WHAT THIS SITE IS ALL ABOUT

The domain of social sciences in India, history in particular, is in a state of crisis. It's a subject hardly pursued by anyone, by any 'self-respecting' person if I may add, for not only is history seen to be useless, irrelevant in terms of its epistemological status (for what use is past and its study?) but seen to have little economic value. Such a perception in my view emerges out of erroneous understanding of the subject matter of history. With more than a decade of experience teaching history at different schools largely in mofussil parts of south India I have discovered (and discovering in a slow and painful way, I must add) that history can be everything that a mathematics or sciences could be and more viz it could be stimulating, relevant and yet complex.

Here I seek to share all my efforts in nurturing historical thinking among the young minds of different schools, and put it across on the web which I hope will be a forum of all like minded teachers in India - Teachers and even others who feel that history as a subject in itself is not an issue but more how people perceive it and teach it.

I'm looking at creating a forum for all those interested in popularising history in a fashion which is not chauvinistic, jingoistic but yet history is seen to be romantic, exciting and importantly seen as an imperative to build citizenship qualities and an important tool to fathom the social, political, economic and cultural issues that are transpiring in the society today.

The idea is to dialogue amongst school teachers and others interested in discovering newer framework which are child appropriate and help children/students to the relevance of history. However if one is looking for ready made lesson plans, replicable worksheets etc this is hardly the website for you. The thrust is more towards understanding the concepts, themes in history rather than looking at history through the model of political chronological narratives. 

I believe that all this would further make history enjoyable, entertaining and spur children to unravel the many layers that go to shape our past(s). Ergo I title my site Itihasa* made itihasya (amuse/entertain) and itirahasya (ravel out the factors that shape an event much like a detective trying to solve a mystery) and more.

The idea is to share our experiments in history teaching where we can go wrong but nevertheless such failures helps us to better understand what history is and how best children can learn and understand the relevance and importance of history.


R S Krishna 

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*  I'm not using the word itihasa with any orientalistic attribute as some may assume. Itihasa or 'as it was' implied in ancient texts refer to  a past (in the singular) and as something cast in stone. On the other hand, in keeping with a pluralistic understanding (ergo pasts) that shapes current historiography I believe pasts do keep changing depending upon the kind of questions we bring to bear upon our pasts.