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Knowledge meaning, nature and sources

Knowledge is the sum total of known and unknown entities and is the result of human
endeavours and past experiences accumulated through generations. In fact, knowledge is
dynamic in character, multidimensional in size and ever-growing in its range and scope.

Knowledge is often defined as a belief that is true and justified. Knowledge is acquired
from generation to generation, civilization to civilization.

The meaning of work ‘knowledge’ is wisdom which enlightens brain and mind. Through
brain and mind are two different units in human being : The former stands for understanding and
later is an idea or sentiment, yet their relation is reciprocal towards the growth of knowledge.
Knowledge is an impact of two things, i.e. ‘knower’ and the ‘knowee’. The former is a subject
or person and later is object, entity, place or a thing.

Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness or understanding of someone or something, such

as facts, information, descriptions, or skills, which is acquired through experience or education
by perceiving, discovering or learning.

Knowledge can refer to a theoretical or practical understanding of a subject. It can be

implicit (as with practical skill or expertise) or explicit (as with the theoretical understanding of a
subject); it can be more or less formal or systematic.

In Western Epistemology “Justified True Belief”

The belief must be true, and the truthfulness must be justified.

“A dynamic human process of justifying personal belief towards the truth”.

According to Peter Drucker (1993) “Knowledge is the only meaningful resource


According to Hunt (2003), “Knowledge is often defined as a belief that is true and

According to Dr. Ranganathan “It is a sum total of information conserved by


According to Dr. Shera “Knowledge is the consequences of filterizsd process through

intellectual system.

According to Webster’s Dictionary, knowledge is “the fact or condition of knowing

something with familiarity gained through experience or association.

Nature of Knowledge

Theory of knowledge attempts to define knowledge and explain specific and

characteristics. The dictionary meaning of knowledge refers ‘assured beliefs’: that which is
known’; information instruction, enlightenment, learning; practical skill. The nature of
knowledge can also be understood with the help of following points:
1. Knowledge is an asset: Knowledge is an asset. It has some distinctive characteristics
when we compare it to some other assets, such as physical assets and finance.
2. Non-depleting: Unlike other resources that are managed because of their scarcity value,
the more knowledge is used, the more is generated. It never gets depleted.
3. Win-win sharing: If you share your knowledge with another person, the first person
does not lose it rather it helps in retaining the knowledge.
4. Chunk able and portable: It can be summarized, compressed or divided in manageable
units for easier transfer and management.
5. Transferable: It can move from place to place; explicit knowledge, in particular, can
easily be distributed via networks to many people.
6. Mobile: It tends to leak and diffuse, either as people move jobs, talk or through technical
reproduction and transmission.
7. Substitutable: In many situations it can replace physical and other forms of resource;
thus telecommunications reduces the need for travel or physical transport (of documents).
8. Verifiable: Knowledge is verifiable through research and experiments
9. Certain: Knowledge is certain. It is free from doubt or reservation. It is always
established as true or sure: unquestionable.
10. Knowledge is opinion: Knowledge is a belief or judgement that rests on grounds
insufficient or produce certainty. It is the expression of a personal attitude or judgement.
11. Knowledge is Datum: It is known or granted, assumption or premise from which
inference may be drawn. It is a facts or information, especially as the basis for inference.
12. Knowledge is a means to reach truth: Knowledge is a means to reach the truth.
Thought is the raw material or platform for knowledge.
13. The structure of knowledge is based on facts and values : Knowledge is a structure of
information into a meaningful whole. It is well organized system or facts giving meaning
to it.

Sources of Knowledge

(1) Testimony as Source or Appeal to Authority : We are to rely upon the testimony of
others i.e., upon authority in order to acquire knowledge about the past. In everyday life
gain much of the knowledge with the help of this source. We should accept those people
as authorities who are people of integrity and who had authentic information.

Dangers or Limitations of Authority as source:

1. To block progress: Authority at a dominating attitude blocks progress and independent

thinking of the persons.
2. To create confusions : When authorities disagree or conflict they cause confusion.
3. To lead astray : A person who is authority in one subject is likely to be believed when
he speaks on some other subject about which he may not have special knowledge. We
fail to realize when he speaks outside the range of his competence. Thus we are likely to
be led away by the prestige of our authority.
4. Difficult to discover errors: We may be led astray by the widespread acceptance of a
belief. Such wide spread acceptance may add to its prestige and belief and create
difficulty in locating errors.
5. Unphilosophical and unscientific: The uncritical or blind appeal to authority is
unphilosophical and unscientific method of gaining knowledge.

(2) Senses as a Source:

Senses are the chief portals through which knowledge enters the mind. What we see,
hear, touch, smell and taste i.e. our concrete experience constitutes the realm of knowledge
according to empiricists. Froebel emphasized sense training for children, as senses are gateways
of knowledge.

