Course: Teaching of Pakitan Studies (6511) Semester: Autumn, 2022 Level: MA/M.Ed.
Q.1 Discuss the nature and need of Pakistan Studies and further elaborte the relation with other subjects.
PAKISTAN Studies is a subject that aims at enhancing students’ knowledge about history, culture and geography of Pakistan and to inculcate patriotism in the hearts of students so that they may become a good citizen.
Although Pakistan Studies is a compulsory subject from Class IX up to the university level, it is an astonishing fact that many of the students are unaware of important historical figures and events.
Even if they know some, it’s just the names of some of the famous personalities and not the details about their achievements, life and causes of success or downfall.
The books on Pakistan Studies of different levels cover the topics which are repeated in all of them.
There is no need to teach about those selected topics at each level. Instead the need is to include more topics, which could be informative, as well as beneficial, for the students.
Besides history, there should be topics of current issues and problems which our country is currently facing.
Human rights and its importance must be taught to eradicate social evils and problems which our country is facing.
Moreover, the content presented in the book should not mould students to become narrow-minded and parochial. Aims should be to open the faculty to accept past follies and learn to rectify the mistakes.
This would create enlightenment in students and encourage them to get what their ancestors did not achieve.
It is highly important that textbooks are free from indoctrination and any kind of bias or stereotyping and should give actual facts and figures.
This does not mean that textbooks should only contain facts and figures, rather they should be presented in an interesting way so that students enjoy learning and reading books.
It should create and develop interest towards the subject and help widen their outlooks and open new vistas of knowledge. There should be a variety of questions, as well as activities, for learners so that they can learn with fun.
References and sources must be given in the books for further study.
Q.2 Highlight the objectives of teaching Pakistan studies at Elementary level.
Pakistan studies curriculum is the nameof a curriculum of academic research and study that encompasses the culture, demographics, geography, history, International Relations and politics of Pakistan. The subject is widely researched in and outside the country, though outside Pakistan it is typically part of a broader South Asian studies or some other wider field. Several universities in Pakistan have departments and research centers dedicated to the subject, whereas many independent research institutes carry out multidisciplinary research on Pakistan Studies. There are also a number of international organizations that are engaged in collaborative teaching, research, and exchange activities on the subject.
As the second largest South Asian country, and one of the major actors in the politics of the Muslim world, Pakistan is a focus of multidisciplinary studies. Various universities in the United States and the United Kingdom have research groups busy in academic and research related activities on Pakistan Studies. One such example is the American Institute of Pakistan Studies (AIPS) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, established since 1973. An affiliate of the Association for Asian Studies, the institute regularly holds events such as seminars, public lectures, and conferences on various topics related to the Pakistan Studies. It also offers annual international fellowships for the research on materials relating to the history and culture of Pakistan.
In April 2004, AIPS organized an international workshop on the Salt Range Culture Zone of Pakistan at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Wisconsin–Madison. The event provided the international audience with an opportunity to understand the archaeological and architectural heritage of the country.
Another academic initiative is the British Association for Pakistan Studies that was established in 1989. The forum has wider views on the topic than the common historiographical contexts, and encourages research and dialogue that involves both the academics and practitioners. The forum acknowledges that the topic has not received the sort of individual attention that the country and its society deserve, and therefore strives to increase international awareness on the subject.
There are also larger multinational and multicultural organizations that provide pluralist platforms for the discussions and debates on Pakistan Studies within the wider contexts of Asia. The Asia Foundation, for example, has launched specific projects for a diverse understanding of the subject through actions on local governance, civil society, human rights, and healthcare as well as political, economic, judicial, and foreign relations.[
Pakistan Studies is one of the few heritage subjects for O-level[ and IGCSE qualifications governed by Cambridge International Examinations. The syllabus covers Pakistan’s history, cultural heritage, national identity, geography, economy, and environment, as well as the challenges and opportunities faced by the country
In Pakistan, the subject is one of the three compulsory courses (along with the Urdu and English language courses) at the Secondary School and Higher Secondary school levels of education. It is also taught as a degree course at most of the Social Science departments in many universities. There are also university departments dedicated to the education and research in Pakistan Studies.
Many of these departments provide degree programmes for in-depth studies, as well as research facilities for MPhil and PhD scholars. Courses broadly range from the history, politics and linguistics to the country’s geography and economics, and from foreign affairs and religion studies to the social relations and literature. The focused attention on the subject at higher education levels means a wider scope for the research, thus making the subject an increasingly interdisciplinary one.
