Confronting History in the Heartland
Chapter 5. Realizing the Public Values of Learning
← 110 | 111 →·5·
REALIZING THE PUBLIC VALUES OF LEARNING
Most of the students participating in this project, we can now say, saw their work as having value for themselves and others. Yet did others see the work as having such value? How would readers respond, and would they find value in the same places the students saw it? To answer these questions, I turned to the community, identifying audience members from a variety of backgrounds, presenting them with the students’ wiki pages, and then soliciting their assessments of the pages’ quality and the project’s value. In the first half of this chapter, I discuss interviews with members of the public from various walks of life, most of them from the Marion community, including a newspaper editor, a prosecuting attorney, and two members of the library’s local history staff. In the chapter’s second half, I report on the reactions of four trained historians.
These interviews serve several purposes: They provide an external sense of the quality and value of the exhibit as seen from different points of view. The reviewers are critical in places, but their overall assessments are largely positive, establishing with reasonable confidence that the students made real contributions to public knowledge. They also show how a sampling of people read and evaluated the work—the grounds on which they judged its quality, the sorts of critiques and suggestions they made, and the types of value they saw. By identifying the various ways...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.