Limitations :

We can go astray even in the area of sense data. Prejudices and emotions may distort our
view. It is a subjective source.

(8) Thinking as a Source:

Rationalists are of view that reasoning or thought is a source of knowledge. They believe
that mind has the ability to discover truth. Knowledge can be obtained by comparing ideas with
ideas. The sensations and experiences which we gain through various senses like touch, hearing,
taste, smell and sight are just raw materials of the knowledge. For the rationalists knowledge is
found to be in ideas, concepts, thoughts, principles and laws and not just in raw sensations.


(4) Insight or Intution as Source: Insight or intuition is another important source of

knowledge. We shall discuss intuition as a source of knowledge under the following headings:

(a) Intuition in All Knowledge: There is an element of intuition present in all knowledge.
An intuitive element is the foundation of our recognition of the beautiful, of the moral
standards that men accept and of religious values. HOCKING speaks of self-knowledge
as the best sources of intuition.

(b) Intuition as Shortcut to Knowledge : Intuition is merely the result of the accumulation
of one’s past experience and thinking.

(c) Intuition as a Higher Kind of Knowledge: Intuition enables as to gain a vision of



Intuition does not appear to be safe method when used alone. If it is not controlled by reason it
may lead to absurb claims.


Every source of knowledge has some limitations. The various sources of knowledge are
complementary. Every source has a value. Every source may be superior to others in certain
areas. MONTAGUE sees them as complementary methods for the discovery of knowledge.
“Neither can be substituted for the other; neither can contradict the other”.

The teacher is a dynamic force of the school. A school without a teacher is just like a
body without the soul, a skeleton without a flesh, a shadow without a substance. There is no
greater need for cause of education today than the need for strong manly men and motherly
women as teachers for the young. As social engineers, the teacher can socialize and humanize
the young by their man like qualities.

Following is the role of teacher in construction of knowledge :

1. Aims: The teacher should make the students aware about the aims prior to providing
particular piece of information. Students will be motivated to get knowledge and retain it.
2. Planning : A teacher transmits knowledge in a better way by making some plans like what to
teach e.g. which topic has to be tought, how to teach i.e. which learning aid is to be used,
when to teach i.e. in which situation which topic is to be taught. This helps in permanent
construction of knowledge.
3. Motivation: Readiness to learn is a pre-requisite for construction of knowledge. If a teacher
want to motivate the students, then teacher have to prove that he is person who is worth
listening to. He need to stand out, catch their attention and hold it. For this he should be
vocal, energetic, be passionate about what he is teaching. He should put an effort into
appearance and above all he should create a supportive and positive environment.
4. Techniques: Teachers in the 21st century have access to a wide array of information about
the latest research on how students learn or how they construct the knowledge. They should
be knowledgeable and willing to apply such research to their classroom. They should
understand different learning styles and be able to identify the learning styles of their
5. Guide: Teacher should acts as a guide. Teacher has to let the students understand the aspects
of curriculum for the construction of knowledge. Further he must make them aware of better
opportunities so that they may concentrate on information provided by teacher.
6. Active Participation: The teacher should actively participate in all the activities in a positive
way he should know the art of teaching with a deep insight into child psychology. He should
always deal with the students in proper manner. He should not lose his self-cotnrol on
mistakes which his students may commit, and instead he should respect their feelings and
ego, and should try to understand and resolve their difficulties with grace which is necessary
for the construction of knowledge.
7. Methods: Teacher should use effective teaching strategies like chalkboard, videos, pictures,
animations to impart the knowledge in an easy manner. Also he should encourage them to
take notes in the class. This helps them to improve their writing skills, understand better and
stay attentive in class.
8. Help to overcome the problems : When a student have some problems in behavior or
process. Then the teacher’s role is to help student overcome the problem by showing special
affection and attention on the students because only a relaxed and healthy mind can grasp the
knowledge provided by the teacher.
9. Learning aids: Learning aids grab the attention and concentration of students. When the
teacher uses the learning aids in classroom these aids provide stimulus for learning to
students which helps in permanently constructing the knowledge.
10. Readiness: A teacher can transmits knowledge of students are ready to gain the transmitted
knowledge. Readiness on the part of an individual is essential for accomplishing a particular
task. It is the duty of the teacher to make ready the students for receiving knowledge.
11. Principle of providing training to senses: Senses are said to be the gateways of knowledge.
Construction of knowledge is more effective if the senses are effectively trained and utilized.
The power of observation, identification, discrimination, experimentation, application and
generalization can be developed through proper training and functioning of senses.
Therefore the teacher should make proper arrangements for the training of senses especially
the sense of sight and hearing of students so that knowledge can be constructed properly.
12. Group dynamics : Group dynamics plays an important role in the construction of
knowledge. Students tend to learn better in a group and also develop the qualities of co-
operation, sacrifice etc. therefore the teacher should encourage group learning for the
construction of knowledge.
13. Encouraging self-learning: The teacher should inculcate the habit of self-study,
independent work and self-learning among the students by providing proper opportunities
and training to his students. This enables the students to construct their knowledge.
14. Concentration on Progressiveness: A good teacher is concerned with the progress of
children in the development of attitudes and interest, idea and information skills and abilities
and development of habits of thought and action which is platform for the construction

