Education is one of the basic activities of people in all human societies. The continued existence of society depends upon the transmission of culture to the young. It is essential that every new generation must be given training in the ways of the group so that the same tradition will continue.
Every society has its own ways and means of fulfilling this need. ‘Education’ has come to be one of the ways of fulfilling this need.
The term education is derived from the Latin educare which literally means to ‘bring up\ and is connected with the verb ‘educare’ which means to ‘bring forth’,
The idea of education is not merely to impart knowledge to the pupil in some subjects but to develop in him those habits and attitudes with which he may successfully face the future.
The Latin author Varro wrote. ‘The midwife brings forth, the nurse brings up, the tutor trains and the master teaches\Plato was of the opinion that the end of education was ‘ to develop in the body and in the soul (of the pupil) beauty and all the perfection of which they are capable.’ It means, in short, ‘a sound mind in a sound body mens sana in corpore sano).
According to the Aristotelian conception, the aim of education is “to develop man’s faculties, especially, his mind, so that he may be able to enjoy the contemplation of the supreme truth, goodness and beauty in which perfect happiness essentially consists”.
As Peter Worsely says, “A large part of our social and technical skills are acquired through deliberate instruction which we call education. It is the main waking activity of children from the ages of five to fifteen and often beyond….” A large part of the budget of many developed and developing countries is set apart for education.
Education employs a large army of people. Sociologists are becoming more and more aware of the importance and role of educational institutions in the modern industrialised societies. In recent years~ education has become the major interest of some j sociologists. As a result a new branch of sociology called Sociology of Education has become established.
Definition of Education:
(1) Durkheim conceives of education as “the socialisation of the younger generation”. He further states that it is “a continuous effort to impose on the child ways of seeing, feeling and acting which he could not have arrived at spontaneously”.
(2) Sumner defined education as the attempt to transmit to the child the mores of the group, so that he can learn “what conduct is approved and what disapproved….how he ought to behave in all kinds of cases: what he ought to believe and reject”.
(3) F.J. Brown and J.S. Roucek say that education is “the sum total of the experience which moulds the attitudes and determines the conduct of both the child and the adult’.
(4) James Welton in Encyclopaedia Britannica (11th Edition) writes that education consists in “an attempt on the part of the adult members of human society to shape the development of the coming generation with its own ideals of life”.
(5) A. W. Green writes: “Historically, it (education) has meant the conscious training of the young for the later adoption of adult roles. By modern convention, however, education has come to mean formal training by specialists within the formal organisation of the school.”
(6) Samuel Koenig: “Education may also be defined as the process whereby the social heritage of a group is passed on from one generation to another as well as the process whereby the child becomes socialised, i.e., learns the rules of behaviour of the group into which he is born”.