Aristotle’s Concept of Education
Aristotle has many philosophies that are brought right into the classroom today without anyone knowing they are. His philosophies are truly remarkable. Through the life of Aristotle, one would wonder how a mere thought of philosophy could impact the way education is practiced today as we know it. Aristotle’s way of life reflected the way he thought and what he wrote for people to view and educate upon today.
There are numerous ways that the theories, philosophies, ethics, writings, and styles of teaching of Aristotle have influenced education today and most likely will continue to in the future. Aristotle believed strongly in the importance of an education that studies the real world and then draws conclusions and gains knowledge through analytical exercises. With practically everything that is done today and taught today, there is some relevant relation to that of Aristotle and his beliefs.
Through some of Aristotle’s books of Politics, one is able to see how education could be influenced and affected by what Aristotle says in his writings. Aristotle’s ethical theory is expressed through many aspects. Aristotle tends to express his feeling towards virtue in a way where it can go two ways. He talks of how virtue is divided into moral and intellectual virtue. Excellence of character deals with the “good life” and happiness. People are concerned with their character and getting the golden mean, which is true happiness, in life. One whom educates would be affected by this golden mean because they must learn to stray away from this aspect. They have to learn to educate for the sole purpose of those who are being taught to thrive as to what they are being taught.
The role of the educator would be more of a guide or adviser to the students rather than an actual teacher. The whole idea of a realist is to learn by experience, so the students need a guide than a teacher so they can encounter it for themselves. Doing this, the students can determine what kind of knowledge they are inquiring, and how they can apply it to their lives. Therefore, an educator’s responsibility would be to teach students to learn from the world around them, not just out of books and from history. While performing this role, the educator needs to present the subject in an exceedingly organized and precise manner.
While the educators are explaining how to learn from the real world, they might use many different kinds of methods from outside the classroom, such as field trips. This would let the students practice this knowledge themselves without have an adult stand up in front of a class and lecture about it. A realist would also present their material in a systematic and organized way and would also teach that these are clearly defined criteria for making judgments in art, economics, politics, etc. The children need to learn through trial and error, and experiencing joy and pain from naturally occurring experiences in their lives.
Aristotle’s Aim of Education
His view about the aim of education was different from that of his predecessors Socrates and Plato. He believed in the purposefulness of education. According to Socrates and Plato, ‘the aim of education is to attain knowledge‘.
To them the attainment of knowledge was necessary both for the interest of the individual and the society, hence it was virtue by itself. Aristotle has a different view. To him the aim of education was not only the attainment of knowledge but also the attainment of happiness or goodness in life. He believed that virtue lies in the attainment of happiness or goodness. He has divided ‘goodness’ into two categories ‘goodness’ of intellect and goodness of character. The former can be produced and increased by teaching and is the product of training and experience. The latter is the result of habit, and it can be attained by the formation of good habits.
Aristotle’s definition of education is the same as that of his teachers, that is, “the creation of a sound mind in a sound body”. Thus to him the aim of education was the welfare of the individuals so as to bring happiness in their lives.
Aristotle Scheme of Education
Aristotelian scheme of education is quite similar to that prescribed by his teacher, Plato, in his “Republic”: He also believes that the education of the early childhood period should be the responsibility of the parents. After this, further education is the responsibility of the state, but it does not mean that parents are free from the responsibility of their children. They are still responsibility for their moral education.
Like Plato, he also stresses on ‘gymnastic’. But to him the purpose for getting the training of gymnastics was not only to produce perfection in athletics but also to develop the spirit of sportsmanship and above all to develop good habits for the control of passions and appetites. He considers music and literature useful for the’ moral and intellectual development at an early stage of education.
He recommends the teaching of ‘mathematics’ for higher education because it develops the power of deductive reasoning in man. The teaching of physics and astronomy is also necessary at this stage.
Aristotle’s Method of Teaching
Aristotle suggested inductive and deductive methods of teaching. He was the first to formulate the logic of these procedures. Aristotle applied these methods both for the objective and subjective studies: It is in this respect that he is considered as the father of modern sciences.
Every social activity should have specific aims and objectives. There are also some basic aims and objectives of education. Education changes as per the changing needs within the society the aims and objectives also changes time to time in the same society.
Aims and Objectives of Education
There are some basic and general aims and objectives of education in society which are as follows:
1. Good Citizens
The basic aims of education system are to have useful and good citizens, who can be beneficial for society. Education develops in a person the following basic social qualities:
- To respect the law;
- To respect the customs and tradition;
- To know his/her rights and duties;
- To earn his /her livelihood in an honest way;
- To be emotionally and mentally sound person.
2. Cultural Aims and Objectives of Education
Education is the medium through which the cultural traditional social and religious values of the past are transferred to the next generation. Our education system is transferring the Islamic cultural and religious values, which include Quran and hadith and other related literature and the practical life style of our holy prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The same is about other states and religions, who want to transfer their cultures to the next generation.
3. Education as Social Change Agent
Education is very powerful social change agent through which a particular society’s social, religious, and political setups are changed. If there exists some out dated cultural values, formal and informal education is carried out in order to bring the desired change. Which ultimately leads to social change?
- To Explore the New Dimensions of Science and Matter
Now-a-days, especially in the developed societies the main aim of education is to enable an individual and society to explore the new ideas. And have more and more information about the material world so as to give more and more facilities to the public.