Discovering India - Unity in Diversity

Ekstramateriale til Discovering India findes her: www.lru.dk/discoveringindia

Indien er hjemsted for såvel Gandhis ikke-volds-politik som den gigantiske Bollywood-industri. Hvordan lærer man dette land at kende?

Bogens forfattere har været i Indien for at lave research og præsenterer nu et nyt, anderledes undervisningsmateriale: Interviews, billeder og en vifte af faglige tekster afspejler landets store diversitet Bogen lægger op til forskellige arbejdsformer og samarbejde med samfundsfag og religion.

How can anyone possibly, accurately, discover India, in all its diverse aspects? is foreword is intended to share with fellow teachers some thoughts on using discovery learning methods, which will enable students to build their own balanced impressions around knowledge-based content. We co-authors have strong connections and special relationships with India but feel it would be wrong to claim expert knowledge of a country that is so large, complex and evolving. In using this material, teachers need not have any special knowledge either – indeed it would be preferable to enable broad and open-ended student learning rather than simply teach facts about India. Since much of this material is about a country and culture that may be new to teachers and students alike, we encourage exploring together with an open mind. 

As you will see from the ‘Contents’ page, we touch upon many aspects of India which link with humanities and social science curriculum subjects, including personal and social education. We offer options for teachers and students to delve deeper into those subject areas of special interest to them. These extended learning opportunities are easily possible by searches on the internet, and students today often want and need to add new ICTs (information and communication technologies) into their repertoire of learning methods. We enable them to develop information literacy skills, and also to make connections between one curriculum subject and another. 

The text makes extensive use of primary research conducted in India, which resulted in 14 interviews with different people who represent a range of insightful observations and opinions. The interviews are available as audiovisual films and transcripts in the book’s companion website – see lru.dk/discoveringindia. 

Recommended reading includes literary works of fiction by Indian authors, and active links to useful websites are also given on this website. Relevant Hindi films that have English sub-titles can be downloaded and are suggested as additional ways of audio-visual learning that can make connections between and across different subject areas while addressing specific topics too. 

In order to prepare learners for their future in an uncertain, competitive and complex world, the text comes with a range of questions and activities that require them to think and research constructively and critically, to discuss, present and build their ideas with others, and apply them to their own realities. At the same time, they will develop critical appreciation about their own culture and country through the reflections, discussions and comparisons prompted at various stages throughout the book. 

Words in bold font are translated into Danish in the 'Glossary' at the back of the book. The learning methods here are learner-focused, interactive, collaborative, engaging and applicable to the global knowledge economy. Teachers are the most valuable intermediate resource in animating the opportunities that are offered here for personal and professional development. Adopting and adapting a variety of methods can accommodate different learning preferences and also enable students to develop more balanced ways of learning. At best students will improve a range of skills and personal qualities that 
can make them more effective and productive as learners, citizens and workers, even beyond the current programme of study. 
 
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 
This book and its companion website would not exist without the many people in India who were not only willing to be interviewed, but who shared their opinions and insights on so many different aspects of the country. For their specific contributions and permissions we thank them all most gratefully. A list of the interviewees is provided on page 8. The filmed interviews together with transcripts are available on the website: 
lru.dk/discoveringindia 

Many thanks for technical and artistic help and advice to: 
Jesper Bæk-Sørensen 
Vibeke Winding 
Carl Rolf Jensen Frischknecht 
Ulla Rasmussen 
Anne Plesner 
Jill Goodbun 
Helen Payne-Kumar 
For photos: 
Dorte Bæk-Sørensen 
Manoj Kumar 
Arti Kumar 
Gita Siddhartha 

We thank the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Denmark for funding the travel expenses for primary research in India in 2009. 

For inspiration and general support: 

Arti would like to thank Bal. This book is dedicated in particular to the younger members of her family – Grace, Joseph, Ishika and Joshan – who have yet to discover India. 
The authors, Spring 2015 

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    05/03/2021

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