Historic Sites in Texas: the Use of Local History in Texas Public Schools

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This research study examined the perceptions of school administrators and of historic site directors toward the function of the sites in the public school curriculum. In-depth, personal interviews were conducted, tape-recorded, and transcribed at six selected sites, representing the various ethnic historic settlements of Texas, a variety of population densities, each of the major physical geographic regions, and different economic levels in the state. Data analysis involved careful study of the taped interviews, comparisons of responses given by people of similar roles, and comparisons of responses regarding the same site. Documentation of elements of the historic sites, of programs offered, ... continued below

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vii, 197 leaves : ill., maps

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Pitchford, Anita May 1989.

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  • Pitchford, Anita

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Description

This research study examined the perceptions of school administrators and of historic site directors toward the function of the sites in the public school curriculum. In-depth, personal interviews were conducted, tape-recorded, and transcribed at six selected sites, representing the various ethnic historic settlements of Texas, a variety of population densities, each of the major physical geographic regions, and different economic levels in the state. Data analysis involved careful study of the taped interviews, comparisons of responses given by people of similar roles, and comparisons of responses regarding the same site. Documentation of elements of the historic sites, of programs offered, of participation of the local school district in programs, and of written school policies were examined. The perceptions of the interviewees along with recommendations for changes were noted. Responses varied from expressed impression of students who are steeped in local history and are bored with their heritage, to enthusiastic positive opinions that the prosperity of the community is directly related to the strong identification of the citizens with its local history. The role of local history and of specific sites in the curriculum of the public schools is not consistent in Texas. This research study suggests that positive gains are possible if communication between local historic site/park/museum personnel and professional educators who are responsible for planning and implementation of school curriculum can be improved. Professional educators tend either to value local history and historic sites as part of the curriculum, or to avoid the question of meeting state mandates for classtime through the use of off-campus visits to historic sites by interpreting recent reforms to prohibit them. Professional personnel who oversee the historic sites tend to offer programs to the public schools that will meet the mandated curriculum, while adhering to the scheduling constraints of school reform legislation.

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vii, 197 leaves : ill., maps

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  • May 1989

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  • Aug. 22, 2014, 6 p.m.

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  • Sept. 16, 2015, 8:59 a.m.

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Citations, Rights, Re-Use

Pitchford, Anita. Historic Sites in Texas: the Use of Local History in Texas Public Schools, dissertation, May 1989; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc331623/: accessed September 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .