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

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Curriculum in Perspective

Can Ideas Be Deleted?

The recent reduction in the secondary and higher secondary school curriculum by the Central Board of Secondary Education has resulted in relief among most students while drawing criticism from teachers, scholars and academics who see a method into the presumably random deletion of topics to reduce the workload of students. The CBSE clarified that these are one-time changes resultant of the extraordinary situation arising from COVID-19. This article raises the critical question whether removing important conceptual notions as secularism, federalism and citizenship can lead to deletion of these ideas from the political discourse and public memory.

 

Curriculum design, modification, additions and upgradations are fundamental to education planning in any country and India is no exception. To keep abreast with the ever-changing and dynamic world of ideas, innovations and technology are not only desired but intrinsic to progressive development of future citizenry. While the contemporary aim of curriculum planning seems to focus on structured syllabi planned by administrative professionals, highlighting narrow problem-solving attitudes for teachers and students, accepting status quo and maintaining order, critical thinking, quite contrary to this mechanism, develops through creative interplay of ideas in open spaces, where students are not considered passive takers of knowledge the teacher partakes but to question the basis of knowledge and what entitles something to be called knowledge while other things are mere information. Creative minds need to be nurtured, not trained and programmed because humans differ from robots. What makes humans superior to the rest of biosphere is conceptual knowledge—the “anthropocentric” (Padwe 2013).

Curriculums on conceptualisation and approaches in social sciences must be designed in a manner that presents before the students not merely the meaning and connotations of the term but by reflecting it with its binary or extreme opposite, at the same time informing students that the two extremes occupy the distinct ends of a spectrum, whereas what we experience may not be one or the other but a combination of the two in different degrees and intensity. For example, secularism must be mirrored by understanding fundamentalism, citizenship with slavery and homelessness, federalism with centralisation and so on. Critical thinking emerges when students are aware of the situations, capable of making individual choices and can unravel the hidden agendas within political-economic and societal norms, question society’s biases and suppressed prejudices.

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Updated On : 2nd May, 2021

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