, so that a child enjoys as he learns.Gradually a child learns to rely less on his teacher. The Play Way method followed today is a continuation of his idea of early education.
Bringing up the child amidst nature, Tagore felt was very important so that the child developed a close bond with his natural surroundings and learnt to love and preserve them. He had introduced Brikkhoropon (planting of saplings),and had also written an introduction to science Vishwa Parichaya to emphasize the relevance of a close communion with nature. These ideals are increasingly becoming relevant in modern times-what with our fast-depleting forest cover and global warming.
For Tagore complete education included self expression through the fine arts and the performing arts.These activities soothe the senses and act as a stress buster.These he felt were creative expressions of various emotions-love,joy,sorrow and patriotism.
However,Tagore felt that it was necessary to be well rooted in one's own culture, and at the same time be able to appreciate and assimilate other cultures and ideals.It is necessary to open up our national frontiers and open up our horizons.Tagore was not a narrow nationalist, and did not confine his scope to only Indian culture.He saw no racial and geographical barriers and threw the doors of his university open to thinkers ,scholars and artists from all over the world.He thus laid the foundations of Vishwa Bharati, which was a confluence of different cultures and religions of the world,where mutual respect,understanding and tolerance for different cultures and religions was encouraged to promote the unity of mankind.The object of education he felt should be to teach man the unity of truth.
The development of individuality and co operation are both equally important.Students should be taught to act in common and develop a sense of belonging and oneness with their institution and community.In today's interdependant world his idea of liberal education is even more relevant.It is necessary to strengthen the bonds of friendship and co operation, which should cross cultural,religious and racial barriers,and will help eliminate mistrust which stems from the fear of certain groups.Cultural differences can alienate people and polarize them,causing cultural conflict and violence.Geographical boundaries have lost their significance in the modern world.Nations are hurting one another and should join hands in the pursuit of truth and peace.
|Work in progress, expect frequent changes. Help and feedback is welcome. See discussion page.|