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 changeWhen 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.
According to Maclver social change takes place as a response to many types of changes that take place in the social and nonsocial environment. 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.
It has become secular today. It is an independent institution now. Education has been chiefly instrumental in preparing the way for the development of science and technology. Education has brought about phenomenal changes in every aspect of men’s life. Francis J.Brown remarks that education is a process which brings about changes in the behavior of society. It is a process which enables every individual to effectively participate in the activities of society and to make positive contribution to the progress of society.