Intersections: Folklore and Museum Education

Journal of Folklore and Education

2016: Volume 3
Paddy Bowman and Lisa Rathje, Editors

About This Volume

The selections in this issue reflect the diversity of work in museums and educational environments that make use of objects, special collections, ethnographic approaches, or the curatorial tools from the museum world to engage learners. As we reflect upon these pieces, we are reminded how we have told students in other contexts that a museum (like all cultural sites) can be considered an important text that deserves careful reading. Intersections: Folklore and Museum Education highlights the significance of objects as cultural texts that can, through context and dialogue, open doors to learning that promote literacy and social studies, not to mention interpersonal skills and intergenerational learning.

Articles

Introduction: Intersections: Folklore and Museum Education

Intersections: Folklore and Museum Education highlights the significance of objects as cultural texts that can, through context and dialogue, open doors to learning that promote literacy and social studies, not to mention interpersonal skills and intergenerational learning. Another intersection relevant to current issues and the times we live in is the juncture of education, museums, and social justice.

Like a Jazz Song: Designing for Community Engagement in Museums

This article is part of the Local Learning Focus: The Gallery of Conscience.
In 2012, the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico incubated an improvisatory approach to exhibit development in its newly created Gallery of Conscience (GoC). Led by a team of folklorists, folk art educators, and design innovators, the results have been hailed “a model of museum practice for the 21st century.”

Between Two Worlds: A Collaborative Curriculum Addressing Immigration through Folk Art, Media Literacy, and Digital Storytelling

This article is part of the Local Learning Focus: The Gallery of Conscience.
At the heart of all Gallery of Conscience (GoC) exhibitions are community-based collaborations that take place within and beyond museum walls. Through its community engagement process, the GoC develops ongoing partnerships that grow organically from exhibition themes. During the life of an exhibition, multiple partnerships take place concurrently, always drawing from and often contributing back to exhibit content and programming.

Project Based Learning: Elementary Students as Researchers of Immigration Narratives

This article is part of the Local Learning Focus: The Gallery of Conscience.
The more young people who get the opportunity to travel the world, live in other cultures and learn new languages, the more they will begin to understand our shared ideals and the shared opportunities to keep moving this world forward. ~ Michelle Obama1 Seeing the Between Two Worlds exhibit in Santa Fe at the Museum […]

Dismantling Racism in Museum Education

Two museum educators seek to create an opportunity for museum educators to think critically about how to dismantle racist practices in their professional lives. Revising our view of objects as sites for multiple narratives, personal connections, and historical/social interrogations, offers lively ways to talk about power and privilege.

Heritage Repatriation and Educational Sovereignty at an Ojibwe Public School

The nuanced, demanding art of birchbark canoe building brought together academic folklorists, a Native school community, and folk artists. The authors conclude that cultural projects involving Native American and non-Native educators are more effective when they embrace Native pedagogies that enact rather than describe culture. “There is a difference between teaching the culture, and teaching culturally.”

The Urgency of Empathy and Social Impact in Museums

Talking about museums only as brick-and-mortar institutions or as “it,” distances us from the human-centered work that museums do. Remembering that museums are made of people is essential to connecting effectively to communities and fostering empathy.

Native Eyes: Honoring the Power of Coming Together

A museum partnership with Native tribes blossomed from a film festival to an ongoing regional, multigenerational series of programs, workshops, and a wide array of events. When partners practice respect for what each brings to the table, the result can be powerful, meaningful programs that honor cultural knowledge and link unique communities together.

Writing as Alchemy: Turning Objects into Stories, Stories into Objects

Writing is often forgotten as a folk practice, even though early writings happened on building walls, textiles, and surfaces of objects such as those displayed in homes and museums. Writing gives shape to stories that artifacts carry, reshaping the artifacts themselves. In “shifting the shape” of each artifact, thereby layering meaning to it, writing also changes the dynamics and exchanges between the writer and the object. Writing has the power to turn objects into stories and stories into objects. Writing is a double act of alchemy.

Spotlight: Local Learning @ Vermilionville

A partnership between a folk arts education organization and a museum has created a ripple effect that touches students, enriches teachers’ approaches, and connects the community with the museum in diverse ways.

Museum Cultural Ambassadors: Parent Engagement through Museum and School Partnerships

Starting as a pilot to increase parent involvement in a partnership school, the Cultural Ambassadors Program ultimately allowed parents and their children to communicate deeply about their experiences in museums and memories of their communities. Looking at art and discussing artists’ processes allowed participants to connect art with community and create deeper engagement and learning for the school and museum partners.

Student Curators Demonstrate Learning by Transforming Schools into Museums

A classroom museum model combines social, intellectual, and physical experiences that stimulate students’ different learning styles and provide team-bonding opportunities. Student curators research, collect, categorize, create, exhibit, and interpret primary and secondary resources about events and cultures as they become teachers for the school community.

Inspired Learning: The Smithsonian Folklife Festival and Art Museum Education Strategies

Visitors can become active learners if provided the tools, but visitors to cultural institutions and events bring styles of and preferences for receiving and processing information that may have little to do with the venue. This article examines two learning venues, the annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival and art museums, and four learning strategies used in both settings in different ways.

Public Folklore Programs and University Museums: Partnerships in Education

A cadre of professional folklorists came together to provide insight into their unique programs and roles directing state folk arts and folklife programs within or in partnership with university-based museums.

Journal of Folklore and Education 2016 Reviews

Mose Rager: Kentucky’s Incomparable Guitar Master, by Carlton Jackson; From Dog Bridegroom to Wolf Girl: Contemporary Japanese Fairy-Tale Adaptations in Conversation with the West, by Mayako Murai; The Art of Relevance, by Nina Simon

Key Themes In this Issue

Narrative, Community, Place, Identity, Nature and Environment

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.