Promotion and cultivation of rationality and spirit of unafraid questioning and keen inquisitiveness in young minds is the very foundational pillar of modern Education.
Jettisoning this goal -- in the name of "decolonising the mind" or whatever -- is sure to prove extremely harmful, rather sooner than later, and has, therefore, got to be resolutely resisted. Must not go under the radar. <<"To develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform.” These words were crafted in 1976 in an amendment to India’s constitution. The constitution’s writers rightly saw the pursuit of evidence, reasoning and humanity as the responsibility of every citizen as India emerged from arguably the most tumultuous period in its history since gaining independence from Britain nearly three decades earlier. ... But those attributes now seem to be less valued, at least by those involved in setting the country’s education policies. A series of changes to school science teaching have resulted in the deletion of the periodic table, explanations of evolution and electromagnetism, and discussions about the sustainable use of natural resources from the textbooks used by children aged 14–16. These and other topics were removed from the curriculum last year to help lighten students’ workloads during the COVID-19 pandemic. But they have now been removed from textbooks, too. The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), the government-funded but operationally autonomous body tasked with producing India’s textbooks, has not discussed the changes — which will affect more than 38 million children — with parents, teachers or researchers. Those who study science education have told Nature that they’re baffled, not least by the lack of any engagement. ... The process of evolution by natural selection and the principles underlying the periodic table are both fundamental concepts that explain — and encourage students to wonder about — the world at large. Life, in all its magnificent permutations and combinations, is the product of evolutionary processes. Meanwhile, a surprisingly small set of chemical elements form the building blocks of our physical world. How and why these two realms are the way they are can be traced back to lessons set out in conceptual frameworks that NCERT has axed. ... Learning core scientific concepts, practising problem-solving and delving deep into the history of science — both local and global — needn’t be done in isolation. The development of a scientific temperament and pride in heritage can go hand in hand. As we have written in these columns before, research does not advance without a firm grasp of what came before. In short, science and history complement each other. Researchers who study India’s education policy have told Nature that organizations that are critical of science are advocating for or influencing these changes to textbooks. They point to one organization in particular: the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, which has close ties to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. NCERT does, of course, need to listen to opinions from the full community spectrum. But, as an autonomous body, it must be free to make its own decisions, and should always do so on the basis of the best available evidence. Public confidence in its decisions will be helped if it engages with all users: pupils, teachers, parents and researchers. Not doing so fuels all kinds of speculation, some of which might not be accurate. NCERT needs to end its vow of silence. Few people would take issue with its ambition to boost critical thinking and promote learning by doing, or with its desire for students to enjoy their education. Both can go hand-in-hand with exploring India’s rich pre- and postcolonial history of discovery and innovation.>> (Excerpted from: <https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-023-01750-2>.) -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Green Youth Movement" group. To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to greenyouth+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. To view this discussion on the web, visit https://groups.google.com/d/msgid/greenyouth/CACEsOZhSdEjREoEL2PCDvdDARYTSq2otoHkK5LZ3JO03Ps7iXA%40mail.gmail.com.