Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Voices, continued

I've read of many fine local projects to record the stories of World War II veterans, and American Memory, from the Library of Congress, includes an extensive audio collection.

Now there is another type of archival voice: graduates of the College of New Jersey’s education program have compiled oral histories of veteran teachers to preserve advice about how to handle first-year teaching challenges.

Think of the possibilities: podcasts of older students advising younger students on how to succeed academically; adults recording anecdotes touting the value of an education; graduates returning to leave a message about what life after school - at college or in the business world - is really like.

"Past experience, if not forgotten, is a guide to the future."
-Chinese proverb


Anonymous said...

That is an incredibly cool idea. They may not seem as authoritative as a book or lecturer, but I doubt anyone would know more about classroom control.

diane said...

I agree - I'd like to listen to every single one of the recordings. Think I'll try to contact the college and see if anything is available to the general public.
And maybe I could suggest to my current events class that they start a similar project in our school!

CB said...

As a TCNJ-certified teacher (summers in Bangkok and Mallorca - yes!), I was especially happy to read this.

It's a great idea, as you say.

I keep thinking of the possibilities of flat classroom projects recording oral histories from locals who experienced world or regional conflicts from opposing sides. The Korean War, for example. Russians, Chinese, Americans, Koreans....to have students in all those nations preserve those memories and viewpoints on a single website - better still, filmed in such a way that mash-ups are possible for any student filmmaker to make his or her own documentary - what an interesting project that would be.

Maybe this wave will grow so this can become more than an idea....

Re: your next post, I'm designing a poetry lesson right now that uses the same Blake quote you play with, so we've both been communing with Blake's ghost on different sides of the globe at the same time :)

diane said...


What frequently gets lost in the history of our civilization is the Voice of the common man. My husband and other 18th century reenactors scour diaries and journals to pick up details of, not only the "great events", like battles, but also the minutiae of daily life.

So perhaps we should also have students record a "day/week in the life" of their community, speaking with family members, fellow students, staff members, local merchants, town government officials. Wouldn't that be fun to listen to in 20 years, 50, 100?

Re. the next post.. I've not only waded into the Sea of Possibilities (mixing my metaphors, but we're friends here), I'm in over my head and breathing underwater; I believe I've "suffer[ed] a sea-change into something rich and strange."