About Our Project and Partridgeberry Productions
This page is from a heritage partnered project. It was written in 1998 by students from Mount Pearl Junior High and edited by their teachers. It has not been vetted by the heritage website's academic editor.
Our project began as a Social Studies assignment in Mr. Sheppard's history class at Mount Pearl Junior High School. As part of our Grade 9 History course in Canadian history, we worked on a web page. Mr. Sheppard, our teacher, came up with the idea of dividing the class into pairs and assigning each pair a decade of Canadian history and heritage to study. The "decades project" would encompass one hundred years of Canadian history and would include political and social developments including human interest items such as sports, music, fashion and fads.
We were working one day in the computer laboratory when Mr. Sheppard informed the class of the Heritage Web fair competition. A group of us decided to change our focus from the "decades project" to the creation of our own heritage web site. We decided to focus our research on oral interviews so we began to set up interviews and record the information.
It was already April and the Heritage web fair was scheduled for May so we didn't have much time. Mr. Sheppard suggested a format and we went to work. First we thought about doing only a few interviews and combining them with research from secondary sources. We accessed several sources in Newfoundland history. However, we quickly found that the interviews were more interesting so we decided to focus primarily on that method of research. We found that we learned more from interviews than from books. The interviews required us to listen. In a way, we felt like the researchers when they researched the books. With the work completed, we entered the web site competition and won locally. Then we took the site to a competition in Kingston, Ontario.
The process was quite a learning experience. We found that our community of Mount Pearl has a rich culture because the residents brought their traditions with them. Although our city is not on the sea, many of the people who have lived here spent time in communities near the sea. Their 'traditional heritage' has now become part of our own.
We enjoyed just listening to the stories of the people we interviewed. In many ways, it was an extension of what we had often heard from our own grandparents. When you actually hear a person recall their own experiences, it's much easier to understand and appreciate than simply reading it in a book. It doesn't seem to be so long ago, we felt a real connection to the past. When we asked questions, the faces of the individuals we interviewed would light up as they reflected on their own experiences. We could see how important it is for them.