“Create a blog where each student conducts text or multimedia interviews to gain insight to family history and traditions.”
Personally, this suggestion is one of the most appealing to use in education. At certain point of your school life, there’s always an activity dealing with Genealogical Trees. Here and there, children start asking “mum- who was the mother of the grandmother of…” and so on. And this is how something that could be a very interesting exercise for not only knowing each one’s familiar routes, but also the political, economical and social context of a certain time. A Genealogical Tree can be useful but is not enough if what we pretend is to deep in the social, economic and political relations. That’s why I find very interesting the idea of doing multimedia interviews. The fact that the information is going to be recorded, filmed and published, can motivate students to prepare interviews better than if it was just an explantion about family traditions to the class. Here, preparing the interview implies getting information about many social, political and economical aspects of that time and place. This documentation work will help them understanding their forbears choices and decisions.
On the other hand, learning about one’s family is not enough to understand the society of a particular time. It’s necessary to have a wider scope: that’s to say , a network of people whose biography will help you understand the conditionants and situations they had to face during their lifes. That’s why blogs can help this process. By building a network of blogs students can go from their most personal informations to something wider in where collaborating and sharing information is really meaningfull in order to understand the society of a certain time. Indeed, what I’m describing is a process of knowledge construction through blogs and people.
At this point I can’t avoid making reference to Vygotsky’s educational theories and the importance he paid to social interaction. Developping this activity will engage student in a dialogue that connects with this author aproach. Simultenously, even it’s not strictly an educational theory, I think this experience can be also used to show some of feminist postulates “ The personal is political”. Researching about one’s routes will lead you to an analysis of your family decisions according with the times and society they live in. After this, it’s quite easy that a process of self questionning starts.