Our journey started after having a small discussion with an 8th grader who said, History is one subject that he hates but on the contrary he likes watching history-based movies, listening to stories of past and exploring monuments. We could relate to him as we had felt the same when we were in school. We felt there is a disconnect between what a child reads in books and what he/she experiences. To bridge this gap and make History Interesting and Experiential for students we came up with a history-curriculum based Theatre where we pick a theme from their history curriculum and make a theatre play around it. Since our foundation, we have done 6 plays for schools in Delhi-NCR.
But making history interesting out of the classroom wasn’t enough. We wanted to take this impact to the classrooms so that it could be sustained. And we started using Drama-In-History -Education to build classroom sessions. This helped us catching student attention in the classroom and make this subject Engaging for students. Not just the in-class sessions but, engaging with the primary evidence of past which are well-preserved in the museums, helped them engage with their subject better.
Still making history Interesting and Engaging wasn’t enough as there was this question of “Why study history ?” in minds of students. They used to ask us about the relevance of studying history which raised a lot of unanswered questions in our minds. We started our research to connect all these dots and worked around the “Thinking” that the study of history develops that doesn’t only define what’s significant to look into the past but also, ‘How’ to look at it. It talks about Evidence Vs Interpretations, Contextualisation, Multiple Perspectives, Changes and Continuities and forming Judgements. The thinking skills, which are highly relevant to resolve the matters of the present society. Hence, we started working with school students and teachers, developing these skills through research-based history projects. And it helped us achieving the third paradigm of making history Relevant in schools.
With this thought of making history interesting, engaging and relevant we impacted 4000+ students from 20+ schools in Delhi-NCR. To scale the impact of this work we are reaching out to teachers through our teachers’ training program.