VII. Reflection

Both student and teacher reflections are vital to the success of the Oral History Projects at Windward High School. They give us feedback for future projects but also give students an opportunity to process and evaluated what they have accomplished. Reflections took three forms during the course of this project: Previous reflections from the OHP two years ago, current student reflections on the OHP experience, and teacher reflections.

Previous Reflections – At the beginning of the OHP unit, each history class had several students, who had completed the project two years previous (about WWII), come and speak about their experiences. This was done as an effort to demonstrate to current OHP students the process and impact that the OHP might have on them. Students shared both funny situations that they encountered as well as the powerful experience that they took away from the interviews and book writing. Current students also had time to ask any questions, which seem to serve as a way to ease their nerves.

Student Reflections – Our students had the chance to reflect on the project in two ways. First, we had informal discussions following each interview day. Students in both English and History classes shared their experiences to the classes the day following the interview. They also had a chance to answer questions by other anxious students who would be interviewing the following days.

Second, all students had a required reflection (see Demonstration above) to be included next to the narratives in final publication. They responded to the following prompts:

  1. What did I learn that was most interesting and why?
  2. What were your biggest concerns leading up to the project? How did you address them?
  3. How did the information you gained from this project compare to what you learned in U.S. History about the subject?
  4. How has this project changed your perspective on the History of the United States?
  5. How do you feel about this project? What parts did you like/dislike? Why do you feel this way?

Teacher Reflections – We have had numerous informal discussions of the challenges, road-blocks, and successes which we have faced during this process, but we will complete a formal service-learning reflection when this process is completed.

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