Along with eminent Western educators India produced a number of master minds during the last one century, Notable among these are Swami Dayananda, Annie Besant, Aurobindo Ghosh, Madan Mohan Malvia, Swami Vivekananda, Rabindranath Tagore, Mahatma Gandhi, Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, Acharya Vinoba Bhave and Dr. Zakir Hussain.
They not only give us theories of education, based on all that is essential in our civilization and culture, but also their scheme in actual practice. Among all these educationists, we have a few educationists for discussion, namely Rabindranath Tagore, Mahatma Gandhi, Swami Dayananda and Swami Vivekananda. In the present chapter, we will discuss the contribution of Tagore to educational theory and practice. The contributions of Mahatma Gandhi and Swami Vivekananda will be discussed in the subsequent chapters.
Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), born in a family of Brahmo Samajists, received his early education at home, and went to England to study law, but returned without pursuing the study of law.
A born poet, a versatile genius, with his multi-splendoured personality, he shone like a morning star on the intellectual firmament of the globe, and received Nobel Prize for literature in November 1913 for his world famous classic “Gitanjali”. In 1901 he laid the foundation of the world-famous institution. Vishwabharati.
As a prolific writer, he wrote poems,plays, novels, essays and short stories. He was great musical composer and ‘director of stage production’. He was great artist, and he founded his own school of art and music. He was well-versed in Sanskrit literature and Indian philosophy, religion and culture. He was a Rishi, a Saint and a Guru, Gurudev, as he was called, was a prophet and an educationist. Vishwabharati stands as his highest contribution to mankind.