Projects | Curriculum and Instruction | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Education and Human Services


The Social Studies Education program area participates in a number of history projects at the University and within the community. Check back here to learn more about what our department has been up to and to get the latest information about our special projects.

Beyond a Story Well Told: Our Community Stories about Racial Integration

Grant R. Miller (Project Leader), Asst. Professor, Curriculum & Instruction, SIU
Shannon L. Toth, Doctoral Student, Curriculum & Instruction, SIU
Asma Khan, Doctoral Student, Curriculum & Instruction, SIU
Tugiyanto, (former Webmaster), Master's Student, Curriculum & Instruction, SIU

This project emphasizes instructional strategies related to comprehension, media literacy, and critical thinking in social science education, a skill often labeled as historical thinking. The project’s humble beginnings were during the summer of 2008 when it began (and almost ended) as an unsuccessful proposal for a privately funded preservation and education project. Undeterred, graduate students in a social science teaching methods course in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Southern Illinois University Carbondale developed and implemented an interview protocol approved by the university’s Human Subjects Committee.

Equipped with an interview protocol, an audio recorder, and a Flip Video recorder, these graduate students set out to collect stories from volunteers about our community’s past. The transcripts and audio files are provided here for preservation and to remind the public of our not-so distant past.

In 2009, Dr. Miller obtained partial funding for this project through a University Seed Grant at SIU. Since then, the team responsible for this website has analyzed data collected for the oral history project and developed instructional activities for analyzing, corroborating, and synthesizing multiple (and sometimes) conflicting accounts. In 2010, this website will be used as part of the social science curriculum in surrounding middle schools. Our goal is to inform and challenge students’ understandings of social justice and what it means to be a hero.