ERIC Number: ED232944
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr
The Uses and Abuses of Oral History as an Instructional Technique in Social Studies Education.
Fernekes, William R.
To determine how oral history techniques are used in secondary level ethnic studies courses, and to make suggestions for improvement, 40 questionnaires were mailed to selected schools listed in directories of cultural journalism. The return rate was 33%. Results showed that oral history is used as an instructional technique by experienced teachers (minimum of 7 years in the classroom). However, most of the teachers do not utilize how-to-do-it manuals for oral history training; those who do usually use Foxfire materials and there is a lack of knowledge among the practitioners about non-Foxfire models. The instructors do not use critical approaches to teaching ethnic studies. Their two major objectives for using oral history are to transmit cultural heritage and to develop the personal-social understanding of students, not to challenge the status quo or to encourage the development of alternative approaches to historical understanding that might assist people in challenging consensus interpretations of the past. Teachers should educate themselves concerning the oral history techniques and research to become aware of how their frames of reference mesh with their chosen models of usage for oral history, and to show students how to think critically. (Author/RM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Montreal, Canada, April 11-15, 1983). Print type marginally legible.