The creative traditions and expressive culture of students'
families, neighborhoods, towns, religious communities, and peer
groups provide opportunities to extend classrooms, sustain learning
beyond school buildings, and better connect students and schools
with their communities. Folklorists and educators have long worked
together to expand curricula through engagement with local
knowledge and informal cultural arts-folk arts in education is a
familiar rubric for these programs-but the unrealized potential
here, for both the folklore scholar and the teacher, is large. The
value folklorists "place on the local, the vernacular, and the
aesthetics of daily life does not reverberate" throughout public
education, even though, in the words of Paddy Bowman and Lynne
Hamer, "connecting young people to family and community members and
helping them to develop self-identity are vital to civic well-being
and to school success."
Through the Schoolhouse Door offers a collection of
experiences from exemplary school programs and the analysis of an
expert group of folklorists and educators who are dedicated not
only to getting students out the door and into their communities to
learn about the folk culture all around them but also to honoring
the culture teachers and students bring to the classroom.
Subjects: Sociology, Education
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