History and nature:
Idealism is the oldest and most talked about philosophy of education. Its popularity has never decreased right form its origination. This philosophy in the formal form was originated by Plato, in 427-346 B.C. This philosophy in the beginning was known as ideaism where the focus was on the ideas. Latter it started to be known as idealism but emphasis still is on the nature of ideas rather than on their ideal status. Plato was supported latter by Ddescarte, Hegal, Spinoza and Karl Marx. According to these philosophers the basic reality of life is based on ideas, minds and thoughts. Ideas formulate the fundamental bases of the ladder of the priorities of life.
Mind, life and matter are the next important steps of this ladder. Everything begins when the ideas are conceived. The central principle of idealism is that of organic wholeness where a kind of inner-harmony exist between the man, world and the universe.
Idealists asserts that mind is prior to matter. Matter can not be observed appreciated and utilized if it is not noticed by mind in the form of idea and thoughts.
Objectives of education
The objectives put forward by Plato are still accepted in this modern era as the fundamental aims of education. The following are the key objectives of education according to idealism:
1. Intellectual development
Development of the mind and thinking faculties are advocated the most. Because ideas are considered to be the products of minds and the very basic realities. Education must do its best to develop the abilities of the people. This will promote logical thinking, rational attitudes and analytical activities. Balanced intellectual development gives birth to balance and successful personalities.
2. Self- realization
This refers to acquisition of knowledge about our selves and exploration of this knowledge for the sake of understanding. This is considered to be the highest aim of education. Teachers and adults should enable the students to identify their strengths and weaknesses right form their early age. They should also be talked to maximize the positive aspects of the personalities and to minimize the negative elements. This will promote growth of balanced personalities. Such activities should be organized which will help the individuals to develop and improve physical, intellectual, morally and spiritually. This development will enable them to seek and support truth to avoid evil, to tolerate hardships and to live and let others live peacefully.
3. Values inculcation
Values are the most sophisticated products of the mind. Inculcation of good values is another key objective of this philosophy of education. According to idealists basic values that need to be developed through education are intellectual, moral and spiritual. Horn. H.H a famous idealist has arranged values of education in the following order
Both physical and mental health should be developed throughout our lives.
This brings humbleness and gratitude and brings us closer to the creator.
Development of high character is not only beneficial for the individuals but promotes peace and justice in the society also.
Promotion, appreciation, development and creation of beauty in nature and in our personal and public life makes this world worth living.
4. Skills development
These are very important for the self-sufficiency, economic development and overall progress of the individual and societies. Individuals rich with skills never face economic or social problems.