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Through the Schoolhouse Door

Folklore, Community, Curriculum

Paddy Bowman and Lynne Hamer

Publication Year: 2011

Through the Schoolhouse Door offers a collection of experiences from exemplary school programs and the analysis of an expert group of folklorists and educators who are 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 to the classroom.

Published by: Utah State University Press

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pp. ix-xiii

As a longtime teacher, it's hard for me to admit that some of the most permanent teaching and learning happen outside school: "Learn without realizing you're learning." "Teach when the teachable moment presents itself." "The natural classroom of the real world." "A school without walls." Annoying clich

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pp. 1-18

The knowledge, aesthetics, skills, and beliefs that young people, educators, and staff members bring through the schoolhouse door each day accompany them in almost invisible backpacks that too often go unopened. Likewise, the culture unique to each classroom and school may be as overlooked as water is to goldfish. While experts in educational research and leadership continue to call for improved home-school relations, the opportunities ...

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1. "I Didn't Know What I Didn't Know": Reciprocal Pedagogy

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pp. 19-46

This chapter chronicles the arc of my development as a teacher educator. Documenting my teaching comes from the natural habit of a folklorist. I take notes and photographs and hang onto teachers' assignments, evaluations, and artwork. My original chapter concept took me to thick files in my informal archive. I planned to appraise teachers' assignments accumulating since 1994 to illustrate the powerful promise of folklore and fieldwork ...

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2. A Tale of Discovery Folklorists and Educators Collaborate to Create and Implement the Louisiana Voices Educator's Guide

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pp. 47-67

In 1997 the Louisiana Division of the Arts Folklife Program had digitized a cornucopia of photographs and essays documenting traditional culture and folk artists from every parish in the state. With release of an extensive oral narrative collection in Swapping Stories: Folktales from Louisiana (Lindahl, Owens, and Harvison 1997) and launch of an auxiliary Web site, introducing educators to our rich collections seemed a natural step. ...

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3. Here at Home Learning Local-Culture Pedagogy through Cultural Tours

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pp. 68-98

Have you heard of the Chicago fire? Most people have, along with the legend of how Mrs. O'Leary's cow started it. The story is untrue; the fire is not. Although the fire in Chicago may be the best known fire of the era, it was neither the largest nor the most deadly. The Chicago fire was but one of a series in 1871 that ravaged the upper Midwest, the largest of which occurred in Wisconsin on October 8. This fire swept along the shorelines ...

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4. Art at the Threshold Folk Artists in an Urban Classroom

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pp. 99-119

Sitting on the floor beside pots of rice flour and brightly colored powders, Madhulika Khandelwal takes a pinch and slowly releases it between her fingers, drawing a fine curved line. Starting with a simple flower shape, she builds outwardly in concentric circles of ornamentation until the flower blossoms into an intricate design of stems, leaves, and petals. This traditional art, called rangoli in regions of India, is practiced ...

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5. From "Show-Me" Traditions to "The Show-Me Standards" Teaching Folk Arts in Missouri Classrooms

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pp. 120-138

So wrote a student from Shelbina Elementary School in northeastern Missouri after a weeklong residency taught by Colombian folkloric dancer Carmen Dence and her percussionist Arthur Moore. In Jordan's letter to Moore, she exhibits newfound cultural knowledge, an enthusiasm for learning, and the ability to overcome challenges--all goals for Missouri's Folk Arts School Residency Project. Ultimately, Jordan appears well on ...

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6. Every Student Rich in Culture Nebraska Folklife Trunks

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pp. 139-150

This chapter describes the authors' work collaborating as folklorist and teacher--along with other teachers and a state historian--to bring Nebraska history to classrooms across the state authentically, yet economically, and, most importantly, use folkloristic material to meet state education standards. Marrying the expertise of folklorists and educators produced the successful design of traveling trunks filled with culturally accurate resources ...

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7. Folkvine.org: Exploring Arts-Based Research and Habits of Mind

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pp. 151-167

Follow a virtual back road to a visitor's center to learn about Florida folk artists. Folkvine.org marries folklore, folk art, arts education, and technology through rich, accessible, and compelling media. Over a period of four years-- with the support of seven grants--faculty and students from the University of Central Florida (UCF) worked with artists and their communities to create individual postcard Web sites of ten different artists (or groups of artists), four ...

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8. "When Lunch Was Just Lunch and Not So Complicated" (Re)Presenting Student Culture through an Alternative Tale

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pp. 168-191

The students have named the assemblage "Parentless Generation."1 It is striking, filling the room with images that seem to evoke childhood--a teddy bear, Mickey Mouse, basketball--and chillingly contrast with graffiti texts-- "free dem South Side Savages," "R.I.P. Quarter," "Lost-Neverfound.' Standing nine feet tall and twelve feet wide, and composed of multiple stand-alone pieces, the structure demands attention and evokes contemplation. ...

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9. Turning the University Inside Out: The Padua Alliance for Education and Empowerment

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pp. 192-216

First, start where the individual is the expert and work out from there. Second, it is not right to ask an expert fiddler to play in a tent for free; she or he ought to be paid to play in a concert hall. These two instructions from my advisor Henry Glassie at the Indiana University Folklore Institute perpetually influence my thinking as an associate professor of education ...

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Conclusion: Learned Lessons, Foreseeable Futures

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pp. 217-225

A book takes a while to come into being, and from the vantage point of 2011, seeing what has changed in four years is sobering. We began this book at a more promising time, when Folk Arts in Education (FAIE) programs, professional-development opportunities for teachers and artists, and new curricula and materials were flourishing. We were fresh from exciting education sessions at the 2007 American Folklore Society meeting in ...

Works Cited

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pp. 226-235


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pp. 236-250

E-ISBN-13: 9780874218602
Print-ISBN-13: 9780874218596

Page Count: 264
Illustrations: 39 photos
Publication Year: 2011

Edition: 1st Edition