Naturalism is the philosophy that separates nature from God, subordinates spirit to matter and set up unchangeable laws as supreme. In naturalism efforts are made to develop personality of a child in order to make him a natural man. According to naturalism, the personality of the child disintegrates in the attempt for making it cultured and civilized. It is like destroying the useful elements of food in the attempt of making it delicious.

                                Rousseau, in his book ‘Emile’, advises to follow the nature. According to him , the teaching process should not be difficult , rather it should be made easy as far as possible and children should get opportunities for contact with nature, experience reality directly and discover the process of learning themselves, instead of making them dependent on written word.

                                 According to Naturalism there are two types of nature that is (i) Physical Nature and (ii) Psychology of the Child. They believes that when psychology of the child corresponds with physical nature than only learning happens.

Principles of Naturalism:
  1. Nature is the ultimate reality. So the child should be encouraged to learn with the nature.
  2. It gives full freedom to the child so that they can learn whatever they want.
  3. According to this philosophy senses are the gateway of knowledge.
  4. They encourages negative education and discourages traditional teachings.
  5. In addition they believe in child centered education and opposes bookish knowledge.
  6. They supports science education and has no faith on soul.

“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.”  –William Shakespeare

Aim of Education in Naturalism:
  1. Education should aim at perfect development of individuality.
  2. It serves as a mean to attain present as well as future happiness.
  3. Indeed education should enable a child to adapt with their environment.
  4. In particular education prepares the child for future struggles of life.
  5. To enhance self expression of the child.
  6. It should aims at natural development of the child.  

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Idealism In education

Curriculum framing principles of Naturalism:
  1. Principle of child centered education that means curriculum should be framed according to the needs, interest, aptitude of students.
  2. Principle of flexibility that seeks a flexible curriculum according to the need.
  3. The principle of activity and play or activity based curriculum.
  4. Principle of life centeredness that means curriculum should relate with the life of the people.
  5. The principle of scientific study.
  6. Principle of broad based curriculum with equal emphasis on past, present and future.
  7. Moreover, gives importance to the subjects like Nature study, Agriculture, Gardening, Art, Craft, Botany, Geology, Geography etc.
Method of Teaching in Naturalism:
  1. Learning by doing method in order to ensure active involvement of students  in the teaching learning process.
  2. Play way method.
  3. Learning by experience or activity method.
  4. Self government and self effort of students to learn by themselves.
  5. Observation method where students observes their surrounding environment, peoples, things and learn from his observation.
  6. They follow different methods of teaching according to the interests, capacities and aptitude of the child.
  7. OTHERS: Apart from this method naturalists adopt Dalton Plan, Kindergarten, Excursion method, Montessori method, Experimentation method etc.
Role Of Teachers in Naturalism:
  1. Teacher must be a friend of the child.
  2. Also teacher should behave sympathetically and affectionately towards the children.
  3. Particularly, nature is the Supreme teacher.
  4. The teacher should understand about the child, his needs, interests etc.
  5. Teacher is called to be a stage setter who gives the stage to students to learn by themselves.
  6. Teacher should create and facilitate learning situations or environment so that students learns themselves.
Discipline in Naturalism:
  1. Naturalist gives full freedom to the child to perform as well as learn whatever he likes.
  2. There is full freedom, free society as well as no punishment.
  3. Moreover, naturalists assumes that the child has no knowledge of good and bad, but he suffers pain when he makes a mistake, and pleasure when he does something right. Thus he gets reward or punishment for his actions.
Merits of Naturalism:
  1. It gives the child a very important place in the educational process. It treats a child as child, and not as a adult. The child is good and pure at the time of birth.
  2. Further, it considers nature as the best teacher in whose company the child learns better because society is full of evils.
  3. Also it considers individual interests, aptitudes, inclination, needs and capacities while structuring the curriculum.
  4. It prepares and encourages the child to engage in experimentation, discoveries and inventions.
  5. It motivates the child to acquire more knowledge in natural environment.
Demerits of Naturalism:
  1. Nature centered study makes the child unsocial with no feeling of social service.
  2. Naturalism ignores the spiritual world and considers the material world only.
  3. Naturalism lays stress on solution for the present needs and problems of an individual and neglects his future needs and problems. As a result it has failed to prepare the child for future life.
  4. Naturalism advocates unrestricted freedom for the child to develop himself naturally. This is undesirable and harmful for the child.
  5. It minimizes the role of the teacher in the educative process. Therefore the teacher is merely an observer, sympathetic guide and helps in structuring experience for the child.

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