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CFP (Deadline Approaches): The 2016 Issue of Folklore and Education

Wednesday, April 13, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Shannon K. Larson
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The Journal of Folklore and Education is a peer-reviewed, multimedia, open-access K-16 journal published annually by Local Learning: The National Network for Folk Arts in Education. Local Learning links folk culture specialists and educators around the world, advocating for inclusion of folk and traditional arts and culture in education. "Local learning"--the traditional knowledge and processes of learning that are grounded in community life--is of critical importance to the effective education of students and to the vigor of our communities and society.

The Journal publishes work representing ethnographic approaches that tap the knowledge and life experience of students, their families, community members, and educators in K-12, college, museum, and community education. The Journal aims to reach an audience of educators and students at all levels and in all settings, folk culture specialists, and other interested readers. As a digital publication, the Journal of Folklore and Education provides a forum for interdisciplinary, multimedia approaches to community-based teaching, learning, and cultural stewardship. It is found at

Museum Education is a specific field that includes a wide variety of organized formal learning opportunities (docent-led student visits, curriculum guides, teacher training) as well as informal learning features for the casual visitor, from exhibit-based activities and techniques (hands-on, multimedia, accessibility) to programming (lectures, workshops, and other adult programs; family days; festivals; intergenerational programs; child-friendly guides; discovery carts) and other creative endeavors. In the 1960s, Museum Education began emerging as a distinct field situated within schools of education or museum studies programs. Many museum educators have also come from other fields, including folklore, and many folklorists have worked in museums in non-education positions (curators, administrators, archivists) or in conjunction with museums to develop exhibits and programs. The practices and curricula that use the tools of folklore and ethnography to connect classrooms and communities with museums, as well as museum objects or collections, provide a rich praxis for learning.

The 2016 Journal of Folklore and Education issue is dedicated to exploring the intersection of folklore and museum education. This theme creates an opportunity to think deeply about museums in multiple contexts. Submissions may include best practices for museum strategies for learning and engagement that connect meaningfully with communities, preparing students to visit museums, critical reflections on visual literacy and object-centered lessons, submissions that explore curating exhibits in the classroom, and other applications of the theme in light of critical Folklore in Education practice. The following kinds of submissions are welcome: articles, model projects, multimedia products, teaching applications, and student work accompanied by critical writing that connects to the larger frameworks of this theme. 

Essential questions that contributors may use to inspire their writing include the following:

  • What does folklore bring to an examination of Museum Education, including discussions of exhibiting culture, the art of display, and ethical concerns of appropriation and representation? How does a folkloristic, ethnographic approach enter into the ways that we work with learners in a museum setting and that learners connect with collections?
  • How are museums using technology to engage "local learning?” Similarly, how does technology provide tools for significant personal and cultural expression that intersects with museum collections and exhibits, the DIY/Maker movement, and community culture?
  • How might educators best lead students to curate a classroom or school exhibit that connects with education content standards and community-based knowledge. Likewise, how may museum and folklore educators work within and between the STEM and STEAM initiatives to ensure that culture is addressed and included in the curriculum?
  • How might intangible culture--stories, music, and other traditions--expand the narratives that an organization can tell with its collections and exhibits?
  • How can exploring the occupational culture of museum professionals deepen engagement?
  • How can "tough conversations” or controversy in a collection or exhibit be effectively addressed using the tools and perspectives of Folklore in Education practices?
  • How are museums connecting meaningfully with diverse cultural groups and learners using Folklore in Education practices? How can folklife research be used as a way for museums to support those traditions that communities value most while also developing innovative programs and exhibits?

Contact editors Paddy Bowman at or Lisa Rathje at with ideas for stories, features, lessons, and media productions. Initial drafts of submissions are due April 30, 2016.

The editors welcome work that engages thoughtfully or critically with this theme from educators, museum professionals, youth, folklorists, graduate students, and community scholars, among others. Articles should be 1,500-4,500 words, submitted as a Word document. Shorter lessons, worksheets, and classroom exercises are also welcome. All URL links hyperlinked in the document should also be referenced, in order, at the end of the article in a URL list so that offline readers may have the address.  Images should have a dpi of at least 300. Media submissions are welcome, including short film and audio clips. Reviewing Volumes 1 and 2 of the Journal would helpful (see Be in touch with the editors to discuss submission and media ideas and to learn formatting and technical specifications.

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