Equipping Secondary School Students with Humanities Research Skills
Project Scribe is a project that seeks to engage secondary school students, to conduct fieldwork in a specific community, through the acquiring and compilation of first-hand narratives and memories of the community’s experiences. This is meant to equip students with basic humanities research skills in a simplified and easy-to-digest form, allowing better understanding of the different methods in approaching history.
What did they learn?
Through this project, we seek to archive the history and the experiences of a community within and ensure that that legacy remains amidst a society that prides itself in change and transformation. Furthermore, we intend to educate the NUS population and involve more secondary school students in understanding the importance of oral history and the methods involved, which exposes both groups to Singapore’s history. In order to make the project a meaningful one, we have decided to focus on Rochor Centre for our second run.
Project Scribe was carried out as a competition with the intentions of allowing secondary school students to better grasp the skills of oral history. The students conducted an oral interview with residents or shop owners from Rochor Centre in groups of 5-6 people to preserve the memories of this area. During the course of the competition, we involved around 60 secondary school students [10 – 12 groups], 20 NUS mentors and 15 Rochor Centre residents/shop owners in total.
The interviews were recorded through audio or video means, depending on what the students want to present in their final product, as part of oral history and to collect these memories for future reference or research. These tapes will also be used by the students to create their reflections on the competition and a news article for the basis of judging, and by HISSOC for an exhibition and the creation of a magazine.
REMEMBERING ROCHOR: Secondary school students presenting their findings from interviewing Rochor residents and community.
Project Scribe: Remembering Rochor is an oral history competition for secondary students that was ran by the NUS History Society in March 2016. We decided to continue this competition as we felt this would allow students to better understand and apply history in a practical manner.