What do you understand by Idealism in Education?
The self-expressed interest of the pupil is to be encouraged and helped to grow into full maturity, because it is through such a development of self-initiated interest that the self will acquire a transcendental insight and transcendental power. Idealism views the problem of discipline from this angle. Hence discipline does not imply imposing anything upon the pupil from without.
The idealist believes that a genuine interest arisen froth within will be automatically followed by result in persistency, determination, thoroughness and other desirable virtues, because these are merely an inevitable function of the interest.
Thus, the interest is something positive, something which arises from within. Therefore, the activity allied with it is a pure joy, the life of the self. A Satirist enjoys playing his Sitar and producing music.
A scientist enjoys making discoveries, a painter enjoys painting landscapes, and a poet enjoys writing a poem. That is his life, his very being and self. He does not regard his activity as “duty”, as virtue, facing fearful odds.
His activity is only a freely chosen adventure of his spirit for which he does not expect any reward or claim any praise from others. It is only his nature to act in this manner. Similarly, idealism does not want that the pupil should do something for winning academic rewards or applause or to escape some punishments.
In fact, the pupil does a certain thing because he has a genuine interest in it and because he finds joy and grows towards self- realization by successive accomplishments of the same.
This is the idealist conception of interest which is directly connected with the problem of discipline which should be no problem at all if the activity of the pupil is self-initiated and self-directed.