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Dialogue with the Past

Engaging Students and Meeting Standards through Oral History

Glenn Whitman

Oral history is a marvelous force for empowering young people with a love of history. But educators today may wonder how they might use it to inspire their students while still teaching the necessary curriculum and meeting standards. In Dialogue with the Past Glenn Whitman addresses these concerns from his own rich experience and that of many other teachers and students. He helps readers understand the background and methodology of oral history, guides them in creating and conducting an oral history project in the classroom, and directly addresses the issue of meeting standards. Peppered with useful tips, examples from students and teachers, and reproducible forms, along with a comprehensive bibliography, this book will be a vital and inspirational tool for anyone working with secondary students. Visit the authors' web page « less more »
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers / AASLH
Pages: 184Size: 9 x 11 3/4
978-0-7591-0648-2 • Hardback • September 2004 • $99.00 • (£65.00)
978-0-7591-0649-9 • Paperback • September 2004 • $36.00 • (£24.95)
978-0-7591-1534-7 • eBook • September 2004 • $34.00 • (£23.95)
Glenn Whitman is currently history department chairman at St. Andrew's Episcopal School in Potomac, Maryland. He has been using oral history as an educational methodology with students at three independent schools since 1991. In 1997 his work with students was recognized by the Oral History Association's Pre-collegiate Teaching Award. Whitman has been active in regional and national oral history activities for many years. He has served as an At-Large board member for Oral History in the Mid-Atlantic Region and presented at the Oral History Association's annual conference. In addition to sharing his work with oral historians and educators through conferences and workshops, Whitman wrote 'Teaching Students How to Be Historians: An Oral History Project for the Pre-collegiate Classroom' (The History Teacher, Fall 2000).
Part 1 Foreword
Part 2 Preface
Part 3 Introduction: The Case for Oral History in Your Classroom or Program
Chapter 4 Chapter 1: The Student Oral Historian
Chapter 5 Chapter 2: Getting Started
Chapter 6 Chapter 3: Creating an Oral History Project
Chapter 7 Chapter 4: Conducting an Oral History Project
Chapter 8 Chapter 5: Listening to Experience: Interviews with Five Oral History Educators
Chapter 9 Chapter 6: Voices from the Field: The Student as Oral Historian
Chapter 10 Chapter 7: Lessons from The American Century Project
Chapter 11 Chapter 8: Meeting Standards
Chapter 12 Chapter 9: Going Public: Linking Curriculum and Community
Part 13 Appendices: Project Handouts (Reproducible)
Part 14 Oral History Sources and Resources
Part 15 Index
Part 16 About the Author
As a teacher who uses oral history creatively in his classes, Glenn Whitman shares his enthusiasm, expertise, and high expectations in this handy manual. Dialogue With the Past offers teachers wise advice and a detailed design for implementing student oral history projects.
Donald A. Ritchie, author of Doing Oral History

Glenn Whitman has provided history educators with a fresh look and approach to making history palpable and real for young people. In the hands of teachers, Dialogue with the Past will, indeed, provide opportunities for teachers and students to do just that, dialogue with the past.
James A. Percoco, author of A Passion for the Past

Dialogue with the Past is a comprehensive and innovative resource for the secondary school educator. Containing an excellent balance of theoretical and practically applied methodologies, the publication provides field-tested oral history strategies that allow an educator to implement mandated curricula while integrating creative, interactive, and thought-provoking instruction. Mr. Whitman's strategically crafted volume is highly recommended for any educator interested in providing a personal dimension to the instruction of history. Dialogue with the Past supports the mission of the Consortium of Oral History Educators: 'Preparing the next generation of oral historians.'
Dr. Barry A. Lanman, director of the Consortium of Oral History Educators

High school students and middle school students not only can learn history but also can do history. Indeed, they often do history better than they learn it. Teachers are ready to get their students into a Dialogue with the Past. Whitman not only persuades that oral history is important, he also shows how to teach students to do it, every step of the way.
James W. Loewen, author of Lies My Teacher Told Me and The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader

Glenn Whitman provided a comprehensive, thorough, and current overview of the field of learning and teaching oral history. . . . The book has become just what the author intended it to be: 'An all-encompassing resource to aid [teachers] in the integration of oral history programs.'
Noha Newsletter

Dialogue With The Past brings vibrant currency to middle and high school oral history. Whitman's writing is articulate, passionate, and richly detailed. Both novice and experienced oral history educators will find the inclusion of ready-made worksheets, assessment rubrics and connections to standards most valuable. A 'must have' for educators who want to bring the study of history into the present and preserve the stories that illuminate our past.
Laura Wendling, California State University-San Marcos

Glenn Whitman's Dialogue with the Past leads us through the steps teachers can use to conduct oral history with K-12 students. But his book is far more than methodology. He writes with the authority of a decade of experience working with students, as well as numerous interviews with teachers and students about their experiences with oral history projects. Whitman also shows how oral history projects meet history standards, why experiencing history through interviews is more likely to remain with students than reading about it, and how students package oral history projects by presenting and binding or otherwise preserving them. In the end, oral history projects are one of the best ways to ensure civic engagement in a civil society. This book will serve educators concerned with history, anthropology, lived experience, and art, to improve the written, oral, communications and analytic skills of any group of students, while at the same time deepening their personalization of history and sense of community.
Jean J. Schensul, Institute for Community Research

Whitman, an experienced teacher, has written a clear, practical, and readable book that lays out why teachers should use oral history and how they might integrate methods into their middle- and secondary-level history classes. Whitman provides a step-by-step guide for readers to implement their own versions of what he terms his American Century Project. . . . This is an excellent, much welcomed resource to help teachers and teacher educators elevate oral history to its rightful place in the center of history pedagogy. Summing up: Highly recommended.

Teachers hoping to foster students' understanding of how history is shaped and provide a firsthand experience of how historians work will find a comprehensive guidebook in Dialogue with the Past.
National Genealogical Society Quarterly

Forms are included in reproducible format and book has lay flat binding for ease of use. Sample student interviews in chapter 8 are accompanied by author's detailed comments on technique and methodology. Author's website supports book content and use.