What is the Contend of Education According to Naturalism?
For his sense discrimination, measuring distances, counting and weighing things, singing and drawing objects would be encouraged. For stimulating free expression of ideas the speech and drawing will be considered as the chief means.
For the development of sense perception and practical judgment, agriculture and carpentry will be introduced; arithmetic and geometry will be taught as the experiential activities in the natural life of the child astronomy and geography are not to be studied from books but directly from nature.
Naturalism and agencies of education:
According to naturalism, father and mother, nurse and tutor and trained teachers in the public schools, are the chief agencies of education. The education of the child should begin in the family, and then it should be taken over by the public authorities. In the words of Rousseau, ‘The child at birth is already the pupil not of the tutor, but of nature.
The tutor merely studies under this first teacher and prevent her efforts from being balked.” It must be remembered that under naturalism, nature is the chief agency of education; all others are only the means for executing her purposes and scheme of things.
Naturalism and organization of education:
Naturalism believes in a careful and systematic organization of education in strict accordance with the laws of natural growth. Rousseau speaks of four stages of growth—Infancy from birth to 5, Childhood from 5 to 12, Boyhood from 12 to 15, and Adolescence from 15 to 20 and has outlined the nature of education for each stage with a distinct curriculum and a distinct methodology.
Naturalism and methods of education:
Naturalism makes the child the supreme centre of all educational procedures. The techniques of education must be determined according to the child’s nature and growth. Naturalism has firmly established the three great modern principles of teaching:
1. Principle of Growth,
2. Principle of Pupil-activity, and
3. Principle of Individualization
The natural needs of life are the chief driving forces of human growth. The supplying of these needs is to develop all human faculties. The child feels a ‘need’, then he is impelled into some ‘activity’, and thereby gets ‘experience.’
On the basis of this ‘experience’ he builds up his ‘knowledge.’ This is the order of nature which the process of education must follow. In other words, naturalism thinks that the function of the teacher is only to guide the natural growth of the child, i.e., he has to follow the natural principles of growth, and has not to teach or impel learning.
The principle of individualization means that each child should be permitted to grow according to his own nature. The child must not be sacrificed for the society. The interests and needs of the individual must be considered as supreme and above those of the society.
The child’s individuality must not be crushed and the child must not be forced into the mould of social conformity. This implies that education is to be adjusted to the needs of the child and the child is not to be forced to adjust himself according to the prevailing education.
Naturalism would like to allow the child to suffer the natural consequences of his own acts. Thus naturalism places the discipline of the school upon a completely new foundation.