Concept and aims of education: AHSEC Class 11 Education notes, answers

Concept and aims of education ahsec class 11
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Get summaries, questions, answers, solutions, notes, extras, PDF and guide of Class 11 (first year) Education textbook, chapter 1 Concept and aims of education, which is part of the syllabus of students studying under AHSEC/ASSEB (Assam Board). These solutions, however, should only be treated as references and can be modified/changed. 

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Education is a multifaceted term with deep historical roots, encompassing a broad range of definitions and interpretations. It is a deliberate process aimed at developing individuals’ character and abilities to help them adapt to their environment and contribute meaningfully to society.

The term “Education” is derived from Latin words “E” and “Duco” meaning “I lead out,” suggesting the process of drawing out inherent potential. Other derivations include “Educare” (to nourish or bring up) and “Educatum” (the act of teaching or training), all emphasizing the nurturing and development of human capabilities.

Philosophers and educators have varied definitions of education. Socrates viewed it as the development of universal elements dormant in individuals, while Plato considered it the capacity to feel pleasure and pain at the right moment. Aristotle defined education as the creation of a sound mind in a sound body, and Pestalozzi described it as the harmonious and progressive development of innate powers. John Dewey saw education as the development of capacities to control the environment and fulfill possibilities, whereas M.K. Gandhi believed it involved drawing out the best in body, mind, and spirit. Swami Vivekananda described education as the manifestation of divine perfection in man.

Education can be understood in both narrow and wider senses. In the narrow sense, formal education starts at school with structured curricula, teaching methods, and evaluation systems aimed at passing examinations. In the wider sense, education is a lifelong process that includes all life experiences that refine and broaden an individual’s horizon, developing relationships with various aspects of society.

Education is a bi-polar and tri-polar process. In the bi-polar process, there is interaction between teacher and student, where the teacher’s influence develops the student’s personality. The tri-polar process adds society as a third component, influencing the aims, content, and methods of teaching. John Dewey emphasized the role of society in shaping education, making it a social endeavor.

Education is an ongoing process from birth to death, continuously modifying behavior, character, and knowledge through experiences acquired at home, school, and other social settings. It modifies instinctive behavior, instilling desires and needs for change, fostering continuous development throughout life. Education also helps individuals understand societal concepts of right and wrong, modifying old customs and beliefs to foster progressive changes.

The scope of education aims at the all-round development of individuals, including physical, mental, moral, social, and spiritual aspects. It encompasses manners, values, skills, and attitudes acquired throughout life.

There are three types of education: formal, informal, and non-formal. Formal education is organized and structured in schools with fixed curricula and evaluation methods. Informal education is unplanned, casual learning through daily experiences and interactions within the community. Non-formal education is organized but flexible, aimed at all-around development and accessible to all age groups with flexible entry and exit points.

The aims of education include individual, social, vocational, and democratic aspects. The individual aim focuses on developing individual excellence and potential, helping each person contribute uniquely to society. However, it may neglect social development if overemphasized. The social aim emphasizes societal development and conformity to state ideals, but it is criticized for potentially ignoring individual differences and imposing too many restrictions. The vocational aim focuses on economic self-sufficiency and practical skills for employment, addressing economic needs but potentially neglecting broader human development. The democratic aim promotes self-realization, human relations, economic efficiency, and civic responsibility, helping individuals adjust to society and bring about desirable social changes.

Education is closely related to various other subjects. In relation to biology, education studies the influence of heredity and environment on development, applying this knowledge to physical and mental growth. Sociology views education as a social endeavor that reflects societal structures and norms, influencing and being influenced by societal changes. Philosophy provides the principles and values guiding educational aims, curriculum, and teaching methods. Economics enhances economic productivity and addresses issues like unemployment through vocational training. Statistics is used in educational research for data collection, analysis, and interpretation to improve educational practices and outcomes.