Facets of Knowledge
A facet is one side or aspect of something. A particular aspect or feature of something.

Taylor (1992) defines facets as “clearly defined, mutually exclusive, and collectively exhaustive
aspects, properties or characteristics of a class or specific subject.

Harter (1986), writes: “A facet is a group of concepts that, for a given search, will be considered
to be equivalent by a searcher (i.e., synonyms). There may be several facets in a search, but
usually there are no more than three or four.”

Thus Facets help in identification of specific characteristics of different objects and drawing
general conclusions based upon the specificities.

Local and Universal Knowledge

Local knowledge is the knowledge that people in a given community have developed over time
and continue to develop. It is:

 Based on experience.
 Often tested over centuries of use
 Adapted to the local culture and environment
 Embedded in community practices, institutions, relationships and rituals
 Held by individuals or communities
 Dynamic and changing
Local knowledge is not confined to tribal groups or to the original inhabitants of an area. It is
not even confined to rural people. Rather, all communities possess local knowledge-rural and
urban, settled and nomadic, original inhabitants and migrants.

Local Knowledge is a collection of facts and relates to the entire system of concepts, beliefs and
perceptions that people hold about the world around them. This includes the way people observe
and measure their surroundings, how they solve problems, and validate new information. It
includes the processes whereby knowledge is generated, stores, applied and transmitted to others.

Local knowledge is unique to every culture or society; elders and the young possess various
types of knowledge.

 Common knowledge is held by most people in a community; e.g. almost everyone knows
how to cook rice (or the local staple food)
 Shared knowledge is held by many, but not all community members; e.g. villagers who
raise livestock will know more about basic animal husbandry than those without
 Specialized knowledge is held by a few people who might have had special training or an
apprenticeship; e.g. only few villagers will become healers, midwives, or blacksmiths.

It is important to stress that local knowledge is not exclusive or necessarily sufficient for tackling
the challenges people face today.

Local knowledge is the human capital of both the urban and rural people. It is the main asset
they invest in the struggle for survival, to produce food provide for shelter or achieve control of
their own lives. Significant contributions to global knowledge have originated with local people,
for instance for human and veterinary medicine. Local knowledge is developed and adapted
continuously to a gradually changing environment. It is passed down from generation to
generation and closely interwoven with people’s cultural values.

Universal Knowledge

When you are reading something for the first time, but it has that certain “ring of truth” to it,
your thought says: “Oh I already knew that”. That is the thought and feeling of the universal
knowledge that you already have within, yet within this knowledge at its purest form it steams
from nowhere because this knowledge is the only true you. It is within the Being-ness that this
pure untouched knowledge arises in its clearest form once you get used to this “knowingness”
then it becomes not as obvious. It is always there, but this universal knowledge only reveals
itself when an opportunity shows up. In other words, to access it you need a reason for the
answers to come to your. Just like, you have no use for your skills unless a math problem shows
up. As a result, instead of searching for answers to the questions you have about life, you are
now searching for questions to answer.
Theoretical and Practical

When it comes to knowledge there are different kinds of knowledge and different ways of
acquiring each kind. On one side is theory and on the other side is the practical application of
theory. Both types of knowledge are important and both make you better at whatever you.

Theoretical knowledge- teaches the why. It helps you understand why one technique works
where another fails. Theory teaches you through the experience of others.

Theoretical knowledge can often lead to a deeper understand of a concept through seeing it in
context of a greater whole and understanding the why behind it.

Practical knowledge- helps you acquire the specific techniques that become the tools of your
trade. It sits much closer to your actual day-to-day work. There are some things you can only
learn through doing and experiencing. Where theory is often taught in the ideal of a vacuum, the
practical is learned through the reality of life. Practical knowledge can often lead to a deeper
understanding of concept through the act of doing and personal experience.

Both of the above are important. You won’t survive in any career unless you can bring results
and to do that you need practical knowledge. There’s no avoiding it.

