chapter  5
16 Pages

School Curriculum in the Periphery: The Case of South India

WithPrema Clarke

This presentation portrays the dysfunctionality of Indian formal education for the major portion of its population living in the "periphery." In agreement with educators, who attest to the importance of contextual embeddedness for effective education, it argues that one of the principal causes of this dysfunctionality is the irrelevance of the curriculum to the world of the children living in peripheral areas and communities. Through an examination of the curricular messages in primaryschool social-studies textbooks in Tamil Nadu, South India, this study will demonstrate the predominance of the center's physical and sociocultural ideas and images and a concomitant scarcity of the elements related to the physical and sociocultural world of the periphery. Such biases in the curriculum serve to restricts the appropriateness and usefulness of the education that children in the periphery receive at school.