The variable political history of Pakistan shows the country being ruled alternately by the civilian and military leaderships. This lack of political succession has had its effects on the way the history was depicted in the curricula of Pakistan Studies until 2006, which increasingly portrayed what Rubina Saigol termed as ‘glorification of military’. However, the occasional attempts to alter the historical texts did not escape criticisms from the academics and scholars in Pakistan and abroad. Historian Ayesha Jalal in her 1995 article also raised concerns over the trends of official historiography in Pakistan’s history textbooks.
Yvette Rosser, in an article based on her PhD thesis, regards such curriculum as a composite of patriotic discourses. She identifies significant defects, inherent contradictions and inaccurate information within educational syllabus in general and the Pakistan Studies textbooks in particular. In 2003, Sustainable Development Policy Institute in Pakistan published a report that had emerged from a survey of text books of Urdu, English, Social Studies and Civics subjects being taught at the secondary and higher secondary school levels. The survey identified inaccuracies of fact and omissions that appeared to distort the significance of actual events in the country’s history. Some of the prominent issues included the lack of understanding towards the civil society, religious diversity, and gender relations. The report recommended for major structural reforms and establishment of a National Education Advisory Board to centralise the curriculum development and carry out regular revisions.
About the international perception of the subject, Burzine Waghmar of the School of Oriental and African Studies argues that Pakistan Studies is increasingly perceived with sonorous sessions on weapons control, civil unrest, bonded labour, gender inequality and the like. These issues are considered among major hurdles to the wider international interest in the subject. Waghmar concludes that Pakistan and India, among other oriental societies, are plagued by visceral nationalism and post-imperial neurosis where state-sanctioned dogmas suppress eclectic historical readings.
According to the Sustainable Development Policy Institute report ‘Associated with the insistence on the Ideology of Pakistan has been an essential component of hate against India and the Hindus. For the upholders of the Ideology of Pakistan, the existence of Pakistan is defined only in relation to Hindus, and hence the Hindus have to be painted as negatively as possible. A 2005 report by the National Commission for Justice and Peace a non profit organization in Pakistan, found that Pakistan Studies textbooks in Pakistan have been used to articulate the hatred that Pakistani policy-makers have attempted to inculcate towards the Hindus. ‘Vituperative animosities legitimise military and autocratic rule, nurturing a siege mentality. Pakistan Studies textbooks are an active site to represent India as a hostile neighbour’ the report stated. ‘The story of Pakistan’s past is intentionally written to be distinct from, and often in direct contrast with, interpretations of history found in India. From the government-issued textbooks, students are taught that Hindus are backward and superstitious.’ Further the report stated ‘Textbooks reflect intentional obfuscation. Today’s students, citizens of Pakistan and its future leaders are the victims of these partial truths’.
An editorial in Pakistan’s oldest newspaper Dawn commenting on a report in The Guardian on Pakistani Textbooks noted ‘By propagating concepts such as jihad, the inferiority of non-Muslims, India’s ingrained enmity with Pakistan, etc., the textbook board publications used by all government schools promote a mindset that is bigoted and obscurantist. Since there are more children studying in these schools than in madrassahs the damage done is greater. ‘
According to the historian Professor Mubarak Ali, textbook reform in Pakistan began with the introduction of Pakistan Studies and Islamic studies by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in 1971 into the national curriculum as compulsory subject. Former military dictator Gen Zia-ul-Haq under a general drive towards Islamization, started the process of historical revisionism in earnest and exploited this initiative. ‘The Pakistani establishment taught their children right from the beginning that this state was built on the basis of religion – that’s why they don’t have tolerance for other religions and want to wipe-out all of them.’
According to Pervez Hoodbhoy, a physics professor at Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad, the Islamizing of Pakistan’s schools began in 1976 when an act of parliament required all government and private schools (except those teaching the British O-levels from Grade 9) to follow a curriculum that includes learning outcomes for the federally approved Grade 5 social studies class such as: ‘Acknowledge and identify forces that may be working against Pakistan,’ ‘Make speeches on Jihad,’ ‘Collect pictures of policemen, soldiers, and national guards,’ and ‘India’s evil designs against Pakistan’. However, according to Rasul Baksh Rais, a political scientist, he has yet to see proof of anti-India or anti-Hindu bias.
