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Article

The Idea of Viśva Bhāratī: Cosmopolitanism, Transculturality and Education in Early Twentieth Century South Asia

Available from: Taylor and Francis Online

Publication: South Asian History and Culture, vol. 12, no. 4

Pages: 436-444

Asia, India, Rabindranath Tagore - Biographic sources, South Asia, Viśva Bhāratī, Viśva Bhāratī

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Abstract/Notes: In 1921, Rabindranath Tagore (1861–1941) inaugurated Viśva Bhāratī as an institution of higher learning, an ‘uttarbibhāga’, as has been observed, based on the foundations of the brahmacaryāśrama, i.e., ‘pūrvabibhāga’. This special article is a critical reflection on some aspects of this history. First, it strives to historically situate the development of Viśva Bhāratī against the backdrop of the cosmopolitan transcultural entanglements of contemporaneous Indian intellectual life. Second, it endeavours to signpost some key strands of contemporaneous educational philosophy and their broader exigencies. In doing so, it neither claims to provide a definitive history of this institution based extensively on original research nor does it mean to narrate in any triumphalist tone its century-long journey. This then is a commemoration of the institution at its centenary by way of a critical reappraisal of the world of ideas from which it emerged and with focus on some of its early defining moments.

Language: English

DOI: 10.1080/19472498.2021.1981673

ISSN: 1947-2498

Book Section

Visva-Bharati: The Transnational Centre of Education

Available from: Springer Link

Book Title: Rabindranath Tagore: Adventure of Ideas and Innovative Practices in Education

Pages: 57-73

Asia, India, Rabindranath Tagore, South Asia

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Abstract/Notes: Tagore started a school in 1901 and in 1918 he wrote, ‘…the Santiniketan School should form a link between India and the world…the epoch of narrow nationalism is coming to an end…. The first flag of victory of Universal Man shall be planted there’. This was the beginning of Visva-Bharati that finally encapsulated the school and university with its many programmes and courses under one unique integrated system. The university was a logical progression in his philosophy of education. The central idea of the university was for the east to offer to the west the best of its wealth and take from the west its knowledge. This was indeed a novel idea as the country was yet to have its own full-fledged universities. Tagore envisioned the university as the seat for research that would generate and also dispense knowledge. Tagore established the university in Santiniketan where he had founded his school. He wanted the university to offer education that was enmeshed with the Indian way of life so that knowledge grew out of the culture, society, history, literature, geography, economy, science and flora and fauna of the country. From this sense of nationalism, we see Tagore evolving into an internationalist based on equal terms of fellowship and amity between the east and the west. He shared his quest for such a centre of learning with the ideas of several noted international pedagogues. Tagore saw world problems and national interests as interrelated, and he felt that internationalism was the inner spirit of the modern age.

Language: English

Published: Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing, 2014

ISBN: 978-3-319-00837-0

Series: SpringerBriefs in Education

Article

Education for Tomorrow: The Vision of Rabindranath Tagore

Available from: Taylor and Francis Online

Publication: Asian Studies Review, vol. 40, no. 1

Pages: 1-16

Asia, India, Rabindranath Tagore, Rabindranath Tagore - Biographic sources, Santiniketan (India), South Asia, Sriniketan (India), Viśva Bhāratī

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Abstract/Notes: This article investigates Rabindranath Tagore’s educational vision, which underpinned the three institutions he set up in India – Santiniketan (1901), Visva-Bharati (1921) and Sriniketan (1922). It argues that this vision is still relevant for the world of today and tomorrow, and that it should be taken into account in designing any educational model for the future. Tagore rejected the modern mechanical learning that focuses merely on cultivation of the individual’s mind, in favour of learning that encourages the creativity, imagination and moral awareness of students. He believed that education should be not for mere “success” or “progress” but for “illumination of heart” and for inculcation of a spirit of sympathy, service and self-sacrifice in the individual, so that s/he could rise above egocentrism and ethnocentrism to a state of global consciousness or worldcentrism. In pursuing this argument, I refer to Tagore’s letters, lectures, interviews and essays, both in Bengali and in English, a body of his short stories, his novel The Home and the World and his allegorical poem “Two Birds”. I also explain his awareness of the educational movements of his time in the West, and draw brief parallels with selected Western luminaries in the field, such as Plato, Montaigne, Rousseau and John Dewey. My contention is that although some may dismiss Tagore’s educational principles as “rickety sentimentalism” in a world that is palpable and real, his ideas of human fellowship, unity and creativity, and kinship for nature seem irrefutable with the rise of multiculturalism and the looming ecological crisis threatening world peace.

