Local Learning: The National Network for Folk Arts in Education is a National Service Organization that connects folklorists, tradition bearers, folk artists, and educators across the nation and advocates for the full inclusion of folklife and folk arts in education, because traditional culture and local knowledge can transform learning, build intercultural understanding, and create stronger communities.
We serve artists looking to gain skills in presentation and building learning activities, students who begin to see their cultural and community knowledge as valuable assets in their own education, and parents/families who find themselves welcomed into schools and learning spaces.
We provide professional development training and resources for K-12 educators, support folklorists and folk artists working in education, consult with state and community organizations, and present at conferences of many disciplines, including folklore, education, and social studies-focused gatherings.
Our flagship publication is the Journal of Folklore and Education (JFE). As a digital publication, JFE provides a forum for interdisciplinary, multimedia approaches to community-based teaching, learning, and cultural stewardship. The JFE audience is educators and students at all levels and in all settings, folk culture specialists, and other interested readers.
Meet Local Learning Staff at AFS
Educators, folk artists, folklorists, and arts administrators from across Pennsylvania met for a Local Learning summer professional development workshop series. AFS members can meet and learn from the participating artists as we engage learning around “Creative Texts | Creative Traditions,” the 2021 Journal of Folklore and Education theme. The artists will share their art forms—including diverse drum traditions, chainsaw carving, crocheting cos-play costumes, and gospel music—and reflect on the folklore in education experience.
Read the 2021 Journal of Folklore and Education on Creative Writing
Local Learning publishes the Journal of Folklore and Education. Now available is the 2021 Volume: Creative Texts | Creative Traditions, featuring case studies, lesson plans, and research that use folklore’s values of context, candor, use, imagination, and love to help students to craft text with authentic purpose and consequences. The strategies offer readers opportunities to consider how the merely personal can contain the universal, how to make genuine connections, how to work toward equity, or how to strengthen social bonds.
With offices in NYC, Chicago, and Charlottesville, Virginia, Local Learning works nationally to provide technical assistance and promote folk arts in education. Contact us to learn more about how we might help you connect culture and community in your learning spaces.
Local Learning partners with school districts, museums, and state agencies (among others!) to offer professional development opportunities that particularly focus upon the art forms that can be found in our own communities. Folk arts are uniquely suited to explore the ways in which traditional art forms reflect the history, culture, geography, and values of different cultures and communities.
Bringing a cultural lens to complex subjects since 1993
Local Learning connects folklorists, artists, and educators across the nation and advocates for the full inclusion of folklife and folk arts in education to transform learning, build intercultural understanding, and create stronger communities.
56 E First St
New York, NY 10003