Influence of Education on Culture

Wherever there are human groups there is culture, i. e. a man-made part of environment and learned patterns of behaviour. Wherever there is culture, it is diffused and transmitted to succeeding generations by education. Since human beings live in groups, we might say that wherever there are human beings there is culture and education in various forms. School education is limited mainly to literate cultures. The role of education is much smaller in non-literate groups. Just as culture influences education, much is the same way education also exerts a powerful influence upon the culture of a country. Following are the various ways by which education influences the culture of country.
1. Preservation of culture:
Each country believes and flaunts the superiority of its own culture over the rest. Hence it tries to preserve its culture in its original form. Education is the only means to complete this task. Thus education preserves the culture of the society.
2. Transmission of culture:
the process of preservation includes the process of transmission as well. Transmission of culture from one generation to another is the best guarantee of its preservation. In the words of Ottaway, the famous sociologist, ―The function of education is to transmit the social values and ideals to the young and capable members of the society‖.
3. Development of culture:
The function of education is to bring about the needed and desirable changes in the cultural ideals and values for the progress and continued development of society, without which social progress will stratify and come to a naught. Education accultures individuals, modifies cultural processes by research and deeper investigations into all areas of human requirements.
4. Continuity of culture: Culture is the life blood of society. Without culture a society is bound to decay and die sooner or later. Education upholds the continuity of culture through its diverse activities and programmes. A society establishes schools to preserve and transmit its culture from generation to generation. It is found that some schools try to develop undesirable cultural chauvinism and superiority complexes among its children. Children should be motivated to learn more and more from cultural interaction among various cultures. Ideally education should help them to develop the qualities of tolerance and adjustment along with mutual give and take attitude. This cultural integration and cultural synthesis is the dire need of the world society in modern times. Dr. S. Radhakrishnan says that one of the important aspects of Indian culture is its perennial nature. He observed; ―the more Indian culture changes, the more it remains the same. The power of Indian spirit has sustained us through difficult times. It is the intangibles that give a nation its character and vitality‖.
5. Development of personality:
Education employs diverse cultural patterns of thinking, behaviour and items of cultural values so that children are physically, mentally, socially and emotionally developed to the maximum extent. Thus education aims at developing the personality of the child.
6. Removing cultural lag:
 Material culture develops at a fast pace due to scientific researches and innovations, whereas non-material culture consisting of ideals, values and norms lags behind creating a gulf between the two. Education is the only means to bridge this cultural lag by its activities and programmes of development.
7. Attaining unity:
 For the unity of mankind, there should be diffusion of culture of various groups in the world. The cultural isolation should go, and there should be no iron curtain between one culture and another. Dr. Zakir Hussain observes, ―The characteristic mark of an educated man should be a positive attitude towards the goals of culture, that is, towards the ultimate objective values. The attitude should be the cherished product of educational and institutional activity‖.
8. Correction of cultural ills:
Education is corrective for the cultural ills. By explaining the dimensions of culture, education corrects egoism and false individuation. Educational enlightenment does not imply only aesthetic appreciation of art and beauty, it also means having kind and generous heart and soul. Culture liberates the mind. Literacy and moral education and education in arts constitutes real techniques for realization of the cultural values.
9. Education and racial prejudices and antagonism:
Education reduces racial prejudices and antagonism, which result from ideas about other cultures. Imbibing of one‘s own culture, taking pride in it and preserving the same is a patriotic act. But resisting any change in it shutting doors to the entry of other cultural patterns and maintaining a strong iron curtain to preserve one‘s culture shows jingoism. It is not conducive to the cultural growth. Cultural diffusion is good for the individual cultural group, and for the humanity as a whole.
10. Human culture as a whole:
Too much of emphasis on one‘s own culture will lead to disunity and lack of international understanding which is one of the tasks of education This is possible by bringing about diffusion of various cultures. Education should treat human culture as whole, ―like a flower with different petals, and each petal representing one cultural group‖. Education should strive for unity in diversity and not over-emphasise diversity.
11. Function of school:
 A school is the simplified environment to explain the present culture of the society and the school education makes the child imbibe the same and even makes its own contribution. The school (in its broader meaning) determines the quality of culture with a view to play the role of cultural construction-agent. Education, being the absorber and reflector of culture, is the best medium for the initiation of the rising generation into the cultural norms and process of the society. Due to the concerted efforts of the government and other agencies in the area of education people have come to realize the importance of education. More and more people are taking interest in education. Parents want to send their children to schools. Of late there is an enhanced demand for English education. More and more English medium schools International Schools, ICSE, CBSE, and State Board Schools are opened and they all get enough and more students. This is a clear indication of the trend in motion. This is the result of renewed demand for quality education. This has been accelerated by the impact of Globalization also. Co-education, now a days, receive better acceptance by the society. The intensity of resistance against sex education in schools now faces less opposition. All these can be considered as the positive results of education.