Textual Knowledge and Contextual Knowledge

Textual knowledge is the sole focus on a piece of expression and language. Familiarity with a
range of media, and textual codes and conventions of form and content. Textual knowledge is
that relevant to understanding of grammatical aspects of the language cumulative impact of all
preceding text on cohesion and coherence. It control language which must be relatively simple.
The major function of textual knowledge is to make sure that discourse is appropriate in the
communicative situation. The primary intention of textual knowledge sources at work is to
ensure professional competences, learning and quality. By “textual” it is meant that kind of
knowledge relevant to the understanding of grammatical aspects of a language. It includes, but
is not limited to, knowledge of word formation and sentence structure. It also extends itself to
such generic rules relating to paragraph organization, and the framing and shaping of a complete

Contextual Knowledge is different from textual knowledge. One focuses beyond the piece of
rhetoric while another focus solely on the piece of rhetoric. Contextual knowledge as all the
knowledge that is relevant and can be mobilized to understand a given situated decision problem.
By “situated” we mean in given, dated, well specified circumstances Contextual knowledge is
evoked by situations and events, and loosely tied to a task or a goal. Contextual knowledge is
evoked by situations and events, and loosely tied on a task or a goal.

School and out of school

School: The school is an active and formal agency of providing the knowledge. It is a
specialized agency which has become quite important in the growing complexity of cultures and
civilizations. In schools both the teacher and the taught engage themselves in the process of
providing knowledge with the pre-determined objectives. Certain formalities of rules and
regulations are observed. Not only the taught but the teacher also become formal for providing
the knowledge to students. In the school conscious, deliberate and planned efforts are made.
The child is conscious that he is learning and he makes the deliberate efforts. The teacher is
conscious that he is teaching for providing the knowledge and for making his teaching effective
he makes conscious efforts, and uses a number of illustrative devices. Hence the type of
knowledge being imparted in schools is known as formal education.

1. Body – There is some organizing body behind it. It is organized effort by state or
voluntary organization.
2. Conscious – Both the educator and educand are conscious about the process.
3. Time schedule – It is pre-planned. Its time schedule is fixed.
4. Methods – Fixed and formal methods like lecture method notes giving method,
demonstration method, discussion method, project method are used for providing the
knowledge to the students.
5. Teachers – Knowledge in schools is imparted by the trained and qualified teachers.
6. Place – It is confined to four walls of schools.
7. Atmosphere – The atmosphere is artificial.
8. Curriculum – In schools there are prescribed, narrow and fixed curriculum for providing
the knowledge.
9. Discipline – Discipline is generally strict in schools for providing the knowledge.
10. Examinations: Examinations are held and certificate or degrees are awarded after the
evaluation of knowledge.
11. Mental strain – grasping the knowledge in schools leads to mental strain because serious
efforts are made.
12. Motivation – In schools the students are motivated by the teachers while providing the
13. Planned – Kowledge is planned in a system known as schools.
14. Imposed – Kowledge is imposed by teacher on the pupils with little interaction by the
15. Failure – It works on the principles of weeding out failures.

Out of School Knowledge: A child spends only five to six hours of a day in the school. The rest
of the time of the day he spends out of the school. In other words, the school gets the stuff for
providing the knowledge which is already half baked in out of school.

Out of school knowledge is that modification of behavior comes about necessarily and
spontaneously, without making any conscious efforts for it. In out of school knowledge neither
the educand nor the educator is conscious of the process. No formalities are observed. Out of
school knowledge :

1. Agencies – It is provided through Family, playground, community, and religion.

2. No organizing body – There is no organizing body behind it. There is o fixed place for
3. No consciousness:- Neither the educator nor the educand is conscous about the process.
4. No time schedule- Out of school knowledge is received from any person at any time.
There are no fixed timings in informal education.
5. No fixed methods – No fixed methods of teaching are used in informal education. It is
learned by experience and interaction with mothers and other members of community.
6. Teachers – Out of school knowledge can be received from any person.
7. Place – Out of school knowledge can be received at any place.
8. Atmosphere. The atmosphere is natural.
9. Curriculum. Out of school knowledge has no definite contents or curriculum.
10. Discipline. Out of school knowledge needs no command or order.
11. Human Resources – Out of school knowledge utilizes available human resources.
12. No examination – There are no examinations. Out of school knowledge is never
13. No mental strain – Out of school knowledge, being natural does not strain the learner.
14. No motivation – The learner is not motivated for acquiring knowledge for gaining
15. Incidental – Out of school knowledge is incidentally picked up in life situations like
listening to a broadcast, watching television, reading newspaper, etc. There is no
16. No imposition – Out of school knowledge is not imposed.
17. Acquisition- Out of school knowledge can be acquired at one’s own.

Meaning of Values

The term ‘value’ does not have a simple unitary meaning like dancing or playing, which refers to
particular type of activity. From etymological point of view, value signifies that quality of an
individual or thing which makes that individual or thing important, respectable and useful. This
quality may be internal or external or both.

