Tuesday, September 29, 2009

History Class Day #1

Oral history

Our first presenter is Barbara Sommer, a historian and author, who is focusing on the importance of conducting interviews to document oral history.

For a number of years now, Tom and Mike (math and history teachers, respectively) have talked about combining their efforts to create a war monument.

Now this idea fascinates me. First, students would be not only learning 'real world' skills but also contributing to their community. Second, any time you combine disciplines and cross over, learning is always strengthened and heightened. Third, imagine the intrinsic motivation that their students would encounter when they began to see the impact of their efforts.

Today Kenny and I just briefly discussed how we could contribute. I could see us combining our efforts to document the oral histories of the vets and family members of those for whom the monument or memorial is intended. Kenny could offer the background knowledge of the historical period, and I could help the students work with primary sources, conduct the interviews, and meet the standards for documenting the resulting oral histories.

How powerful would all of this be?

But will it ever happen?

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