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Answered 2016-10-23 02:40:13


Social change refers to an alteration in the social order of a society. It may refer to the notion of social progress or socio cultural evolution, the philosophical idea that society moves forward by dialectical or evolutionary means. It may refer to a paradigmatic change in the socio-economic structure, for instance a shift away from feudalism and towards capitalism. Accordingly it may also refer to social revolution, such as the Socialist revolution presented in Marxism, or to other social movements, such as Women's suffrage or the Civil Rights Movement. Social change may be driven by cultural, religious, economic, scientific or technological forces. More generally, social change may include changes in nature, social institutions, social behaviours or social relations.


The role of education as an agent or instrument of social change and social development is widely recognized today. Social change may take place - when humans need change. When the existing social system or network of social institutions fails to meet the existing human needs and when new materials suggest better ways of meeting human needs.

Education can initiate social changes by bringing about a change in outlook and attitude of man. It can bring about a change in the pattern of social relationships and thereby it may cause social changes.

Earlier educational institutions and teachers used to show a specific way of life to the students and education was more a means of social control than an instrument of social change. Modern educational institutions do not place much emphasis upon transmitting a way of life to the students. The traditional education was meant for an unchanging static society not marked by any change. But today education aims at imparting knowledge. Education was associated with religion.


Education encompasses teaching and learning specific skills and also something less tangible but more profound: the imparting of knowledge good judgement and wisdom. Durkheim sees education as the socialization of the younger generation. It is a continuous effort to impose on the child ways of seeing, feeling and acting which he could not have arrived at spontaneously. Education has as one of its fundamental goals the imparting of culture from generation to generation. Culture is a growing whole. There can be no break in the continuity of culture. The cultural elements are passed on through the agents like family, school and other associations. All societies maintain themselves through their culture. Culture here refers to a set of beliefs, skills, art, literature, philosophy, religion, music etc which must be learned. This social heritage must be transmitted through social organizations. Education has this function of cultural transmission in all societies. The curriculum of a school ,its extra-curricular activities and the informal relationships among students and teachers communicate social skills and values. Through various activities school imparts values such as co-operation, team spirit, obedience, discipline etc. Education acts an integrative force in the society by communicating values that unites different sections of society. The school teach skills to the children which help them later to integrate within the culture of the society. Education in its formal or informal pattern has been performing this role since time immemorial. Education can be looked upon as process from this point of view also. Education has brought phenomenal changes in every aspect of man's life.


· Civilization change.

It refers to the dress, food habits, production technologies, communication system, etc.

· Cultural change

It is associated with new knowledge. Religion, rituals, arts, literature etc.

· Change in social relationship.

It is the relationship between the father and son, teacher and student, husband and wife, etc.


· Geographical factors like climatic conditions that influence the climatic conditions.

· Psychological factors like motivation, individualization etc

· Sociological factors like social conflicts, modernization etc.

· Explosion of population

· The environmental factors like newly built cities, industrialized and urbanized natural environment.

· The scientific and technological factors like technical advancements, new inventions, modern machineries, tools, etc.

· The ideological factors like social philosophy, political philosophy and religious philosophy.

· The legislative factors like legislation on temple entry, banning child marriages etc.

· The impact of western civilisation and cultural diffusion

· Contact of people with different countries

· The level of education and literacy attained by the society

· Modernisation of the society

· New attitudes to wealth, work, saving and risk taking

· War, natural calamities, revolutions, migration of people, etc


According to V. R. Taneja "Education and social change is a two - way traffic. While education preserves, transmits and disseminates the whole culture, social change is the instrument and precondition of educational thought.


It is noted that social change is impossible without education. Education makes the people aware of the inadequacies of the existing system and creates a craze for social reform. Many of the old superstitions, beliefs and outdated customs. Which is retard social progress, can be prevented by education. It is to be noted that many progressive reforms like Hindu Code Bill and Untouchability Removal Act remained ineffective due to the illiteracy of a large number of Indian people.


Education is considered as a powerful instrument for social change, because it deals mainly with the thought patterns and behavior patterns of younger generation. The axe of education can cut down the thick roots of traditional superstitions, ignorance and the backwardness. Education prepares the people for social change.


In the wake of social change, people become aware of the need for educational progress. The changes caused by the political upheaval, industrialization, technological progress and religious reform movements naturally demands more education in order to maintain social equilibrium. In India the enrollment in educational institutions has increased enormously since independence.

We can summarize the following relationship between education and social change in the following way:

· Education initiates the social change and gives them direction and purpose.

· Education creates the social reformers and leaders who consciously make all the efforts to bring about social changes.

· Education prepares the individual for social changes. It brings a change in the need - dispositions and also creates frustrations with the status quo.

· Education determines the nature of social changes, which ought to be brought about.

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