From the philosophical point of view value signifies neither a thing nor an individual, but a
thought or a point of view. Anything which is useful to another person. Thus, from the
philosophical point of view, value is directly related to what one believes or thinks.

From sociological point of view, social values are cultural standards that indicate the general
goods deemed desirable for the organized society. According to axiologists “Though values are
judgements, they are emotional and not intellectual judgements.

Definitions of values

Value has been defined in diverse ways. Philosopher, educationist, administrator, psychologist,
sociologist all have different perspective while explaining a value. It depends upon their mind set
or orientation as per discipline, they have studied. Different viewpoints have been expressed with
regard to concept of a value.

J.B.Brubacher : “To state one’s aim of education is to state his educational values.”
Allport View : “The term value means the relative prominence of the subjects interest or the
dominant interest in personality.”

R.K. Mukerjee “Values are socially approved drives and goals that are internalized through the
process of conditioning, learning or socialization and that becomes subjective preferences,
standards and aspirations.”

Henderson’s View : “Anything which satisfies a human want becomes thereby a value.”

Cunningham’s view : “Educational values become aims of education. According to these

qualities, abilities and capacities are promoted in the individuals, which are inherently values of

Brubacher’s View : “To state one’s aim of education is at once to state his educational values.”

Kane’s View : “Values are ideals, beliefs or norms which a society or The large majority of a
society’s members hold.”

Basic Characteristics of Values

1. A value has its worth and importance

2. value is subject, community and national oriented.
3. Value is the result of interaction between personal and impersonal elements.
4. Value is means as well as an end.
5. Value is a desired preference.
6. Value is a cherished idea.
7. Value is a strong belief put to action.
8. Value is an internalized idea or thought.
9. Value gives direction to human action.
10. Value is an abstract idea which is cherished, expressed, demonstrated in behaviour and
public by affirmed.

(3) Types of values: Social, Moral, Cultural and Secular

(1) Social Values:

Man is a social being. He lives in the society. It is the society which makes him socialized and
cultured. Almost everything that he learns, is acquired from the society; Only the capacity of
learning is his own. It is in society that his ego develops whereby he is called a human being.

Social values have been evolved by the society to make life more safe, comfortable, civilized and
worthy living. Different social values are outlined as under:

1. Social conformity : Social conformity means to act according to social norms, standards,
traditions, expectancies and acceptances. Due to social sanctions and punishments, a
person learns to behave in conformity with social rules, norms and expectations.

2. Discipline: Discipline is an essential condition of successful social life. It generates

virtues which give essence to society and strength to nation. Discipline should be
internal, self-willed, self-imposed, positive and constructive rather than externally
imposed, negative and destructive, discipline leads to anarchy.

3. Social sensitiveness : Everybody in the society should be socially sensitive. Social

sensitiveness helps the person in leading good social life.

4. Altruism: Altruism implies concern for others, social and sacrificing I interest. A person
should be interested in the welfare of others. He should not have his own axe to grind in
every walk of life. He should r beyond one’s own interest. He should have fellow-feeling
and concern for others. On the foundation of altruism are built an individual’s social
relationships, his interest in others and his sense of responsibility.

5. Toleration : A person should tolerate the views of others.

6. Social adjustment : A person should make adjustment to members of various social


7. Social loyalty : A person should be loyal to family members, friends, neighbours and
other associates.

8. Social justice : A person should be in favour of social justice. He should make to ensure
social justice in the social group.

9. Panchsheel of values : Social values can also be mentioned by giving the following five
values called Panchsheel of values (1) Cleanliness i.e., internal and external, (2)
Truthfulness, (3) Co-operation, (4) Equality and (5) Hard work.

10. Other Social Values : Some other social values are : (1) Courtesy, (2) Devotion, (3)
Friendship, (4) Good manners, (5) Helpfulness, (6) Kindness, (7) Respect for others, (8)
Sense. of social responsibility, (9) Solidarity of mankind, and (10) Team work.

(2) Moral Values

In the words of Shri Radhakrishnan, “The troubles of the whole world including India are due to
the fact that education has become a mere intellectual exercise and not the acquisition of moral
and spiritual values.