Education is a comprehensive and dynamic process essential for individual and societal development. It involves various types and aims, each contributing uniquely to the overall growth of individuals and communities. Understanding its multifaceted nature helps in shaping effective educational policies and practices that foster holistic development.

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Textbook questions and answers

1. What is education? Explain its meaning by giving suitable definitions.

Answer: Education is a comprehensive term that refers to a deliberate and planned activity aimed at moulding the character of individuals.

According to Socrates, “Education is the development of the universal elements, which is dormant in every individual.” Plato defines education as “the capacity to feel pleasure and pain at the right moment.” Aristotle describes education as “the creation of a sound mind in a sound body.” Pestalozzi sees education as “the natural, harmonious, and progressive development of man’s innate powers.” John Dewey states, “Education is the development of all those capacities in the individual which will enable him to control his environment and fulfil his possibilities.” Sir Percy Nunn believes “Education is the complete development of the individuality of the child so that he can make an original contribution to human life.” M.K. Gandhi says, “By education, I mean an all-round drawing out of the best in the child and man – body, mind, and spirit.” Swami Vivekananda defines education as “the manifestation of divine perfection already existing in man.”

2. From which word, the word ‘‘Education’’ has been originated?

Answer: The word “Education” has been derived from two Latin words: “E” and “Duco.” “E” means “out of” and “Duco” means “I lead.” So, education implies that out of the native potentialities, I can lead or develop. Another derivation is “Educare,” which means “to enhance,” “to develop,” “to improve,” “to draw out,” or “to lead out.” Additionally, “Educatum” means “the act of teaching or training.”

3. Explain the scope of Education.

Answer: The scope of education encompasses all aspects of human development, including physical, mental, moral, social, and spiritual. It includes all the knowledge and experiences acquired at home, school, playground, and other environments. Education is a lifelong process that begins at birth and continues throughout life. It is comprehensive and cannot be restricted within specific boundaries. Education includes manners, values, morals, tastes, skills, attitudes, social customs, conditions, languages, and beliefs.

4. Write in brief about the narrow and wider meaning of education.

Answer: In the narrow sense, education is a planned and organized process that starts when a child enters school. It involves deliberate efforts to inculcate values, habits, or attitudes through a proper curriculum, discipline, and teaching methods. Education is measured in terms of marks or grades in examinations. In the wider sense, education includes all influences and experiences acquired throughout life, from birth to death. It is a social process that broadens horizons, deepens insights, refines reactions, and stimulates thoughts and feelings, contributing to the development of an individual.

5. Education is a ‘‘Bi-polar’’ as well as ‘‘Tri-polar’’ process. Discuss.

Answer: Sir John Adams described education as a bi-polar process in which the teacher represents one pole and the student the other. The teacher’s personality influences the student’s personality to modify and develop it. Education is a dynamic interaction between the teacher and the taught. John Dewey considered education as a tri-polar process, involving the teacher, the student, and society. Society plays a crucial role in determining the aims, contents, and methods of teaching. The teacher designs and evaluates student experiences in light of social surroundings, making education a success through societal influence.

6. Explain the following concepts-

(a) Education as a lifelong process.

Answer: Education is the acquisition of experience throughout an individual’s life. It begins at birth and continues until death, encompassing all knowledge and experiences acquired at home, school, playground, etc. It is a continuous process that modifies behaviour, character, and knowledge, striving for perfection.

(b) Education as modification of human behaviour.

Answer: Education helps in modifying behaviour from instinctive tendencies to learned behaviours. It gives rise to the desire and need for change, making the process of modification continuous throughout life. Education identifies itself through this process of modification.

(c) Education as an instrument of social change.

Answer: Education helps bring about constant changes in society by teaching children the concepts of right and wrong and modifying old customs, faiths, and beliefs. It fosters progressive changes and prepares individuals to adjust and contribute positively to society.