Referring to NCERT’s extensive review of textbooks in India in 2004, Verghese considered the erosion of plural and democratic values in textbooks in India, and the distortion of history in Pakistan to imply the need for coordination between Bangladeshi, Indian, and Pakistani historians to produce a composite history of the South Asia as a common reader.
However, international scholars also warn that any attempt for educational reforms under international pressure or market demands should not overlook the specific expectations of the people at local levels.
Following the extensive media debate and academic reiteration on the need to update the curriculum at all levels of education, the Government of Pakistan carried out measures in 2006 to improve the national curriculum for Pakistan Studies. These actions were based on the earlier studies and recommendations by the former University Grants Commission in 2001] and then later by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC) in 2003
The new curriculum, for secondary and higher school certificates, was implemented from 2007 to include the political history from pre-independence to the modern times, international relations, evolution of the country’s economy and demographics, diversity of regional cultures and languages, and the status of religious groups with specific reference to Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s views that he expressed at his speech of 11 August 1947. It also eliminates prejudice against non-Muslims, efforts have been made to exclude all such material that promotes prejudice against the non-Muslims of pre-independence India.
Subsequently, the need was also realised to standardise the subject framework across the university degrees. As a result, in 2007, the Curriculum Division at the HEC revised the syllabus for the degrees of Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Pakistan Studies. The new higher education course outline goes beyond the literature, politics, history and culture, and addresses the contemporary challenges of urbanisation, foreign policy and environmentThe recommendations also imply the needs for training the teachers to improve their communication skills in accordance with the new structures.
Q.3 Critically analyse the curriculum of Pakistan Studies and forward suggestions for its improvement.
In the history of curriculum development in Pakistan in 1960, social studies were introduced as compulsory subject at elementary and secondary levels. Later on in 1976, the name of “Social studies” was changed to “Pakistan Studies” for high classes (ix-x) with particular emphasis on its ideological, historical, geographical, socio-economic and cultural aspects of the country.
The content of Pakistan studies at secondary level spreads over ten chapters for class x.
The content of each chapter is briefly stated
Chapter# 1 Ideological Basis of Pakistan
This chapter contains themes such as
- Features of an Islamic society
- Ideology of Pakistan
- National characteristics
Chapter#2 the Making of Pakistan
This chapter discusses
- Different revival movements started by shah waliullah, syed Ahmed shaheed, Haji Shariatyllah etc.
- Two nation theory, Muslim League as mass movement and the establishment of Pakistan.
- Role of various provinces in making of Pakistan.
Chapter# 3 the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
This chapter concentrates on the objective resolution, constitution making history, the Islamic and main provisions of 1973 constitution. The chapter ends with explaining the causes of the fall of East Pakistan.
Chapter# 4 Land and Climate of Pakistan
The chapter discusses the geographical features and characteristics of Pakistan. Sub themes of the chapter are
- Physical features
- Climate of Pakistan
- Influence of climate on the activities of the people in different regions.
Chapter# 5 Resources of Pakistan
This chapter discusses different types of resources such as
- Natural resources
- Agricultural resources
- Mineral resources
- Power resources
- Human resources
The underlying concepts of the chapter are conservation, preservation and exploitation of resources. Children are also made aware of the irrigation system of Pakistan and the reforms which have been brought in agriculture.
Chapter# 6 Industrial Development in Pakistan
The industrial resources include such topics as means of communication, roads, railways, air, sea, trade and commerce, foreign trade etc. The chapter also describes the different types of industries.
Chapter# 7 Population of Pakistan
This chapter includes the following topics
- Demography: Population and population characteristics urban/rural, literacy rate.
- Growth of population, migration
- Development of resources and population growth
Students are adequately familiarized with the concepts of census, population, population growth, urbanization and migration factors and forces.
Chapter# 8 the Pakistani Culture
The culture of Pakistan include such topics
- Language of Pakistan
- The importance of national language
- Common culture manifestation in the national life
- Dress, arts, crafts, and festivals
In the context of cultural orientation, the concepts of unity, integration, national cohesion, preservation of heritage and promotion of national unity in diversity, patriotism etc has been highlighted in the content.
Chapter# 9 Education in Pakistan
The education in Pakistan discusses such issues and types of education system in Pakistan
- Formal primary, secondary and professional education
- Importance of education in different fields of life
- Problems and prospects of education
Chapter# 10 Pakistan: A welfare state
The main features of the content contained in this chapter are the concepts of welfare state, national goals, need for sustained constructive efforts, and self sufficiency in food, universal education, egalitarian society, universal brotherhood and world peace, balanced distribution of resources and role of individuals towards welfare state.
