4. EDUCATION FOR PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT
1. Let me begin with a brief reference to the 1972 Report of the International Commission on Development of Education, established by UNESCO, -- the report which conveys its theme so aptly through its own title, "Learning to be". The Report had become very famous during the seventies, but it has unfortunately receded into the background. To know, to possess and to be – this is the central demand of life, and, rightly, this ought to be the central demand of education, particularly when, as in the Report, there is a clear and categorical recognition of the need for a fundamental identification of life and education. As the Report states in the very first principle of 21- point programme for a global strategy in education: "Every individual must be in a position to keep learning throughout his life. The idea of lifelong education is the keynote of the learning society." 1 2. But, as we begin to seek for the meaning of life-long education and its central theme "to be", we are confronted with a number of implications which in their turn centre round the idea of personality and personality development. As M. Edgar Faure, the Chairman of the Commission, states, one of the underlying assumptions of the Report is "that the aim of development is the complete fulfilment of man, in all the richness of his personality, the compexity of his forms of expression and his various commitments." 2 3. But there are controversies regarding what constitutes personality and the real meaning of the full richness of personality. There are also controversies regarding the conflicts of the demands of personality development with those of professional efficiency. There are also pressures of society to demand men of professions rather than men of developed personalities. Contrarily, there are assertions in favour of personality development against the pragmatic necessities of their professional excellence. And then there is a deeper issue as to whether the fullness of personality can be achieved in the present state of society and civilization. Indeed, education for personality development seems to necessitate not only a revolutionary change in the aim, content and structure of educational institutions, but also a revolution in the entire object, mode and interrelations of social existence. 4. For us, what is most significant is the logic of the new educational methodology which reinforces at every turn the need to place the child and its personality at the centre of entire edifice of education. The modern educationist has come to realise that the child is not a plastic material to be moulded and pressed into a shape as desired and decided upon by the parents and educators. There is an insistence on free choice for the student to choose his own subjects of study, his pace of progress, and even (within limits) his teachers. There is a recognition of individual differences, necessitating variation in psychological treatment, presentation of materials of study, and criteria for judgement of performance. There is a demand for new syllabi and for flexible syllabi which would correspond to the psychological needs of the growth of the personality abolition of the examination system, and need, therefore, to discover a more rational and psychological system that can replace the system of tests, checks and counter-checks. All these demands and needs point to the idea of education for the all-round development of personality. 5. But what is personality? And how to prepare ourselves for the education for personality development? Personality is sometimes identified with character, but very often a distinction is made between the two. According to this distinction, character means the fixed structure of certain recognisable qualities while personality means the flux of self-expressive or sensitive and responsive being. But when we examine the distinction between the fixed structure and the flux, we find that the fixity and...
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