Sense and New Realism:
Sense Realism has a dominant role to play in the field of education. It was the system of education which had the roots of all the principles of modern education. Munro writes, “The term itself is derived from the fundamental belief that knowledge comes primarily through sense. We can have the following conclusion from education through Sense Realism.
- The organs are the doorway to knowledge- a child may not gain the knowledge of a thing through words, but he readily gets it through organs.
- Truth comes not through education but by observation and the conduct of organs in the world so the system of education should be such that the child may have a greater scope of coming in contact with the natural phenomenon and the objects.
- Education needs to be imparted in the language of the common people.
- The system of the inductive method in the world of education is the greatest gift of Sense Realism. The Inductive Method comes through observation and experimentation. A principle is propounded after one comes to conclusion by observation and experimentation.
- Greater stress was laid upon the observation of nature and the education of science.
- The Sense Realists expressed that education should be conducted on a universal basis.
Richard, Malkastar, Bacon, Ratke, and Comenius are the chief exponnets of the theory. Malkastar believed that the object of education is to develop physical and mental faculties to bring nature to the fulness. He opposed the present system of education and considered the child to be the centre of education. To him, the mother tongue should be the means of education. He did not favour the pressure on the mind of the child and advocated for the development of knowledge, logic and memory of the child. He wished that the teachers are trained for teaching and the boys, in the primary stage, should be taught mother tongue reading, writing, painting and music. He introduced the scientific subjects at the secondary stage.
Bacon- His book- “The New Atlantic” and “Advancement of Learning” are worth the name. He writes on the objects of education. “The object of all knowledge is to give man power over nature”. He felt that the child can rule over nature, but he felt that unless the natural laws are followed, the government over them is difficult. To him, the object of education was to make a child useful for society.
Bacon was quite dissatisfied with the system of education of his days which did no good to the child, so he introduced the Inductive Method of Education and gave them the first place to the Scientific subject in the syllabus. His thoughts about the system of education are worth noting.”There are and can be only two ways for investigation and discovery of truth. One flies from sense and particulars to the most general axioms and from intermediate axioms……..the other constructs axioms from the senses and particulars by ascending continually and generally so as to teach, most general axioms last of all.
Ratke- Ratke introduced the new system of education and Comenius develop it. His object was to have the development of manhood according to natural phenomena. He propounded the principles of education.
- Obey the natural laws.
- Re-capitulation is necessary to make the knowledge permanent.
- One subject should be taught at one time.
- The medium of education should be the mother tongue.
- No pressure or coercion be brought upon the child.
- The practice of cramming should be given up.
- Similarity should be the basic principle in all.
- Things should be understood first and then the words.
- The entire knowledge should be gained after the experience.
- The knowledge should be imparted on the basis of the organs.
Comenius- He wanted a new system of education on the basis of the studies. He believed in general education so he wanted to make education easy for all.
Commenting on his principles of education, Dr Jaiswal says, “The object of Comenius was to make human being successful in life and to develop the moral and religious feelings through education”. Professor S. K . Agarwal divides his principles of education into 9 principles which are as follows-
- A straightforward method should be adopted for teaching.
- There should be a co-relation between utility in daily life and education.
- The system of education should be straightforward and simple.
- The child should be told the utility of whatever is taught.
- The simple rules should be defined.
- All the subjects should be taught in proper order, and one thing should be taught at a time.
- Various organs of education should be taught in chronological order.
- The topic should not be given up unless the boy understands it.
- The various compartments of subjects and the difference between the object should be understood well.
Besides the aforesaid nine principles, Comenius laid greater stress upon the curriculum and teaching by action and practice.
New Realism is really a philosophical thought. Rusk says, “To positive contribution of new realism is its acceptance of the methods and results of modern developments in physics”. The paramount among the exponents of New Realism is Bertrand Russell and Whitehead. The New Realists do not consider the scientific principles everlasting, while they express the changeability in them. They support the education of art with science.
Mr Russell supports an analytical system of education with humanistic feelings. Expressing his belief in liberal education, he is of the opinion that religion should not be included with education. He believes Physics to be the best subject and humanistic feelings to be the real objective. That is why he declares excess of anger, happiness and discussion detrimental.
Mr Whitehood considers living and unliving all objectives to be organs and the development of organs is the main objective and the all-around development of the object is the main characteristic of education. He supports the study of scientific subjects but does not undermine the value of ideals of other subjects. He feels that when you understand all about the sun, all about the atmosphere, all about the rotation of the earth, you may still miss the radius of the sunset.