Teaching with Folk Sources

Journal of Folklore and Education

2023: Volume 10, Issue 1
Alexandra S. Antohin, Guest Editor

About This Volume

This 10th Volume of the Journal of Folklore and Education offers two issues packed with resources and content. Expanding mainstream notions that primary sources are historical documents housed in hard-to-access archives, this volume showcases archival items that expand our vision of community, self, the past, the future, pedagogical opportunities—and, yes, history.

What if young people saw themselves in an archive? Recognized their families and arts in a folklife collection? Grew curious about documenting what is going on in their communities? Explore these possibilities in Issue 1, entitled “Learning with Folk Sources: Listen, Observe, Connect.”

Looking for the Teaching with Folk Sources Curriculum Guide? Find Volume 10, Issue 2 here.


Introduction: A Call to Teaching with Primary Sources

This volume is dedicated to showcasing a kind of research and researchers who seek to make direct human connections to documentation and treat cultural knowledge as a type of primary source. It also pivots around a term–folk sources–that is likely new to the general public.

The Local Learning Teaching with Folk Sources Team answers: What does a primary source do for you?

Comments by Alexandra S. Antohin, Journal of Folklore and Education Guest Editor; Sarah Milligan, Oklahoma State University Library, Oklahoma Oral History Research Program; Shanedra D. Nowell, Oklahoma State University, School of Teaching, Learning, and Educational Sciences; Vanessa Navarro Maza, HistoryMiami Museum; Lisa Rathje, Executive Director, Local Learning: The National Network for Folk Arts in Education

A Future from the Past

This article includes Classroom Connections
Calling upon Frances Densmore’s collection of more than 2,500 American Indian songs she recorded between 1907 and 1941, a project repatriating and reintroducing Lakota and Dakota songs to the Standing Rock Reservation is empowering individuals to reclaim their culture regardless of institutional, financial, educational, or political access or hurdles.

OurStoryBridge: Expanding the Role of Primary Sources in the Classroom

OurStoryBridge: Connecting the Past and the Present supports crowdsourced community story projects emphasizing audio history collecting and sharing in three- to five-minute personal narratives with scrolling photographs.

The Black Diaspora Quilt History Project: A Resource for Inclusive Preservation, Research, and Teaching

The Black Diaspora Quilt History Project aims to preserve a body of data of this important traditional expressive art in its myriad forms and to make that data freely accessible for teaching and research. This effort to gather and digitize primary and secondary sources on African American, African, and African Diaspora quilt history draws from geographically dispersed public and private collections.

What About Delia?: Relational Listening and the Amplification of Women’s Voices in the Histories of Ethnomusicology

Listening for Delia Zapata Olivella in the archives sheds light into a significant part of history that has been ignored and unveils the role and presence of women in the establishment of ethnomusicology as a discipline.

Ethnographic Collections in the Classroom: Teaching Research and Composition Through Community-Centered Archives

This article includes Classroom Connections
This essay explores what is to be gained from working with ethnographic collections that are relatively “bottom-up” in their orientation and structure. Accessing local collections mutually benefits teachers, students, and local archives.

Connecting Themes and Stories: How to Use the West Virginia Folklife Collection in the Classroom

This article includes Classroom Connections
Digital and publicly accessible folklife collections can be an excellent resource for educators interested in teaching students how folklife relates to larger, interconnected topics that affect the world beyond our local communities.

Lâche Pas: Don’t Let Go!

How do you build a curriculum using the primary sources of traditional songs and cultural expressions of a community? Lâche Pas offers a case study with insightful commentary on the steps, partners, and culminating events needed to teach Louisiana French heritage and folklife.

Folklife Education: Why Teaching Students the Skills of Ethnography Matters

This article includes Classroom Connections
This article captures some of the language used for teacher professional development at the Folk Arts - Cultural Treasures Schools (FACTS) to communicate why the skills of ethnography and folklife education matter for student learning.

Digging for Gold: Cajun and Creole Children’s Songs and Lullabies

Louisiana French lullabies and children’s songs were almost lost to history; this project is an effort to help them make a comeback or at least be a relaxing soundtrack at the end of a long day for babies and adults alike.

Journal of Folklore and Education 2023 Reviews

Reviews of: Wait Five Minutes: Weatherlore in the Twenty-First Century. Shelley Ingram and Willow G. Mullins, eds. | Culture Work: Folklore for the Public Good. Tim Frandy and B. Marcus Cederström, eds. | Making Our Future: Visionary Folklore & Everyday Culture in Appalachia. Emily Hilliard | We Are All Survivors: Verbal, Ritual, and Material Ways of Narrating Disaster and Recovery. Carl Lindahl, Michael Dylan Foster, Kate Parker Horigan, eds. | What the Children Said: Child Lore of South Louisiana. Jeanne Pitre Soileau

Key Themes in This Issue

Narrative, Identity, History, Archives

The Journal of Folklore and Education (ISSN 2573-2072) is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal published annually by Local Learning: The National Network for Folk Arts in Education. JFE publishes work that uses ethnographic approaches to tap the knowledge and life skills of students, their families, community members, and educators in K-12, college, museum, and community education.