Plato's Ideal State and his Theory of Education
IDEAL STATE AND ITS THEORY OF EDUCATION
"The object of education is to turn the eye which the soul already possesses to the light. The whole function of education is not to put knowledge into the soul, but to bring out the best things that are latent in the soul, and to do so by directing it to the right objects. The problem of education, then, is to give it the right surrounding.
-(Plato's Republic, Book vii, 518)
No scheme of human life was so important to Plato as education. He himself calls it as "the one great thing . Birth as a criterion for distributing function has been rejected by Plato. In its place he had substituted ˜capacity' or ˜nature' as a standard. Plato's Theory of education was an indispensable necessity. It was a positive remedy for the operation of justice in the ideal state.
Spartan Influence on Plato's Scheme of Education:
In his scheme of education Plato was greatly influenced by Spartan system of education. In the Spartan system the family had no control over the education of its members. The state was controlling all aspects of education. The great purpose of education at Sparta was to develop courage through test and trials which were sometimes almost barbarous. The one great draw-back of the system of education was that it developed courage and physique both at the neglect of mind and soul. Plato borrowed from Sparta the social aspect of education that it must be controlled by the state with a view to preparing citizens to find their place in society. Thus we find that Plato rejects the Spartan curriculum if not altogether and supplements it by introducing subjects which he regarded as essential for mental & moral developments.
Plato sees in education the only true way to the permanent stability of the state. If the character of the people is sound, laws are unnecessary; if unsound, laws are useless. Its with this conviction that Plato s