This article explains the Relationship between Culture and Education. However, before we directly jumped into the Relationship between Culture and Education, let us quickly understand the meaning of culture.

Culture is referred to the total patterns of a society’s life. It is composed of integrated customs, traditions, and current behavior patterns of a human group. It is that complex and any other capabilities acquired by man as a member of society. The implications of the word culture for education are profound. Social living is influenced by education and education itself is governed by social life.

Relationship between Culture and Education

The total pattern of a society’s life determines education and education molds the total pattern of society’s life. Education produces a cultured man and is also nurtured by the cultured man. The intimate relationship between culture and education is evident from the fact that one of the major aims of education is to impart to the child his cultural heritage, the social heritage.

It is through education that the culture of the group is communicated to the child, thereby acquainting him with the traditions, customs, values, and patterns of conduct prevailing in his group. This knowledge enables him to adapt to the social environment and thus achieve his socialization.

The child’s cultural education begins at home and it is in the family that he participates in the elements of culture and the parents and other members of the family educate the child in the various means of culture such as traditions, customs, values, beliefs, etc.

Culture is learned. It is social heredity. The process of transmission of culture when formally or informally organized refers to the education of the child. Transmission of the cultural patterns is one of the important functions of education. It is through the medium of education that the elements of culture are handed down to the next generation. The school is a significant formal agency that transmits culture to the younger generation.

The customs and traditions, rules of etiquette, and manners are taught both by instruction and by example. It trains the educands in the regional and national culture. Culture is constituted of the norms, customs, traditions, rules of behavior, etc. all these are reflected in the social life of the school. The school pays attention to transmit the refined elements of culture and this is done through various means of socialization. Therefore, education helps in the transmission of culture.

Education is not only concerned with the transmission of culture it also builds new cultural patterns. It brings changes in the existing culture. These changes are necessitated due to the cross-cultural contents or due to the building of new knowledge.

The individual is equipped to bring the cultural changes so as to meet his needs in a changing environment and is prepared to adjust his life in which he had been born or is living. Therefore, it is education that brings the needed and desirable changes in the cultural values and ideals for the progress of the society.

Education helps to determine what needs to be transmitted in the light of the present and the future needs of society. Education is not only concerned with simple transmission but its importance lies in preparing the child to meet the needs of society. Since society is continually changing, its needs also go on changing. It is for meeting the changing needs and also for bringing about the desirable changes in the society that education is needed. In fact, it is education that determines what changes are to be initiated and in which elements of culture.

It determines the nature of cultural changes that ought to be brought about. Education not only transmits and preserves culture, but it also adds to the culture and keeps it growing, developing. It is education that enriches culture.

It is cultural education that enables an individual to adapt to his social and natural environment and to develop his personality, through the process called socialization.

For every society, stability and change both are essential. Stability is required to keep its values, norms, traditions, and customs intact and to save it from disintegration. Whereas, change is required to avoid stagnation and to keep the members of the society equipped to adjust to the changes.

Hence all the members of the society must learn the established patterns of behavior and modes of thinking to new and emerging values. Therefore, it is education that preserves the elements of culture and keeps it intact, and saves it from disintegration. It also fosters changes in culture to avoid stagnation.

Education is required to perform the functions of transmission fulfillment and enrichment, acceptance and reformation change, and reconstruction. It transmits the culture to the new generation and transforms the outlook of the young towards life, in the context of cross-cultural influences and in the light of the future requirements for the individual and the society.

It provides for the fulfillment of the need of the individual and makes his life rich by orienting him with the cultural attainments of the race. Education also helps the individual in developing a behavior pattern that makes him acceptable in a cultural milieu and also equips him for reformulating the cultural milieu with the experiences gained by him. Education equips the individual for bringing about cultural changes and for reconstructing a new cultural pattern.

Thus, in short, we may say the relationship between education and culture as:

  1. Education is the product of culture
  2. Education functions towards the transmission and preservation of culture
  3. Also, education leads to cultural changes
  4. Education equips the individual to adjust himself to the changing cultural patterns.

