The concept of modernization has been used to describe and explain aspects of contemporary social change. The complex and interrelated series of changes in man’s way of life is generally referred to as modernization.

This concept was used in the 19th and early 20th centuries, to refer to the growth of rationality and secularism and to a process by which man broke away from the constraints of tyrannical regimes as well as superstitions.

Further, this concept gives way to the welfare of mankind. The different social sciences disciplines have different viewpoints regarding the process of modernization.

Definition

According to Dube, ‘Modernization is a process or a movement from traditional or quasi-traditional order to certain desired types of technology and associated form of social structure, value orientations, motivations, and norms’. Thus, it involves a great deal of value change and significant modification in the social institutions. It also brings certain value and attitudinal changes.

According to some scholars, modernization is not in the character of the society, but in the character of the individuals. Some of the attributes of modernization are empathy, rational outlook, social, economic, and political discipline increase in personal freedom, confidence and competence, faith in the desirability and possibility of change, etc.

In fact, it refers to a shift in ideas and aspirations. Besides, modernization refers more to values, aptitudes, styles, and way of living of people and it moves towards development.

Role of Education in Modernization

Education is the key that unlocks the door to modernization. Therefore, experts in the field of education are of the opinion that the way to modernize is to spread education, to procure educated and skilled citizens, and train an adequate competent intelligentsia.

In fact, it is education that can develop in man the requisite skills needed for a technologically advanced and economically progressive society.

It is education that can enlarge horizons and raise aspirations. Besides, education can provide the discipline needed in a new life.

It is education that brings about attitudinal change and change in the value system. Empathy the condition for voluntary movement out of the traditional modes of living is a product of education.

Also, it is education that promotes modernization by diffusing a scientific world view, promoting science-based technology, and bringing about rapid social and cultural changes. Education modernizes society by promoting the values of liberty, rationalism, universalism, secularism, democratic living, etc.

Education prepares individuals to tolerate and expect change. The various attributes of modernization are developed through the system of education. The basic objective of education is to change the outlook of the people. This change is envisaged to come from within the minds of the people and no external stimulus needs to be applied.

Hence, it is right to conclude that the most significant agency to bring about attitudinal modernity is education and this attitudinal modernity is a necessary prerequisite in the socio-economic progress of the society.

The Main Features of Modernization

The main features of modernization are:

  1. Science of knowledge
  2. Explosion of knowledge
  3. Also, rapid social and cultural changes.

At the societal level, modernization involves urbanization, diffusion of scientific world view, the emergence of new institutions on the basis of specialization, scientific planning, rationalism, mechanization, universalism, secularism, social and also geographical mobility. At the individual level, it involves changes in attitudes, values, and behavior patterns.

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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