University of Leicester eBulletin

Oral History to be Used to Teach Citizenship in the Region's Schools

May 2003
No 131

University of Leicester-based East Midlands Oral History Archive funded by the East Midlands Museums Libraries and Archives Council to produce teaching and learning materials for schools.

The East Midlands Oral History Archive (EMOHA), based at the University of Leicester, has been awarded funding from the Museums and Galleries Education Programme 2  to develop Citizenship materials for use at Key Stage 3. The award, which has been made through the East Midlands Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (EMMLAC), will be used to draw on the Archive's oral history recordings to produce an audio CD and teachers' resource book to support the Citizenship Unit, Britain - A diverse Society?

The materials will be developed in consultation with partner schools and the Centre for Citizenship Studies at the School of Education, University of Leicester. They will also act as a stimulus to further oral history work within the classroom itself, by encouraging and supporting new interviewing by students. In addition to interviewing older generations, the students themselves will be able to tell their own stories in their own words, rather than having adults speak for them. The teachers' pack will include basic guidance on the techniques of collecting, processing and interpreting oral history, and teachers will also have access to the programme of training offered by the East Midlands Oral History Archive.

"The oral history recordings held by EMOHA offer a unique record of Britain as a diverse society in recent decades," said Sarah Ferrier, EMOHA's Education Officer. "They not only provide factual information about migration and settlement, but convey the feelings and reflections of interviewees in a way which written records cannot. The CD and support materials will enable students and teachers to explore the diversity of their local communities, to consider the benefits and challenges of living in a diverse society, and to understand the importance of respect for others."

Two copies will be provided free of charge to every secondary school in the East Midlands, relevant curriculum advisors, and postgraduate centres for teacher training in the region. A copy will also be deposited in the five regional Record Offices, and offered free of charge to all East Midlands museums, to support their own work on Citizenship with schools. Remaining copies will be made available to other organisations through EMMLAC.

The East Midlands Museums, Libraries and Archives Council provides leadership and advice to museums, libraries and archives across the region. It encourages organisations to work in partnership to contribute to regional social and economic policies and priorities, and to support services such as learning and access, ICT development, workforce development and funding initiatives.

The East Midlands Oral History Archive is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund to establish the first large-scale archive of oral history recordings for Leicestershire and Rutland. This includes the collections of the former Leicester Oral History Archive, the Mantle archive from North West Leicestershire, the Community History archive of Leicester City Libraries, and the sound archive of BBC Radio Leicester, along with smaller collections donated by local organisations or individuals.

The recordings are deposited in the Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester & Rutland, and are currently being catalogued to make them more accessible. The project now has an online catalogue at http://www.le.ac.uk/emoha/catalogue.html, and has produced a CD of edited extracts from the recordings on the theme of toys and games. EMOHA also aims to generate new oral history recordings through its own programme of interviewing, and by providing advice, training and support for community groups, museums and heritage organisations, students and other individuals who are interested in developing their own projects.

EMOHA is a partnership between the Centre for Urban History at the University of Leicester, the Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland (ROLLR), and Leicester City Museums and Library Services.

NOTE TO EDITORS: 

Contact details : Sarah Ferrier , East Midlands Oral History Archive, Centre for Urban History , University of Leicester LE1 7RH, telephone 0116 252 5065 , email emoha@le.ac.uk  website http://www.le.ac.uk/emoha

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