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What students can learn from the interview is far beyond the reach of any textbook. Students who might previously have seen teachers and books as the only valid sources of information will enlarge their perspectives, seeking the experiences of family members, neighbors, peers, and people from all walks of life. When children know their own history and culture, they develop self-esteem; when they understand the history and culture of others, prejudice can be reduced. As Paula Rogovin characterizes it, the interview is a way of saying "I want to learn from you. Let's stop our busy lives for a moment and rejoice in that learning."
In this unique book, Rogovin shares proven techniques for tapping into this rich resource. She shows teachers how they can plan a curriculum based on the interview and develop their own schedules. Examples are offered showcasing how student interviews drive inquiry in social studies, writing, reading, science, math, and much more. And in case these ever expanding boundaries become too overwhelming, Rogovin suggests proven strategies to help students focus questions on topics of thematic study. Just as the themes for investigation grow, so does the students' confidence. Note taking becomes more detailed and specific, and students become more inventive, writing books that can be the focus of guided reading, creating poems, painting murals, acting in plays, or singing songs.
The interview has far-reaching implications. It can provide a fertile medium for inquiry-based learning . . . the perfect research tool . . . a meaningful way to introduce multiculturalism . . . a springboard for family and community involvement. Although Rogovin describes strategies used in her elementary classroom, the methods can easily be adapted by middle school teachers.
Listen In on an Interview
The Interview--Fulcrum of the Curriculum
Reaching Out to Our Community
Strategies for Interviewing
Planning the Day
Keeping the Concepts Alive