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Wp14 textbook analysis_final
Wp14 textbook analysis_final
Wp14 textbook analysis_final
Wp14 textbook analysis_final
Wp14 textbook analysis_final
Wp14 textbook analysis_final
Wp14 textbook analysis_final
Wp14 textbook analysis_final
Wp14 textbook analysis_final
Wp14 textbook analysis_final
Wp14 textbook analysis_final
Wp14 textbook analysis_final
Wp14 textbook analysis_final
Wp14 textbook analysis_final
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Wp14 textbook analysis_final

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  • 1. Enterprising Ladakh Prosperity, Youth Enterprise and Cultural Values in Peripheral Regions Working Paper No 14 Textbook Analysis April 2006 Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, Leh Druk Pema Karpo Educational Society Drukpa Trust in association with SECMOL A project funded by the European Commission
  • 2. Preface During 2004-5, the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development, Leh (the ‘Hill Council’) formulated a Vision Document entitled ‘Ladakh 2025’, aimed at transforming the Ladakh region to an economic powerhouse, without adversely affecting its unique culture and ecology. In order to help take the Vision forward, this ‘Enterprising Ladakh’ project investigated opportunities in eleven economic sectors, and set out the findings in a Discussion Paper entitled ‘Market Opportunities’. The findings were discussed at a Workshop in Leh in July 2005. (www.enterprisingladakh.org) Discussion Paper No 2 entitled ‘Developing Livelihood Skills and Self Reliance,’ addressed the enabling environment for ‘enterprise’ and ‘entrepreneurship’. This Paper considered their nature, summarised experience with initiatives in the European Union and India, reviewed the current status in Ladakh, identified obstacles and outlined an enabling policy for the future. The findings were discussed at a Workshop in Leh in March 2006. This Working Paper No 14: Textbook Analysis was prepared by Annie Smith, with inputs by E.K. Nareshwar and Aparna Sethi. ‘Enterprising Ladakh’ is a project being conducted by the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, Leh, Druk Pema Karpo Educational Society and Drukpa Trust, in association with SECMOL. The project is co-funded by the EU-India Small Projects Facility Programme in Economic Co-operation (SPF), which is an initiative of the European Commission (EC) to support the on-going transformation and modernisation of Indian economy and systems of governance. The programme supports small and innovative projects that aim at facilitating enhanced interaction of European and Indian civil society, the networking of its policy makers and opinion formers as well as the linkage of Indian and EU operators in business and the media. You are kindly invited to communicate your views on this Discussion Paper to the project team: Project Coordinator 'Enterprising Ladakh' Hemis Complex, Zangsti Leh, Ladakh -194 101 Phone: +91 94191 77536; 252 133 enterprisingladakh@rediffmail.com This document has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council Leh, Druk Pema Karpo Educational Society and Drukpa Trust, and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union. 19th April 2006 2
  • 3. Executive Summary This Working Paper presents an analysis of the Jammu & Kashmir State Board of School Education textbooks in order to identify the extent to which the curriculum/syllabus imparts ‘Life & Livelihood Skills’. The analysis focuses on Social Studies across Classes III - VIII, due to time restrictions and because it was felt that Geography, History and Civics best lend themselves as a vehicle for imparting such skills. The analysis falls into four categories: 1) Livelihood Skills - the books have been assessed for any reference to local livelihoods (such as agriculture, tourism, solid waste management, handicrafts etc.) and for recommendations for project work and field trips in this area. 2) Life skills – life skills are best imparted through activity-based learning or learning-by-doing. The books were studied to assess their encouragement / use of this approach. 3) Teacher inputs. 4) Quality of production. Three Class VI books were taken as a sample: ‘Ancient India’, ‘Geography’ and ‘Our Civic Life’. The Ancient India (History) textbook scored 0 (none) or 1 (poor) in every category. The Geography textbook scored 0 for local cultural relevance, livelihoods & social norms, communication skills and problem solving. ‘Our Civic Life’ generally scored 1-2, but still received zero for local cultural relevance. Although this was a small-scale sample, with subjective scoring, it was sufficient to illustrate the enormous potential for improvement in textbooks. Using the same criteria, Environmental Science Class IV textbooks produced under Operation New Hope were also assessed (see Annex C). The marked difference in scores, mostly in the range of 2-3, demonstrates what can be done. A much broader scope of subjects is available for those students whose schools are following the CBSE syllabus. Centralised government schools are affiliated to the CBSE and private schools can choose to be affiliated with CBSE if they wish. Under CBSE rules, affiliated schools are obliged only to follow their textbooks in Class IX– XII. Up to this point, they can use any textbook as long as it is NCERT-approved. The range of subject books available under CBSE is also much broader, for example ‘Life skills’ can be studied at Classes VI–VIII, and ‘Entrepreneurship Education’ is available at Classes XI-XII, as also are other subjects such as Fashion Design. 19th April 2006 3
