Education in India: Roots, Principles and Practice

This course throws light on the traditional system of education in India, drawing from sources of the Vedic, Buddhist and pre-colonial periods. It shows how India was a society deeply invested in creation, preservation and spread of knowledge that ranged from mundane and materialistic to philosophical and spiritual. This course is for anyone who wants to understand the current crisis in education in India from the perspective of history.

Instructor: Michel Danino

Start Course
Enrolled Students

175

Suggested Time

2 days

Pricing

Free

Language

English

Rating

4

Unit 1: Survey of evidence

British opinions 41 min

The British officials had divergent views on the quality and kind of education in India before they brought in the British model. On the one hand, there were Englishmen, like Thomas Munro, who found it at par with the best practices of Europe and on the other, there were powerful figures like Macaulay, who denigrated the entire civilization purely on account of a deep racial prejudice.
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Evidence 9 min

Based on archaeological and literary sources, we can arrive at a genuine understanding of education in ancient Indian society. These point to a rather well-developed system of education that was quite widespread across the major urban centres of ancient India.
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Unit 2: Basic principles of education

Transmission of knowledge 24 min

The transmission of knowledge was considered to be the sacred duty of those who held it. Students learnt from the teachers in ashrams or the teacher's home and the range of subjects was quite broad as well.
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Unit 3: Universities

The Buddhist Period 5 min

With the emergence of Buddhism and its monastic orders, education became more organized around Viharas and many universities were established all over India. This period saw a massive surge in formal education and we can identify many features that are common with modern university education.
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A survey of universities 24 min

From the world famous Taxila and Nalanda to thousands of other universities, big and small, India was a destination for seekers of knowledge and scholars of all kind. The ruins of these imposing structures tell the impressive story of organized education in pre-Islamic India.
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Unit 4: Pre-colonial period

Dusk of Indian education 16 min

There is a continuity in the spirit of Indian education right up to the advent of the British Raj and it is quite clear that even after Islamic onslaughts that destroyed whole university towns, India continued to preserve her unique tradition of knowledge. This was before the British government imposed a European model of education on India.
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Conclusion 6 min

It can be safely concluded that India, from ancient right to the pre-colonial period was a society that was obsessed with creating and preserving knowledge.
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