7. Write briefly on –

(a) Formal education

Answer: Formal education is provided in educational institutions in an organized way. It involves a fixed curriculum, timetable, and qualified teachers. Formal education follows formal rules, methods, and disciplines, with evaluations based on examinations. Certificates, degrees, and diplomas are awarded upon passing these examinations.

(b) Informal education

Answer: Informal education is comprehensive and not pre-planned. It is gained through daily experiences and activities within the community, including home, religious and social institutions, radio, newspaper, television, etc. It does not follow formal rules or methods and does not award certificates or degrees. Social adjustment is the basis of evaluation.

(c) Non-formal education

Answer: Non-formal education developed to address the inadequacies of formal education. It is organized and pre-planned but not strictly formal. It is learner-dominated, flexible, and continuous, with entry and exit flexibility. Non-formal education aims at all-round development and awards certificates and degrees based on evaluations.

8. Distinguish between –

(a) Formal and informal education


Formal EducationInformal Education
Deliberately planned with a specific end in viewPurely incidental and spontaneous, not pre-planned
Imparted through formal institutions like schools or collegesReceived from any person at any time or place
Has a fixed curriculum, timetable, and qualified teachersNo formal curriculum, timetable, or need for qualified teachers
Follows formal rules, methods, and disciplinesNo formal rules, disciplines, or methods
Students’ evaluation based on examinations, degrees or certificates awardedEvaluation based on social adjustment, no degrees or certificates awarded

(b) Formal and Non-formal education


Formal EducationNon-formal Education
Fixed concepts and contents in its curriculumDiversified curriculum responsive to learners’ needs
Sources of education are schools, colleges, universities, and other institutionsSources include open schools, distance education, part-time education, etc.
Imposed by the teacher on studentsEncourages self-learning
Rigid curriculum, strict discipline, fixed goalsFlexible curriculum, inner discipline, self-awareness program
Certificates, degrees awarded based on examinationCertificates, degrees awarded based on evaluation
Has age limitsNo age limits
Does not utilize all human resourcesBased on maximum utilization of human potentials

9. Who was the chief supporter of the individual aim of education?

Answer: Sir Percy Nunn was the chief supporter of the individual aim of education.

10. What is meant by education for individuality? How far do you accept this view?

Answer: Education for individuality means developing the unique qualities and possibilities of each child into a distinct individuality. It aims at the free development of each individual, helping every boy and girl achieve the highest degree of personal excellence. Education should foster the growth of individuality, respecting individual life as the means through which real value can enter the world. The individual aim of education is widely accepted for its emphasis on developing personal excellence and contributions to human welfare.

11. Explain the social aim of education with its merits and demerits.

Answer: The social aim of education focuses on the development of society for the betterment of individuals. John Dewey emphasized that education should promote social progress, train individuals to conform to societal ideals, and prepare them to live effectively within society. The merits of the social aim include making man a human being, formulating social progress, aiding in social adjustment, and preparing individuals to serve society. The demerits include the extreme control of the state, ignoring individual differences, reducing individuals to non-entities, and not emphasizing self-realization.

12. Make a difference between the individual and social aim of education.


Individual Aim of EducationSocial Aim of Education
Based on the philosophy of naturalismBased on the philosophy of pragmatism
Importance on biological heredityImportance on social heredity
Aims at developing man’s biological potentialAims at attaining social efficiency
Full freedom for individual developmentFull freedom and power to the state
Social development is subordinate to individual developmentIndividual development is subordinate to social development

13. The individual and social aim of education are not contradictory but complementary to each other. Discuss the statement.

Answer: Individual and social aims of education should not be viewed as separate or contradictory but as complementary. The development of society depends on individual excellence, and individual development is influenced by social progress. Education should aim at developing social individuals, allowing individuals to contribute to societal welfare while also fostering personal growth and excellence. John Dewey emphasized the importance of a social environment for individual development and the need for individuals to realize their fullest potential within society.

