BEd 2nd Year Educational Thought of Vivekananda Study Material Notes
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BEd 2nd Year Philosophical Thought of Vivekananda Study Material Notes
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Educational Thought of Vivekananda
Swami Vivekananda was a scholar of Indian philosophy and supporter of Vedanta. He is famous for giving Vedanta a practical form. His philosophical thought can be read in his books written by him and their practical form can be seen in the people’s welfare-oriented tasks of the Ramakrishna Mission. Vivekananda was much worried about the ignorance and poverty of his countrymen. He has emphasized the need for education for eradicating them. He did not engage himself and his companions only in the propagation of Vedanta; he contributed immensely to the expansion and popularization of mass education.
He will always be remembered for providing Indian form to Indian education. Here is presented a systematic discussion of his educational thought. (BEd 2nd Year Educational Thought of Vivekananda Study Material Notes)
Concept of Education
Vivekananda wanted to use education to prepare man for both worldly and spiritual lives. He believed that until we become prosperous and happy materially, karma, bhakti and yoga are all things of fancy. From a worldly viewpoint, he said, “We want that education by which character is formed, the strength of mind is increased, intellect is expanded and by which one can stand on one’s own feet.” He called this type of education man-making education. But he considered that the ultimate aim of human life is the experience of the soul (completeness) inherent within. (BEd 2nd Year Educational Thought of Vivekananda Study Material Notes)
He declared from a spiritual viewpoint, “Education is a manifestation of perfection already present in man.” In his view, the education which performs these two functions is true education. (BEd 2nd Year Educational Thought of Vivekananda Study Material Notes)
Aims of Education
Swami Vivekananda considered both physical and spiritual forms of man as true. He emphasized the development of both aspects of man. In his view, education should affect the development of both types—physical and spiritual. For this, the aims of education on which he emphasized the most, can be discussed as follows:
1. Physical Development: For the protection of physical life and fulfilment of its need and self-realization, Vivekananda considered the need for a healthy body. From a material viewpoint, he said that we need such strong people at this time whose muscles are as strong as iron and tissue as hard as steel. For self-realization, he said that jnana yoga, karma yoga, bhakti yoga and raj yoga are essential. He said that a healthy body is a need for any of these yogas. In his view, education should first affect the physical development of man.
2. Mental and Intellectual Development: According to Swami Vivekananda the main cause of backwardness in India, is a lack of intellectual development, so he emphasized the need for the mental and intellectual development of the children. In his view, for it, they should be acquainted with the knowledge of science and technology of the modern world and should be given good knowledge from any source where it may be available and they should be made capable to stand in the world confidently.
3. Development of the Spirit of Social Service: Swami Vivekananda said in very clear words that education does not mean doing one’s own welfare; it should be used to look after the well-being of all. He had seen the poverty of Indian people with his own eyes. He wanted to be educated and prosperous people should serve the poor and the deprived and should make effort to raise them, and for that should do social service. (BEd 2nd Year Educational Thought of Vivekananda Study Material Notes)
By social service he did not mean mercy or donation; by social service he meant cooperation in the progress of the poor and the deprived, they will have to raise themselves. Through education, he wanted to prepare a team of social workers. He attached much significance to social service from a spiritual viewpoint too, He considered man as the temple of God and his service as service to the Divine. (BEd 2nd Year Educational Thought of Vivekananda Study Material Notes)
4. Moral and Character Development: Vivekananda felt that man should hold high moral character while being healthy by the body, developed by intellect and prosperous economically. Character makes a man a follower of the truth and a duty-bound person. Therefore, he emphasized moral and character development through education. By morality, he meant both social morality and religious morality, and by character development, he meant the development of such self-power which is helpful in taking the man on the path of truth and preventing him from treading the path of untruth. He believed that a society or nation can progress only with such people of high moral character. (BEd 2nd Year Educational Thought of Vivekananda Study Material Notes)
5. Vocational Development: Vivekananda had seen the poor people of India in his backyard; he had seen the bones protruding out of their bodies while they begged for food, clothes and shelter, He had also seen the prosperous life of people in western countries, and had reached the conclusion that those countries obtained it by the development and use of science and technology. Therefore, he declared that mere spiritual theories cannot run our life, we should come forward in each field. For it, he emphasized training men in production, industries and other vocations. (BEd 2nd Year Educational Thought of Vivekananda Study Material Notes)
Curriculum of Education
The curriculum is the means of attaining aims. Vivekananda has presented a detailed curriculum for the attainment of aims as determined by him. He emphasized the inclusion of games, exercise and yogic activities for the physical development of man; and language, art; music, history, geography, political science, economics, mathematics and science subjects for his mental and intellectual development. Vivekananda possessed a very broad attitude regarding language.
In his view, it is necessary to know the mother tongue for a normal life, Sanskrit for understanding our religion and philosophy; regional languages for understanding our country, and English for understanding science and technology, so these languages should be given a place in the curriculum. He considered art an inseparable part of human life and favoured the inclusion of drawing, architecture, music, dance and acting in the curriculum. (BEd 2nd Year Educational Thought of Vivekananda Study Material Notes)
In history, he was in the favour of teaching the histories of both India and Europe. He reasoned that the history of India would develop a love for India and the history of Europe would make children active for prosperity. He also emphasized including political science and economics in the curriculum. He believed that the study of these two subjects would awaken political consciousness in the children and they would succeed in the economic field. (BEd 2nd Year Educational Thought of Vivekananda Study Material Notes)
In order to develop the spirit of social service and to incline them towards social service, Vivekananda emphasized making social work compulsory at all levels of education. He laid emphasis on the inclusion of religion and ethics for moral and character development. He recommended the inclusion of mother tongue, English language, physical science, agriculture, technology and industrial education for Vocational development; and for spiritual development, he emphasized on inclusion of literature, religion, philosophy and ethics as subjects and devotional songs, Satsang and mediation as activities.
