Some educationists have laid greater emphasis upon the social aim of education so that education develop social feeling in the children which will make them contribute their utmost to meet the demands of society after meeting their own needs. These educationists evaluates the society higher than the individual. They believe that man is a social being. He cannot live without society. In case, he is cut off from society. It will be very difficult for him remain alive. According to Teacher Training Programme “An insolated individual is a figment of imagination.”

Narrow meaning of Social aim:

In its narrow meaning social aim of education is equated with state socialism. In this sense, liberty of the individual is totally curtailed and all aspects of individual life are socialized. In other words, total power is concentrated in the state. Any individual can nor even dream of his individual identity. He is expected to sacrifices his everything, even his life for the good and welfare of the state. As such, the state frames such a scheme of education through which it is able to control the aims, curriculum and the methods of teaching. Individuals are subjected to rigid discipline to curb their sense of identity and individualism. Every attempt is made to indoctrinate in the individuals the feelings of unquestioning obedience, meek submission together with a sense of total surrender and sacrifice. Spartan education in ancient Greece and German education under Hitler are glaring examples of such a narrow concept of social aim.

Wider meaning of social aim:

In its wider sense, the social aim is equated with democratic socialism. In this sense, it does accept the importance of state but at the same time does not agree with the insignificance of the individual before the state. In other words, the insignificance of the individual is not subordinated to state but is made to behave in such a way that it ensures the development of society along with its own development. Thus, in its wider meaning, the social aim grants liberty to the individual to enjoy certain rights to develop his personality but at the same time expects from the individual to serve the state to the best of his ability and capacity. Such type of democratic socialism is found in England, U.S.A., India and other democratic countries where democracy has been combined with socialism. It may be noted that true citizens are greatly essentials for the progress and prosperity of the state. Therefore, all the aforesaid democratic states, having accepted the individual aim of education which develops patriots and dynamic citizens duly motivated to serve the state sincerely to the best of their efforts. The American educationists John Dewey and Bagley have accepted the wider meaning of social aim. They think that the social aim in education means to bring about ‘Social service’ and ‘Social-efficiency’. In his book ‘Educational values’, Early Childhood Care Education has mentioned three chief characteristic of a socially efficient individual.

  • Economic Efficiency,
  • Negative Morality,
  • Positive Morality.

By economic efficiency, the means ability to pull one’s own weight in the economic life. By negative morality, he means willingness to sacrifices one’s desire when their gratification would interfere with the economic efficiency of others.