The curriculum of Pakistan studies is comprehensive in nature. A thematic approach has been adopted for all its constituent parts of history, geography, civics and economics of country but the chapters are not given in separate thematic strands.
Some of the chapters like ‘Resources’ and industrial development in Pakistan are unnecessarily lengthy and slightly difficult and boring for students, while others are normal in length and lead students from easy to difficult concept.
On the whole the course is theoretical in nature, not supported by various activities to be carried out by students so that the subject could be making interesting and consolidate the understanding of concepts around the topic. Activity is the natural urge of the child, while this need of the child is not incorporated to bring the student close to the real life situation.
No objectives are given in the beginning of each chapter. Contents are not devised properly due to lack of objectives.
In order to make the student familiar of social, cultural and geographical environment, study trips is the most important activity but we cannot see any provision for such trips.
A variety of audio-visual aids have not been recommended to be used in teaching of Pakistan studies. There is no indication which type of aid is prepared by teachers and students.
No pictorial representation i.e. pictures of important personalities and places are not provided. The book is not attractive for the students.
New social problems & issues will emerge with the passage of time but in this book there is no flexibility to absorb and accommodate such changes and development without disturbing its fundamentals and equilibrium.
Important project work is not given at the end of each unit as to ensure the participation of social children in various community based activities outside the school.
There is no provision of skill development for school children e.g. Map making, or making models of different form of landscapes.
Being teacher of Pakistan studies I noticed many students consider Pakistan studies as the most boring, dry and difficult subject. The need is to make it interesting so that they may not memorize the content instead motivated to develop strong intellectual and social skill to build a moral society.
Q4: What are the factors which affect content selection? What is the rationale for adopting the principles of selection of content for Pakistan Studies.
The micro curriculum employs the seven criteria for the selection of subject matter below. For the macro curriculum, the subjects needed for the curricular program or course comprise the content.
To help learners attain maximum self-sufficiency most economically is the central guiding principle of subject matter or content selection (Scheffler, 1970) as cited by Bilbao et al. (2008). Although the economy of learning implies less teaching effort and less use of educational resources, students gain more results. They can cope up with the learning outcomes effectively.
This criterion means students should be given a chance to experiment, observe, and do field study. This system allows them to learn independently.
With this principle in mind, I suggest that there should be a one-day independent learning activity each week for a high school curriculum or preparatory year. However, this should be carefully planned by the teacher. When the students return, they should present outputs from the activity.
The subject matter or content is significant if it is selected and organized to develop learning activities, skills, processes, and attitudes. It also develops the three domains of learning, namely the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor skills, and considers the learners’ cultural aspects. Particularly, if your students come from different cultural backgrounds and races, the subject matter must be culture-sensitive.
In short, select content or subject matter that can achieve the overall aim of the curriculum.
Validity refers to the authenticity of the subject matter or content you selected. Make sure that the topics are not obsolete.
For example, do not include typewriting as a skill to be learned by college students. It should be about the computer or Information Technology (IT).
Thus, there is a need to regularly check the curriculum’s subject matter or contents and replace it if necessary. Do not wait for another five years to change it.
Modern curriculum experts are after current trends, relevance, and authenticity of the curriculum; otherwise, the school or the country become obsolete.
Some teachers are bookish.
This criterion is valid to the learner-centered curriculum. Students learn best if the subject matter is interesting, thus makes it meaningful to them.
However, if the curriculum is subject-centered, teachers have no choice but to finish the pacing schedule religiously and only teach what is in the book. This approach explains why many students fail in the subject.
Another criterion is the usefulness of the content or subject matter. Students think that a subject matter or some subjects are not necessary to them. They view it as useless. As a result, they do not study.
Here are the questions that students often ask:
- Will I need the subject in my job?
- Will it give meaning to my life?
- Will it develop my potentials?
- Will it solve my problem?
- Will it be part of the test?
- Will I have a passing mark if I learn it?
Students only value the subject matter or content if it is useful to them.
The subject matter or content must be within the schema of the learners. It should be within their experiences. Teachers should apply theories in the psychology of learning to know how subjects are presented, sequenced, and organized to maximize students’ learning capacity.