1. Imitation Method: Vivekananda knew that man learns language and behaviour in the beginning by imitation, so he described it as the best method for learning correct language and socially-approved conduct. He emphasized the fact that the parents and teachers should use correct language and should present high ideals of good conduct before the children, the children should follow them and should learn good conduct. He also thought this method was suitable for games, exercise, yoga and some other activities. He trained people in yoga by this method. (BEd 2nd Year Educational Thought of Vivekananda Study Material Notes)
2. Lecture Method: The method of giving the knowledge of facts orally is called the lecture method. Vivekananda considered that the knowledge discovered by our ancestors can be communicated easily and soon by the use of the lecture method. But he emphasized accepting any fact after testing it on reason. It was the feature of his lecture method. He taught Vedanta principles by lecture method but by reasoning and scientifically. (BEd 2nd Year Educational Thought of Vivekananda Study Material Notes)
3. Reasoning and Discussion Method: The discussion method is in which the facts are not taught directly but in the reply to questions ‘what, why and how, to get logical answers and resolutions of doubts. Vivekananda’s reasoning method is different from that of the Indian Nyaya philosophy. In this method, the teachers resolve the doubts of the students. On this basis, some scholars also call it a doubt-resolving method. In this method, the teacher explains the facts for the resolution of students’ doubts.
On this basis, some scholars call it the explanation method. In the explanation of facts, the teacher has to analyze the facts, on its basis some scholars call it the analysis method. In order to clarify any fact, Vivekananda discussed it logically, therefore he called it the reasoning and discussion method. (BEd 2nd Year Educational Thought of Vivekananda Study Material Notes)
4. Guidance and Counselling Method: By guidance and counselling method is meant to guide the students in self-learning and resolution of their doubts in the course. In this method; the teacher assists the students in determining what should they study and how should they study, what should they do and how should they do it. In this method, the students learn by self-study and self-activity, and the teacher only guides them, Vivekananda considered this method as most suitable for the education of adolescents and youth. (BEd 2nd Year Educational Thought of Vivekananda Study Material Notes)
5. Demonstration and Experiment Method: Vivekananda supported this method for the teaching and training of practical subjects and activities. In this method, the teacher presents the object or activity, the students observe, the teacher clarifies all aspects, and the students determine it by using. Today, active participation of the students is sought in this method. The education of practical subjects, such as science, can be imparted by using this method in its true sense.
6. Self-Study Method: By self-study is meant to study by oneself. In this method, the students study books for knowledge of related facts. Vivekananda emphasized the study of ancient scriptures for the knowledge of religion and philosophy. He used to say that all this cannot be told in precepts and lectures; it is necessary to study the authentic scriptures related to it for complete knowledge of the subject. (BEd 2nd Year Educational Thought of Vivekananda Study Material Notes)
Reading these authentic scriptures and treatises by himself the students and understanding them is the self-study method. Vivekananda considered self-study as incomplete until it is contemplated, meditated and used. He declared that any fact should be accepted after testing it on reason. Thus self-study method as recommended by Vivekananda is somewhat different from the modern book method or library method; it is more than it and is more useful than it.
There are three chief aspects of human life-natural, social and spiritual. Vivekananda attached significance to all these three aspects, but he attached foremost significance to the spiritual aspect. According to Swami Vivekananda, discipline is meant to be governed by the soul in one’s behaviour. According to him, when a man is governed by his natural ‘self, we cannot call him disciplined, when he is able to control his natural ‘self and is governed by his social self, we can call him disciplined, but in fact, a disciplined man is the one who is governed by the soul. (BEd 2nd Year Educational Thought of Vivekananda Study Material Notes)
Vivekananda taught self-discipline to both teachers and students. Now the question arises-How can the children attain the state of self-discipline? In this regard, Vivekananda opines that when the teachers resent high ideals of self-discipline before the students, the students imitate them and they start to think in like terms and reach the state of self-discipline.
Vivekananda supported the ancient ashrama system. In his view, teachers should possess both types of physical and spiritual knowledge by which they can prepare the students for both physical and spiritual lives. He preached to the teachers to be patient and men of spiritual knowledge, only then their students can become patient and men of spiritual knowledge.
Vivekananda expected the teachers to understand the individual differences of the students with the help of psychology and arrange education for them accordingly, and be helpful in making them experience self-realization having understood their spiritual unity. Thus, Vivekananda was the supporter of both forms of ancient and modern teachers.
According to Vivekananda, it is necessary for the students to follow celibacy in order to get any type of physical or spiritual knowledge. He believed that until the students control their senses and have a strong desire to learn, and attempt to know the truth with devotion to the teacher, they can neither get physical knowledge nor spiritual knowledge.
According to Vivekananda, the relationship between student and teacher should not be only worldly, they should see the divine form of each other. (BEd 2nd Year Educational Thought of Vivekananda Study Material Notes)
Vivekananda was in the favour of ashrama system, but in the modern context, he knew that the ashramas cannot be located in the lap of nature away from habitation. (BEd 2nd Year Educational Thought of Vivekananda Study Material Notes)
He emphasized only the fact that the environment in the schools should be pure, and the activities of exercise, games teaching-learning and social service, devotional songs and mediation be conducted there.