Publication Date



School of Education


Education: Elementary/Middle; History


Oral History, Education, Elementary Education, Middle School, Historical Studies, Elementary School, History Education, Project-Based Learning, Veteran's History Project


Curriculum and Instruction | Early Childhood Education | Educational Methods | Elementary Education | Genealogy | Gifted Education | Oral History | Public History | Secondary Education | Vocational Education


Modern historical instruction requires educators to cover broad expanses of history and prepare students for standardized testing. In the push to meet state standards and cover the vast curriculum in short periods of time, many educators have begun to teach to the textbook. Much to the detriment of students, this educational practice has favored periodization and content quantity over the development of crucial historical skills. Rather than adhering to popular education trends, teachers can consider implementing oral history projects within their elementary and middle school classrooms. Oral history is a methodology that employs first-hand accounts to teach about key historical events. It is well backed by research, is aligned with educational practices and principles, and its implementation in the classroom can be a useful educational tool. This research reviews existing literature on oral history, discusses how to incorporate it at the elementary and middle school level, and addresses objections to its implementation. It concludes with a case study on Dr. Matthew Fash’s Veteran’s History Project and advice for educators beginning oral history practices in their classrooms.