Language: English

DOI: 10.1080/10357823.2015.1125441

ISSN: 1035-7823

Book

Rabindranath Tagore: Adventure of Ideas and Innovative Practices in Education

Available from: Springer Link

Asia, India, Rabindranath Tagore - Biographic sources, South Asia

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Abstract/Notes: Tagore started a school in 1901 and in 1918 he wrote, ‘…the Santiniketan School should form a link between India and the world…the epoch of narrow nationalism is coming to an end…. The first flag of victory of Universal Man shall be planted there’. This was the beginning of Visva-Bharati that finally encapsulated the school and university with its many programmes and courses under one unique integrated system. The university was a logical progression in his philosophy of education. The central idea of the university was for the east to offer to the west the best of its wealth and take from the west its knowledge. This was indeed a novel idea as the country was yet to have its own full-fledged universities. Tagore envisioned the university as the seat for research that would generate and also dispense knowledge. Tagore established the university in Santiniketan where he had founded his school. He wanted the university to offer education that was enmeshed with the Indian way of life so that knowledge grew out of the culture, society, history, literature, geography, economy, science and flora and fauna of the country. From this sense of nationalism, we see Tagore evolving into an internationalist based on equal terms of fellowship and amity between the east and the west. He shared his quest for such a centre of learning with the ideas of several noted international pedagogues. Tagore saw world problems and national interests as interrelated, and he felt that internationalism was the inner spirit of the modern age.

Language: English

Published: Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing, 2014

ISBN: 978-3-319-00837-0

Series: SpringerBriefs in Education

Article

Montessori System and Basic Education

Publication: Visva-bharati Quarterly, vol. 13

Pages: 150-179

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Language: English

Doctoral Dissertation

Educational Ideas and Practices of Rabindranath Tagore and Maria Montessori: A Comparative Analysis

Available from: Shodhganga: Indian Theses

Asia, India, Rabindranath Tagore, South Asia

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Abstract/Notes: Rabindranath Tagore and Maria Montessori were two great educationists of the two continents of the world. This study compared the ideals and practices of both these pioneers in the field of education. The objectives of the study were to analyze the similarities and differences in the educational philosophies of Rabindranath Tagore and Maria Montessori, to study the aims, curriculum and methods of education as propounded by them and to find out the relevance of their educational doctrines in the present day education system. Methodology: A philosophical and historical research was conducted by the researcher. The data were collected from the various primary and secondary sources. The collected data were analyzed by ensuring the internal and external criticism of the various sources. Findings of the Study: Tagore and Montessori’s educational thoughts were inspired by the static conditions of the then prevalent traditional educational systems. Their pedagogical approaches stressed on the needs and interests of the child. Rabindranath Tagore’s approach towards evolution of an educational philosophy was his vision as a poet and his institution was an extension of his work of art. Maria Montessori’s educational theory was based on science and her institution was a pedagogical laboratory for her. Rabindranath Tagore’s poetic vision enabled him to devise a unique learning environment at Santiniketan based on the concept of ancient Indian ideals. Rabindranath asserted his mission to promote global peace and universal brotherhood through the creation of Visva-Bharati. Through Sriniketan Tagore tried to address the needs of rural India. Maria Montessori through scientific observation evolved learning materials in a classroom environment that fostered children’s natural desire to learn from ‘Children’s House’. She developed the Montessori Method, which was eventually adopted throughout the world. Living through the years of violent war and political upheaval, also inspired her to espouse the cause of peace education. The conclusion that the researcher could draw from the study was that though the educational practices of both these educators were different, there are many parallel ideas in their educational ideals and thoughts. Their innovative methods of teaching are still relevant in the present day education.

Language: English

Published: Kolkata, India, 2017

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