Thursday Seminar on "An analysis of the treatment of vectors in two higher secondary school curricula in India"
Date: 18 May, 2017
Time: 15:30 - 16:30
Venue: Main Building Lecture Room - G1
Coordinator: Prof. Jyotsna Vijapurkar
Speaker: Durga Prasad Karnam,
Vector algebra is a mathematical topic with a number of applications in classical physics. It is
typically introduced at the higher-secondary level in mathematics and physics curricula. The
prerequisites for understanding vectors, like Euclidean geometry, trigonometry, matrices and algebra, are typically covered across grade levels in high school and pre-college curricula. Studies show that understanding the prerequisites like trigonometry and vectors have strong connections with their applications in areas of physics such as mechanics.
In this talk, we present an analysis of two Indian curricula (NCERT and Maharashtra State board). We make a detailed characterisation of how the concepts related to vectors are introduced, treated and applied in both science (physics) and mathematics textbooks from grade 8 till grade 12. Our analysis clearly points to certain gaps. Also, we look at the trajectory of the introduction of these concepts to get insights on students' preparedness to grapple with related concepts.
We also perform a comparative analysis of the two curricula in terms of presentation of the concepts in example problems as well as in explanatory sections, and the rigour of presentation. This comparison shows that though there are serious gaps in both the curricula, the NCERT curriculum seems to be rooted in better considerations of student learning, whereas the Maharashtra board appears to have a greater emphasis on covering more content.