In the present context, which seeks to demonstrate, measure and quantify learning, learning outcomes (LO) became a fetish with policymakers and textbook developers, a thought popularised by large-scale assessment surveys, like the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), in India. LO essentially refers to grade-appropriate, basic competencies in numeracy and literacy , which going children are alleged to acquire also students CBSE .
The National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has already started the apex body to create course syllabus and Textbooks with two documents listing the learning outcomes in the primary and secondary education, while the one for the upper secondary stage is underway. this is often because the new National Education Policy 2020 underscores the importance of foundational skills as being central to a child’s schooling. State Councils of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) are going to be soon expected to toe the . Although te government of Andhra Pradesh has already started the exercise. Besides deciding to convert all government schools from Classes I to X to medium, the state Department of Education was directed to organize “mirror image” textbooks — with lessons printed in and Telugu, side by side. This seems to be more of a mechanical exercise with none sound pedagogic rationale. a fast review of the new textbooks shows that they centre around LO and follow a didactic approach of essentially presenting information/facts that children are alleged to passively consume and memorise. Such books typically deny the agency of both the and therefore the student, making them subservient to the printed text. they’re physically heavy but conceptually terse.
It was with great difficulty that National Curriculum Framework, prepared by NCERT in 2005, changed the shape and nature of textbooks. Any change of state at the Centre or state level was/is usually followed by a change in textbooks, particularly . In addition to explicit misuse as a political tool, the textbook suffers from other limitations. They reproduce social inequalities due to diverse social groups or their misinterpretation. The landmark Learning Without Burden (LWB) committee (1993) identified dense, poorly written and weakly conceptualised textbooks as being primarily responsible, additionally to unwieldy syllabi and rote-based exam system, for burdening children’s lives. The NCF 2005, with its roots in LWB, redirected the meaning of quality education to curricular, pedagogic and assessment practices being followed inside the rooms . It sought to attach the lifetime of the kid outside with learning within the classroom.
Soon after, NCERT developed “exemplar/model” textbooks which were conceptually sound and used a spread of pedagogic techniques to usher in real-life issues within the book. The textbooks particularly acknowledged social conflicts which children experienced in their lives and helped add up of them. They also gave fresh life to the meaning of learning which was not a one-way track of passing on information to children but became a process of constructing knowledge meaningfully by both the and therefore the student.
A few states took the lead and initiated the formation of state curricular frameworks, position papers and therefore the development of textbooks. Undivided Andhra pradesh was one among them. However, with the revision of the sooner written books, which were both pedagogically sound and collaboratively developed, it looks like the state is bent undoing its own achievements.
There is no denying that textbooks, a bit like curricular frameworks, syllabus, and assessment practices, got to be revised periodically. However, textbooks tailored to live the acquisition of LO on a part of children may be a self-defeating exercise. This singular specialise in LO will take the teaching-learning processes faraway from the likelihood of a meaningful co-construction of data to an educator teaching to the test. Since teachers’ own appraisal is contingent children’s performance in these tests, they feel pressured to make sure that children know the essential minimum and somehow pass the test.
The choice is ours — whether we’ll allow testing to require precedence over learning or celebrate learning as a meaning-making exercise by both the and therefore the student.