Revised Syllabus of Biology Download Pdf

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BIOLOGY (CLASSES XI –XII)

In the present attempt of the NCERT to revise the Biology syllabus of the Classes XI and XII, several
documents like ‘Learning without Burden’, the National Curriculum Framework- 2005, the report of the
‘National Focus Group on Teaching of Science’ as well as reports of several external and internal reviews
carried out, helped to decide the main focus of the revision. Hence, the revised syllabus aims primarily at
reducing the information load while ensuring at the same time that ample opportunities and scope for
learning and appreciating basic concepts of Biology continues to be available within the framework.

The Biology Syllabus reinforces the ideas introduced in the lower classes while the children learn new
concepts besides getting an exposure to contemporary areas of Biology. This syllabus aims also at
emphasising the underlying principles that are common to both animals and plants, as well as highlighting
the interrelationships of Biology with other areas of knowledge. The format of the syllabus allows a simple,
clear, sequential flow of concepts without any jarring jumps. The empirical experience gained and practical
exercises carried out during the course would prepare the student to handle Biology easily at higher levels
in case she/he opts to continue further studies in this area

The revised syllabus stresses the connection of the study of Biology to real life problems -use of
biological discoveries/innovations in everyday life – in environment, industry, medicine, health and agriculture

Since it was important that the quality of Biology education at the higher secondary level was not
compromised in any way, the reduction in load from the syllabus required a very careful selection of topics
to be taught. The Committee chose to leave topics out if: the question about why the child needs to study
the topic at the particular stage could not be answered; if the topic had no direct relevance to the child i.e.
was not contextual; if the content was repetitive across stages with no change in expected understanding,
and if any topic was in isolation with no evident horizontal or vertical linkages. The need for a network of
ideas and cross-linking between the areas being identified was deemed very important. While deciding on
the units/topics and the depth of each topic for the higher secondary level, a holistic view of the syllabus
across all stages from the primary to the higher secondary and beyond was taken. Reducing the use of too
many technical terms and avoiding very large numbers of examples will also help to make the content a
little lighter. The importance of careful selection of illustrations and their use to make the concepts more
explicit was stressed; in Biology the quality of illustrations can make or mar any attempt at good textbooks/
teaching.

The principal objective at this stage would be to explore the variations amongst the living and developing
respect for the diversities, and to appreciate that the most complex biological phenomena are also built on
essentially simple processes. Learning Biology should uncover these elementary aspects and illustrate their
linkage to more complex phenomena. It was also felt that the contributions of scientists (women scientists
in particular) that led to critical and important discoveries in Biology should be highlighted, not merely
through a chronological listing, but through brief biographical discussions, in an effort to bring out the
processes that led to the discovery of principles and ideas in Biology. These would stimulate critical and
creative thinking. Besides, the proposed course at the higher secondary stage provides substantial orientation
to the students to professional/career opportunities available in medicine, agriculture, research, teaching
and industry.

The syllabus also takes up issues pertaining to environment, health and other ethical issues that arise
with any interference of human beings in the natural processes, which have great relevance from the societal

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