By- Isha Mathur
|Creative Writer| Editor| "Seek it, and thou shalt find it."

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Isha Mathur



Reality Check

The values that you behold today are fruits of the seeds your parents and teachers planted while you were a child. Our childhood is largely spent in school classes, with peer students, teachers, and one of the most important tools of knowledge, our ‘Textbooks’. These simple collections of papers hold an abundance of knowledge in forms of facts, ideas, reviews, pictures, analysis, and most importantly, values. Yes, while during school days, nobody pointed out to the most valuable purpose that the textbooks serve, it is usually at the later stage of life when we realize that our approaches to certain subjects, concepts, ideas, and actions are based on our morals, the morals we learned during our school hours.

What makes me upset is to know that the very tool of gaining knowledge and values is often biased in its approach. It is to mean that the text you read in, say your social science textbook regarding a particular incident may not be always narrating through a neutral approach. Narratives are always influenced by the thoughts and beliefs of their authors. What is being portrayed via a paragraph about a historical incident in a textbook may be factually correct, but it may not show the unbiased reality. Most of the times textbooks narrate the incidents and call upon the issues with a prejudiced approach. 

Precisely, we cannot do away with this form of learning. It is indeed vital to read the ideas and perspectives of various authors. However, the point of concern arrives when we stop using our cognitive abilities and join with them, following the narrated notions. This problem becomes tougher in the case of school students who are in the process of learning and bridging the gap between morality and actions. 

The problem exemplifies when the teacher, who is responsible for being a guide for the students, narrating the stories and happenings in a neutral manner and illuminating them with the morals and values to be learned from the narrative, himself neglects this idea. Teachers are the lines of defense against the perpetrating ideas of biases reflected in the textbooks. The whole purpose of making children learn through textbooks is not to fill their minds with the factual aspects of incidents, but more than that to shape their analytical and critical thinking abilities. The objective of teaching certain subjects is not to make them robots of factual knowledge, but to help them in becoming a better human being, upholding morals and wise ideas.