How can an Idealist Teacher help the Pupils?
To the idealist teacher it is not enough to pass on the objective information’s to the pupil, because he doubts the educability of mere objective information’s. He wants to guide the pupil in such a way as to bring him on the path of spiritual growth.
The idealist teacher feels that he can help his pupils in three distinct ways. In the first place, he can help them by associating himself with them and by letting they understand what kind of person he is trying to be.
This will be done in the course of discussing and solving common problems. Thus the personality of the teacher will always be influencing the pupils.
In the second place, the idealist teacher always emphasis that the solution of a problem needs efforts on the part of the self, and it is through efforts that the self can be developed. Hence in the interest of full development of the self, the idealist teacher does not believe in telling.
He believes more in asking questions and in leading the pupils to find the truth for themselves. This is the essence of the Socratic Method propounded by Socrates, the great idealist
In the third place, the idealist teacher helps the pupils by guiding them to understand the essentials of scientific method, of analysis and synthesis. He leads them to realize that many difficult problems which appear as inaccessible at first can be easily solved when broken into smaller parts.
When the pupils realize that analysis and synthesis go together and that in solving a part they are also solving the whole, they get a weapon which they can apply in any field of experience.
The idealist teacher will not force a pupil to accept any particular point of view. He does not try to transform a realist or pragmatist pupil into an idealist pupil. The true idealist teacher realizes that his sole business is to help the pupil to become himself.
Thus in a class where there are pupils of all kinds—realists, pragmatists and idealists—the task of the teacher becomes very difficult. Then, it is necessary for the idealist teacher to adopt many techniques, viz., objective for the realist, problematic for the pragmatist and subjective for the idealist pupils. The pupils of particular type will choose from such teaching what their own nature demands.
Thus for the idealist teacher education means inner spiritual growth, development of the inner striving towards self-hood, to self- consciousness and self-direction. In Froebel’s metaphor of the Kindergarten we find the function of the idealist teacher.
Froebel regards school as a garden and the teacher as a gardener. Just as the function of the gardener is to attend to the lithe plants so carefully as to help them to grow into mature and beautiful trees, similarly the function of the teacher is to lead the children to their perfect development—self-realization or the realization of truth, beauty and goodness.