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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Rabindranath Tagore: Tagore - the educator

This guide provides an overview of researching the life and works of Rabindranath Tagore.

Education Philosophy

Tagore was a modern educator. He prioritized individual experience over objective knowledge of the external world and shaped both a method of learning and a curriculum based on being-in-the-landscape. Tagore founded three distinct institutions: a school for primary education, a World-University to promote visual and performance arts, and an Institute for Rural Reconstruction. This page contains a curated list of select books which highlight his teaching philosophy and also his intention behind establishing each institution. The books have been organized institution wise.


In 1922, he set up the Palli-Samgathan Vibhag (Institute of Rural Reconstruction) at Surul, one mile west of Śantiniketan, with Leonard Knight Elmhirst as its first Director and Rathindranath Tagore as Elmhirst’s associate. The objective was to facilitate and empower villages in becoming economically self-sustained communities. Rathindranath Tagore was trained in Agricultural Science at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.


In 1901, he established Bolpur Brahmacharya Asram at Santiniketan, a residential school on the old pattern of Indian asram. Later, this school became known as Patha-Bhavan.


The idea of asram evolved into an idea of a university and, in 1921, he established Visva-Bharati or World University, dedicated to promoting performing and visual arts.

Subject Guide

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International and Area Studies Library
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This LibGuide has been designed and created by Sonal Mithal Modi, Graduate hourly, International and Area Studies Library.