  • 4. Table of Contents Abbreviations 5 1. Introduction 6 2. Background 6 3. Analysis of Jammu & Kashmir textbooks with respect to 7 ‘Life & Livelihood Skills’ content 4. Examinations 7 5. CBSE Textbooks 8 6. Recommendations 9 Annexes A: References & Bibliography 10 B: Sample Analysis of J&K Textbooks 11 C: Sample Analysis of Operation New Hope Textbooks. 14 19th April 2006 4
  • 5. Abbreviations DIET District Institute for Education and Training DVD Digital Video Disc J&K Jammu & Kashmir J&KBOSE Jammu & Kashmir Board of School Education NCERT National Council for Education Research and Training NGO Non-governmental Organisation ONH Operation New Hope SDE State Department of Education SECMOL Students Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh SIE State Institute of Education 19th April 2006 5
  • 6. 1. Introduction This Working Paper presents an analysis of the Jammu & Kashmir Board of School Education (J&KBOSE) textbooks to identify the extent to which the curriculum/syllabus imparts ‘Life & Livelihood Skills’. The analysis focuses on Social Studies across Classes VI -VIII, due to time restrictions and because it was felt that Geography, History and Civics best lend themselves as a vehicle for imparting such skills. The analysis falls into four categories: 1. Livelihood Skills - the books have been assessed for any reference to local livelihoods (such as agriculture, tourism, solid waste management, handicrafts etc.) and for recommendations for project work and field trips in this area. 2. Life skills – life skills are best imparted through activity-based learning or learning-by-doing. The books were studied to assess their encouragement / use of this approach. 3. Teacher inputs. 4. Quality of production. Experience by Save the Children staff suggests that activity-based learning was encouraged through the Teacher Handbooks. Despite best efforts, it has not been possible to obtain copies of any of the Teacher Handbooks. They were not available in the bookstore or schools, or at the District Institute of Education and Training (DIET) - only the 1991 Handbook for Urdu was available. In addition, a brief analysis was made of examination papers to see what skills were being tested and if there was any scope for a creative or personal response to questions. 2. Background Education in India is guided by principles and regulations outlined by the National Council for Education Research and Training (NCERT). However the respective State Institutes of Education (SIEs) have the freedom to design and develop curriculum and textbooks to suit state-specific needs, as long as they build upon the basic NCERT guidelines. However, as stated in Working Paper No 131, the majority work closely to the NCERT books, making only minor modifications. According to the Director of Academics at the Jammu & Kashmir Board of School Education, J&K textbooks are based on the NCERT books, but modified to meet local requirements. However, the analysis shows that none of these books (excluding those developed by SECMOL– see below) are relevant to Ladakh. The high percentage failure at matriculation in Ladakh district (consistently around 95% for many years led to a re-evaluation of the existing education system by the Students Education and Cultural Movement of Ladakh (SECMOL). In 1994, a programme called Operation New Hope (ONH) was launched, with 33 schools initially, as a tri-party movement of the government, NGOs and the people to reform the educational system in the district. When the first Ladakh Autonomous Hill 1 Working Paper No 13: School Curriculum – content and delivery 19th April 2006 6
  • 7. Development Council was formed in late-1995, it adopted ONH as the Council’s official education policy. With Hill Council support, ONH was extended to all the nearly 270 schools in the District. Under this scheme ONH produced Ladakhi versions of primary textbooks and teaching materials in order to make them more relevant and meaningful to Ladakhi children and to introduce child-centred, activity- based learning into the classroom. Under this scheme, books for Environmental Studies (which incorporates both basic Science and Social Studies), Classes III & IV and English Classes I & II have been produced. These books have been available to schools since 1998 and were introduced en masse into classrooms since 2003, when SECMOL in collaboration with J&KBOSE, began producing the books for mainstream education in Ladakhi Junior Schools. 