School Knowledge and Community:

Experiences of the socio-cultural world also need to become a part of the curriculum. Children need to find examples of the plurality of peoples and ways of life represented in the textbooks. These portrayals need to ensure that no community is oversimplified, labelled, or judged. It may even be better for children to study and generate portrayals of the local social groups as a part of their social science studies. They can then directly interact with the gram panchayat representative, who may be invited to the school to speak about the extent to which decentralisation has helped in addressing local civic issues. Local oral history could also be connected with regional history and national history. But the social context also calls for a much greater critical awareness and critical engagement on the part of curriculum developers and teachers. Community-based identities, of gender, caste, class and religion are primary identities, but they can also be oppressive and reaffirm social inequalities and hierarchies. School knowledge can also provide a lens through which children can develop a critical understanding of their social reality. It could also provide them space to talk about their experiences and anxieties within their homes.

Communities may also have questions about the inclusion or exclusion of particular knowledge and experiences in the school curriculum. The school must then be prepared to engage with communities to listen to their concerns, and to persuade them to see the educational value of such decisions. For this, teachers must know the reasons why something is included while something else is not. They must also be able to win the trust of parents in matters like allowing children to use home language in school, or teaching about sexuality and reproduction, or play-way methods in primary school, or encouraging boys to sing and dance. It is not a good enough explanation to say that the decisions were taken at the state level. If we are to ensure participation of children of all groups in our secular education, we will have to discuss our curricular choices with others who are legitimate stakeholders in education.  

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DSSSB, CTET & KVS Exam Preparation | Clear CTET: School Knowledge and Community
School Knowledge and Community
DSSSB, CTET & KVS Exam Preparation | Clear CTET
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