Building Bridges of Understanding: The Power of Story through Oral Histories

Dr. Lillian McEnery,
Ms Nancy Wright,
Kit Chiu
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As society becomes more transient, it becomes difficult to maintain our generational connections. One way for students to explore and bridge their connections with family is through the rich stories that lie within learners' families and communities. The framework of the project guides the writer to tap into the rich storehouse of family stories and allows them to enlarge their perspective. The project engages learners in the writing process in a meaningful context that is interdisciplinary in nature. The three purposes are to promote a respect and admiration for different cultures, preserve treasured moments of family history, and allow a venue for reflecting on belief systems and cultural messages evident in their family history. The process guides the writer from an initial interview to an illustrated document using various modes of technology. The theoretical foundation presented draws from the wisdom of the humanities, sociology, communications, and education. The process will be outlined and completed examples will be displayed. The project demonstrates that the power of story lies in its ability to expand perspectives and transform family dynamics.

Keywords: Transformation, Oral Histories, Family Dynamics, Culture, Identity, Interdisciplinary, Humanities
Stream: History, Historiography, Teaching and Learning, Cyberspace, Technology
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: Building Bridges of Understanding

Dr. Lillian McEnery

Assistant Professor, Language, Literacy, Library Science Department School of Education, University of Houston-Clear Lake

Lillian McEnery currently researches family literacy issues and leadership roles of beginning teachers. She serves as treasurer of the Texas Association for the Improvement of Reading. She also serves on the Children's Museum Advisory Board as well as the Greater Houston Area Reading Council.

Ms Nancy Wright

Lecturer, Coordinator of Outdoor Education and Experiential Learning and Development, Language, Literacy, Library Science, University of Houston

Kit Chiu

University of Houston

Ref: H05P0431