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Suggestions and comments on the draft common syllabus 2009 for Environmental science I and II, Science III to X

Comment to Science

By K. V. Meenakshi Sundaram

Observation and reasoning forms the basis of the elementary science education. Draft common syllabus 2009 for science acknowledges the importance of observation and reasoning in the introductory note by quoting the NCF 2005. On the contrary we find the contents of the syllabus lay a soft view on observation and reasoning part. At elementary level observation and reasoning can be noticed but from Class VI to X there is a complete paradigm shift away from observation and reasoning. It downplays the vision on observation and reasoning. From Class VI to X the contents looks updated but the same age old strategy of dumping of scientific information is followed again.

History of science should be interesting. It should be added from Class III onwards in a phased manner. Life and experiences of the scientist must also be added from primary to high school level. Biography of a scientist comes in Cass IX it could be added even at Class III with appropriate contents.

Environmental Science should also address the draining of the underground water by commercialization of water, Plantation in slopes on hills stations etc. Some of the important reasons for climate change such as excess emission of green house gases with excess electricity usage by developed nations, nuclear bomb testing, etc should be dealt.

Theoretical work load on Class VII, VIII, IX and X may be reduced instead practical application of scientific ideas and concepts should be introduced. Certain units lack coherence.

The evolution of the subject Chemistry from the Alchemy can be cited. The progressive trends that replaced the older ideas of alchemy should be introduced. So that the child can understand the important characteristics underlying science that is “change”

This year commemorates 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin and 150th anniversary of his theory of evolution. It is right time to introduce Darwin’s theory of evolution of species in appropriate doses from primary to high school. Botany and zoology can be well understood only with the frequent visit and survey to Botanical and zoological parks. Reports and submission of such field visit should be manually done by the students.

The interrelationship between the four different divisions of the basic science (Physics, Chemistry, Botany and zoology) may well be explained to make the pupil to understand the multidisciplinary nature of science. And all divisions of the basic sciences are attempting to answer one question “nature” which gives a holistic and multidisciplinary approach.

The growing market economy has made the people as greedy consumers rather than responsible citizens which have allowed the growth of the superstitious beliefs amidst the scientific developments, which is causing many imbalances and ill effects in society. This can well be countered by inducing scientific temperament at a very young age.

The development of science must lead to social emancipation and for the creation of just and equitable society and not for self centered career development of an individual. This should be imbibed in the heart of the children. The syllabus may be redesigned to address this vital issue.

Note to follow the comments on syllabus:

  • 1. The text entered in bold needs to be added. The explanation for this is given at the bottom of the same page and referred with respective superscript numbers.
  • 2. The text entered in Italics should be removed and reason for the removal is stated at the bottom of the same page and referred with respective superscript numbers.
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