Feasibility means the full implementation of the subject matter. It should consider the school’s real situation, the government, and society. Students must learn within the allowable time and the use of resources available. Do not give them a topic that is impossible to finish.
For example, you have only one week left to finish the unit, but the activities may take a month for the students to complete. Thus, this requirement is not workable.
Do not offer a computer subject if there is no electricity in the area, or there are no computers.
Further, feasibility means that there should be teachers who are experts in that area. For example, do not offer English for Business Communication if there is no teacher to handle it.
Also, there is a need to consider the nature of the learners. The organization and design of the subject matter or content must be appropriate for the nature of students.
Q.5 Compare Activity method and Project method. In your view which is the most appropriate for teaching Pakistan Studies.
A project is a multistep activity undertaken by an individual or group to achieve a particular aim. With that broad definition there’s a lot of project-based learning happening in schools these days. Some is better than others and there are a lot of variations: some thin, some deep; some teacher-led, some student-driven; some with clear deliverables, and some very open-ended.
In an effort to help educators select a strategy appropriate for intended outcomes, this post is an attempt at providing a framework for variations on project-based learning (PBL) and part of our project-based world campaign.
Gold Standard PBL
Buck Institute for Education (BIE) defines project-based learning as “a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an engaging and complex question, problem or challenge.” Their Gold Standard PBL Essential Project Design Elements include:
Key Knowledge, Understanding and Success Skills. The project is focused on student learning goals, including standards-based content and skills such as critical thinking/problem solving, collaboration and self-management.
Challenging Problem or Question. The project is framed by a meaningful problem to solve or a question to answer, at the appropriate level of challenge.
Sustained Inquiry. Students engage in a rigorous, extended process of asking questions, finding resources and applying information.
Authenticity. The project features real-world context, tasks and tools, quality standards or impact. Or it speaks to students’ personal concerns, interests and issues in their lives.
Student Voice & Choice. Students make some decisions about the project, including how they work and what they create.
Reflection. Students and teachers reflect on learning, the effectiveness of their inquiry and project activities, the quality of student work, obstacles and how to overcome them.
Critique & Revision. Students give, receive and use feedback to improve their process and products.
Public Product. Students make their project work public by explaining, displaying and/or presenting it to people beyond the classroom.
We think that is a good and useful set of design principles. Most of it applies not only to project-based learning but also to a group of related instructional strategies. We see seven key dimensions (design variables) for projects and related learning activities:
Outcomes: Clearly defined up front or open-ended
Directed: Teacher designed or student designed
Scope: Narrow or integrated
Steps: Short problems or extended multi-step project
Approach: Individual or team
Manager: Teacher managed or student managed
Combinations: PBL combined with other strategies
Each of these dimensions offers a series of tradeoffs. The continua presented below aren’t a range of bad to good, they are a series of instructional strategies that should be consciously selected for a set of intended outcomes.
Outcomes: Clearly Defined Up Front or Open-Ended
Projects typically have a set of desired outcomes and defined deliverables; often knowledge, skills as well as dispositions. Desired outcomes are often incorporated into a rubric assessment and clearly communicated up front.
Learning experiences with less well-defined content outcomes (although they may be quite specific to a particular skill set) include:
Inquiry-based learning focuses on questioning, critical thinking and problem-solving. “The idea behind true inquiry-based learning is to ignite your students’ curiosity, the spark that motivates them and makes them want to learn more,” said Chicago teacher Georgia Mathis. She identifies three or four lines of inquiry explored simultaneously over a five-week period allowing student voice and choice in production of something that demonstrates acquisition of knowledge and understanding. With well-defined lines of inquiry and guidance in research and production, inquiry-based learning is very similar to project-based learning.
Applied learning emphasizes hands on experiences. Like Project Lead The Way courses, they may be a series of teacher-led activities or more open-ended projects.
Maker education is only bounded by the materials, tools, and creativity of teachers and learners. It’s a design and tinkering experience based on a particular challenge and/or set of resources.
Exploration-based learning includes virtual science environments, virtual reality expeditions, and outdoor learning experiences. Pathways may be limited, directed, adaptive or open-ended.
Creative play, such as the Global Cardboard Challenge, lets children explore their interests and passions through open-ended activity but can be relatively specific about desired outcomes including creativity, critical thinking, resourcefulness, perseverance and teamwork.
Well defined outcomes → Identified options → Guided discovery → Open ended
Project topics and deliverables can be defined by a teacher as they are at most New Tech Network schools.