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The use of oral sources in the teaching of Social Sciences Prof. Laura Benadiba When we say a community “remembers”, what we are really saying is that.

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Presentation on theme: "The use of oral sources in the teaching of Social Sciences Prof. Laura Benadiba When we say a community “remembers”, what we are really saying is that."— Presentation transcript:

1 The use of oral sources in the teaching of Social Sciences Prof. Laura Benadiba When we say a community “remembers”, what we are really saying is that in the first place, a past was actively transmitted to contemporary generations (…) and then that transmitted past was received charged with a sense of its own. In consequence, a community “forgets” when the generation that owns that past does not transmit it to the next, or when the latter rejects what it received or stops transmitting it too (…). But the principle remains the same: a community can never “forget” what it has not been transmitted before. Yosef Yerushalmi, Reflexiones sobre el olvido

2 Object of knowledge of Social Sciences: Social reality, meaning the set of relations man establishes with his geographical surroundings, with the past and with technological and scientific improvements.

3 Geography, in particular, must focus on society’s role as a constructive, active and modifying force regarding current territorial concerns. Must contribute to the development of a sense of historical awareness that will result in the making of conscious, aware and active citizens. Must help students develop an awareness of plurality that will reinforce democratic values and enable all individuals to participate actively in society, encouraging respect for what is different. Teaching Social Sciences:

4 The teaching of Social Sciences should allow students develop a sense of reality that will strengthen them as protagonists, not responsible for the past but for the future

5 Understanding that learning Social Sciences is an active process, in constant construction and development. To come up with a work project that captures the complexity and richness of social reality. To integrate curricular projects of local emphasis with the need to understand more general social processes, in a national and world scale. To elaborate strategies that will allow students overcome their difficulties to understand historical and social concepts To teach history with protagonists, but also avoiding: The traditional outlook, that reduces the subject of study to the performance of prominent political and military characters. An impersonalized vision of history, in which social actors are mere abstractions, withdrawn from life and, therefore, form the student’s possibilities to understand. Allow students overcome their difficulty to handle time spans. Introduce students into the methodology of social analysis, making them aware that in order to get to know about a specific period in time, it is necessary to question/analyze the sources we possess from it. Make students reflect upon the main characteristics of social and historical knowledge. Awaken their curiosity and make them value the acknowledgement of issues and the quest for answers of their own.

6 In the teaching of history we usually find that traditional teaching methods (that encourage the use of memory but do not produce or construct knowledge) are still used. It is necessary to make teaching participative, where the activities of both teachers and students are related to the school’s internal and external links and surroundings, using methodological resources that will enable students grasp and create historical knowledge. The teaching of history must allow students develop critical consciousness of their social surroundings, without feeling historical knowledge as something alien to them.

7 Oral History Working with oral sources Making and using oral sources for historical reconstruction Creating them Using them Helps students understand the characteristics of historical knowledge and the work of a historian.

8 “Oral history at school is useful to shorten the gap between academia and the community: taking history home, relating the world of classrooms, classes and school books, to the daily life and world of the community the student lives in.” Oral History promotes: research, which will no longer seem unfamiliar He who narrates his past, can make it his own. Research will be carried out in the world closest to him His familyHis neighborhood His town

9 Helps grasp concrete historical experience Puts children in contact with elderly people, confronting different temporalities Encourages the collective construction of a near past Revalues intergenerational bonds Recreates history with the voices of protagonists that traditional sources have ignored or left aside Offers students the chance to abandon a passive attitude towards the construction of knowledge Interviews help students learn how to tolerate others and their ideas

10 Oral sources: their main characteristics They are oral They are narrative They provide more information on the meaning of events than on events themselves Their reliability is different from that of other historical sources As all historical sources, they are not objective They are incomplete

11 How to use oral sources Why do we select a person to be interviewed? What are we looking for in an interview? What and how do we ask? What and how do we listen? How do we interpret what we have been told?

12 Oral sources allow us to know about: Through an oral interview light can be shed on certain aspects of recent history that, in some cases, “official history” has attempted to suppress and forget The majorities that have been marginalized from power Popular sectors (common people) Women The world of labor Migrating movements

13 This methodology allows the school and the community to be engaged in a bond of commitment to learn about a region, to be integrated and feel identified with it to rediscover local history To construct the region’s history as well

14 The school community and society are involved as a whole A line of communication between them will be established and the school will no longer be considered isolated from society. All of the above will contribute to the creation of a regional memory.


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