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Schoolbooks Archive

  1. Vision

    The project’s vision is to:

    • set up an open-access, multimodal, collaborative, international archive of schoolbooks and artefacts related to school education; and
    • facilitate its effective usage by a diverse set of users such as school teachers, schoolbook writers, curriculum developers, illustrators, editors, printers, publishers, historians and education- researchers.

    The vision is detailed in the following sections.

  2. Content of the Archive
    • International Perspective: The archive will be designed with and promote, an international perspective.

      i. Specifically, given the shared educational and textbook culture in South Asia, it will have a special focus on Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

      ii. It will also give emphasis to countries of specific interest such as Canada, Finland, Japan, Singapore, South Africa, and South Korea

    • Time-period: The project will, in principle, have no restrictions with respect to the time-period of archived materials. However, as a general guideline, it will focus on both colonial and postcolonial schoolbooks from India and other South Asian countries; whereas for other countries, it will prioritize contemporary textbooks.

  3. Networking and Collaboration

    The archive will primarily be housed at the Azim Premji University. However, it is envisioned as a collaborative project which will provide open-access to its content, to partnering institutions as well as the general public, subject to applicable IP/copyright laws.

    Special efforts will be made to reach out to organizations both within and outside the country that run similar initiatives or may benefit from this project. The initiative views collaborations as opportunities to: learn from the experiences of others, leverage already existing resources, help in finalizing its own priorities as well as maximizing the effective usage of its archive in future.

    In addition, the archive’s website will solicit and allow contributions from users, such as research scholars, historians and teachers. This could include digitized copies from their personal or institutional collections, providing annotations for certain books, documents and so on (curated by a site administrator).

    The initiative may also in due course consider supporting a few regional schoolbooks archives, housed at partner organizations.

  4. Usage of the Archive

    The archive is envisioned not only as a place where academics come to look for materials to answer the questions that interest them but one that kindles interest in and helps a teacher to find answers to her key concerns, that helps a schoolbook writer, illustrator or editor to understand the field better and set new standards; and generally helps challenge the scholar-practitioner divide.

    Creating awareness about the existence of the archive and potential ways in which it can be used; as well as facilitating its effective usage by diverse users (school teachers, curriculum designers, schoolbook writers, illustrators, editors, book designers, printers, publishers, historians, education and policy researchers etc.) are thus key objectives of this initiative; and it will focus on both (building the archive as well as facilitating its usage) right from the beginning.

For more details please see Schoolbooks Archive - Rationale and Sections

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