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Just Shoot Me

Bala, 28, Gordon Gekko in the making, pseudo-intellectual, cynic, bibliophile, obsessive compulsive ranter...


June 02, 2006

Via some one in the blogosphere i tumbled upon this :

The books teach history in creative ways. There are extracts from contemporary documents, many of them of contrasting kinds: the French Declaration of the Rights of Man set beside Olympia de Gouges' feminist alternative, an official Soviet account of collectivisation alongside a letter from a peasant who hated the changes. Students are introduced to the basics of historical research: both to documents and to understanding how open-ended historical reconstruction is. Every section is accompanied by questions and suggested classroom activities, visualising creative student-teacher interaction in place of enforced rote-learning. After reading about the coming of modern agriculture in England, students are asked to look at the previous, open field system from the points of view of a rich farmer, a labourer, and a peasant woman. An activity suggested after the chapter on Nazi Germany recommends writing one-page histories of it from the points of view of a schoolchild studying there, a Jewish survivor, and a political opponent of the regime. The chapter on the Roman Empire in the Class XI book on "Themes in World History" asks students to imagine the shopping list of a city housewife in those times. Let me add, though, that books like these will require a fundamental transformation also in the pattern of setting questions in CBSE examinations, which so long have been of a so-called `objective' type, totally unsuitable at least for history, social sciences, and the humanities in general. I do hope that such changes will be brought about as quickly as possible..

This is what i would want to read. Not just a repeated litany of years, names and places. This is what makes history interesting.
posted by Bala, 4:24 PM


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