We use the term ‘education’ in our discussions, still we don’t have a clear cut idea about its importance. Many thinkers and philosophers of different times have tried to explain it in their own ways. Modern educational psychology discusses it elaborately. While discussing, educators have said that the importance of education has not always been the same in human society. With the change in social life, the outlook on education has also changed. In this evolutionary process, education was once considered as a process of acquiring knowledge. According to this era, education was the process of acquiring knowledge. So the chief aim of education was to make a child experienced. It was believed that the responsibility of education would be complete by burdening a child with experience. Not only in old ages, but common men of today still cherish this idea. A notable educator has said,
“Education means training of the mind”.
That is to say, education is to help a child to acquire his process of experience through mental training. Human society has stored valuable experiences during the long journey of life and education will inject, at any cost, those experiences in the minds of raw years. So, there is no necessity of acquiring personal experiences on the part of a child. The society itsell has taken the responsibility to make it experienced. And some responsible, experienced persons are appointed for this purpose. They are called teachers. So education is, in this sense, to make the minds of the children crowded with experiences within school-boundaries by some teachers. An educator with old out look has said,
“Education is the process of pouring experiences into the still immatured mind of the pupil”.
The system of education which would ground on the faith of education as acquisition of knowledge must have some characteristics of its own. This idea adds a special feature among the different elements in the process of education. Modern educators have marked these characteristics of education as narrow, which will be realized by analyzing different aspects of so-called education. Firstly, let us think of the aim of education. If it is the process of acquiring knowledge, its main purpose is to increase knowledge of the pupils. This is to say, aim of education is to supply a child with pure knowledge. Material object of education is often discussed in this connection. A student should be made prepared for acquiring his livelihood – this is the vocational aim of education. But such type of material object of education bears narrowness so far as ideology in education is concerned. So, if education is considered as the process of acquiring knowledge, its objects will be narrow too.
Secondly, if education is considered as the process of acquiring knowledge, its curriculum will be a handful of theoretical experiences. Generally, subject centered curriculum is balanced with the idea of education. Aim of education is is just to acquire some bookish knowledge and get through the examination. There is hardly any necessity of judging if that knowledge has any practical value. So the curriculum made from this view point is narrow too.
Thirdly, if education is considered as a process of acquiring knowledge, then the role of education becomes major in educational process because the teacher is considered as the source of knowledge in this concept. Students are bound to accept all theories supplied by teachers. Such type of mentality is not befitting with the modern child-centric education. Here the relationship between the teacher and the taught is that of the giver and the receiver. So, total environment of education becomes mechanical.
Fourthly, method of teaching looses its variety if education is considered as the process of acquiring knowledge. Thinkers who have considered as the process of acquisition of knowledge, think that acquisition of knowledge is possible by mechanical repetition and to perpetuate it needs memory. So, according to this idea, method of teaching has no value in the field of education. Any child having sharp memorymay acquire knowledge.
Fifthly, according to this idea, students have no role in selecting what knowledge he would acquire. The children will learn all those which are liked by adults and guardians. the demands, tendencies, likes or dislikes of the children are less valued here. Hence, this education is led by completely unpsychological attitude.
Through the discussion above, it is found that if education is considered as the only process of acquiring knowledge, it makes education narrow in all respects. Modern educators have said, education must be related to life and child. The aim of education will be to help a child in all round development of of his life. Its aim can not be to burden him with meaningless knowledge. Curriculum, according modern idea, should aim of all round development. So there should be synthesis of experience with variety. Curriculum is not the knowledge which revolves around the subject only taught. Modern teacher should be a helper and not giver. He is to help students acquire knowledge. Modern teaching method bring together teachers and students and make them work in synchronization.
So what we get from our discussion is education as mere acquisition of knowledge is curriculum limited, unchageable, mechanical and devoid of human quality. Hence, the theory is rejectable.