Value & Pedagogy
Values underlying Curricular framework
Education needs to reflect the values, structure and beliefs that contribute to equipping young people with a holistic personality and Life Skills. These include values relating to the self, to the community and to the nation. The Value Framework may include Values such as Universal Peace, Tolerance, Service, Pro-active and Responsible citizenship, Respect towards opposite gender, Harmony and Spirit of unity, Transcending bias based on Religious, Linguistic and Regional or Sectional diversities. Preserving the rich heritage of the local culture, Protecting and contributing towards preservation of the national environment, Developing scientific temper and the spirit of enquiry, Safeguarding public property and abjuring violence, Striving towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activities are other values which will lead to higher levels of performance.
Pedagogy is basically non-prescriptive.
The schools and the teachers in the classrooms need to make appropriate selection of tools they would employ to facilitate effective learning. It would largely depend on various factors like the geographical location of the school, its social ambience and the heritage and economic and cultural conditions in which the school populace is placed.
It is inappropriate to introduce any specific module of pedagogy or prescribe one learning theory as it would defeat the very objective and the philosophy of this model. The researches of neuro-cognitive psychologists on the way how brain functions and how learning takes place indicate that "learning can be facilitated". This really redefines the role of a teacher in the classroom as an effective facilitator.
The progression in transaction strategies of units and lessons could be from structured enquiry to supported enquiry leading to open enquiry. This is to suggest that the Units which have been prepared for teachers have numerous activities and tasks as well as a lot of support material. The teachers are at the liberty to decide to pick and choose the activities and tasks to be done.
Focus on discovery approach
The teachers need to understand that discovery of knowledge is exciting and enhances the self-esteem and the confidence profile of the learner.
Questioning promotes curiosity and enables the learner to find a rationale for the concept with which one is getting familiarized. It will also help in contextualizing the external experiences in classroom situations and developing a mind equipped to research.
Thrust on developing Multiple Intelligences
The role of education in identifying, nurturing and nursing these intelligences through supportive pedagogy has been illustrated well.
Focus of Science
Further the curriculum is focused on promoting various concerns of science including health care, sanitation, eco-sensitivity, sustainable development, technology in society, and the like.
However the pedagogy would essentially address the discovery of knowledge and understanding of systems rather than reproduction of information available in the textual materials or on the web. The science curriculum would promote basic approaches to research - observation, identification of problems, collection of data, data management and interpretation, analysis, inference and decision making.
The middle school level is the appropriate age for promoting innovation and discovery. The science curriculum would also attract the attention of the learners through direct and indirect inputs about common concerns of the present world such as - depleting sources of energy, increasing consumption of minerals and natural products, global warming issues, potential disasters consequent to nuclear wastes, etc.
The Mathematics curriculum
The mathematics curriculum has quite often been a matter of debate with regard to its content, delivery processes, level of conceptual difficulties and its positioning proximate to more
logistic minds. The effort in this curriculum is to position mathematics as an enjoyable content of learning much akin to the routine activities of life. At the primary level, the pedagogy is to promote logical thinking, reasoning, correlation, skills of numeracy, ability to see relationship patterns, development of spatial intelligences etc. The role of mathematics laboratory is being re- emphasized to facilitate activity centered learning.
Teaching of Social Science
This helps in formulating social attitudes, building patriotism, internationalism, brotherhood, understanding of social dynamics, role and responsibilities of social institutions and the process of governance.
Physical and Health Education
The CBSE-i provides ample opportunities to schools for this integrated approach to health. Physical Education Cards (PEC) have been developed for the Primary Level. The curriculum has been mapped through links at the bottom of each card. These will help the teacher to explore concepts in Language and Mathematics through games.
SEWA (Social Empowerment through Work and Action)
CBSE-i has introduced another component in the curriculum which is not to be evaluated but only commented upon - SEWA. The word "Seva" in Indian environment refers to the concept of service to the community. A similiar thought forms the acronym SEWA which refers to Social Empowerment through Work and Action. The aim is to re-emphasize the idea that in the emerging global context every human being is interdependent and hence social empowerment directly as well as indirectly leads to the empowerment of every human being. The benefits of this empowerment program actually return to every individual of the society.
It is important to clarify the constituent terms. Social empowerment can be done through a large number of ways. Community awareness on sanitation, health, civic habits, rule of law, social justice, truthful living, along with creating respect for social institutions are a few indicators of the way how this could be achieved. Promoting Consumer Awareness, facilitating inclusivity, care for senior citizens, ensuring eco-sensitive social responses and the like would go a long way as instruments of social empowerment leading to social change.
The objective of this subject is to enable every learner to develop competencies of independent judgement and take meaningful positions in dealing with various subjects. Development of Perspectives would require a deep insight into the subject matter under consideration, the ambience and environment in which it exists, several inter-connected issues and a critical analysis or appreciation or review of the subject matter in that environment and taking a well-informed and well- considered position at the individual level.
The term ‘Research’ has to be understood in a limited sense for a school environment. Its objective is to provoke the curiosity of learners in any subject matter/concept/product/ activity of their liking and pursue an insightful study of the same. Such a study would involve collection of relevant information, organization of the information, analysis and making critical observations.
Technology interventions in classrooms
The CBSE-i curriculum provides adequate scope for effective integration of technology in the classrooms.
The teachers should encourage learners to seek knowledge inputs from digital platforms and use them not merely for reproduction or display in the classrooms but to synthesize them with their classroom learning inputs.
Schools can introduce on-line testing, ensuring that the feedback from the learner is original and is representative of the individual's learning and is a testimony to their thought patterns. Technology would also help in generating questions of varied types so that they are challenging for the learner to think and respond.