Idealism says that reality is the Self or Spirit or ‘Brahma’. Therefore, the real knowledge is the knowledge about Brahma or God. In other words, self-realization or Brahma Gyan is real knowledge.
The knowledge gained through activity and creativity of the mind is much more important than the knowledge received through sense organs.
Idealism gives importance to higher values of lite. These values are perennial and eternal which never change. It considers values as absolute, changeless, perennial, timeless, and universal.
It believes that values can be neither created nor destroyed, Values are the creation of age-old discoveries by sagacious sages and scholarly seers in the past. Man has to discover these values, Man has to realize these higher values or ideals of life.
These higher values are Truth, Beauty, and Goodness. In other words Satyam, Sivam, and Sundaram the spiritual values. The Truth is an intellectual value, Beauty is an aesthetic value and the Goodness is a moral or ethical value. Together they all form Good.
Truth is Good and Good is Beautiful (“Satya hi Siva he and Satya hi Sundar he”: An ethical hyim in Sanskrit, Satya means truth, Siva means God and Sundar means beautiful ) Satyam, Sivam and Sundaram are, thus identical to each other.
Plato recognized the identity of all three spiritual values. The famous Romantic poet John Keats has sung: ‘Beauty is Truth and Truth is Beauty, That’s all you know on earth and all you need to know.”
These values are already existing in the world. Attempts should be engineered to discover them, Heaven does not lie above us but lies about us. Human life is the highest creation and thus, glorious.
Let us make our lives sublime and live in a glorified manner These higher ideals of life were true yesterday, are true today, and will be true tomorrow.
Need and Importance of Idealism in Education:
The idealists regard the importance of education from the point of spiritual necessity and social necessity.
Human life is the best creation of God. It has both biological and cultural or sociological aspects. The biological need is fulfilled easily but cultural needs are to be fulfilled by education.
The culture makes a man an individual. Human nature is divine and spiritual. Therefore, education is an essential requisite for the child to realize the divinity and spirituality in man.
Man is an objective projection of society in an individualized form. This should reflect the good in society. Therefore, from the spiritual and social point of view, education is a vital necessity in the philosophy of idealism.
The great philosophers Plato, Comenius. Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Berkley, Kapila, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Fitche, Bergson, Giovanni Gentile, Pestalozzi Froebel, Bosanquet, Royce, Emerson, Neil Horne, Gandhi, Dayananda, Tagore, etc. who profounded the idealistic school in education.