Common Ground: People and Our Places

Journal of Folklore and Education

2018: Volume 5, Issue 1 & 2
Tim Frandy, Guest Editor

About This Volume

Working at the confluence of culture, environment, and education, this special volume of JFE creates an important space for folklore to engage critically with emerging and established partnerships between the arts, humanities, and science. From Indigenous ways of knowing to cultural stewardship, art environments to children’s folklore, place-based education to technology, this two-part edition illuminates the power of local knowledge in influencing our special places. The field of folklore offers tools, strategies, and resources to help educators understand how culture influences ways of learning; creates and strengthens communities; and expresses itself in our schools, universities, museums, community organizations, and landscapes.


With Feet on Common Ground

This introduction centers the diverse ways that people relate to our place in an environment, in the human world, in the cosmos, through both the vernacular and institutional sciences.

Siftr: A Tool for the Folklore Classroom

An innovative, user-friendly digital tool allows students to upload and geotag images and record and share notes and field observations, literally grounding them in the local.

Strategies to Broaden Knowledge: Citizen Scientists and Citizen Folklorists

Two social scientists examine assumptions about who is an expert; in what settings our academic expertise is needed, invited, or may be redundant; and for whom the findings are important.

Folk Illusions as Emic, Educational Prompt

By investigating and showing interest in youth’s folk illusions, educators expose students to the underlying, co-constructed nature of social (even educational) reality.

When the Clowns Take Over the Classroom: Notes from the Circus Arts Conservatory in Sarasota, Florida

Circus Science combines occupational folklife with STEM education in a community where the circus is an important part of local culture.

Eating Your Homework: One Family’s Intersections of Science, Place, Foodways, and Education

This article has Classroom Connections
When families merge, they bring their stories, histories, and traditions together. This process is made especially clear as cultures and experiences mingle and collide on the family table.

Rubbing Shoulders or Elbowing In: Lessons Learned from a Folklorist’s Contributions to Interdisciplinary Scholarship

With a growing awareness of the benefits of a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics) educational approach in academia, folklorists are reframing their work to contribute to interdisciplinary endeavors.

Growing Right: Pop-Up and Popular Pedagogies for Public Environmental Folklife

Mobilizing folklife, oral history, and public history documentation methods alongside forms of public engagement and presentation, the authors share a story of Ohio organic farmers and farming.

Our River, Our Home: A Critical Pedagogy of Place

As students explore watershed ecology they also speak to elders in the community, participate in hands-on folklife experiences, and learn the techniques and skills of oral history and ethnographic field methods.

Supporting Iñupiaq Arts And Education

Indigenous theoretical frameworks are important because they offer an Indigenous perspective on research for academia. This case study of two university courses illustrates how to collaborate with students and community members to document their place and heritages, improve teacher retention by active involvement, and provide preservice teachers an opportunity to visit a remote Alaskan village to gain firsthand knowledge.

Grounding Ourselves: From Here, This Looks Like Me

This article includes Classroom Connections
Sense of place as a form of inquiry takes us out of the classroom and into the world, giving young people agency and a voice for what they want for the future of their communities and the world.

Placing Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge at the Center of Our Research and Teaching

Through collaborative authorship, this article provides cross-disciplinary examples of TEK projects to illustrate today’s best practices for keeping Indigenous peoples and knowledge at the center of such research and teaching.

A Curriculum of Wonder: An Interview with Mark Wagler

JFE’s guest editor sat down with an elementary educator to talk about how he understands the relationship between local culture and the sciences in his classroom.

Sound Ideas: A Folk Arts Response to Taboo Rhythm Games at School

In a follow-up to a 2015 JFE article, the author created a project to show the lineage of various rhythm genres and legitimize the practice of rhythm play in a predominantly African American neighborhood.

A Pedagogy of Making Do

By developing a deeper understanding of making do as well as student and teacher tactics, an educator may more readily recognize and build upon a pedagogy rooted in this practice.

Creating Stewardship for the Chauvin Sculpture Garden in a Coastal Louisiana Fishing Town

Preserving an art environment requires strategies to build a cohesive team of collaborators who offer a sense of stable continuity to the educational mission of the garden. Then, Anne Pryor reveals how visionary art environments can be of interest and value to educators and folklorists as they can reveal fascinating intersections between design, art, engineering, physics, culture, environment, society, and place, and the John Michael Kohler Arts Center shares a lesson plan.

Learning in Schools about Traditional Knowledge Systems in the Kumaon Himalayas

This article demonstrates how youth in rural communities of the middle Himalayas use traditional knowledge to support environmental decisions, negotiate a balance between traditional and Western/outside knowledge, and apply knowledge in decision making.

Documenting Disaster: A Student and Teacher Learning Experience

A project looked at how Superstorm Sandy affected the seafaring community, its residents, and its maritime traditions on Long Island.

Cultivating Aloha 'Āina Through Critical Indigenous Pedagogies of Place

Folklore, education, and place are one. Here authors offer curricular building blocks that derive from Indigenous Hawaiian senses of place and purpose that also find resonance in other settings.

Journal of Folklore and Education 2018 Reviews

Good Work: Masters of the Building Arts, by Marjorie Hunt and Paul Wagner; The Pleasures of Metamorphosis: Japanese and English Fairy Tale Transformations of “The Little Mermaid,” by Lucy Fraser; The Caribbean Story Finder: A Guide to 438 Tales from 24 Nations and Territories, Listing Subjects and Sources, by Sharon Barcan Elswitl; The Liberation of Winifred Bryan Horner: Writer, Teacher, and Women’s Rights Advocate, as told to Elaine J. Lawless

Key Themes in This Issue

Place, Narrative, Nature and Environment, Identity, Foodways, Community

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.