Oral History in History Lessons

Working with oral histories in schools has become very popular in Germany, the United States and many other countries. Eyewitnesses of the past are able to deliver authentic accounts of events in their lives which affect students more deeply than written texts. Furthermore, teachers hope that working with eyewitnesses encourages students to work like historians and, for example, to critically question their sources. But there is also criticism of this method. On the one hand, memory is a reconstructive process which can be influenced by many factors. On the other hand, the aura and authenticity of the eyewitnesses can result in an uncritical acceptance of their accounts. For full article click here.