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Impact of Culture on Education

Impact of Culture on Education
Dr. Radhika Kapur
The main purpose of education is to bring civilization into the society and if
education is unsuccessful in bringing about enhancement and well being then it is
considered to be of no utility. Education is considered to be the most powerful instrument
in bringing about changes within an individual. On one hand, education acculturates an
individual; on the other hand, it preserves, transmits and develops the culture of the
society. It can be stated that education and culture are mutually interdependent,
complementary and supplementary in all their aspects and activities. Thus, the
relationship between education and culture are indissoluble.
Culture plays an important role in man’s life. Awareness regarding various kinds
of culture can help an individual in adjusting to the natural and social environment,
developing an individual’s personality, socialization of the individual, proper use of
freedom, and understanding other cultures and proper meaning of liberality. Educational
aspects and cultural aspects are imparted to an individual through their families,
communities and the educational institutions. Taking into consideration the significance
of culture and the role played by education in the socialization and the acculturation of an
individual, it is meaningful to analyze the changes that have taken shape in our culture.
Before understanding what the impact of education on culture is, it is vital to
understand the meaning of culture. By culture we mean the system of norms and
standards that a society develops over the course of many generations and which
profoundly affects the conduct of people living in that society. Culture is stated to be the
complete package of knowledge, beliefs, customs, art, morals, law and any other
capabilities and habits acquired by man as the member of that society. The purpose of
culture is to offer to the society by cognizant process of learning and experience, patterns
of behavior which are found useful for harmonious existence and smooth functioning in
all occupations and interactions and thereby individual and group survival and
perpetuation. It is the integrated, social, biological and ethnic modes of behavior of a
group or a society. It is implied that even the possession of ideas, attitudes, values etc are
from culture.
Education and culture are intimately and integrally connected. The cultural pattern
of the society specifies its educational patterns. For example, if a society has a spiritual
pattern of culture then the educational patterns will also emphasize the moral and the
spiritual values of life. Any society which is devoid of culture will not have any definite
educational organization. Therefore, the cultural pattern of any society, region or country
will have a strong impact upon its educational pattern.
The ultimate relationship between culture and education is apparent from the fact
that one of the major facts is that education impacts upon an individual his cultural
heritage. Through the means of education, an individual should learn the cultural values
and norms in order to lead to progression of the society and him. Every individual is born
into a culture that provides him definite patterns of behavior and values which guides his
conduct in different walks of life. Culture has played a significant role in man’s life in
adjusting to the natural and social environment, in developing his personality and in the
communication process. It is through education that an individual becomes aware of the
various modes of conduct that are suitable to that culture. The purpose of education is to
inform the individual about the nature of culture and how to follow those cultural
patterns; norms, values, ways of communication, rules, standards, policies and behavioral
conduct. In every field, education causes awareness to the students regarding the world,
how changes have occurred in every area within the course of time and performing tasks
in accordance to their country’s principles.
Within educational institutions, cultural tendencies influence the ways children
participate in education. In individualist perspective, students work independently;
engage themselves in discussions and arguments to learn to think critically. The school
environment is managed by the teachers in an indirect manner, student self-control is
encouraged and parents are integral to child’s academic progress and are involved
actively. On the other hand, in the collectivist perspective, students work with peers and
provide assistance when required, the behavioral traits of the students are that they are
quiet and respectful in the class in order to learn efficiently, teachers do render the
primary role in the management of the school but the behavior and conduct of the
students are influenced by their peers and parents yield to teacher’s expertise in order to
provide academic instruction and guidance.
In India, the development in the education system has provided a stimulus
towards the socialization of deprived and destitute people. With this influence, there has
been a tremendous change in their lifestyle, there has been a feeling of unity and with the
invention of machines and technology, an individual is having more and more leisure
time. In today’s world, an Indian is getting exposed to more of technology and scientific
facts of others and not racial customs and traditions.
The population explosion is the single largest factor responsible for the
breakdown of environmental, social and economic features. The impact of this is visible
on all aspects of life. The small family norm is widely accepted among the educated. The
media especially the visual media has helped in educating even the illiterate about the ill
effects of having more children in one household, weakening the wrong cultural belief of
having a son for lighting the pyre and rendering meaningless most other cultural ills of
the society such as child marriage and abortion of the girl child.
Women in the past were not given much importance and were treated inferior to
men especially in the rural areas within the country; they were even deprived of their
share of property. In the present society in rural and urban areas, education has brought
about cultural changes in the distribution of possessions and rewards to women. Women
now have equal rights in the parental property. Earlier women were not given equal
wages for the job duties that they are performing at the workplace similar to men, but
now they are given equal pay for equal work at all levels. Further development in the
education system will definitely bring about changes in the mindset of the individuals and
positive attitude and constructivism will become an integral part of culture.
Education has a major role to play in an individual’s life; it helps an individual to
understand the world and the environment to live his life adequately, it makes the
individual aware of different values, norms, customs and traditions which are essential
for his existence and development and it provides to the individual all kinds of
knowledge, information and materials, which he needs to learn in order to progress.
Education is the vital configuration of the social system, shaping the personality of
younger generation and their culture raising them for life and preparing them for the kind
of society they live in and they should live in. In other words, through the means of
education, an individual learns how to abide by the cultural values.
A resourceful educator largely contributes in the evolvement of new models of
culture in conformity with the emerging aspirations of society, through formal and non-
formal education. This will enable the young to develop adaptive capacities and adjust to
changes in the society. In the ultimate analysis the teacher is the conservator and the
democratic intermediary of culture. He is the designer of the culture to be by drawing
upon the old cultural experiences and reconstructing new experiences and innovations.
Education has immense influence upon various aspects of culture; expansion in the
education system and the development of cultural aspects go hand in hand. If in the
environment, the norms are obsolete and systems prevailing in the society are
inappropriate then the individuals feel very uncomfortable; therefore, the role of the
education is to help create adequate and apposite cultural aspects.
Education has tremendous scope as an instrument of social and cultural change.
One should bear in mind that through education not only knowledge is imparted, but
skills, interests, attitudes, aspirations and values are developed, social and cultural
progress is facilitated, and at the same time social, economic and cultural levels of the
people are raised. Education brings cultural changes which may result in many transitions
and alterations in the society in many forms. This may be observed in every aspects
human culture like variations in norms of values and thinking modes, changes in material
culture, ideas, family relations, political culture, patterns of administration at the local,
state, regional and national level, involvement in social activities, change in abilities and
behavioral traits of personnel; in short in every aspects of human activity. Culture enables
a person to appreciate good ideas and abilities. It enlivens human interests and social
efficiency. A cultured person is neither too self-confident nor too inflexible and
aggressive. He does not manifest extremes of passions or violence of feelings or
extravagance of language; in other words, he is a cultured person and education plays a
crucial role in the creation of such kind of individuals.
... For instance, educational curriculum is a reflection of a culture of a society (Mulenga and Kabombwe, 2019). Kapur et al (2018) also noted that education acculturates an individual, on the other hand, it preserves, transmits and develops the culture of society. It can be stated that education and culture are mutually interdependent, complementary and supplementary in all their aspects and activities. ...
... Educational and cultural aspects are imparted to individuals through their families, communities and the educational institutions. Taking into consideration the significance of culture and the role played by education in the socialisation and the acculturation of an individual in a society, it is meaningful to analyse and understand the impact that culture plays in education (Kapur et al., 2018). ...
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