12. Inter-cultural understanding:
Education can promote inter-cultural understanding among various cultures. To quote Dr. S. Radhakrisnan, ―the greatness of a nation is to be measured not by its material power and wealth but by the inter-cultural relationships of its people‖. Inter-cultural understanding refers to the development of that insight and attitude in the individuals who, rising above their own selfish and narrow interest, find out the really valuable items in all other cultures, besides their own. It is now realised by educational planners and educationists alike that we should provide such educational experiences and programmes which develop this understanding of other‘s culture and that development of such understanding will promote co-operation and through a process of give and take, a cultural synthesis will take place. Education will be able to achieve the goal of national culture so essential to national unity and national integration. Klausmeir says ―Inter cultural education is concerned with helping students to understand the differences and likeness of individuals who comprise our society and the world‖.
13. Education of culture and for culture:
 Culture enables a person to appreciate good ideas and art. It enlivens human interests and social efficiency. A cultured person is neither too assertive nor too dogmatic and aggressive. He does not manifest extremes of passions or violence of feelings or extravagance of language. Education plays a crucial role in the making of such persons.
14. Flux in the traditional culture:
Culture is in constant flux. It changes as society changes. No nation has had constant cultural traditions. India is no exception to it. Every generation adds something new and modifies something old. The family bond in India is considered to be one of the strongest in the world. The joint family system is gradually disappearing giving way to nuclear family, bringing freedom, although at the same time accentuating loneliness and insecurity. We can see that the pattern of nuclear family and its culture is being accepted among the educated rapidly, among the semi-educated progressively and among the illiterate gradually. Due to education, and coming to contact with other cultures, our food habits are changing, our dress pattern is changing, our appreciation of art has new criteria time to time, and our religious beliefs are undergoing change. Majority of people have come to welcome these changes without much resistance even though there is a sort of resistance from certain quarters due to vested interest or pressure from certain religious sects etc.
Development in education has given an impetuous in the socialization of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes there by giving them a feeling of oneness with all other castes in India. Another outcome of educational development is that the number of inter-caste marriages is on the rise. This has also resulted in a ceaseless campaign against dowry system, to ban which several State Governments have passed legislations. The technological advancement, the result of education has helped him change his living habits. Machines are taking over more and more of man‘s mechanical activities. Now he has more leisure time at his disposal. There is tremendous burst of inventive skills. The scientific attitude and training is relieving the Indian of his static background of the inherited past of dogma, superstitions, inflexibility, and loaded moral values and predetermined behavioural patterns. Today the Indian mind carries not only its racial and cultural memories but also the technological and scientific truths of others. The population explosion is the single largest factor responsible for the breakdown of environmental patterns and social and economic mores. The impact of this is visible on all aspects of life. The small family norm is widely accepted among the educated. The media especially the visual media has helped in educating even the illiterate about the ill effects of having more children in one household, and weakening the wrong cultural belief of having a son for lighting the pyre and rendered meaningless many other cultural ills of the society.
15. Women’s status
It is on the rising in the Indian society. More and more people have come to accept the equality of sexes. The legislations by the Central Government and State Governments and the programmes of governmental and non-governmental organizations have given a fillip to this cause. Right to education, equal right to parental property, right to employment, equal wages for equal work, etc. have brought tremendous changes in the status of women and far reaching implications in the social, familial, cultural, economic, political, and other aspects of life. The recent attempt to pass the ‗Women‘s Reservation Bill‘ in the two Houses of Central Government is a clear indication of the sort of changes taking place in this direction.
Education has brought cultural changes in the distribution of possessions and rewards to women. Women now have equal rights in the parental property. Equal wages for equal job is an accepted norm at all levels. Of course resistance can be seen in various quarters. But further spread of education is sure to bring changes in the mind set of people and the positive attitude will become an integral part of our culture.
 16. Realization of common culture by human beings:
 Education is intimately bonded with the intellectual, emotional, cultural and social life of the human race. On the one hand it enables the individual to realise the qualities with which he is endowed and on the other hand it gives him the realisation that all human beings share a common culture, which contributes to the common good. In the words of Addison, ―Education, when it works on a noble mind, draws out to view every latent virtue and perfection‖. Education derives its meaning and strength from the surrounding environment of things and men. So it cannot ignore the cultural values, which give meaning to the environment. Man learns from the circumstances in which he lives, the people he meets, the ideas he receives and the geographical situations and times of history. Education is the vital configuration of the societal system, shaping the personality of younger generation and their culture raising them for life and preparing them for the kind of society they live in and they should live in. 17. Attitude towards child labour
It is another field where we find drastic changes in values. There is a culture developed in the Indian society against employing children in carpet industry and other fields. Due to the efforts of government, the enactment of law making education free and compulsory for children between the age group of 6 – 14, the positive role of media and voluntary organisations in this direction and various programmes of government involving local people like Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Adult education programs, have educated even the common public about the need and importance of education. This has resulted in more and more children and adults taking into education. They are becoming more and more aware of their rights and duties. The welfare programmes get more acceptance and diffused easily. Still there is a long way to go and much to be done in this regard.
18. Teacher as cultural reconstruction-agent:
A resourceful teacher with his discontentment of things as they are can evolve new models of culture in conformity with the emerging aspirations of the society, through formal and non-formal education. This will enable the young to develop adaptive capacities and adjust to changes in the society. In the ultimate analysis the teacher is the conservator and democratic mediator of culture. He is the architect of the culture-to-be by drawing upon the old cultural experiences and reconstructing new experiences thus producing innovations.