'How our area used to be back then': An oral history project in an east London school

Teaching History article

By Michelle Johansen and Martin Spafford, published 19th July 2009

'How our area used to be back then'

Please note: this article pre-dates the 2014 National Curriculum and some content may be outdated.

How can oral history enquiries engage students with the study of history and help them connect their learning about the past to their present lives? How can oral history engage and develop students' understanding of history as a process of knowledge construction? What scope does local historical study provide for collaborative work between school history departments, archivists, researchers and local communities? Why are local oral history enquiries particularly suited to our new curricular arrangements at Key Stage 3 and GCSE? Michelle Johansen and Martin Spafford reflect on these and related questions through the discussion of a remarkable oral history collaboration and provide focused guidance that will help history departments develop local oral history enquiries in future.

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