Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Local history knowledge informs citizens of the political, social, economic, and cultural aspects of their communities. Community colleges are uniquely situated to address citizens' educational needs because of their historic mission to serve local people. The problem at a rural college located in a southeastern region of the United States was the perception of a lack of local history in the curriculum. Dewey, Schon, Brookfield, and Mezirow's perspectives on reflection guided this case study. Two research questions focused on how faculty and staff at the college perceived the role of local history and its relationship to the curriculum and how local history could be included in the curriculum. Using a qualitative case study approach, 12 faculty, administrators, and staff were selected through purposeful and maximum variation sampling. Qualitative data collected from open-ended questions and history and humanities course syllabi were inductively analyzed and coded towards an emergent approach. The most important findings related to (a) the high value of local history knowledge to educators, students, and communities; (b) the abundance of internal and external resources to address local history in the curriculum; and (c) the desire of faculty to participate in future reflective activities designed to improve teaching and learning. Based on these findings, a position paper was developed for administrators, faculty, and staff, which included 3 recommendations: curriculum review, community partnerships, and professional development and faculty reflective practices. This study identified strategies and resources that may more effectively support students' learning outcomes and developmental needs, in relation to local history knowledge, which positions the institution to employ the curriculum as a vehicle to encourage citizens to actively participate in a democratic society.