Kd's e-pathsala Introduction to Education Aims of Education: Individual, Social, Vocational and Democratic Aim

Aims of Education: Individual, Social, Vocational and Democratic Aim

In the history of philosophy generally, one notices progress in ideas and their practical application when the questions are rephrased. With persistence in posing the ‘wrong’ question one cannot arrive at a suitable answer which is practically applicable. The aim of education is to provide direction to the process of education. Without proper guidance a person is not able to move towards his desired path. “Aimless life is like a rudderless ship”. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to have a precise goal of education. But, human life is always dynamic and never stops at one place. So the goal of education has to keep pace with the dynamic society, otherwise the goal of education will lose its relevance. Therefore, there is an importance for educational goals. Some of which are mentioned below-


1. Aims are necessary to assess the outcomes of the educational process.
2. Aims give continuity and significance to education.
3. It helps in determining the objectives of the learning process.
4. Makes the learning process more meaningful.
5. Assists in completing work in an orderly and precise manner.


Any attempt to formulate educational aims for ‘the society’ without consideration of the needs of those who make up the society, will ultimately fail. Education for the ‘needs’ of the society or ‘task-oriented education’ inhibits intellectual and emotional growth and results in lack of creative intelligence, lack of vision and lack of wisdom. There are different aims of education like social aim, vocational aim, cultural aim, moral aim, spiritual aim, intellectual aim, etc. Some of the aims of education and their brief discussion are given below.

  1. Individual Aim
  2. Social Aim
  3. Vocational Aim
  4. Democratic Aim

Individual Aim

Every individual is different from others. Biologists believe that every child is a new and unique character and a different perspectives with life. Thompson says “education is for the individual”. The individual aim of education is the type of aim that is developed depending on a person’s individuality, i.e. his/her likes and dislikes, good and bad, needs, abilities etc. According to the individualistic view, the individual aim of education is to preserve the individuality of the individual and help in his moral, intellectual and spiritual development. Every child is born with his own unique potential, education develops this potential. For believers in this doctrine, the needs of the individual are the main consideration. Educators such as Froebel, Pestalozzi, Montessori, Vivekananda, Rabindranath have supported this type of goal of education.

Social Aim

Apart from the individual aim of education, there is another aim which is the social aim, which develops social qualities in the learner. According to socialist view, education is a social responsibility. Its purpose will be to engage itself in the path of social welfare, education will be such that the society will be nourished. Individuals have no separate existence outside society. Social aim which means that education should produce effective individuals in the sense that they realize their responsibilities towards the society. The interactive ability of man, a social being is must as it is through interaction that man comes to know of his responsibilities. Believers in this doctrine believe that society comes first and then the individual. This type of aim of education places more importance on the society than the individual. According to John Dewey, education should make each individual socially efficient and this social efficiency must be achieved through the positive use of individual powers and capacities in social occupations. Educationists such as Hobbes, Hegel, Herbert, Dewey supported this type of aim of education.

Vocational Aim

Vocational aim of education means to make the individual fit for future career and to guide him towards earning career and livelihood in future life. Process of education makes the individual capable of his livelihood, so that he can be useful and lead a productive life in society. A person needs money to live happily, prosperously and healthily and money comes through earning, so this kind of education aims to make the child suitable to earn money by his own skills and choose the right career instead of depending on others. Vocational aim has a utilitarian dimension too. Education provides knowledge and skills to an individual in a fruitful manner.
Mahatma Gandhi said that, “Everybody should be a producer as well as a good citizen and not a sponge on another person,”. He also emphasized the same point when he said that body, mind and spirit all should be developed by education.


Democratic Aim

A very important aim of education is the democratic aim. Democratic aim mean the goals set to develop the mindset of maintaining mutual harmony and equality among the citizens of the country, prepare good citizens and build a good country run by good citizens. Inculcation of children in democratic ideals is the main topic of discussion.


Views Against Individual and Social Aims of Education

Views Against Individual Aim

1. If education focuses entirely on the individual, the social welfare aspect of education is completely neglected.

2. This type of education aims to make the child self-centered and selfish.

3. According to the individualistic aim of education, if the individual is left with complete freedom, then different corruptions will arise in him.

4. The aim of modern education is the all-round development of the student, which is not possible without the development of social qualities of the child.

Views Against Social Aim

1. Social needs, norms, abilities, relationships, values ​​are given more importance in the social aim. As a result, the child’s own interests and needs are completely neglected.

2. Such aim of education do not emphasize the inherent potential of the child.

3. Social aims have no place in the formation of children’s moral values.

4. It reduces an individual to a mere non-entity.



  • Ravi, S. Samuel. A Comprehensive Study of Education. PHI Learning Private Limited, Delhi.