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“How many people who live beside us are worth that much a wider circle of people would  learn about their lives? Of course, not one or two. Often we pass by many people not even imagining that one or another person has lived a dignified life ...”

These are the words from the recently published book “Oral History” (Gyvoji istorija). The publication was organized by Nancy Hanssen, Undergraduate Programs Coordinator at the University of San Diego (USD) California and Diana Galatiltienė, English teacher at Švenčionys Zigmas Žemaitis Gymnasium. The book contains thirty stories written by gymnasium students who interviewed their elder family members and relatives. This book provides valuable educational material for history lessons as it clearly depicts the struggle for independence by the people living in Švenčionys region.

The Oral History project originated a few years ago at a school in Kenya with the purpose of modeling Project Based Learning. Part of the process included students at Daraja Academy, the first secondary school for girls in Kenya, skyping with the Lithuanian students to share their experiences. Two dedicated Lithuanian teachers from Prienai Žiburys Gymnasium V. Gustaitytė and V. Juodsnukienė facilitated the project in 2013-14 which resulted in a multi-national partnership and the publication of the first book. The Oral History project is part of a USD faculty grant by Dr. Bobbi Hansen. One objective of the project was sustainability, so the project was continued by our gymnasium in Švenčionys. The second book was published in November 2015.

The main goal of the project was to enhance students’ interest in the history of their country, region and family using the techniques of project based learning.  The students have also learnt and applied interview and note-taking skills, and they were taught the art of publication.

The whole project took eleven months in our school. In phase one students identified three elders from their family with regard to three main historical time periods to interview over the summer. The interview questions included: What was life like under the Soviet rule? What do you remember about the struggle for independence? How has life changed since independence? What was your childhood like? How has the role of the elders in the community changed? What were the hardest experiences in your life? Later the students created word clouds brainstorming Lithuanian and English words related with oral history. This gave the students a better understanding of the project. During the summer the students interviewed the elders and recorded their answers. The last phase was to compile the narratives, choose the photos and publish the book in Lithuanian and English. The books were published with support from the University of San Diego and distributed to all involved with the project.

I am sure that every single participant of this project has gained incredible experience through the interviews with their family members as well as valuable knowledge of the historical periods that were explored. The students say: “The project aroused my interest in the stories of my family and encouraged me to take interest in the history of the Švenčionys region”. “I had an opportunity to compare the historical events of the period as they are presented in history books with real life stories told by the people”.

Diana Galatiltienė, coordinator of the Oral History project

 

 

 

manau tau“How many people who live near us are worth that much a wider circle of people would  learn about their lives? - Of course, not one or two, often we pass by some people not even imagining  that one or another person has lived dignified lives ...”

 

These are the words from the book “Oral History” (Gyvoji istorija) which was published by Zigmas Zemaitis Gymansium Svencionys. The publication was organized by Nancy Hanssen who is Adjust Clinical Instructor and the Undergraduate Programs Coordinator at the University of  San Diego, California and Diana Galatiltiene, English teacher.

 

The book contains thirty stories written by our school students who interviewed their elder family members and relatives. This book is a supplementary material for history lessons as it is divided according to historical periods and clearly depicts the struggle for Lithuanian independence of people in Svencionys region.

 

The Oral History project originated some years ago at University of San Diego partner school in Kenya by Dr. Heather Lattimer, Department Chair, with the purpose of modeling Project-Based Learning as an instructional methodology.  Part of the process included students involved in the project at Daraja Academy, the first secondary school for girls in Kenya, skyping with the Lithuanian students to share their experiences.  Two talented and dedicated Lithuanian teachers from Prienai Ziburys Gimnasium V.Gustaityte and V.Juodsnukiene facilitated the project over the course of the 2013-14 school year which has resulted in a published book “Oral History” and a multi-national partnership.  The Oral History project is part of a University of San Diego faculty grant by Dr. Bobbi Hansen. One objective of the project was sustainability and the project was continued by our gymnasium in Svencionys. The celebration of the second publication occurred in November.

The main goal of the project was to enhance students’ interest in the history of their country, region and family using the techniques of PBL (project based learning).  The students have also learnt and applied interview and note-taking skills, and they were taught the art of publication.

