Construction of children in Indian educational curricular and policy documents (1964–2005)
This chapter describes and critically analyses conceptions of children in important educational documents in India since Independence. We engage in this analysis with two purposes in mind. First, to understand shifts across time, some of which are non-trivial and warrant greater attention. Second, we wish to understand the relationship between particular conceptions of children and the implications that each of these has, for how children’s development, knowledge construction and learning are articulated within these documents. The documents analysed in this chapter include important educational commission reports, national policies on education and curricular frameworks for school education. Our analyses indicate that there have been significant shifts in how children have been constructed and understood over time, especially in terms of increased demarcation of childhood from adulthood, increased child-centrism and in the assumed relationships between the society and the child. Implications of these shifts for education are discussed. We argue that it is critical to rework the psychological in more culturally contextualised ways to keep it relevant to educational theorising about children and their development and learning.