In Smaller Citizens, Krishna Kumar explores the theme of citizenship by focusing on a key paradox of modern education: to encourage the young to think freely and apply their minds to the problems of our times, or, to train them to become loyal citizens, complying with and obeying the relevant authority representing the state. It's an old paradox, but it has acquired a new, sharper significance in our times.
The politics of neo-nationalism and the demands for a compliant workforce arising from corporate control on the job market have recently increased the pressure on education to promote a habituated acceptance of orders. This volume probes the resultant dilemmas faced by teachers, parents and children themselves. Through a micro-analysis of events in classrooms and schools, the author offers compelling evidence of systemic bias that makes institutions resistant to changes and reforms initiated with great effort, as in the case of the Right to Education Act. The book offers insights to help readers understand education within India and as a concept, and the interplay of education and citizenship. It is a collection of 18 articles that have been previously published in different journals/newspapers, brought together here in a single volume.
Krishna Kumar is a bilingual teacher, author, scholar of educational theory and children's writer. He is the author of Politics of Education in Colonial India, What is Worth Teaching?, Vichaar ka Dar, Choori Bazaar mein Larki and Prejudice and Pride,a comparative study of Indian and Pakistani history textbooks. He is former Professor of Education at University of Delhi and former Director of the National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT).