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 Learning Our Community's American Lore

The Program: 2005-2006 Workshops

Trainer Workshop 1 | Trainer Workshop 2 | Teacher Workshops

~ Trainer Workshop 1 ~
Oral History Workshop
September 24, 2005

The goals of the workshop are: 1) collect oral histories from resource persons in the West Medford community who will provide information that will form the basis of written biographies of nominees in the Remembrance Project; 2) contribute to the ongoing work of the Remembrance Project while teaching teachers how to conduct oral histories so that they may choose to undertake similar projects in their own classrooms. Working in collaboration with the Remembrance Project, Project LOCAL will give teachers the first-hand experience of learning about community members in their local neighborhoods and working with these individuals to (re)construct the history of important people, places, and/or events. By interviewing these resource people, the teachers will join an oral history project already in progress and thereby gain a taste for the excitement – and challenges – of working as historians and anthropologists. Teachers will be responsible for working in small teams to write a 10-page biography of the nominee whom they have learned about in their interviews with the resource people.

Schedule for the day
Time Description Who
8:30 Arrival of teachers and coffee n/a
8:50 Welcome and orientation to today's events Steve Cohen, Rob McGreevey, Dan Cogan-Drew, Steven Levy
9:05 Learning how to use the recording equipment Dan Cogan-Drew
9:15 Discussion of how to conduct oral history interviews
Review of pre-reading article
Review of top-ten disasters
Practice with a partner
Guidance on 1:15 discussion
Rosalind Shaw
10:00 Voices of West Medford Sharon Kennedy
10:30 Welcome resource people Wally Kountze
10:35 Recap and orientation on day’s events Rosalind Shaw
10:45 Discussion of memory objects – what they are and the role they play in the interviews Mark Auslander
10:55 Interviewers and resource people meet
11:00 Interviews take place
12:15 Lunch all
1:00 Teachers meet in small groups to plan biographies Rosalind Shaw, Steve Cohen, Steven Levy, Rob McGreevey, Dan Cogan-Drew, Mary Lou Schaalman
2:00 Full group discussion all
2:15 Evaluation Mary Lou Schaalman
2:30 End of workshop  

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~ Trainer Workshop 2 ~

Workshop with Re-enactors
October 22, 2005
Location: Braker 001, Tufts University

  • Prepared
  • Spontaneous
  • 1 facilitator (Cathy Stanton)

  • 3 re-enactors
  • Chapter from Race and Reunion
  • Cathy Stanton’s chapter on larger questions
    • Politics of remembrance
    • Point of view reenactment
  • Learn skills of role play, reenactment
  • Understand how research, interpreting from different points of view, and performance skills come together in reenactment as a way of "doing history"
  • Understand the sub-culture/politics of reenactment
  • Leave with contact information for re-enactors they can work with in their own teaching (Everett, Medford, Revere, Somerville, Winthrop)

8:30 – 9 Coffee
Part 1: Re-enactment by professionals
9 – 9:30 Introduction by Steve Cohen, Cathy Stanton, and Cynthia Robinson (How) can we apply the skills we develop today to other contexts, such as monuments, movies, other?
9:30 – 10:00 Re-enactors perform
10:00 – 10:15 Re-enactment suggestions from the audience
10:15 – 10:30 Framing what we’ve just watched
10:30 – 11:00 Interview with Cathy Stanton; first Cathy’s questions, then questions from the audience
Part 2: Learning to reenact
11:00 – 11:30 Get together with group (3 groups, each with a re-enactor) and your re-enactor
11:30 – 12:45 Lunch; work with your group to prepare reenactment to share with full group
Part 3: Share your reenactment
12:45 – 1:30 Teacher performance
Part 4: Reflection and discussion
1:30 – 2:00 Cathy Stanton, Steve Cohen, and Cynthia Robinson facilitate discussions
2:00 –2:15 Evaluation by Mary Lou Schaalman
Part 5: Lincoln Exhibit in Tisch Library
2:15 –2:30 Teachers receive a coupon for a free drink/pastry at the Tower Café in Tisch Library

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~ Teacher Workshops ~

Workshop curriculum
Theoretical Foundations:

  1. The process of the doing history methodology is a cognitive apprenticeship process of learning how to think like an anthropologist or historian.
  2. For this reason, while the method produces a product (such as an exhibit, a presentation, a walking tour) the process of doing history is as important as the product.
Workshop objectives
Participating teachers will:
  1. Gain an understanding of the "doing history" methodology;
  2. Review examples of projects from Year 1;
  3. Plan a draft project and lesson of their own, based upon these examples and appropriate resources.
Suggested sequence (5 group workshops + 2 hours of independent work):

  • VanSledright "Why do history?"
  • Book on town's history (to be purchased with district funds, distributed in first meeting and read by second meeting)
Workshops should include a minimum of 2 meetings attended by the district consultant:
  • Everett: Cynthia Robinson, Tufts
  • Medford: Steven Levy, Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound
  • Revere: Cynthia Robinson, Tufts
  • Somerville: Steve Cohen, Tufts
  • Winthrop: Dan Cogan-Drew, Tufts
  1. (2 hours) Introduction of Project LOCAL – meeting in a location with a computer
    • Familiarize participants with the goals of Project LOCAL
    • Introduce the 7 principles of the doing history methodology
    • Present own project from last year; introduce teachers to the website, where they can find additional examples of cases from Year 1
    • Model one or more methods of doing history methodology by doing an activity with participating teachers
    • Receive introduction to district-based resource binders from Sarah Benis
    • Prepare group to choose a topic of their own
    • earn how to post documents to the project’s webboard
  2. (2 hours) Begin choosing topic
    • Consider local sources as starting points (e.g., Medford on the Mystic)
    • Bring preliminary topic ideas
      • Curriculum areas and state standards
      • Possible resources that might be useful
    • Present to other teachers
    • Choose a guest presenter for workshop 3
  3. (2 hours) Guest presenter (Steven, Steve, Rob, Cal, Joe, Dan, members of the historical society, historian, expert of your choice)
    • presentation and activity
  4. (2 hours) Participants do research together with trainer
    • Locate resources: get names/phone #s, locations, images, sounds, films
    • Travel as individuals or in a group to a resource
  5. (2 hours) Participants do research independent of trainer
  6. (2 hours) Develop lesson, present draft lesson and get feedback from group;
    • Examine resources, develop preliminary lesson plan
    • Discuss with other participants
This product is a draft only; participants will be expected to work 18 hours over the rest of the year to plan and complete the teaching of their lesson
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Videos from the Workshop:

  • Video 1
  • Video 2 

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Other Workshop Details:


Shore Collaborative  •   Department of Education at Tufts  •   TAH Grant Program
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