Juxtaposed Contrarian Narratives
Let us assume you and I met last week. Yes, YOU!
Can you and I agree on exactly what time we met? Exactly which minute? What was the first thing you said? Or did I start the conversation? Or let’s get to more subjective matters. Why did we meet? What was going through your mind? Or mine?
Can we objectively reconstruct a singular version of exactly what happened?
Does one of us have to be wrong if our answers differ? Is textbook history invulnerable to such nuances?
This is the training that the THP Method brings to young minds. By introducing them to both or many sides of a story and encouraging them to analyse information before jumping to conclusions, THP empowers future generations to become more tolerant to differences and to become critical, independent thinkers.
Why do many students dislike school? Besides having to wake up early, students want to play. Schools meanwhile make them sit in lines, listen for the next bell, and go through books mechanically. The THP Method relies purely on activity-based learning. Each lesson is composed of a series of activities that get students to move around, have fun, and ask questions. And in the process, learning happens on its own.
Method of History
Historians study the past to make sense of the present. As human beings, we tell ourselves multiple stories about our past; nations do the same by constructing narratives about how they got to where they are. Rather than seeing the past as static, historians view the past as subject to constant reinterpretation. THP offers students the opportunity to study how Indian and Pakistani textbooks construct the past and to learn how to construct their own narratives by engaging with differences on the other side of the border.
The workbook section of each textbook consists of questions that draw student attention towards similarities and divergences in historical narratives. Once students familiarize themselves with how the same events are interpreted differently, workbook questions allow them to analyze the reasons for these differences and to think critically about them.
Contrasting narratives juxtaposed in THP publications are aided by illustrations. These make our books visually appealing, interactive, and welcoming to student engagement.
A lesson plan gives teachers clear methodological guidelines through which they can implement the content of each chapter. Lesson plans helps teachers ask focused questions that push students to dig deeper in order to develop a robust understanding of what they have read.
The purpose of our impact analysis is to measure the effectiveness of our program and to measure the degree of change we have been able to bring about.
We rely on critical feedback to stay on track and ask ourselves the following questions:
- Is there is more acceptance among students of the possibility of narratives other than their own being equally valid?
- Do students show increased curiosity towards knowing the other side of a story?
- Do students identify less with the existing stereotypes about the other side?
- Is there increased agreement about the necessity of critical thinking?