Title

The Importance of Local History Education in Texas Public Schools

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Department

Art

Date of Award

Spring 2013

Abstract

Many people know little about the history of their communities. They were taught state, national, and world history in school but little, if any, local history. Knowledge of local history, however, is important because it can inspire students of all ages to be proud of their communities' heritages and their places in the world. This thesis study will determine whether enough public support for teaching local history in public schools can be generated to merit submission to the Texas State Board of Education. Research will be conducted in three phases. In Phase One a Guide to Teaching Local History will be developed that provides topics, techniques, and tools for educators to use in lieu of 254 textbooks - one for each Texas county. Phase Two uses local history exhibits to conduct case studies in three Texas counties. The exhibits use historical photos and facts to generate enthusiasm about the project. Voluntary anonymous surveys filled out by attendees will indicate each participant's level of enthusiasm and curiosity about their county's history. The key question will ask whether they support teaching local history in school. The data generated by this study will be aggregated and analyzed in Phase Three to determine how much interest there is for teaching local history in public school. If significant support is achieved, a proposal will be made to the Texas State Board of Education to include local history education in public schools.

Advisor

Virgil Scott

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities

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