Progressive Ideas and the Idea of the Tapovana

  • Kumkum BhattacharyaEmail author
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Education book series (BRIEFSEDUCAT)


The model of the ancient hermitage (tapovana/asrama) served as the prototype of Tagore’s school established in 1901 in the rural area of Santiniketan, away from the city of Calcutta named Brahmacharyashram that was later renamed Patha Bhavana. He desired to situate the school in the midst of nature in a wide expanse of land. The chapter describes how Tagore transformed his vision to practically create the asrama of his ideals. In spite of the fact that Tagore was not a theoretician in education per se, he proved his consummate control over the practice of education that stood the test of time. In this chapter, there is a discussion of the educational writings of Tagore prior to his decision to start a school. We find in these writings a passionate plea for the need to rethink about the nature of education that would be appropriate to the Indian ethos and social reality; there is a detailed discussion about the medium of instruction; about the content of study; the absorption and use of knowledge, as well as the aims and objectives of education. In fact, India is still trying to find an effective solution to Tagore’s concern for the colonial emphasis on English as a medium of instruction in the modern education system. Tagore was equally concerned about the disconnect between the educated and those who had not been educated. He expressed the view that it was the social responsibility of the educated to bridge such gaps and extend themselves to the community at large.


Hermitage as prototype of school Indian ethos and education Links between the educated and uneducated Education and community 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Visva-Bharati UniversitySriniketanIndia

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