Tuesday, June 14, 2016

StoryCorps in the Sociology Classroom

I love a good story. Don't we all love a good story? This is why StoryCorps is my favorite podcast. I am so excited to begin the conversation of how we can integrate it into our classrooms.

Here is an introduction to StoryCorps from their founder, Dave Isay:

StoryCorps reminds me of Humans of New York because it displays raw emotion from real people and real relationships in a small glimpse of these people's lives. These short stories serve as a great free supplemental resource for our Sociology class.

Due to the diversity of stories they have recorded, there are limitless ways to incorporate this resource into your classroom. By searching their website by theme, you could find a story/podcast to introduce almost any of our units. (The transcripts of each podcast are also available for each story.) Hearing these short podcasts, from real people could make our course come alive for our students, they can help our students relate to our content, and is an excellent way for students to apply their sociological imaginations!

Here as an example of how you could use a podcast:

You could use this story about two black men who moved to Hollywood in the 1960s to become stuntmen to begin a discussion about the history of race, or the state of racism in different industries, or to connect current issues to the race unit (2016 Academy Awards).

Another idea is you could assign your students to record an interview with someone important in their lives, like Ms. Mieliwocki did. After listening to various podcasts throughout the course, it would be very empowering to "hand over the mic" to our students and to allow them to uncover powerful stories in their community. (Official project write up will be in the Google Drive folder before school starts.)

If you aren't intrigued yet, here is a glimpse of the impact StoryCorps has had:

The Sociology classroom can serve as the perfect platform to increase these understandings in our high schools. 

Please tell us your ideas of how you would like to use StoryCorps in the comments below!

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