Morality signifies a code of ethical principles which are essential for leading a noble life.
Morality is the only balm which can heal the wounds of humanity. The following the moral

1. Honesty : ‘Honesty is the best policy’ is a famous saying. Honesty is the basis of
character and human interactions. It should be deliberately inculcated among children
from the childhood period.
2. Truthfulness : Truthfulness has a unique importance in life and’ education. A person
should be true to his salt. He should be truthful to his conscience, to his family, to his
friends, to his neighbours, to his society, to his state, to his country and to the humanity at
large. Value of truthfulness should be cultivated from the early childhood period.
3. Moral stability : A person should be morally stable and consistent, No person can be
completely human without moral stability. Morality should be developed from within.
4. Good : Good character and conduct are important moral values. Character includes all
the noble qualities that a man can ever imagine to cultivate. Self-control, reliability,
persistence in action, industriousness, conscientiousness, sincerity, sense of
responsibility, tolerance, temperance, and justice are significant moral values which form
part and parcel of character. There must be harmony between noble thoughts and actions.
5. Other moral values : (1) Considerateness, (2) Compassion, 3) Good manners, (4)
Kindness, (5) Non-violence, (6) Purity, (7) Sympathy, 8) Social service, (9) Simple living
and high thinking (holy life), (10) Steadfastness, (11) Self-discipline, (12) Humility, (13)
Courageous conviction, (14) God fearing personality.

(3) Cultural Values:

Every culture has some value system. According to Mac and Page, Culture is the realm of
styles, of values, of emotional attachments, of intellectual adventures.” The best that has been
thought and known is culture. It is the inner beauty and refinement of intellectual, aesthetic and
moral aspects of personality. Important cultural values (values of Indian culture) are

1. Faith in God : Belief in the existence of God is the first fundamental of Indian Culture.
Re is Truth and Love, Ethics and Morality, Source of Light and Life. He is a
personification of Sat, Out and Ananda Existence, Knowledge and Bliss). He is the
creator of the universe. He pervades the whole living and non-living world. He
emancipates us from the bondage of dust and gives us the wealth not of things but of
inner light, not of power but of love.

2. Spiritualism : In Indian culture, great importance has been attached to Indian culture.
Truth, Beauty and Goodness are spiritual values. Spiritualism gives real strength to
human soul and mind. Spiritualism will end chaos, disorder, destruction, exploitation,
selfishness, hatred and aggression in this world. In the words of Russel, the choice before
present humanity is either total annihilation or co-existence through ethical and spiritual
values. Spiritual perfection will lead to better social order and human brotherhood.

3. Non-violence: Non-violence includes humility, charity, love, patience, purity of heart

and freedom from passion of thought, world and action. It implies complete freedom
from violence i.e., freedom from hate, anger, vanity and ill-will. Non-violence inspires to
love all creatures. It purifies the spirit. We abstain from doing harm to others by word or
by deed or even by thought. Nonviolence is the means to attain the goal of truth. It is the
only means for peaceful settlement of the world issues peaceful co-existence.

4. Tolerance : We have implicit faith in toleration. Toleration is a. important characteristic

of our culture. We are tolerant, broad-minded and peace-loving towards the people of
other creeds living in our neighbourhood, state and country. Tolerance in every walk of
life and activity is essential for peaceful co-existence.

5. Simplicity : Simple living and high thinking is another important trait of Indian culture.
In the morning mostly and often enough in the afternoons, people attend kathas i.e.,
readings from scriptures commentaries or sermons by saints. This Sat Sang has come
down to i as a noble tradition.

6. Social service : We render social service on occasions of marriages deaths, earthquakes,

disasters, havocs by fires or storms or cycloner Social- service propels man towards God.
Social service is an important cultural value.

7. Dignity of manual work : Dignity of manual work is emphasized in Indian culture. it is

absolutely necessary for life. It is the basis for socially useful and productive work. It is
held in high esteem. Guru Nana attached great importance to ‘Kirat Karna In the words of
Mahata Gandhi, “Those who do not work with hands soon lose the music of their life.”

8. Niskama Karma : Niskania Karma is also an important value our culture. It is the
central teaching of the Gita, It means an action in_ identity with the divine will or to be a
successful instrument in the hand’ of divine power. It is favourable to physical,
psychological and spiritual nature of man. It synthesizes selfishness with altruism. It
harmonises the good of the individual with that of society. It fulfills the good in the world
and the good in the world to come.

(4) Secular Values:

1. Mutual understanding : Mutual understanding is essential among the people having

different customs, faiths and religions. It is essential for successful and peaceful living.

2. Mutual co-operation : Value of co-operation should be developed in the people. It

promotes group living.

3. Tolerance : Secularism implies tolerance. Tolerance is an important secular value. All

types of physical, social, economic, cultural, ‘political, religious and others differences in
language, thoughts, habits, food and dress are tolerated. It requires broad-mindedness.

4. Appreciation of universal truths : Secularism appreciates universal truths revealed by

different religions. Most of the religions hold the view that service to humanity is service
to God. Dignity of the individual should be developed.

5. Character : Secularism is the foundation for the development of character and morality.
It inculcates humanity, truthfulness, honesty, courtesy sympathy, spirit of service and
sacrifice which form a noble of character of man and develops his personality.

