Realism: Everything You Need to Know

This refers to a philosophical school of thought that believes that the material world exists outside of ideas and ideologies. Realism opines that things can be known as they actually are. It aims at building an ability in learners to deal with the problems and get happiness out of life. Realism has both merits and demerits.

The merits of realism include:

·         Realism gives emphasis to functional knowledge and practical knowledge. It’s only such type of knowledge that makes an individual successful in life.

·       The objectives of education provided by realism may not be highly exalting, but at least they’re very important and useful. It’s a very important aim to develop an adaptable and dynamic mind to cope with life situations.

·         Realism provides due importance to science and technology in its scheme of curriculum. Only science and technology can raise the standard of living of millions throughout the world. No country can make progress without utilizing science and technology.

·         Heuristic method, Dalton plan, correlation, etc., are all gifts of realism in the arena of teaching methods. All students are expected to investigate for themselves instead of accepting things dogmatically.

·        Realism favors emancipationistic and impressionistic types of discipline. According to this, school discipline should be based on sympathy, understanding, and love instead of authority.

·        Realism promotes the development of proper attitudes like rational judgment and objective thinking among the students. It also emphasizes sympathy, love, and fellow feeling.

The demerits of realism include:

·         Critics opine that realism overlooks the ultimate reality of the spiritual world on account of its passion for the immediate reality of the material world. But the immediate reality as recognized via the senses and interpreted by intellect gets its significance only from the ultimate reality, and the former cannot be isolated from the latter.

·         Realism overlooks the importance of imaginations, emotions, etc., which are also highly important in human life.

·         According to realism, all the knowledge is gained from experimentation and observation. It doesn’t accept the claims of intuition and meditation as superior sources of getting knowledge.

·         Realism excessively emphasizes science and technology and altogether overlooks the importance of the non-material subjects such as art, culture, religion, etc. According to critics, science and technology don’t by themselves have any value unless they act as instruments for developing people’s moral and aesthetic life.

·         Realism has no faith in the highest ideals of life and eternal values. It has faith only in the harsh practical aspects of daily life.

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