Dear candidates it is the high time now, as Central board of secondary Education (CBSE) has notified the date of CTET examination to be held on 21st February 2016, qualifying to which is necessary for a teaching job at Central Schools (schools managed by the State Government consider the TET conducted by the State Government, however, if a State Government decides not to conduct the State level TET, it considers CTET). One of the objectives of conducting CTET examination was to bring national standards and benchmark of teacher quality in the recruitment process. It would also induce teacher education institutions and students from these institutions to further improve their performance standards.
The focus of the current article is to discuss the approach of preparation of one of the important parts of paper II, Social Studies/Social Sciences (candidates have to attempt either “Mathematics and Sciences” or “Social Studies and Social Sciences”, depending on their field of teaching), having a weightage of 40% (60 questions). The contents of this part as released by CBSE are as follows:
(a) Content [40 Questions]
(i) History: When, Where and How, The Earliest Societies, The First Farmers and Herders, The First Cities, Early States, New Ideas, The First Empire, Contacts with Distant lands, Political Developments, Culture and Science, New Kings and Kingdoms, Sultans of Delhi, Architecture, Creation of an Empire, Social Change, Regional Cultures, The Establishment of Company Power, Rural Life and Society, Colonialism and Tribal Societies, The Revolt of 1857-58, Women and reform, Challenging the Caste System, The Nationalist Movement, India after Independence
(ii) Geography: Geography as a social study and as a science, Planet: Earth in the solar system, Globe, Environment in its totality: natural and human environment, Air, Water, Human Environment: settlement, transport and communication, Resources: Types-Natural and Human, Agriculture
(iii) Social and Political Life: Diversity, Government, Local Government, Making a Living, Democracy, State Government, Understanding Media, Unpacking Gender, The Constitution, Parliamentary Government, The Judiciary, Social Justice and the Marginalized.
(b) Pedagogical issues [20 Questions]: Concept & Nature of Social Science/Social Studies, Class Room Processes, activities and discourse, Developing Critical thinking, Enquiry/Empirical Evidence, Problems of teaching Social Science/Social Studies, Sources – Primary & Secondary, Projects Work, Evaluation.
What should be our approach to preparation?
Social studies are the integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence. Within the school program, social studies provide coordinated, systematic study drawing upon such disciplines as anthropology, archaeology, economics, geography, history, law, philosophy, political science, psychology, religion, and sociology, as well as appropriate content from the humanities, mathematics, and natural sciences. The primary purpose of social studies is to help young people develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world.
Social studies are an important field which gives us the fundamental concepts of cultural, economic and political skills to groom ourselves into educated and productive citizens. Social studies is centered around understanding how the society works, which is essential for all. It is a broad category that includes important aspects of the many different parts of the humanities and social sciences; it is important for every person to have a basic understanding of key concepts. Social studies teach the basic values, such as justice and equality, which are the foundation of modern society.Few tips one can follow to prepare social studies are given below:
•The subject is very much interacting and it is not that you haven't studied history, geography or social science at all. Refresh your memory and do re-visit NCERT text books of your school days. Start brushing your basics.
.History, undoubtedly, remains one of the most interesting subjects, having a number of advantages: it is easier to grasp, there is no dearth of study material. History can be divided into three subtopics: Modern Indian History, Ancient and Medieval History and Indian Culture. Prepare micro notes chronologically and memorise them and make a habit of reading on a daily basis.
•Geography (description of the earth) is a field of science which is devoted to the study of the lands, the features, the inhabitants, and the phenomena of Earth. One should have coverage of entire syllabus with a mixture of notes, reference books. It is recommended to begin with NCERT books. Regular updating of current notes on contemporary events and analyzing news from the geographical point of view is needed.
•For studying economy and polity parts, one has to be updated by news papers or news channels. If you see the syllabus of this part, it is almost related to general awareness about our economy, constitution and government.
•Prepare micro notes is an essential strategy for exam preparation. One should prepare small, easy-to-read notes that you can go through right before the exam for revision.
•Prepare some topics regularly, some topics will need to be prepared almost on daily basis and cannot leave it right till the end.
•Online/practice tests are indispensable for achieving success in any exam. Solve practice tests right after preparing a topic to gain confidence in the topic that you are preparing currently. Doing so will help you know your strong and weak areas. You can then go through the topics you feel you are lacking in.
•Also, do make a habit of reading the newspaper daily because the questions are not only confined to the subject matter but also on current issues as well.
•Attempt online tests and previous year’s question papers to improve proficiency.
•Apart from subject preparations, time management and planning are also very important.
So, a judicious mix of 'hard work', ‘dedication’ and 'right strategy' can be helpful to achieve your goal.