Thus, education equips the individual for bringing about cultural changes and for constructing new cultural patterns.

Elements of Culture

The various elements are:

Adapt to the Natural Environment

Man lives in a definite natural environment to which he must adapt and adjust. So he makes necessary inventions to adapt to the environment and this adaptation from an important pan of the culture. Differences in culture arise in different communities. Each member behaves in a definite way to adapt to his respective environment. These modes of behavior are taught to the younger generation and it is these modes of behavior that go to make culture.

Adapt to the Social Environment

Culture includes customs, traditions, the patterns of current behavior, etc. It includes our beliefs, values, and social institutions. All these help an individual to adapt to his social environment and these cultural patterns undergo change as the social environment itself changes.

Further, it determines the patterns of social control, through which the individual is subjected to the coercion of the group. The culture of the group is communicated to a child through education thereby acquainting him with the traditions, customs, and values of the group. This knowledge enables him to adapt to the social environment and thus achieve his socialization.

Develop his Personality

The personality of an individual is manifested through his pattern of behavior. This behavior is influenced by the culture of his group. Culture influences the physical, mental, social, moral, and aesthetic aspects of the individual. The behavior of an individual is determined by culture.

Socialization

Culture plays an important role in socializing the individual. It enables him to adapt to the social environment and thus achieve his socialization. He acquires the culture of his group, where the individual learns to control his behavior and conform to the social norms. He gradually begins to adopt the ideas, principles, and beliefs of his group and it is only this kind of individual who is called cultured.

Definition

According to Taylor, ‘Culture is that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, customs and any other capabilities acquired by man as a member of society’.

According to Malinowski, ‘Culture comprises inherited artifacts, goods, technical process, ideas, habits, and values’.

As per Eraz Boas, ‘Culture embraces all the manifestations of social habits of a commodity, the reactions of the individuals as affected by the habits of the group in which he lives, and the products of human activities as determined by those habits’.

According to Maclver, ‘Culture is the expression of our nature in our modes of living and of thinking in our everyday intercourse of art, in literature, in religion, in reaction and enjoyments’.

Thus, culture is referred to the total patterns of a society’s life. It is revealed by everything in social life. It is a kind of behavior that manifests a certain regularity and continuity. Also, it is obtained by living in a society. It is the sum total of acquired traits and these traits and patterns are transmitted from one generation to the next.

Culture comprises both the material and non-material aspects. It consists of knowledge and belief as well as artifacts crafts, skills, etc. Also, it is the creation of men and it includes all that the group conserves for modifying his innate endowments and to meet his innate urges. It is learned and it may be called social heredity.

The term culture pattern describes the ways of behavior associated with any permanent need or function in social life. It helps in gratifying the needs and requirements of the people. In fact, it is born out of the efforts of human beings to bring about modification according to socio-material needs.

It is the culture that integrates the various groups of the community and it symbolizes the progress that man has achieved as a member of society.

Role of Culture in the life of an individual

Culture is a complex whole and in this complex whole, a child is born. A child comes with his physical endowments and he learns to modify them in order to satisfy his own needs. This learning means that the society’s patterns of culture be transmitted to him. The process of transmission of culture when formally or informally organized refers to the education of the child. Therefore, the transmission of cultural patterns is an important function of education.

The intimate relationship between culture and education is evident from the fact that one of the major aims of education is to impart to the child his cultural heritage, the social heritage. In any human group, the elements of culture evolve after years of experience which are handed down as a whole to the succeeding generations. Culture plays an important part in man’s life.

Every individual is born into a particular culture which provides him with definite patterns of behavior and values that guide his conduct in various walks of life.

Source:
A complete Guide Book of
B.A. Education Part – II
(Philosophical and Sociological Foundations of Education)
Author:
Mani Bordoloi, M.A., B.Ed.
Shillong

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