The whole project took eleven months in our school. In phase one students identified three elders from family with regard to three main historical time periods to interview over the summer. Then interview questions were planned and interview techniques developed. The questions were: What was life like under Soviet rule? What do you remember about the struggle for independence? How has life changed since independence? What was your childhood like? How has the role of the elders in the community changed? What were the hardest experiences in your life? And many other questions related with historical events, critical life events, community specific events or general questions were written by students.  Later the students created word clouds brainstorming the Lithuanian and English words related with oral history. This gave a better understanding of the project. During the summer the students were interviewing elders and recording their accounts. After having taken the recorded notes during the interview, they had to organize them. The last phase was to compile the narratives, choose the photos and publish the book in both Lithuanian and English.

 

The books were published with support from the University of San Diego and distributed to all involved with the project.

 

I am sure that every single participant of this project has gained incredible experience and valuable knowledge through the interviews with their family members and relatives and a focus on historical periods that were explored. The students say:

 

“The project aroused interest in the stories of my family, relatives and other close people and encouraged me to take interest in the history of the Svencionys region”

 

“I had the opportunity to compare the historical events of the period with people's stories”

 

 

Diana Galatiltiene, the coordinator of the Oral History project

  many people who live near us are worth that much a wider circle of people would  learn about their lives? - Of course, not one or two, often we pass by some people not even imagining  that one or another person has lived dignified lives ...”

 

These are the words from the book “Oral History” (Gyvoji istorija) which was published by Zigmas Zemaitis Gymansium Svencionys. The publication was organized by Nancy Hanssen who is Adjust Clinical Instructor and the Undergraduate Programs Coordinator at the University of  San Diego, California and Diana Galatiltiene, English teacher.

 

The book contains thirty stories written by our school students who interviewed their elder family members and relatives. This book is a supplementary material for history lessons as it is divided according to historical periods and clearly depicts the struggle for Lithuanian independence of people in Svencionys region.

 

The Oral History project originated some years ago at University of San Diego partner school in Kenya by Dr. Heather Lattimer, Department Chair, with the purpose of modeling Project-Based Learning as an instructional methodology.  Part of the process included students involved in the project at Daraja Academy, the first secondary school for girls in Kenya, skyping with the Lithuanian students to share their experiences.  Two talented and dedicated Lithuanian teachers from Prienai Ziburys Gimnasium V.Gustaityte and V.Juodsnukiene facilitated the project over the course of the 2013-14 school year which has resulted in a published book “Oral History” and a multi-national partnership.  The Oral History project is part of a University of San Diego faculty grant by Dr. Bobbi Hansen. One objective of the project was sustainability and the project was continued by our gymnasium in Svencionys. The celebration of the second publication occurred in November.

The main goal of the project was to enhance students’ interest in the history of their country, region and family using the techniques of PBL (project based learning).  The students have also learnt and applied interview and note-taking skills, and they were taught the art of publication.

The whole project took eleven months in our school. In phase one students identified three elders from family with regard to three main historical time periods to interview over the summer. Then interview questions were planned and interview techniques developed. The questions were: What was life like under Soviet rule? What do you remember about the struggle for independence? How has life changed since independence? What was your childhood like? How has the role of the elders in the community changed? What were the hardest experiences in your life? And many other questions related with historical events, critical life events, community specific events or general questions were written by students.  Later the students created word clouds brainstorming the Lithuanian and English words related with oral history. This gave a better understanding of the project. During the summer the students were interviewing elders and recording their accounts. After having taken the recorded notes during the interview, they had to organize them. The last phase was to compile the narratives, choose the photos and publish the book in both Lithuanian and English.

 

The books were published with support from the University of San Diego and distributed to all involved with the project.

 

I am sure that every single participant of this project has gained incredible experience and valuable knowledge through the interviews with their family members and relatives and a focus on historical periods that were explored. The students say:

 

“The project aroused interest in the stories of my family, relatives and other close people and encouraged me to take interest in the history of the Svencionys region”

 

“I had the opportunity to compare the historical events of the period with people's stories”

 

 

Diana Galatiltiene, the coordinator of the Oral History project

 

 

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