Bringing together educationists, academicians from across the humanities, human rights lawyers, media persons and activists, this year’s annual History for Peace conference was centred around ‘The Idea of the Indian Constitution’. The conference began with an overview by Prof. Romila Thapar and moved from a historical and structural understanding of the text of the Constitution, its context and foundation, to a focused study of certain sections and finally, contemporary socio-political issues in India with specific case studies in the form of illustrated talks, conversations, panel discussions and workshops. While the conference earned much warm and positive feedback, its value in a certain sense can only be realized through its realization in the classroom space.
ccccWorking on what they took away from the conference proceedings, the teachers of Modern High School created grade/class-specific lesson ideas that they then pilot-ed in their classrooms. On October 18, 2019, these ideas were presented to the larger (mostly teaching) public in a session organized at Modern Academy of Continuing Education.
The Making of the Constitution
-Chitralekha de Bakshi
Drawing from Gautam Bhatia’s talk on the transformative nature of the Constitution as a text born out of socio-political and economic realities, here are guidelines to help you flesh out how to introduce students to the Constitution anew, to see it as it was envisioned in its context. Download the guidelines here.
The Preamble (for class 7)
‘We the People of India…’ – we all have a fairly clear idea how the rest goes. Despite our familiarity with the text of the Preamble to the Indian Constitution, what is it about the words that continue to make it so contested? Perhaps it’s long past time we took our students back to the basics. This clear and concise lesson plan inspired from Sambhaji Bhagat’s refreshing workshop at the 2019 conference is a great way to go about it : Click here to download.
What is Article 370?
-Sumana Sen, Aparajita Roy
We live in tumultous times, times that are a ‘live history lab’ of sorts that our students need to keep pace with and learn to analyse if the contents of our social science books are to remain relevant. In keeping with this train of thought, two teachers from MHS put together a practical classroom-friendly model to bring students into the dialogue around the abrogation of Article 370 that dissolved the statehood of Jammu and Kashmir.
Ordinances and how effective are they?
Taking off from Babloo Loitongbam’s hard-hitting session on the AF(S)PA in Manipur earlier this year, this lesson structure forges the ‘Powers of the President’ segment of Civics syllabi, specifically Emergency powers, to ground reality, using Nagaland and Manipur as case studies of declared and undeclared emergencies. Spanning two 30 minute sessions, this lesson flow encourages a critical look at human rights abuses closer home that continue, undisturbed by the existence of the Constitution.
Understanding the Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression
Unsure how to connect current issues of concern to school syllabi?
Aimed at class 9 students and spanning two 45 minute class periods, this detailed lesson plan focuses on one right: the right to freedom of speech and expression. It moves from a broad history of ‘free speech’ going back to Socrates to involving students through activities in a critical study of reasonable restrictions, and then the case study of the communication blockdown in Kashmir post-5 Aug, 2019.