14. What is the vocational aim of education? What makes this aim so important for society?

Answer: The vocational aim of education focuses on making individuals economically self-sufficient and preparing them to bear future economic responsibilities. It is also known as the “Bread and butter aim” or “Utilitarian aim.” Vocational education is important for society because it helps individuals become self-sufficient, supports children with lower intelligence, aids in the effective use of manpower resources for national development, and creates good citizens. It addresses socio-economic problems and bridges gaps in society by providing skills and training for employment.

15. What should be the aim of education in a democracy?

Answer: The aim of education in a democracy should be to create democratic personalities, educate for citizenship, develop interests and attitudes toward the universe, cultivate sound thinking habits, master individual and social skills, and develop a passion for social justice. Education should help individuals understand their rights and duties, adjust to their environment, and contribute to desirable societal changes.

16. Write briefly on the relation of education with

(a) Biology

Answer: Education and Biology both study man and his environment. Biology focuses on the influence of heredity and environment on individual development, while education studies the physical, mental, and emotional development of individuals. Biology deals with the physical environment, whereas education considers both physical and social environments. Biology covers areas such as the central nervous system, brain functions, genes, chromosomes, hormones, and dietary habits, all of which are also studied in education to enhance knowledge and development.

(b) Sociology

Answer: Education is a social endeavour aimed at maximizing individual abilities. Sociology, derived from the Latin word “Socio” and Greek word “Logos,” is the systematic study of society, including social relations, stratification, interaction, and culture. The relationship between education and sociology involves the debate over whether education should overcome social inequalities or promote societal equilibrium. Regardless, education is a social effort reflecting and guiding society, influenced by social forces.

(c) Philosophy

Answer: Education and philosophy are closely related, with philosophy providing principles and directions for moulding individual behaviour. Education works out these ideals, values, and principles, guided by philosophical methods. Philosophy offers aims of education, influences curriculum, teaching methods, and discipline, and every great philosopher has contributed educational ideas. Philosophy and education are two sides of the same coin, providing a comprehensive approach to human development.

(d) Economics

Answer: Education and Economics are closely related as education makes a country economically rich by improving human resources. Vocational education aims at economic self-sufficiency, helping individuals earn their livelihood and contributing to national development. Economics teaches better production for personal and national benefit, achievable through education. Education addresses issues like unemployment and population explosion, promoting literacy, self-reliance, and economic stability.

(e) Statistics

Answer: Statistics involves the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data, providing diagrammatic and graphical representations for better understanding and problem-solving. Education helps in the entire process, making statistical information comprehensible and applicable. Statistics is used in various fields, including education, to analyze and interpret data scientifically, aiding in educational evaluations and improvements.

Extra fill in the blanks

1. The term “education” has been derived from the Latin words “E” and ______.

Answer: Duco

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40. The primary aim of education is the creation of democratic ______.

Answer: personalities

Extra questions and answers

1. What is the etymological meaning of the term “Education”?

Answer: The word “Education” has been derived from the two Latin words “E” and “Duco”. “E” means “Out of” and “Duco” means “I lead”. Another Latin derivation is “Educare” which means “to enhance”, “to develop”, “to improve”, “to draw out” or “to lead out”. According to some other educationists, “Education” has been derived from the Latin word “Educare” which means “to nourish”, “to bring up”, “to foster”, “to raise” the child for development. “Educatum” is another derivation of the term “Education”, meaning “the act of teaching or training”.

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30. Describe the relationship between education and statistics.

Answer: Statistics deals with the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data. Some analytical methods and means are used for giving diagrammatic and graphical representations of available data. Education helps in the entire process from collection of primary data to its final presentation in its diagrammatic form, which helps in instant understanding of any problem or issue and providing remedial measures. Statistics is used in every field, such as economics, agriculture, psychology, etc. It helps in the vivid presentation of a factual situation and its easy understanding and interpretation. Education plays a vital role in the entire process.

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