Thursday, June 21, 2012

Oral History

Question: What can be learned from a unit on oral history?

Answer/Quote: “Oral history served a variety of functions for the students involved: It taught them specific skills, such as interviewing, and helped them learn more about their community. It gave them a more nuanced understanding of the ways in which history is documented and preserved for future generations. For the university students, many of them future teachers, the project provided new ways of thinking about their relationship to the community and specific methods to take into the classroom.” P. 77.

Quote: “We began by introducing students to the concept of oral history and sharing samples with them. Students read and listened to brief examples of this kind of writing, including interviews with music lovers of different generations and stories of war veterans.” P. 78.

Quote: “Through this project, we learned that oral history can serve as a bridge between community members, whether the collaboration is a semester-long partnership or a simpler sharing of ideas and expertise. Ultimately, oral history retains a unique power to bring together members of the community—students, parents, teachers, city leaders, and ordinary citizens—to share and celebrate a common heritage.” P. 82.

Comment: Interesting focus on the common heritage of the members of the community. The oral histories can involve a number of different topics, including music, not simply war stories. RayS.

Title: “Bridging Gaps and Preserving Memories Through Oral History Research and Writing.” A Dayton-Wood, L Hammonds, L Matherson, and L Tollison. English Journal (March 2012), 77-82.

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