A Workshop for History Teachers

A major problem that most of history teachers face is how to make a history lesson interesting. There is no doubt that most history textbooks have gone through radical shifts (from facts to ideas), but it is still not clear how to bring excitement and fun in the classroom and make history relevant. In order to address these problems, our Social Study team (Diana Romany and I) recently conducted a six hour workshop at Srikumaran School in Bengaluru. We had selected Mughal history, a chapter in class 7 (in both CBSE and ICSE).

Mughal Dynasty was among last leg of Muslim Empires that ruled Indian Subcontinent for about 200 years in 16 th and 17 th centuries AD. The Mughal rulers were known for both their war tactics and creative achievements.

Emperor Akbar, the third ruler of Mughal Empire was one of India’s pioneering rulers with foresights of peace and prosperity. His alliance with Rajput rulers not only brought peace but also led to creative explosion in art, music, dance, literature and so on.

In the workshop, we focused on the creative part which strengthened the Indian civilisation as a seat of harmony, tolerance and prosperity. Simply talking about it makes no sense. We used the case study method by showing a video documentary on Orccha in Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh.

The rulers of Orchha were Rajput mansabdars at the time of Akbar and Jehangir. Because of peaceful coexistence, Orchha prospered in a number of fields, such as music, dance, art, literature. Teachers (about 30 in numbers) tried to analyse and discuss on these aspects while viewing the film. But before this they got acquainted with the richness of Mughal art in groups to get familiarity with the subject.

It was a great learning experience for teachers and us indeed.

By Jitu Misra — Educational Specialist

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Originally published at blog.ei-india.com on June 6, 2016.

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