These classes will introduce students to the idea that
historical knowledge develops through debates and that sources need to be
carefully read and interpreted. As the learners have been introduced to
chronologically ordered histories of India in Classes VI to VIII, these
histories will not be repeated within the same format in Classes XI and XII.
Instead, the focus would be on certain select themes, which will be examined in
Through a focus on a series of critical historical issues and
debates (Class XI) or on a range of important historical sources (Class XII),
the students would be introduced to a set of important historical events and
processes. A discussion of these themes, it is hoped, would allow students not
only to know about these events and processes, but also to discover the
excitement of doing history.
The effort in these senior secondary classes would be to
emphasise to students that history is a critical discipline, a process of
enquiry, a way of knowing about the past, rather than just a collection of
facts. The syllabus would help them understand the process through which
historians write history, by choosing and assembling different types of
evidence, and by reading their sources critically. They will appreciate how
historians follow the trails that lead to the past, and how historical
The syllabus would also enable students to relate/compare
developments in different situations, analyse connection between similar
processes located in different time periods, and discover the relationship
between different methods of social enquiry within different social
The syllabus in Class XI is organised around some major
themes in world history. The themes ave been selected so as to (i) focus on
some important developments in different spheres — political, social,
cultural and economic, (ii) study not only the grand narratives of
development — urbanisation, industrialisation and modernisation — but also
to know about the processes of displacements and marginalisation. Through
the study of these themes students will acquire a sense of the wider
historical processes as well as an idea of the specific debates around them.
The treatment of each theme in Class XI would include (a)
a broad picture of the theme under discussion, (b) a more detailed focus on
one region of study, (c) an introduction to a critical debate associated
with the issue.
In Class XII the focus will shift to a detailed study of
some themes in Ancient, Medieval and Modern Indian history. The objective
would be to study a set of these themes in some detail and depth rather than
survey the entire chronological span of Indian history. In this sense the
course will build on the knowledge that the students have acquired in the
Each theme in Class XII will also introduce the student
to one type of source for the study of history. Through such a study
students would begin to see what different types of sources can reveal and
what they cannot tell. They would come to know how historians analyse these
sources, the problems and difficulties of interpreting each type of source,
and the way a larger picture of an event, a historical process, or a
historical figure, is built by looking at different types of sources.
Each theme for Class XII will be organised around four
subheads: (a) a detailed overview of the events, issues and processes under
discussion, (b) a summary of the present state of research on the theme, (c)
an account of how knowledge about the theme has been acquired, (d) an
excerpt from a primary source related to the theme, explaining how it has
been used by historians.
While the themes in both these classes (XI and XII) are
arranged in a broad chronological sequence, there are overlaps between them.
This is intended to convey a sense that chronological divides and
periodisation do not always operate in a neat fashion.
In the textbooks each theme would be located in a
specific time and place, but these discussions would be situated within a
wider context by (a) plotting the specific event within time-lines, (b)
discussing the particular event or process in relation to developments in
other places and other times.