Shaping mindsets through historical thinking

Anchita Dasgupta
While the history syllabus at the school level is vast and covers several topics over a period of four years beginning from the Indus Valley Civilization, there is not much depth in the lessons taught. Teachers are in a hurry to complete the syllabus and students rote learns to secure marks in their exams. In the process, historical thinking is compromised—a skill that is yet to be introduced in our classrooms. The need to contextualize our history, to nurture an appreciation for its contemporary relevance and to question injustices of the past and its relationship with the present is passed over for hollow academic success. Students graduate high school with near-perfect exam scores without distinguishing fact from opinion and primary from secondary sources.

Tech challenges in the history classroom

Aashique Ahmed Iqbal
In a society that is driven by financial forces and technological developments what is the possible value of history? Can technology be utilized to convey the importance of history? What is the possible contribution of technology towards the enhancement of the value of history and acquiring a sound historical and critical understanding of both the past and the present? Unless teachers acquaint themselves with two latest technologies – the smartphone and AI chatbots – that are posing imminent challenges, they might find themselves marginalized in a highly technical landscape.

One story or many narratives

G Gautama
What is the history that should be taught in schools? Given that some facts are accurate and some not, that some views encompass a wider view of the world and others a narrow set of concerns, born of either survival issues or perceived threats, how is the question of what history should we ‘teach’ in schools to be resolved? The decision of what we include in history, and which version, is not an easy question.

Partition history, education, and reconciliation

Meena Megha Malhotra
Partition was and is the single most important event in our country’s history. Seventy five years on however, this event continues to be used in our history textbooks to fuel bias and rivalry. But in reality, Partition is actually a multiplicity of stories—each one weaving a tapestry of fragile truth and holding it together. A look at what the Partition stories really mean and what we can do about it.

Tales from here and there

Anjuli Kaul
How can one teach history to ‘little historians’ because most of the time, all they want is a simple narrative? They are most happy focusing on the present and their lived experiences. So the best way to get their attention is to approach history through flora and fauna, through ecology, through literature, the arts, and play.

Experience at the centre of all learning

Smita Vats
Heritage is a magical learning space and not just a spot for sight-seeing. Children don’t need details of information. They don’t need rare facts, nor do they need knowledge of a hundred books. They need to be taken to spaces, where they feel safe and they need to be given time to sit there, to walk around to take in the smells and the sounds. For them experience is at the centre of all learning.