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Folklore and Education Section

The Folklore and Education section produces an annual newsletter, awards the Dorothy Howard Folklore and Education Prize and the Robinson-Roeder-Ward Fellowship, works with partners in the field, and organizes sessions and events at the AFS annual meeting.

The Latest Edition of the Folklore and Education Section Newsletter is available online: Spring 2017 (pdf). (See below for the archive of newsletters dating from 2001.)

Click here to join this American Folklore Society interest-group section.
Click here to pay section dues.


Click here to explore resources that employ folklife and education. Some of these resources were created by Folklore and Education Section members. See also a section-created wiki Bibliography of Essential Texts for Folklore and Education.

Click here to explore websites that employ folklife and education. Some of these sites were created by Folklore and Education Section members.

Click here for help finding syllabi in the Teaching Resource Collection in OpenFolklore. Some of these syllabi were contributed by Folklore and Education Section members.


Jan Rosenberg, Senior Convener
Heritage Education Resources

Rebeca Smith, Junior Convener
Western Kentucky University 

Dorothy Howard Folklore and Education Prize

Deadline August 31

Dorothy Howard (1902-1996) grew up in the Progressive Era, receiving a teaching degree from the North Texas Normal College (now the University of North Texas) in 1923. During her career as a teacher and principal in Texas, New York, and New Jersey, Howard integrated folklore into her curriculum by having students collect and study playground chants and jingles as a way of introducing them to poetry; research their names and their meanings to study spelling; and write about such traditions as ravioli making to develop their writing skills. Howard's interest in children's folklore and education enabled her to bridge a gap between the Victorian "armchair" study of children's culture with the field-based studies that folklorists conduct today. In 1938 she received her doctorate in education with a study of games that combined these two styles of study. Her pioneering work shows us that folklore can be used in the curriculum in a way that is rich and meaningful. The Dorothy Howard Prize honors both Howard and those who have followed her lead in folklore and education.

The prize competition is open to individuals and organizations whose work effectively encourages K-12 educators or students to use or study folklore and folkloristic approaches in all educational environments. Such works include but are not limited to curriculum materials, publications, audio and video recordings, multimedia publications, web sites, and exhibits. Works produced in the two calendar years prior to the annual AFS meeting are eligible.

Nominations should identify the author(s) or creator(s), publisher, and date of publication and describe why the nomination deserves consideration. Statements should not exceed three double-spaced pages. Anyone may nominate work by submitting a nomination statement plus three copies of the resource. In the case of web-based resources, send the url. In the case of particularly extensive or expensive materials (e.g., multimedia kits), a single copy may be submitted. Submissions will be evaluated on the basis of the following criteria:

* Does the product add significantly to the body of folklore and education literature or resources?
* Is the material appropriate for intended age groups and subject focus?
* Do the materials have the potential to engage their intended audience fully?
*How does this product/material interface with and support educational priorities, teaching practices, and student learning (i.e., standards alignment, teacher preparation, pedagogy, sequencing, scaffolding, capacity development, assessment, etc.)?

The prize amount is $100, and the deadline for submissions is August 31. Electronic submission is encouraged but not mandatory.

Please send nomination statements (and your questions) via email to: 

to Jan Rosenberg,, PO Box 39, Bloomington, IN 47402.


The recipient of the Dorothy Howard Prize will be honored at the annual Folklore and Education section meeting during the American Folklore Society conference.

Click here to learn more about Dorothy Howard Prize recipients.

Robinson-Roeder-Ward Fellowship

This fellowship is awarded in memory of folklorists Beverly Robinson, Bea Roeder, and Vaughn Ward. Each was a person of vision, scholarship, and activism, and they inspired a generation of folklorists working in K-12 education. The fellowship will be awarded to an educator who is engaged in folklore, ethnography, or cultural heritage and K-12 education. The fellowship will provide the recipient a stipend of $300 to participate in the annual meeting of the American Folklore Society and a free membership in the Folklore and Education Section for one year.

Beverly Robinson
was known as a theater historian, folklorist, producer, writer, director and professor in the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. Beverly received her MA in folklore from the University of California, Berkeley and her PhD in Folklore and Folklife from the University of Pennsylvania. She was director of the African Studies Program at UCLA. A prolific writer, noted author, and contributor to several chapters in books and numerous articles, Beverly was also know for her research for such films as Miss Evers’ Boys, Nightjohn, and The Color Purple. As a scholar and innovator, Beverly brought folklore and folklife into the public eye. Beverly passed away in May 2002.

Bea Roeder
, a native Californian, became fascinated by Colorado’s rich folk heritage while working with Southwest Studies Folklore collections at Colorado College in Colorado Springs. She returned to graduate school to pursue her newfound interest and received her PhD, focusing on Hispanic folk medicine, from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1984. Bea worked for the Colorado Council on the Arts as a regional folklorist and was a force behind the CCA/NEA project Ties that Bind, a multimedia kit about Colorado’s many folk traditions for school teachers. She was deeply involved with Native American culture and spirituality and a student of the Lakota language. Bea passed away in June 2003.

Vaughn Ward
, a folklorist and musician, was a founding member of Caffe Lena. Vaughn taught high school English where her students organized the first Niskayuna Festival. She was a staff folklorist for the Lower Adirondack Arts Council and organized the Adirondack Liar’s Club in 1986. With quenchable energy she founded the Black Crow Network to support tradition bearers and those with an interest in interpreting the history of the Mohawk-Champlain region and eastern Adirondacks. Vaughn passed away in December 2001.

Click here to learn more about Robinson-Roeder-Ward Fellowship recipients.

Related Organizations

Local Learning: The National Network for Folk Arts in Education facilitates K-12 teachers' and teacher educators' use of folklore and folkloristic approaches in their classrooms through national advocacy, publications, teacher training, and extensive online resources. Funded by the National Endowment for the Arts Folk and Traditional Arts Program, Local Learning is a national service organization for folk arts and folklife in education and publishes the annual Journal of Folklore and Education, a peer-reviewed multimedia K-16 digital publication. Download on our homepage. Paddy Bowman is the director, and Lisa Rathje the assistant director.

Join City Lore as an Education Member and receive the CARTS newsletter, City Lore mailings and discounts on events, a 10% discount on orders from the CARTS Catalog (featuring high-quality, authentic teaching resources for folklore, oral history, and the arts), and a free CD or cassette. Send $30 (check payable to City Lore) to City Lore, 72 East First Street, New York NY 10003 USA. For a free copy of the catalog, e-mail or phone 800/333-5982.

Newsletter Archive

Spring 2017 (pdf)
Spring 2016 (pdf)
Spring 2015 (pdf)

Spring 2014 (pdf)

Spring 2013 (pdf)
Spring 2012 (read-only Word doc or pdf)
Spring 2011 (read-only Word doc orpdf)
Spring 2010
Spring 2009
Spring 2008
Spring 2007
Spring 2006
Spring 2005
Spring 2004
Spring 2003
Spring 2002
Spring 2001

Click here to join this American Folklore Society interest-group section.

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