Eclectic Tendency and its Development in Education:
Meaning of Eclectic Tendency:
In this book, “Brief Course of History of Education” Munroe defines the phrase ‘eclectic tendency’ in the following words-
“The eclectic tendency is that which seeks the harmonization of principles underlying various tendencies and rationalization of educational practices”.
The eclectic tendency stands for acquiring knowledge from all subjects. The modern civilization is the combination of all branches of knowledge, and so is modern education. It is important in the sense that it does not lay stress on a particular branch of knowledge but it stands for the synthesis of all various tendencies and education.
Historical Basis of Eclectic Tendency in Education:
Thinkers and philosophers like Rousseau, Pestalozzi, Herbert, Spencer, and Froebel have expressed their views on the tendency in education.
Rousseau is of the opinion that a child’s education should base on the entire needs of the whole life.
Pestalozzi had propounded the “theory of self-realization“. He emphasized the need of sympathy for children.
Herbert laid stress on the scientific system of teaching. By this, he meant that the aim of education should be the building of character.
Froebel regarded insight as the basis of education. He was a child Psychologist.
Spencer propounded the principle of scientific tendency under which science was included in the curriculum. Though he laid emphasis on individualism, still he could not ignore the importance of the Socialistic tendency of education.
Modern education has assimilated all these views. The Government has also taken the responsibility of educating people.
Development of Eclectic Tendency in Education:
Following are the factors which led to the development of the eclectic tendency in education-
(1) Synthesis of Various Philosophical Views- The synthesis of certain tendencies in education such as Idealism, Naturalism, Realism and Pragmatism contributed a lot to the development of the eclectic tendency in education. Idealism helped to determine the aims of education, naturalism attracted our attention to child-centred educational methods and realism directed our attention to solving the problems of life through education. The synthesis of these tendencies led to the development of the eclectic tendency in education to a great extent.
(2) Synthesis between Individual and Social Aims of Education- It is a historical fact that for a long time the supporters of Individual and social aims of education have deprived the individual and the society of the highest benefits of education by emphasising their respective views. But now a synthesis of the said two views have been made. In this connection, Ross writes, “Individuality develops only in a social atmosphere where it can feed on common interest and common activities”.
James also writes, “Education is the organization of the acquired habits of action such as will fit the individual to his physical and social environment”.
This synthesis of social and individual aims of education further led to the development of the eclectic tendency in education.
(3) Synthesis of Interest and Effort- The synthesis of interest and effort is also responsible for the development of the eclectic tendency in education. Previously, on account of the disciplinary conception in education, efforts in education were in vogue. But the development of the psychological tendency in education emphasized the value of an interest in education. Now the curriculum, educational methods etc., are based on the synthesis of effort and interest. Montessori Method, Kindergarten Method, Dalton Method etc., are based on the synthesis of effort and interest.
(4) Synthesis of the views of Discipline- There have been three types of views of discipline supported by different educationists. Repressive type of discipline has now no place in education. Likewise, the other two types of discipline also cannot be accepted in their original forms. But a synthesis of these two types is attempted to develop the self-discipline of the child.
(5) Synthesis of various tendencies of Education- As a matter of fact, the eclectic tendency is nothing but the synthesis of the various tendencies of education. The synthesis of psychological tendency, scientific tendency, sociological tendency etc., has to a great extent led to the development of the eclectic tendency in education. Regarding the contribution of the said three tendencies, Munroe writes, “In the main, the psychological contribution have related to method; the scientific to subject-matter, the sociological to a broader aim and better institutional machinery”.