What is it? A local history workshop would be a neighborhood event where all are invited to learn about and discuss local history. In order to keep the event focused, a particular topic or time in history is usually chosen to be the center of the workshop. The event would most likely have at least one speaker who will talk about some aspect of this chosen topic. The participants are also asked to share their own understandings of that part of the area’s history. By the end, people are better informed about the past personally and have been able to help others understand better as well. But this is also helpful for engaging people in discussions about what that past means for the present and future. These events can also include a final presentation component to share the information learned beyond the workshop participants.
How has it been used? The Talking Stick Learning Center held a local history workshop in Philadelphia with their students. They were focused on understanding the city as it was in the 1700s. Students were taken out into the community to look at historic areas and tried to think about what it would have looked like back in that previous time. A local professor came in to talk about the history of the area and they went on tours of buildings that were involved in momentous events from that period. During this 6 week workshop, students were also creating presentations on a topic of particular interest to them. At the end of the workshop, they were able to share their presentations with their fellow students. All of this helped connect these children with their community and learn about how things have changed over the years to help them understand their own home. (Source: Talking Stick Learning Center)