3. Analysis of J&K textbooks with respect to ‘Life & Livelihood Skill’ content2 A table was drawn up with headings covering: local cultural relevance; livelihood or social norms; teacher initiative/inputs; quality of production; creativity; communication skills; problem-solving; student participation; and group/teamwork. The books were assessed under each category on a scale of 0-3, where 0=none and 3=good (please see Annex B). Three Class VI books were taken as a sample: ‘Ancient India’, ‘Geography’ and ‘Our Civic Life’. The Ancient India textbook scored 0 (none) or 1 (poor) in every category. The Geography textbook scored 0 for local cultural relevance, livelihoods & social norms, communication skills and problem solving. Our Civic Life generally scored 1- 2, but still received zero for local cultural relevance. Although this was a small-scale sample, with subjective scoring, it was sufficient to illustrate the enormous potential for improvement in the J&K textbooks. Using the same criteria, Environmental Science Class IV textbooks produced under Operation New Hope were also assessed (see Annex C). The marked difference in scores, mostly in the range of 2-3, demonstrates what can be done. 4. Examination Papers It was thought necessary to include a brief summary of examination papers as textbook content and style is driven to a large extent by examination requirements. Education outcomes are measured by examinations and examinations generally test students’ ability to memorise knowledge, consequently textbook content is primarily knowledge-based and teaching styles emphasise memorisation or rote learning. Brief Analysis of Class X & Class XII Examination Papers For Class X (matriculation), the papers written in English were assessed i.e. English, Science, Social Science and Mathematics. These papers use a combination of multiple-choice & long or short answer type questions that depend on (and therefore test) the ability to memorise information. English was the only subject that had comprehension based on reading a passage, followed by multiple-choice and short answer type questions where comprehension of the text was required. However, the 2 Please see Annex A for the books analysed 19th April 2006 7
  • 8. true test was whether the candidate was able to remember enough English to understand the passage. English also had a section that invited creative writing, but a CBSE representative advised that even creative questions have a standard format for answering, and students who choose to be very creative in their Sample question from Commerce paper: answer are usually marked down. Mathematics contained problem- Salesmanship (long answer type question - each solving, but as an inherent part of question worth 10 points) mathematics based on • Elucidate briefly the various types of memorisation and comprehension salesman classified on the bases of service of formulae. rendered or on the basis of goods sold. • Explain briefly two social, two character, At Class XII, examination papers three physical and three psychological qualities of a salesman. for Arts, Science and Commerce streams all followed the same format of multiple-choice and long and short answer type questions. The box opposite gives an example of the type of questions asked in the ‘Commerce’ stream papers under the title of ‘Salesmanship’. Salesmanship is a potentially dynamic teacher-learning area, however, the questions clearly reflect the course content and learning style involved. The question of changing the examination system was raised with the Chairman of J&KBOSE who said: “The main emphasis is now upon ‘the learning’ rather than the memorisation. You will be glad to know that our board is one of the first in the country to organise a workshop relating to the structuring of the question paper. We asked experts from NCERT Delhi to give training in September 2005, and I am sure the findings of that workshop will be fruitful.” 5. CBSE Textbooks A much broader scope of subjects is available for those students whose schools are following the CBSE syllabus. Centralised government schools are affiliated to the CBSE and private schools can choose to be affiliated with CBSE if they wish. Under CBSE rules, affiliated schools are obliged only to follow their textbooks in Classes IX–XII. Up to this point, they can use any textbook, as long as it is NCERT-approved. The range of subject books available under CBSE is also much broader, for example ‘Life skills’ can be studied at Classes VI–VIII, and ‘Entrepreneurship Education’ is available at Classes XI-XII, as also are other subjects such as Fashion Design. However none of the schools affiliated with CBSE contacted in Ladakh are studying Life Skills. 19th April 2006 8
