Manish Jain, Central Institute of Education, Department of Education, University of Delhi
Visiting PhD Student: September 2004-May 2005, sponsored by the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute Fellowship
Manish Jain?s doctoral research is a comparative historical study of the civics curriculum in India , Ghana and Canada . It intends to analyze the civics curriculum as a source of social history to understand the use of the citizen figure as a category of exclusion or inclusion of different social groups by reconstituting qualifications of citizenship into differences based on 'absences' and 'lacks' at different historical moments. It will ask how are national and cultural identities negotiated, contested, transformed, defined and redefined in the citizenship education. Are these seen as natural and fixed essences or as historical and socially constructed entities? This study will also enquire how in interaction with new differentiations, civics curriculum silenced or misrepresented the subaltern identities. It also expects to understand the attempts by the state to legitimize itself by socializing the 'future' citizens into proper habits, attitudes and beliefs. This may reflect the crisis of state or/and extension of its disciplinary power.
Manish will use hermeneutic techniques in a historical framework to trace the social archaeology of the civics curriculum. Homi Bhabha's use of the binary other in the context of colonial and postcolonial encounter will be applied to the texts to elaborate their symbolic code which divides citizens as 'self' from the other as 'enemy' and to differentiate civic virtue from the civic vice. This study will also explore the keywords and metaphors in the texts to allocate different places to different social groups in the discourse of citizenship.
The original minutes of government committees, letters, circulars, speeches made by the decision making individuals will be the primary historical sources of public domain. Education policy documents, reports of educational and textbook committees, organizations formed to promote citizenship education will be also examined. Curriculum guides, civics lesson plans of the students of teacher training institutes, interviews with former and present teachers, school magazines, timetable records, civics textbooks, syllabi and examination papers will also used as historical sources. To understand the ethos concerning citizen, the routines, rituals and the symbolic events of everyday schooling, songs used in morning assemblies will be also examined.