Date of Award

8-31-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS)

Department

Liberal Studies

First Reader

Patricia West McKay

Second Reader

Dale Willman

Abstract

Cultural history museums and historic sites recognize the power of storytelling to engage and educate their visitors. Public schools ingrained in a standards-based curriculum often overlook the value of family stories and local history. The emerging discipline of place-based education offers a pedagogical approach that uses the local community as the focal point, providing a unique curriculum that extends beyond the traditional school walls. Oral history is a fundamental methodology for connecting students to regional history and culture, and is an ideal introduction to the broader theoretical perspective of place-based education. This research explores the concept of using oral history to initiate a place-based program of study by using excerpts from interviews archived at the Adirondack Museum. These narratives offer a glimpse into the richly compelling history of the mining industry in the Adirondacks and form the basis for a place-based unit of study.

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