  • 9. 6. Recommendations The aim within this Enterprising Ladakh Project is to demonstrate what can be done within the existing curriculum. The proposed strategy is as follows: • Long-term – Foundation Life & Livelihood Skills to be absorbed into J&K textbooks across the curriculum; textbooks to be analysed and recommendations made for suitable ‘entry points’ for activity based learning relating to livelihood. • Mid-Term – Life & Livelihood Skills Supplement to be added to existing Social Science textbooks. Supplements to be based on the outcomes of the pilot scheme and inserted into existing textbooks in place of a chapter or chapters with little educational value in Ladakh. • Short- term – Life & Livelihood ‘pilot’ for Classes VI – VIII. A DVD will be produced demonstrating through activity-based learning how ‘life & livelihood’ skills can be introduced into the classroom. This DVD will be accompanied by an activities handbook and together the package can also be used as a teacher training aid. Examinations • J&KBOSE to review its examination system and make changes to the papers in order to create a balance between testing of knowledge (memorisation of facts) and other skills such as creativity, problem solving etc. Teacher Education • For successful implementation of both the long and mid-term recommendations above, an in-service teacher training programme is essential. This programme should encourage reflective practice, and build confidence and understanding of activity-based learning. 19th April 2006 9
  • 10. Annex A References & Bibliography Jammu & Kashmir Board of School Education textbook analysis - list of books analysed: Books written by SECMOL, produced by J&KBOSE for Operation New Hope: EVS – Environmental Studies ( Social and Social Studies Reader for Class III) (2003) EVS – Environmental Studies (Science and Social Science Workbook for Class III) (2003) EVS – Environmental Studies Part I For Class IV A textbook of Science for children of Ladakh (2003) EVS – Environmental Studies Part II For Class IV A textbook of Social Science for children of Ladakh (2003) Books produced by J&K BOSE: Social Science – Geography for Class VI (2003) Social Science - Ancient India textbook for Class VI (2003) Social Science – Our Civic Life Textbook for Class VI (2003) Social Science – History for Class VII (2003) Social Science - Geography for Class VII (2003) Social Science – Geography for Class VIII (2003) Social Science – Modern India Class VIII (2003) Social Science – Our Civic Life Class VI (2002) Social Science – Our Civic Life Class VIII (2004) 19th April 2006 10
  • 11. Annex B Sample Analysis of J&K Textbooks J&K Class VI - Social Science textbooks Book name Produced Content / Skills / Delivery by & date 0 = none, 1 = poor, 2 = fair, 3 = good Local / Livelihood Teacher Quality of cultural or social initiative / production relevance norms inputs Class VI J&K 0 0 1 1 Ancient India Board Jan 2004 Geography J&K 0 0 1-2 1-2 Class VI Board July 2003 Our Civic Life J&K 0 2 SN 1-2 1-2 Class VI Board 2L Jan 04 Book name Produced Content / Skills / delivery by & date 0 = none, 1 = poor, 2 = fair, 3 = good Creativity Communic Problem Student Group / -ation skills Solving participation team work Class VI J&K 1 0 0 0-1 0 Ancient India Board Jan 2004 Geography J&K 1-2 0 0 1-2 1 Class VI Board July 2003 Our Civic Life J&K 0 1-2 1 2 2 Class VI Board Jan 04 Local/cultural reference: use of photos, drawings and text that relates to Ladakh’s people, traditions and environment; Livelihood: reference to local livelihoods of agriculture, tourism, handicrafts, building, army, or to social norms; Teacher initiative /inputs: is the teacher asked to create his/her own: learning environments, materials and teaching aids, or to discover information/knowledge from any other source than the text book? Quality of production: what is the quality production of the text book? Creativity: does the textbook encourage an imaginative, individual response either written, or visual or a demonstration? 19th April 2006 11
  • 12. Communication: does the textbook encourage the child to write a letter or communicate his/her own ideas or feelings to a neighbour and/or discuss in a group? Problem-solving: does the textbook give any tasks to be done where decisions have to be made or a problem solved? Student participation: is the child encouraged to bring in their own experiences, stories or understandings or to explore and learn for themselves and respond? Group/ team work: are children asked to work on projects together or to discuss in groups in the classroom, or to go outside into nature to explore and discover? Commentary Ancient India Class VI - History: This book is knowledge-based; the knowledge/information has no relevance to Ladakh - only some has been adjusted to Jammu & Kashmir. The language is harder to work with than the other two books. It asks the teacher to provide charts, diagrams, and map examples, but only to a limited extent. In terms of visual creativity, it asks children to copy pictures that are already in the book and poorly printed - a fairly meaningless activity, or to relate maps and places from a different culture with their own environment. There is enormous potential here to encourage teachers and children to relate the books’ contents to their own environment and culture, but it is not taken i.e. to look at modes of