Idealism – Philosophy of Education – Knowledge and Curriculum


¢ Idealism is a very old philosophical thought. Its inception was taken from very early times when man began to think.

¢ In west it is born out of the writings of Plato, Socrates and Aristotle.

¢ In India it was born out of the scripts of Vedas, Puranas, Upanishads.

¢ Idealism has been derived from the word “Ideal” and “Idea”

¢ The reality of everything lies in ideas, thoughts and mind and not in material things..

¢ Idealism believes that reality is to be found in spiritual thoughts and ideas and not in materialistic world.

¢ According to Oxford “Idealism means representation of things in an ideal form, Imaginative treatment, system of thought in which the object of external perception is held to consist of ideas

¢ According to Rusk, “ Idealism contents that the material and physical universe known to science is an incomplete expressions of reality that it exists but to subserve and requires to complement it a higher type of reality, a spiritual universe. Harold Titus: “Idealism asserts that reality consists of ideas, thoughts, minds rather than materials, objects and force

Basic Principles of Idealism

¢Reality lies in mind and spirit : True reality or ultimate reality is mental or spiritual in nature. The spiritual and mental psychology is more important than materialistic things.

¢Faith in Spiritual values: The material world is mortal and changing. Ultimate reality — which consists of ideals and values — is eternal and unchanging. Main aim is to achieve higher values like truth, goodness and beauty.

¢Real knowledge is perceived in mind: Man’s wisdom or his mental attitude is the means of attaining knowledge of truth.

¢Idealism Believes in the Universal Mind: ¢Besides the physical or material universe, there is also a spiritual universe which is permeated by the Universal Mind of God.  He is the Creator and others are the created. Human mind is a part of the Universal Mind and is dependent of Him. God or the Universal Mind is the source of all human values and the goal of all human activities is the realization of this Universal Mind is one’s own self.

Idealism in Education

Idealism and Aims of Education

¢Self Realization: To recognize your inner strength and weakness. To connect with your soul and disconnect with materialistic things.

¢Spiritual development : More focus is on the spirtual development of child.

¢Transmission of culture: To inculcate culture more emphasize is given on literature, art, mathematics and science.

¢Moral Education: Idealism believes aim of the education should be to develop moral, intellectual, and aesthetic aspects.

Idealism and Curriculum ¢Idealist has given importance to thought, feelings, ideas, and values.

¢To preserve and advance the culture subjects like History, Literature, Religion, Ethics and philosophy should be included in curriculum.

¢For intellectual development language, science, mathematics should be taught. ¢In order to maintain good health study of hygiene, games and sports should be there.

Idealism and Methods of teaching

¢Idealism does not prescribe specific methods of teaching. They have prescribed following methods


¢Discussion Lecture Method


¢Project method

¢Inductive and deductive method

Idealism and Discipline

¢Idealism wants to keep the child under discipline.

¢The teacher should help to develop self discipline through self knowledge

¢Without discipline there can be no spiritual development.

Idealism and Teacher

¢Teacher acts as living ideal or model for students.

¢Students learn from teacher about the reality and the universe.

¢Teacher must have a great deal of knowledge. He must acquainted with all techniques  of teaching.

¢He must be a source of inspiration for the students.

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