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Bibliography: Essential Texts for Folklore and Education

The Folklore Wiki > Publications and Communications > Subject Area Bibliographies: Essential Texts for Folklore and Education

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 "Folk Arts in the Classroom: Changing the Relationship Between Schools and Communities" launched on Local Learning in 1993. A report from the National Roundtable on Folk Arts in the Classroom sponsored by National Endowment for the Arts and City Lore (New York).


 "An Accessible Aesthetic" by Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett

 The folk artist is very much like a curator and the community is a living museum. In unpacking this metaphor, Kirshenblatt-Gimblett explores how the folk artist learns various traditions and then teaches adults and children to develop strong ties to their communities and cultural history.

 Originally published in New York Folklore: The Journal of the New York Folklore Society 9:3-4 (Winter 1983), pp.9-18.


 "Passing it On" by Rita Zorn Moonsammy

 Excerpts from the now classic folk arts-in-education book, Passing It On which explores collaborative programs between classroom teachers and folk artists/community educators. We have excerpted four sections that map the New Jersey Main Road School's sixth grade residency with auctioneer Andrea Licciardello. Licciardello worked with classroom teacher Glenn Christmann to present a study of auctions within a frame of regional socioeconomics.

 Originally published as: Moonsammy, Rita Zorn. & New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Trenton. & Cumberland County Library, Bridgeton, NJ. (1992). Passing It On Folk Artists and Education in Cumberland County, New Jersey. [Washington, D.C.]



 "Holidays and Schools: Folklore Theory and Educational Practice, or, 'Where Do We Put the Christmas Tree?'" by Lucy Long

 How an Ohio parent and folklorist successfully engaged the issue of holiday celebrations in schools by integrating community study, family folklore and social studies curricula.



 Through the Schoolhouse Door: Folklore, Community, Curriculum, Paddy Bowman and Lynne Hamer, eds., 2011.

Winner of the 2012 Dorothy Howard Prize, this collection offers experiences from exemplary school programs and analysis of an expert group of folklorists and educators dedicated not only to getting students out the door and into their communities to learn about the folk culture all around them but also to honoring the culture teachers and students bring in to the classroom.



 Valuing the Ordinary by Paddy Bowman

Bowman, Paddy. "Oh, that’s just folklore”: Valuing the Ordinary as an Extraordinary Teaching Tool. Language Arts, 81(5), pp. 385-395, 2004.


 Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage provides online lesson plans, curriculum guides, and online exhibits as well as two interviewing guides.

For an extended reading list, visit:

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