ERIC Number: ED333492
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Oral History as a Critical Pedagogy: Some Cautionary Issues.
King, James R.; Stahl, Norman A.
Despite widespread calls for moves toward a student-centered instruction and activity, educators have produced few structural models for teaching that empowers learners. Several teaching approaches have been offered that are said to offer socially generative, student-centered learning. Among these is oral history. Because oral history often seeks to include the voices of groups that do not leave documentary records, its subjects can be seen as disenfranchised. Oral history becomes an empowering context for such groups. When oral history work is used as a learning context, the issues of students as researchers and teachers as co-researchers and project directors came into play. The products of oral history are subject to multiple interpretations. Because the interviewer affects the content of an oral history, the issues involved in conducting research should be included as part of the curriculum in an oral history course. Interviewers must realize that the remembering of oral histories is imperfect and that the researcher's own biases operate heavily. Oral history can empower students, but it can also be a teacher-controlled unit plan. One is critical pedagogy, the other is not. Teachers and researchers must keep such issues in mind when reflecting upon oral history. (Twenty-five references are attached.) (SG)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Interpretive Research; Oral Tradition; Researcher Role; Student Empowerment
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Reading Forum (11th, Sarasota, FL, December 12-15, 1990).