School knowledge, Curriculum and Texts [Advanced Course in Curriculum Studies

Home/ School knowledge, Curriculum and Texts [Advanced Course in Curriculum Studies
Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation CoreSES2012024

Semester and Year Offered: Semester III (Monsoon Semester 2017)

Course Coordinator and Team:Dr. Gunjan Sharma

Email of course

Pre-requisites:It is desirable that the students have taken Curriculum Theory and Practice (Semester 2, MA Education)

Aim:The course willadopt a sociological perspective to engage with ‘School knowledge, curriculum and texts’. It aims at:

  1. Enhancing the understandings developed in the core course Curriculum Theory and Practice, with a specific theoretical focus (critical theory in education)
  2. Locating school curriculum and texts in a larger socio-politico-cultural context
  3. Learning to critically analyse curricular materials like curriculum frameworks, syllabus &textbooks
  4. Engaging in selected exercises that form a part of curriculum practice and/or research (ex: analyzing and selecting texts for school children).

Course Outcomes:

By the end of this course, the students will be able to:

  1. Explain the development of curriculum studies as an area while drawing linkages with the socio-politico-cultural context of education
  2. Analyse the debates on school curriculum and textbooks from a sociology of school knowledge perspective.
  3. Select and analyse material for school textbooks
  4. Critically explain the challenges of curriculum and textbook design in a democratic political context and in this process take a position on a spectrum of perspectives.


Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

  1. Introduction: Situating the frame (1 week): This module will build linkages with the second semester course Curriculum Theory and Practice, particularly with the models of curriculum planning.
  2. School knowledge and texts (3 weeks): This module will review the discourse on ‘school knowledge’ (as situated inthe new sociology of education and critical theory perspectives) while engaging with the development of curriculum studies as an area.
  3. Teachers, texts and children (3 weeks): This module will engage in examining policy processes with a specific focus on classroom practices and narratives of school teachers and children. It will involve a field based assignment and invited interactions with teachers.
  4. Analysing and selecting textbooks (4 weeks): This module will introduce students to the process of textbook analysis. It will engage with the issues involved in selection of texts for schoolchildren.


Assessment Details with weights:

  • Participation (10%): Participation in the google classroom discussions (capture questions on readings)
  • One field based presentation& write-up (35%)
  • One written assignment (35%)
  • Modelling a textbook committee (20%)


Reading List:

Essential (may be revised):

  • Flinders, D. J. and Thorton, S. J. (Eds.). (2009). The curriculum studies reader (3rd ed.). New York: Routledge. (Introduction, preludes to the various sections and afterword)
  • Pacheco, J. Augusto. (2012). Curriculum studies: What is the field today? Journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Curriculum Studies, 8, pp. 2-15.
  • Whitty, G. (1985). Sociology and school knowledge: Curriculum theory, research and politics (pp. 7-29). Methuen London.
  • Hammersley, M. and Hargreaves, A. (2012). Introduction. Curriculum practice: Some sociological case studies (Vol. 18) (pp. 1-14). London: Routledge Library Editions.
  • Young, M.F.D. (2009). Bringing knowledge back in: From Social Constructivism to Social Realism in the Sociology of Education (pp. xv-xix). London: Routledge. (Introduction)
  • Kumar, K. (2001). Prejudice and pride: School histories of the freedom struggle in India and Pakistan. New Delhi: Viking Penguin. (Introduction and Chapter 4 – Ideology and power)
  • Berger, P. and Luckman, T. (1966). The social construction of reality: A treatise in the sociology of knowledge (pp. 11-29). London: Penguine Books.
  • N.C.E.R.T. A study of the evolution of the textbook from the ancient to the modern period.
  • Kumar, K. (1988). Origins of India's "textbook culture". Comparative Education Review, 32(4), pp. 452-464.
  • Apple, M. W. (2000). Cultural politics and the text. Official knowledge, 2nd edn (2000), pp. 42–60. London: Routledge.
  • GoI. (2005). Regulatory mechanisms for textbooks taught in schools outside the government system (Chairpersons: Gopal Guru and Zoya Hasan). CABE, MHRD.
  • Apple, M.W. (1998). The culture and commerce of the textbooks. In Beyer, L.E. and Apple, M.W. (Eds.) The curriculum: Problems, politics and possibilities (2nd ed) (pp. 157-172). NY: State University of New York Press. [Or Apple, M. W. (1988). Teachers and texts. (Chapter 4)].
  • Nirantar. Textbook regimes: A feminist critique of nation and identity – Overall analysis.
  • Ravitch, D. (2003). Textbook cases. New England Review, 24(2), pp. 150-164.
  • Smith, A. (1985). Textbook selection: A more defined way. American Secondary Education, 14(3), pp. 6-9.
  • Weber, R. P. (2004). Content analysis. In C. Seale (Ed.), Social research methods, pp.117-124. London: Routledge.



  • Nair, J. (2005). 'Dead certainties' and the politics of textbook writing. Economic and political weekly, 40(16), pp. 1587+1589-1592.
  • Kirst, M.W. (1984). Choosing textbooks: Reflections of a state board president. American Educator, 8, 18-23. (to be procured)
  • Kumar, K. (2004). Textbooks and educational culture. In What is worth teaching (pp. 15-28). Delhi: Orient Blackswan
  • Bernstien, B. (2003). Social class and pedagogic practice. In the structuring of pedagogic discourse, (Vol. IV) Class, Codes and Control (pp. 63–93). London: Routledge
  • Willis, P. (1981). Learning to labour (171-175). Hampshire: Gower.
  • Menon, U. (2003). Where have the mangoes gone? Economic and Political Weekly, 38(18), 1747-1749.
  • Giroux, Henry. (1996). Animating the youth: Disneyfication of children’s culture. In Fugitive cultures, race, violence and youth, pp. 89 – 114. London: Routledge. (CIE library)
  • Kumar, K. (1996). Bacchekibhashaauradhyapak: Eknirdeshika. Delhi: NBT.
  • Kumar, K. (1988). Social character of learning. New Delhi: Sage. (Chapter 5 – Third World in televised text)
  • Batra, P. (Ed.) (2010). Social science learning in schools: Perspective and challenges. Sage: India. (Part 2: Chapters 1 and 2)
  • Kumar, K. (1988). Social character of learning. New Delhi: Sage. (Chapter 1 – Study of educational texts)