6. Humanitarianism : Secularism stands for peace, good will and understanding. It helps in
fostering the brotherhood of man and the unity off the world. It encourages the policy of
live and let live. It will help in 1 hatred in love, selfishness in self-sacrifice and violence
in non violence.

Erosion of values

The many ills that our society as a whole is suffering today, are mainly due t6?risis of
values. Values in public life seem to be on the cross roads. The people are losing ground in
cherished values this nation stood for in the ancient past. There is erosion of social, moral,
cultural, economic and political values at all levels. The erosion of values has led to the spread of
callous selfishness, unlimited greed, bribery, corruption narrowism, rowdyism, hooliganism,
violence, destruction abuse of human rights, gross injustice, frustration and crisis of character.

(1) Erosion of Political Values

We are living in a state of political tension, economic stresses, fears and frustrations.
Exploitation, corruption, disaster, destruction, selfishness and violence are having their head
high. There is chaos, turmoil and disordy Causes (factors) of erosion of political values are given

1. Loss of leadership : There is lack of true leadership. Political leaders are motivated by
their party politics. Many high-ups in the political circles do not deserve the rank but they
continue holding it shamelessly.

2. Political exploitation : Most of the political leaders exploit the masses to achieve their
narrow selfish ends. National interests are sacrificed for personal petty interests. Political
rivalries get priority in the national agenda. The masses are misguided and used against
the rival groups.

3. Lack of code of conduct : Politicians lack code of conduct. They are above the laws of
the land and constitutional directives. They indulge in political corruption. Our Assembly
Halls and Parliament House have lost their charm and dignity.

4. Police atrocities : Police atrocities and brutalities are commuted on the advice of

5. Scandals and indiscipline : Lawlessness, scandals, militancy, nondemocratic tendencies

and indiscipline are on the increase in the society. Often politics is involved.
Consequently national progress, integrity, freedom and sovereignty are at stake.

(2) Erosion of Social Values

The present position of Indian society and the erosion of social values has been analysed
by Dr. Sampuran Singh in his book ‘The Holistic Education’. In its foreword Vimla Thakur
writes, “Thoughts, ideologies, codes of conduct and sets of values, psychological pattern of
behaviour have failed in transforming man. Man with the help of thought organization, has
created a marvellous scientific and technological world, but human being, as an individual, is
unhappy and frustrated, not at peace with himself, not at harmony with the different layers of his

1. Caste system : Caste system is prevailing in the society. It is proving a serious obstacle
to social progress and the establishment of a democratic, society. It is opposed to
2. Social disorganization: disorganization Our society is being rapidly fragmented into
small units because of the influence of casteism, linguism, provincialism and
communalism. As a result one finds social disorganization.
3. Marital disorganization : The number of disorganised marriages is increasing due to the
dowry, increase in divorce rate and changes in the functions of family.
4. Maipractices : All types of corruption, bribery, dishonesty, disloyalty, nepotism and
other ma from the top to low are increasing.
5. Materialistic attitude : People are becoming more and more money -minded and
materialistic. They want to collect more and more money by one way or the other at the
cost of values. They want to become rich over night through illegal means or corrupt

6. Selfishness : People have become the victims of callous selfishness, egoism and
unlimited greed. They have their own axe to grind in every field of life.

7. Social indiscipline : Social indiscipline is on the increase. There is gross violation of

social values, social norms and social conduct. There is lack of social discipline, social
courtesy, social sensitiveness and respect for elders.

8. No justice : We do not get justice. Social justice has become a thing of the past. As a
result most of the people are frustrated, dejected and unhappy.

9. No social sensitiveness : Love, affection, industriousness, co op fellow-feeling,

brotherhood of man, welfare of others, equality, fraternity and social sensitiveness are
disappearing. These are not viewed as social values. People do not adhere to these values.

10. Social exploitation : There is social exploitation everywhere. People do not hesitate to
exploit others for their own benefit. The present society has lost its faith in social, cultural
and moral values. Hence one finds complete disorganisation of values. This acts as a
serious impediment to values.

(3) Erosion of Economic Values:

There is erosion of economic values. Erosion of these values may be attributed to the following
factors or causes:

1. Development of science and technology : We are living in the age of science and
technology. Science and technology have given us abundant power. Unintelligent and
wrong use of this power can destroy the entire human race and other forms of life on
earth. Advancement of science and technology has given birth to cut-throat competition,
materialism and barbarism.

2. Rise of materialism : With emergence of materialism man has (become a machine. He is

so busy in amassing wealth that he has discarded values like honesty, social service,
service of mankind, perseverance and patience.

