Is Tagore’s concept ofeducation still relevant? Irena Lesar
Summary: Rabindranath Tagore (1861–1941), colloquially known as Rabīndranātha Thākura, was an Indian or more precisely a Bengali artist (poet, writer, playwright, musician and fine artist). His most well-known work is Gitanjali (Darovanjke), for which he became the first non-European to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913. Considerably less known is Tagore’s pioneering work in education and schooling. Tagore established his school in West Bengal, on the basis of his belief that the educational process alone can lead to solutions to all of our problems and enable man to realise his true potential. To Tagore, therefore, education pervades and influences the entire physical and social environment of an individual. Tagore emphasised the physical, aesthetic, intellectual, social, moral and spiritual aspects of human life in education, through which man can develop a comprehensive personality. To him, the physical and aesthetic development of the senses was at least as important as, if not more important than, intellectual development. The school he established therefore laid emphasis on academics as well as on movement, music, literature, art, dance and drama. Tagore was one of the first educators in the world to think of the school as a global village. This thinking stemmed from his multi-racial, multi-lingual and multi-cultural context, living in the then economically backwards and politically imbalanced nation of India.