CBSE Class 12 Philosophy Education For Character Development

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What is education?

Education is a deliberate process of modification in the natural growth and development of human being and the surroundings. It ensures accelerated process of development in human life in right rhythm. It is therefore a means for betterment and enhancement of life, a means to bring about quality of life with the help of social and natural surroundings. Education undoubtedly is a major force to go ahead in life in a meaningful way. In so far as education is a conscious and planned effort to organize life, education and life are intimately correlated.

Education, moreover, is a medium through which the society transmits its heritage of past experiences and modifications, systems of values and the modes and skills of acquiring them.

Role of knowledge in education

Knowledge plays a very fundamental role in the scheme of education. Aim of all education is to impart knowledge effectively and thereby generate 'life-skills'. In Indian context the generic term “Vidya” has been and can be used to comprise information, instruction, skill, training, knowledge and wisdom or realization.

Human being has an inherent need to know what is 'within' and what is 'around' in the surroundings. This helps in betterment of life by making best use of that knowledge. In this sense 'knowledge is power' and it helps in empowerment of the individual. Knowledge prepares successful life-entrepreneurs among human beings who can carve a niche for themselves. A person who possesses adequate knowledge can soar to great heights of success in all walks of life. He/she can develop the capacity and confidence to take on the challenges of life which do come in the way. Knowledge generates the feeling of self-worth, self-respect and self-confidence, and independent existence which is the authentic existence. Through this he/she can command respect from others as well. In this sense knowledge is an elevating and enhancing force.

Education for personality development

A robust, vibrant and holistic education ensures all–round development of an individual. It provides opportunities for fullest possible efflorescence of inherent potentialities and enhances capabilities to realize this. Personality development should mean character development, fullest possible manifestation of natural traits implicit in our being. Of course it does involve transformation of natural propensities, and this is the goal of culture, but this should not be unnatural or anti-nature. Culture is nonnatural but not anti-natural.

The Vedic seers addressed humans as “Am‚tasya putrÈÌ”, which implies that  we are no doubt finite but we are born with infinite potentialities and we can infinitize our finitude. Allindividuals are innately born with some dormant personal traits unique to themselves based on which they can be distinguished. These traits are amenable to endless transformation. Education helps in their enhancement. It is a sure means of development of body, enrichment of mind, maturity of emotions, sharpening of intellect and illumination of spirit.

Thus it is a process of physical, vital, mental or emotional, intellectual and spiritual growth. The Vedic seers exhorted humans by saying, “Manurbhava janayÈ daivyam janam”. That is, “Be a person and cultivate noble qualities in life”. For this realizationrole of education was highlighted. In Indian tradition two accounts of value or goal of education are available. One is, “SÈ vidyÈ yÈ vimuktaye” and the other is, “ SÈ vidyÈ yÈ arthakarÏ”. Both these are complimentary as education has to serve both the purposes.

On the one hand it should be ennobling and liberating from imperfections- cognitive, conative and affective, and thus leading to character formation, on the other hand it should also be enabling for good quality of living. Thus, personality development as character-development and career-making are the twin purposes of education. By introducing better living, both in terms of character - development and career-making, education creates interest to go ahead in life with greater strides. It thus provides meaning to life and also a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction. Therefore it can be said that education is most important thing other than peace of mind. In the course of life favorable or adverse circumstances come unexpectedly and there may be ups and downs in life. It is only right type of education that can enable us to bear and endure and carry us through. In this sense education is a life-prolonging force.


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