3. Growth of industrialization and urbanization : With the coming up of science and

technology there is a tendency towards industrialisation and consequently urbanisation.
The growth of industrialisation and urbanization has given birth to commercial outlook to
life in its varied traditional joint family system is disappearing and the single family
system is increasing. These changes have caused erosion of values.

4. Influence of psychological movement: Psychological movement has considerably

influenced the value system. Psychology attaches importance to instincts, drives, urges,
impulses, desires and motives etc. As a result man has become a slave these tendencies.
He is losing touch with the values.

Sources of Values

1. Religion: Religion is the most powerful source of value, norms or standards. Most of
values, norms or standards are derived from and given by religion. Etymologically the
word religion is derived from the word ‘religare’ which means ‘to bind man to man’. As
such religion signifies those morals bonds of love, sacrifice and social service which hold
the human community together.

Religion is the sum total of all the desirable social, moral and spiritual values embodied
in our conduct, character and life.

Different religions prescribe different value patterns. Hindu religion emphasizes self,
realization or Moksha or ultimate goal of life. Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, Islam and
other religions of the world recommend the following values of life.

(1) Self –control, (2) Social sacrifice, (3) Non-violence, (4) Truth, (5) Social service, (6)
Simplicity, (7) Purity, (8) Devotion, (9) Dignity of labour, (10) Piety, (11) Tolerance, (12) Love,
(13) High character, (14) Prayer, (15) Broad-mindednes

2. Philosophy : Philosophy is another important source of values. Philosophy has been

defined as the study of epistemology, metaphysics, logic, ethics, aesthetics and values. Different
philosophies of life and education like Materialism, Naturalism, Pragmatism, Idealism, Realism,
Existentialism. Humanism, Progressive particular values of life based on their own

3. Literature : Literature is another important and effective source of values. Literature and
social life are closely related to each other. Values of social life are reflected in different forms of
literature, such as poems, stories, novels, dramas, etc. Generally the study of literature inculcates
right types of attitudes, interests, preferences, feelings, emotions and values. It develops thinking,
reasoning, imagination and value system of the people. Literature determines the following types
of values:

(1) Literary values, (2) Social values, (3) Scientific values, (4) Cultural values, (5) Moral
values (6) Human values (7) National values, (8) Democratic values, (9) Secular values, (10)
Values of brotherhood of man, (11) Spiritual values.

4. Social customs : Social customs are also significant source of values: Social customs
such as social beliefs, social practices, social norms, social mores, manners, social and cultural
heritage, modes of thinking and conduct, modes of worship, place of women in society,
institution of marriage, joint or nuclear families, professions, skills, art and various aspects (i.e.,
music, dance, sculpture, painting), commerce and industries, school, libçary, cinema halls and
spiritual wealth advocate different types of values.

(a) Social customs in Ancient India : The cherished educational’ values in ancient India
were (1) Infusion of piety and religiousness, (2) Formation of character, (3) Development of
personality, (4) Inculcation of civic and social duties, (5) Promotion of social and happiness, (6)
Preservation and propagation of culture.

5. Science : Science is a social activity, a social institution and an important source of

values. Science has played a tremendous role in our lives and is now changing our entire
existence in such important aspects of health, education, production, transportation,
communication, occupational trends, centralization and national policy. It profoundly influences
social organizations, and cultural, moral, attitudinal and aesthetic sensitiveness. Thus science
influences material as well as non- material aspects of culture including religion, philosophy,
literature, educational and recreational institutions economic and political institutions and other
cultural patterns.

(i) Source of moral values : Science has provided a unique training in I by teaching
truthfulness, honesty, tolerance, self-reliance in reasoning. A true scientist has a high regard for
truth. His judgements are above re and rest on facts alone.

(ii) Source of aesthetic values :Science has developed appreciation for Truth, Beauty and
Goodness. Every scientist has a passion for Truth, Beauty and Goodness. In the words of Keat,
“Truth is Beauty.” Scientist comes to beauty through reasoning and truthfulness.

(iii) Source of cultural values : Science induces a sense of humility in t of the mysteries of
nature. It has led to the development of a logical mind, a critical judgement, a capacity for
systematic organization, a breadth of imagination and good habits.

(iv) Scientific attitudes : Science has cultivated scientific attitudes. It has inculcated open-
mindedness, keen observation, critical thinking, intelligent judgment, .free from false belief etc.
It has loosened the bond of dogmatism and acts as a powerful dispeller of fear and superstition,
fatalism and passive resignation. A man with scientific attitude respects other points of view and
is ready to change his decision on presentation of new and convincing evidence. Thus science
reinforces the values of rational thought, broad-mindedness, tolerance, honesty, humility, respect
for other man’s point of view, co-operation, brotherly spirit and appreciation for Truth, Beauty
and Goodness.