Rabindranath Tagore is remembered today chiefly as a poet, and his fame as a poet has often eclipsed his great contributions to other fields of literature and life ― especially education. Tagore pondered deeply on the fundamental problems of education ― aims, curriculum, method, discipline, values and medium ― and wrote and experimented on them freely and extensively. Tagore is perhaps the only literary genius in contemporary history who devoted a major part of his life to thinking about education and creating an educational institution of international significance. Also, the institution he created at Santiniketan proved to be the most global and sustainable among the progressive educational institutions launched by individual thinkers such as Froebel and Russell.
This edition revives a classic work, the first comprehensive, full-length account of Tagore’s educational thought and activity, commemorating his 150th birth anniversary. It presents a detailed chronological survey of Tagore’s educational writings and institutional activities in the perspective of his life and thought in general. The book also contains a detailed review and critical discussion on almost all major aspects of his educational work. Through an overall evaluation of Tagore’s unique contribution to education and his message to the world, it seeks to correct some common misconceptions that have existed from time to time about Santiniketan and Visva-Bharati.
The book will help form a more complete view of Tagore’s life and work, filling as it does the gaps and voids in the literature that has grown around him, and reinforcing its relevance today. It will be of value to educationists, teachers, policymakers, those interested in modern Indian history and philosophy of education.
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H. B. Mukherjee (1913–81) was Professor of Education at Visva-Bharati University, Santiniketan.
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