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ERIC Number: EJ837192
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Feb
Pages: 13
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2745
Using Personal Narratives to Teach a Global Perspective
Trost, Jennifer
History Teacher, v42 n2 p177-189 Feb 2009
For many semesters, the author taught an introductory class titled "The Global Perspective: The World since World War II." In this article, she describes a successful approach she found for teaching first-year and non-major students to enjoy reading about the world and to appreciate a global perspective. She chose a source-based approach and she used international personal or travel narratives for the majority of the reading. Students are attracted to the personal information rather than a synthesis, and the narration rather than analysis. They are drawn to specific examples of other cultures to which they can relate and they are very curious about the everyday lives of other people in the world. Using international personal narratives in her world history classes offers students in-depth first-person accounts of life in other cultures. Personal narratives are autobiographical accounts of living and/or traveling in specific countries or cultures. Some of the personal narratives she has used in class are written by visitors to foreign countries, and she calls these travel accounts. Some personal narratives are written by observers of their own culture, sometimes after they have left home. As students read these accounts, they follow along with the writers' experiences as they cope with crossing cultural boundaries. These narratives are accessible versions of cross-cultural exchange theory, a thematic approach to world history pioneered by Jeremy Bentley and others. (Contains 11 notes.)
Society for History Education. California State University, Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Boulevard, Long Beach, CA 90840-1601. Tel: 562-985-2573; Fax: 562-985-5431; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A