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Liberation through Harmony or conflict?The handling of societal differences in Indian school textbooks

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Abstract:

Although the main aim of school textbooks is to transmit knowledge and, nowadays, various skills, they are also an important instrument behind building among students, attitudes and mirror self-conceptions of a society. These are thought essential for living together if not by “the society” in all or “the government”, but by the groups who influence the design of curricula and textbooks. Societal differences, in some cases, might be played down or thought to resolve by stressing the need for social harmony. In other cases, textbook authors may pursue a more critical approach and try to make the students realize the problems and issues of society by putting forward conflicting issues as topics for discussion and appraisal.
By analysing Indian school textbooks of the last two decades, especially those published as ‘model textbooks’ by the National Council of Educational Research and Training(NCERT), the paper will look into the change of representations of societal differences. The findings of text analysis – which brought out a marked change in the approach in the latest generation of books – will be politically and pedagogically contextualized. Finally, the potentials of the approaches for societal development and ‘liberation through education’ will be discussed.
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Association:
Name: 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society
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http://www.cies.us


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p493744_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Stoeber, Georg. and Banerjee, Basabi. "Liberation through Harmony or conflict?The handling of societal differences in Indian school textbooks" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, May 01, 2011 <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p493744_index.html>

APA Citation:

Stoeber, G. and Banerjee, B. K. , 2011-05-01 "Liberation through Harmony or conflict?The handling of societal differences in Indian school textbooks" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p493744_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Although the main aim of school textbooks is to transmit knowledge and, nowadays, various skills, they are also an important instrument behind building among students, attitudes and mirror self-conceptions of a society. These are thought essential for living together if not by “the society” in all or “the government”, but by the groups who influence the design of curricula and textbooks. Societal differences, in some cases, might be played down or thought to resolve by stressing the need for social harmony. In other cases, textbook authors may pursue a more critical approach and try to make the students realize the problems and issues of society by putting forward conflicting issues as topics for discussion and appraisal.
By analysing Indian school textbooks of the last two decades, especially those published as ‘model textbooks’ by the National Council of Educational Research and Training(NCERT), the paper will look into the change of representations of societal differences. The findings of text analysis – which brought out a marked change in the approach in the latest generation of books – will be politically and pedagogically contextualized. Finally, the potentials of the approaches for societal development and ‘liberation through education’ will be discussed.


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