transport that have not changed for centuries in their own locality and to take photos, draw pictures or make clay models. Or to look at ancient monuments that have a similar meaning to the monuments illustrated in this book. Draw these from life and make a comparison of the sort of materials being used. Do you think they were constructed in the same way? How many people would it take to build a stupa and how long would it take? Instead of drawing a plan of Harrapan, draw a plan of Leh and make a comparison with Harrapan. Problem-solving is only likely to arise if the child is encouraged to do the suggested activities - then problems of relevant images and materials would come up (a negative learning problem). This book is full of potential to relate Buddhism to the local traditions and culture and none of them are taken. There is plenty of scope for learning through discovery, group and project work, but not taken. The book is very heavily text-laden and does not encourage a child to interact through a broad use of his/her senses. Maps are very poor quality and difficult to define e.g. the land mass is not separated from the oceans by use of colour - it does not resemble an atlas in any way or teach the child basic skills of map-reading and understanding simple map legends. Such basic knowledge/skills should be standardised throughout the curriculum and textbooks i.e. maps should not just be given proper attention in Geography. Geography Class VI: This book was produced under the ‘Greening textbooks’ initiative and Environmental Education in School System – this was apparent in the content, which focuses on some green issues. Production of the book is better and graphics stronger - but not good enough. The first chapter says to look at the stars and identify them from a constellation chart (included in the book), but: 1) the constellation map is too difficult to read, 2) the child would have to do this at home at night (good), but has no decent map to work from (bad), so the good intention fails. 19th April 2006 12
  • 13. This book encourages child-centred learning more than the previous example, but is still very limited. There is no encouragement to apply the knowledge to the local surroundings. The style of the book’s writing is more friendly and enthusiastic than the history book for this stage. The book could so easily be improved by adding locally-relevant activities in the section on ‘things to do’. Our Civic Life Class VI: There is a concern in this book for social /environmental awareness and responsibility. There are also group activities suggested in the practical activities section. However, it is very ‘politically incorrect’ concerning village people and underdevelopment - even using the word ‘backward’ to describe villages and their people. It does try to explain the causes of underdevelopment. Generally, one picks up a strong sense of ‘have and have-nots’ from the writer, who is clearly in the ‘have’ category. This book encourages children to work in groups, discuss and communicate ideas and even to respond. Due to the subject matter, which looks at development, a little at livelihoods and social responsibilities, this is the best book to attach a Supplement that focuses on work education, enterprise, and life skills. The book has failed to take the opportunity to introduce work education, physical education and does not encourage any creative activities, visual or otherwise. 19th April 2006 13
  • 14. Annex – C Sample Analysis of Operation New Hope textbooks SECMOL /J&KBOSE – Environmental Studies Class IV Book name Produced Content / Skills / Delivery by & date 0 = none, 1 = poor, 2 = fair, 3 = good Local / Livelihood Teacher Quality of cultural or social initiative / production relevance norms inputs EVS (Social Secmol / 3 2-3 2 3 Science) J&KBose Part I (Class 2003 IV) EVS (Social Secmo /l 3 2-3 3 3 Science) Part J&K Bose II (Class IV) 2003 Book name Produced Content / Skills / delivery by & date 0 = none, 1 = poor, 2 = fair, 3 = good Creativity Communic Problem Student Group / -ation skills Solving participation team work EVS (Social Secmol / 2 1 2 2 2 Science) J&KBose Part I (Class 2003 IV) EVS (Social Secmol / 3 2 2 3 2 Science) Part J&KBose II (Class IV 2003 Environmental Studies Part I & II, Class IV Both books are well laid out, with good illustrations and printed to a high quality. The content is socially, culturally and geographically relevant to Ladakh. There is indirect reference to livelihoods, mostly relating to the agricultural sector. The books follow a similar format to J&K textbooks in that they present a written text with questions at the end for learning knowledge. However, the books also encourage the teacher to introduce activities to the process, so that learning by doing, by discussion and games is used to reinforce that knowledge and make the learning experiential. Such activities encourage the child to think about their own life and society and to reflect and question what they find. 19th April 2006 14

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