ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Negotiating the ‘Social’ in Elementary School Social Science

The rationale behind and lack of debate on the trifurcation of the social science textbooks published by the National Council of Educational Research and Training into history, geography, and social and political life is questioned, while an alternative is posed. The uncritical celebration of the nation-state, which is partof the nationalist identity-building project, is unpacked here.

Social science in the current 10+2 school system commences in Class 6. Typically, when one talks of the social sciences as an academic discipline(s), one has in mind varied fields of study spanning sociology, anthropology, political science and economics among others. However, to a school student, the term “social science” (sometimes “social studies”) essentially refers to the study of history, geography, and civics or social and political life (SPL). The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) social science textbooks are structured such that the subject is introduced in this trimurti (trifurcated) avatar from Class 6 onwards and continuing until Class 8. At first sight, there appears to be some dissonance in terms of what comprises social science at the university level as opposed to the school level.

Trifurcation of Social Sciences

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