Oral Histories – Ken Howarth

In order to get the best information out of lecturers, using Ken Howarth’s oral histories as a guide can provide the best, more clear information.

‘Oral histories is the recording of personal stories to provide a sound archive collection. It relies on the optimum quality of informative, be it recording or content quality. Moral and ethical considerations are important’

‘The oral historian is able to cross-examine people about their often very personal experiences and memories’

Howarth, K (1998) Oral History, 6

To get the best information you have to ask questions that make the interviewee what to express it. The questions should be considered and relevant. As the interviewer you need to make sure that you are not putting words into their mouths. The questions should be general and not assumptions.

Silences aren’t a bad thing, the interviewee will always break the silence because its their story; you don’t want to be interrupting them while they are speaking about something personal.

To consider the preparation, the equipment and the time before hand is important. You don’t want anything to go wrong so that you can’t record the interview.

The book gave me an insight into the process of interviewing. It made me aware of the issues and the consideration, so I can ensure that the story being told is their story and it is quality information. I hope to interview university lecturers to hear their experiences in get their job, their experiences in the job, and what is important for students in university. It is important to get that information so that I can understand the narrative of teaching through my own primary research.


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