About the Homi Bhabha Curriculum for Primary Science

The role of mathematics in the Homi Bhabha Primary Science Curriculum should be seen in the context of the overall orientation and aims of this curriculum. The curriculum follows a coordinated approach to syllabus framing, writing, evolving strategies for teacher training, and evaluation techniques. It draws from cognitive and sociological research and field work carried out over more than 20 years at the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education.

The minimal aims of this primary science curriculum are:

  1. Observation and experiences as a basis for concept learning
  2. Language development for and through science
  3. Quantitative thinking
  4. Design and construction skills

There are three science books for each class, Small Science: TextBook, WorkBook and Teacher's Book. The books for Class 3 have been published by the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education. Books for Class 4, as well as versions in Hindi and Marathi, are under preparation.

The curriculum in each class comprises four Units, with 2-4 Chapters per Unit. The content format of every chapter in the TextBook is as follows:

In the course of writing of the books, careful testing is done in order to develop and refine the contents. The Workbook provides a format for facilitating the activities and exercises in the classroom. The results of classroom testing are given as first-person accounts in the Teacher's Book. The idea is to communicate to the teacher the aims and intentions of the curriculum, as well as to provide experiences and practical suggestions for teaching and evaluation.

Of the curriculum aims listed above, quantitative thinking and design and construction skills both contain elements of mathematics. I will elaborate on these in the sections which follow.

Jayashree Ramadas January 1999