Degree Name

Education Specialist (EdS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Robert C. Wiseman


The local community has a natural resource that in all too many places is not being used properly. If this resource is not preserved, it will be lost forever. The natural resource is the experiences and recollections of people, people who have memories of the events that the students of the community have only read about. These people's recollections, with their unique way of conveying them should be saved.

Charleston High School is suggesting just such preservation. A class in oral history is under study for Charleston High School. This paper is part of an attempt to lay a foundation for that class.

This field study is a handbook for students taking the proposed oral history class at Charleston High School. In the handbook students are introduced to research techniques that may be used in dealing with oral history. The student is also advised as to the manner of selecting an interviewee, contacting that person and setting up a time for an interview.

There is a section on research required of an oral history project. The student is also advised that local groups may be of great help in finding background information on community history. Sources such as newspapers and local residents are emphasized.

The interview process is discussed with emphasis being placed on specific interview skills such as: asking open ended questions, having a prepared list of questions, having a good understanding of the subject because of proper research done prior to the interview, and showing genuine interest in what the interviewee is saying.

The handbook has a section on the use of both audio and video tape for recording oral history interviews. The handbook puts greater emphasis on video recording.

The paper has an appendix that explains camera set-up, release forms, and evaluation of student produced material.

There is a need for the preservation of local history. The longer we wait the more of it we lose. This paper is an attempt to start the preservation process at Charleston High School.