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Telling the Story: Communicating Local History in Contemporary Culture Through First Person Narrative. Julie Kling. Chautauqua. Place of learning; keeping current on society’s ideas and social issues. Lakeside’s current mission. 1. Linking past with present. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • *Telling the Story: Communicating Local History in Contemporary Culture Through First Person NarrativeJulie Kling

  • *ChautauquaPlace of learning; keeping current on societys ideas and social issues.Lakesides current mission.1

  • Linking past with presentAwareness in Ohio : Ohio Bicentennial 2003Generally, alienation in society


  • Alices Adventures in WonderlandWould you tell me, please, said Alice; which way I ought to walk from here?That depends a good deal on where you want to get to, said the Cat.I dont care wheresaid Alice.Then it doesnt matter which way you walk, said the Cat..so long as I get somewhere, Alice added as an explanation.Oh, youre sure to do that, said the Cat. If you only walk long enough. (Lewis Carroll)

  • Is the past valued by individuals? If so, when?Important for job/career: know fieldImportant to know who I amImportant to transmit culture; cultural diversityImportant: when it somehow touches me!Personal experience: use it to our advantage!

  • Tell our story, allow others to tell theirs by:changing our assumptions and expectations when needed, changing our approaches, being part of our community, and not being afraid to be creative and innovative.

  • Personal ExperienceDesire for interaction: reality TVMake history realNo time machine; accurately potray history, bring past to present.Create ways of engaging visitors, studentsWhen have you engaged students?

  • What does this mean?ChangeTo exist is to change. To exist a long time is to change often. (John Henry Cardinal Newman)Two realities of change: it must occur and uncertainties of its outcomes must be reduced

  • Peter Drucker: Innovation and EntreprenuershipWay things are/way things ought to beNeed to perform tasks better in light of market demands, demographics, collective personality (new moods, personality), knowledgeIf at first you dont succeed with an idea, do not try it again and again, change it!

  • Change AssumptionsExpectationsApproach View of Change: AdaptabilityView Role in Community: IntegrationView of New Ideas: Creativity, Innovation

  • Change AssumptionsOrganizational/Institutional GoalsOld: single-set of uniform goalsNew: multiple and sometimes competing sets of goalsPower/AuthorityOld: power located at the topNew: distributed throughout the organization

  • Change AssumptionsDecision-makingOld: logical problem-solving processNew: a bargaining process to arrive at solutions that satisfy a number (variety of persons)EducationOld: teacher directedNew: learner directed, learner as consumer

  • Expectation EffectSelf-fulfilling prophecy effectIf you predict it, it will come true.original expectationbehavior communicates expectationevidence that confirms expectation

  • Expectation EffectSustaining expectations effectHow is a group viewed?

  • Change Expectations: Learning as PersonalSee learner as an individual.1916: Dewey, democracy in schools; everyone has a voiceSee each individual or situaiton as unique.See positives of group.Education: good or bad; you never know whats going to happen next!

  • Factors that influence expectationsContext: age, time of year, subject matter, learning environment, Interpreter or Educators personal characteristicsStudents personal characteristics

  • Change Approach: Learning as Active, Part of GroupProblem: Student PassivityInstitutions have made people passive by way we treat themSome active/some passive.Group activities helpful to accommodate all types, feel safer in groups.

  • Change approach: Incorporate Narrative/StorytellingGood storytelling draws listeners inRemember stories We are looking for ways our stories fit together.Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we cant remember who we are or why were here. Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees

    Example: Writing courses

  • Advantages of Group Learning ActivitiesLearning is more effective in groups.Visitors/learners learn from each other.SafetyGroups see that they learn somethingCooperationNarrative, personal sharing among group members: my story is not the same as yours, but there are similarities! Narrative, connect with past: ah, hah others struggle with similar problems. (encourage reflection on likenesses and differences; historywhy?)

  • MethodsDyads--working with partners Group cooperative learning/Group InvestigationRole-playAnalyze/inquire about social issue, personal experience

    Example: Sociology/World Religion

  • Group InvestigationLearners are given a problemLearners explore their reactionsLearners formulate tasks for studyIndependent/Group study: level depends on timeLearners analyze process

  • Role-play/hands-on activitiesWarm-up/get to know each otherIntroduce problemSet the stage/give some backgroundPrepare observersEnact-do itDiscuss and evaluate.

  • Social Inquiry/Personal experienceWith interest in now: important to connect history with now and learners personal life.Share narrative from history/present historical informationAsk learners: have you had experience similar to this?Similar emotions, questions, etc.Ask learners: similar issues or questions in society today?

    Bridge the gap between past and present.

  • Historical Facts+Personal Experience+Present CultureExample from College ClassroomExample from Chautauqua

  • Example of challenges of narrative:Ottawa Native American WomanNatives and Newcomers Museum Theater (by Julie L. Kling, 5/20/04)Hello, I am _________________________ of the Ottawas. My people are great story tellers (40). When the men come in from hunting, they share their experiences of the hunting trip as they eat bowls of hominy and venison (40). We women always have something cooking over the fire. Every visitor or caller is given a bowl of food. Visitors often receive a bowl of boiled corn or roasted venison (40). Food and sharing stories go together.One of our best storytellers was Wasaonoquet or Fair Sky (116). I could sit for hours and listen to him describe the history of our tribe and the great leaders of past generations. How great our history once was. How different things are today as we are scattered and live far away from the grave and council fires of our forefathers. (40-41).Wasaonoquet was once our Chief, but after contact with some of the white traders and the whiskey they brought, he was forced to give up his office and become an ordinary member of the tribe (40). He died soon after being removed west of the Mississippi from the effect of the Whisky (41).

  • Changing Way We Adapt: Applies not only to individuals but to institutions! How do our colleges, universities communicate their history?Successful must listen not only to learners also employees, volunteers,Result: Commitment and EnergyEmployees, volunteers support system; value institutionMe first idea not only true for students but for staff

  • Dissonance TheoryCompares expectations of employees/staff to actual experiencesHow close do expectations meet actual experiences?

  • Consumer-oriented societyThe degree to which an institution does/does not offer programs in line with community norms and expectations is related to difficulty or success in sustaining interest/support for institution.

  • Monitor EnvironmentInternal: staff, faculty, studentsExternal: community, potential students, technological advances

  • Integration: Institutions, part of society?Goal attainment: Alice doesnt have a sense of where she is going.Society: technology, change, individuals often have no clear sense of where they are going, so focus so immediate concerns.Look outward for answers: how do institutions respond when someone approaches?

  • IntegrationListen to students, staff, community, etc.Articulate clear, common visionIndividual knows role in larger plan, feels role is important.

  • View of New Ideas:Encourage creativity: process by which new ideas are generatedEncourage innovation: process by which new ideas are transformed into tangible, useful things, ideas, realityCreativity? Innovation?: not something into nothing; shapes something into practical services, programs, etc.

  • Cautions about change:If it aint broke, dont fix it. If it is going well, dont change it.Ask why things are going well before you change it.Base future success on present success.Watch for novelty.Sometimes think small. Start small. Sometimes small changes lead to spectacular results.

  • Back to AliceMay our institutions know which way they are walking.May we be walking with purpose!May we help others on their journey to learn history by changing our assumptions and expectations when needed, changing our approaches, being part of our community, and not being afraid to be creative and innovative.