Eklavya’s social science programme for middle schools ran on an experimental basis during mid 1980s up to 2002. Later some of the contents of the text books were shaped as independent books for student readership. The team had also helped in the development of text books in a number of states. One of the fallouts of the school programme was a study on the problems of geography education. This examined the text books and the responses to it from students and teachers. The outcomes of the study, first prepared as a report is now being organised to be published as a book.    Another effort was to address some problems of map learning through a project that studied map difficulties of young students, reviewed atlases available in the market and then proceeded to make new types of maps.

In the last five decades or so Geography has questioned its own conventional frameworks and established itself through the study of space and society. The conventional notions of space solely as a physical entity has seen reinterpretations whereby the social and the spatial are now seen as acting together, as entities that cannot be separated for a deep understanding of geography. These understandings have been used for critique of curriculum and text books of geography. We are also in the process of developing materials on social geography of India. Moreover we have had the opportunity to contribute to the development and teaching of a collaborative course on education at the postgraduate level at TISS (Tata Institute of Social Sciences), Mumbai.

Review of Text Books

Geography text books were studied and a critical review written:

  • ’Analysing Current practices in geography education’, Economic and Political Weekly, Jan 21, 2006,. This was reprinted in R.S.Singh (ed)(2009), Indian Geography: Perspectives, Concepts and Issues, Rawat Publishers, Jaipur

A review of a chapter of social science text book of Kerala (2007) was done and presented in a seminar organised by People’s Research Society, Bhopal :

  • ‘Communalisation of Education’ Economic and Political Weekly, Jun 5, 2010,

       Translated into Hindi and published by Shiksha Vimarsh, July- Aug 2010

Published in Malayalam Weekly,July 2, 2010,.


Geography in Eklavya’s social science programme was critically reviewed and published:

  • ‘Geography Curriculum and Text books’ in Poonam Batra (ed) Social Science Learning in Schools: Perspectives and Challenges, Sage Publications, New Delhi.

The geography framework of Eklavya’s social science books was examined and new possibilities examined through the Social science books of Kerala SCERT, 2008:

  • Legitimisation of Knowledge: Political Connotations in Geography’ in R.Singh (ed) Indian Geography in the 21st Century: The Young Geographers Agenda, Cambridge Scholars Publishing,

Edited version translated into Hindi in Sandarbh , Issue 14, Sept- Oct 2010 


Seminar Presentations and Publications

A paper titled ‘Geography, development and politics’ was presented at a seminar held at Benares Hindu University in Nov 2012.

A presentation on school geography was made at Centre for Earth Science Studies, Trivandrum in December 2012.

An article on map learning published in Sandarbh –Maps and their ghosts-

Study on Geography Education

The study had focused on one of the fundamental topics of school geography, identified popularly by geographers as its basics, ‘the movements of the earth’. As with many concepts of science, here too there is a wide gap between what is experienced by students (like the flat earth) and the science model (the spherical earth). Students were seen to be making interpretations of these processes on the basis of their own experiences, thus the gap continued to be unaddressed even after years of schooling. Where does the problem lie? We conclude that it lies in more than one place- in text book and pedagogy that does not acknowledge the existing learning of children from which the journey to scientific knowledge cannot be a one- shot jump, and in the process of text writing that does not pay sufficient attention to the history of geography which shows that the basics of geography cartography that was developed through applications of astronomy. 

Some papers written on the basis of the study:

  • ‘Experience and Science in Geography Education’, Economic and Political Weekly, Jun 14, 2008, pp 45-49.
  • ‘Teacher, society and modern school’, Economic and Political Weekly, Apr 23, 2011,

Also published in Shiksha Vimarsh


Material Development

We are developing new materials on geography that focuses on social geography of India and the creation of new maps for the purpose. The first of the series, a book on Rajasthan, is shortly to be published. Maps for a large number of states have been made and the process of text writing is ongoing.

Course Development and Teaching

The course ‘Pedagogy of Social Studies’ (TISS) focuses on nature of social science, the historic contexts and changes happening in social science at school level, nature, content and challenges in history, geography and ‘civics’, text book reviews and exercises of desk review combined with  classroom observations. Seven batches of students have so far been taught this course.  

National Curriculum Framework, 2005

NCF, 2005 was formulated through discussions and deliberations through a large number of focus groups. We had participated in the focus group processes for Social Science.

Study on History Text Books

Social Science text books of NCERT show major changes after NCF, 2005. Eklavya had participated in some of the text book writing processes of NCERT. But how are they being transacted on ground? What are the challenges at theoretical and practical levels? We have taken up some of the history books of NCERT for a study that would focus on a desk review as well as class room observations. The study is ongoing.   

As Resource Agency

The Social Science team had contributed to the writing of text books in a number of states like Rajasthan, Assam and Ladakh. In the post NCF phase we have contributed through SCERTs of Kerala, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh.