School: Meaning, Characteristics and Importance|B.Ed Notes

School is a social institution set up by society to serve its ends. In the modern age when society has been rapidly industrialized, science has grown tremendously, the data on history and social studies have grown rich, and the school is considered one of the most important agencies of education.

The knowledge has grown tremendously and cultural needs have grown so much that is almost impossible to provide education without the help of the school. School plays a major role in molding the ideas, habits, and attitudes of children with a view to producing well-balanced personalities, physically strong, mentally alert, emotionally stable, culturally sound, and socially efficient. Therefore, in the modern age of complex society, school is the most important formal as well as the active agent of education.

Meaning and Definition of School

The term school originated from the Greek word ‘Skhole’ which means leisure or A Scholarly discussion held in space-time. The reason for associating ‘leisure’ with school is that, in Ancient Grece, Liberal education was not imported into all their society. It was a privilege of the highest class in society which had enough leisure to cultivate the specialized aspects of culture through liberal education.

The definition of school given by different scholars are-

  1. Rabindranath Tagor: “It is where the young and old, the teacher and the student sit at the same table to partake of their daily food and the food of their external life”
  2. John Dewey remarks “ School is a special environment, where ascertain quality of life and certain types of activities and occupations are provided with the object of securing the child’s development along desirable lines”
  3. J.S Ross Says, “Schools are institutions devised by civilized man for the purpose of aiding in the preparation of the young for well-adjusted and efficient members of society”
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Characteristics of School

  1. School is a formal agency of education designed for specific goals
  2. The school emerged  out of the demand is a  need of educational pursuit in the society
  3. It is an institution designed for the teaching and learning process.
  4. It is the place where a child is prepared for life through real-life experiences
  5. It is the place where the mind of future citizens are molded and where habits, outlooks, and attitudes are formed
  6. It is a place where certain activities are provided with the object of securing a child’s development along desirable lines
  7. The transmitter of knowledge, language, and social skills required to interact with others.
  8. Formal instruction under the direction of specially trained teachers.

Importance of School

The importance of school is mentioned below:-

  1. Transmission of cultural heritage: In the modern age informal agencies like family and community are quite insufficient to take the responsibility of transmitting knowledge and the treasure of varied cultural heritage to the rising generation. Now schools are the only formal agencies to shoulder this task.
  2. The link between Home and the world: School is the connecting link between the family and the external world. In school, the child comes in contact with children coming from different family backgrounds. This contact widens his outlook and prepares him to face the challenges and multifarious problems of life. In this regard, Raymond Says-“The school is a halfway house between the entirely domestic life of early childhood and the large life that waits for the youth when he quits his parental roof”
  3. Provide a Special environment: Sometimes the vagueness of activities of informal agencies of education adversely affects the habits and attitudes of children. School provides a simple, pure, well-organized, and controlled environment to the child in a pre-planned manner which ensures the all-around development of the children in natural ways.
  4. Development of cultural pluralism: School is an important agency to develop cultural pluralism amongst children. In school children belonging to different religions, castes, creeds, etc. come together and live together in a friendly atmosphere and develop an attitude of respect for the views of others in a natural way.
  5. Propagation of ideologies of state: The school is an important agency for the propagation of ideals and ideologies of each state in the shortest possible time.
  6. Development of Society: Social development is possible with the active cooperation of the school. All social problems are the concern of the school. Social progress goes on with the help of the school.
  7. Encourage corporate life: School provides an opportunity for socialization. It inculcates social behavior and develops in him a sense of social responsibility and cooperative life.
  8. Creation of educated citizens: Children learn the right and duties of citizenship and social values in school.
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Conclusion

Thus, the school has become a significant and basic institution of society. The functions of the school are not confirmed to 3R’S and to a few academic subjects. In modern society schools as to performed different functions for the harmonious overall development of society and the individual. But it is worth mentioning that the different functions of the school are interrelated. Now, the school has grown into a life-size agency of education.