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This study critically examines the micro-realties within Science and Mathematics classrooms to understand the complex and contradictory ways in which schools seek to enhance capabilities and functioning of students, particularly girls. It uses the framework of a hidden curriculum, which despite providing a powerful learning context, is not explored or discussed enough in educational research, public policy and practice in India. It seeks to understand how the prevailing hidden curriculum in sample schools affects students’ self-efficacy in these subjects, thereby influencing their performance and future aspirations. To this end, it uses a descriptive research design and a mixed methodology aimed at data triangulation.

The study is located in three co-ed secondary schools of Delhi, purposively selected to provide a comparative picture between a public school, a low-cost private school and a private school that caters to children from middle to upper middle-income groups. It is expected that this empirically grounded study will inform policy practice and strengthen teaching and learning outcomes in Science and Mathematics in India, and particularly help address school system barriers that contribute to underachievement and unequal participation of girls in these subjects.



Arpan Tulsyan is a Ph.D. from the Department of Social Work from Delhi University, specialising in the interface of gender and education. She has 12+ years of experience in conducting social research, policy analysis and developing a range of knowledge products. She also writes newspaper columns on contemporary policy issues.

Additional writing / Articles

Living with Hunger (Book), Co-author, NBT, June 2013

Gender Equality, Single Sex Schools and Coeducation: What Research Tells Us, Journal of Contemporary Educational Research and Innovations, August 2017

Educating the Girl Child: Parity, Quality and Equality, Education India, November 2017

Happiness begets happiness (op-ed), 19th July 2018, Indian Express

Children and Sexuality: how to Counterbalance misinformation from internet, TV, Smutty magazines (op-ed), 31st July, Times of India

Playground fair: A fundamental right to sports can take us towards a gender inclusive society, 4th Sept., 2018, Times of India

Beyond Direct Physical Harm: Eliminating Corporal Punishments in Schools (op-ed), 6th Dec., 2018, Times of India

Equality beyond GDP, (op-ed), 24th January, 2019, Indian Express

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