Call for submissions

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.

The 2018 theme is Common Ground: People and Our Places.

Working at the confluence of education with culture and folk arts, environment, and place, this special issue of JFE will create an important space for folklore to engage critically with emerging and established partnerships between the humanities and science. From indigenous ways of knowing to cultural stewardship, urban gardening to mitigating environmental impacts in watersheds, this issue will illuminate the power of local knowledge in influencing our special places. The field of folklore offers tools, strategies, and resources to help educators understand how culture influences ways of learning; creates and strengthens communities; and expresses itself in our schools, universities, museums, community organizations, and landscapes.

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

~ What do folk arts and folklore bring to an examination or study of community places, including the relationship between the natural and built environment, the art and culture of the landscape, and a recognition of the people who live in that landscape?

~ How can the tools of folklore such as observation, identifying important seasonal traditions and rituals, and collecting personal experience narratives create opportunities for making a positive impact on the environment within a schoolyard or a community?

~ How can curricula and programs embrace expertise found in diverse communities to connect learners to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) and STEAM (STEM plus the arts) coursework?

~ How can STEAM teachers use Folk Arts in Education practices? How can classrooms and people who work with plants, water, air, or other environmental practices partner with folklore and humanities educators for greater student growth and achievement?

~ How does a folkloristic, ethnographic approach to working with learners in a classroom or community setting connect them with cultural knowledge systems different from their own and deepen their understanding of their own places?

~ What are local expressions of culture that could inform student research initiatives?

~How can university teacher-preparation programs include folk arts and folklore as part of their science education curriculum?

~ How can the field of folklore help address “tough conversations” or controversy found in contemporary discourse surrounding climate change, science, and narratives about the environment? How might this help us serve learners with diverse perspectives in our classrooms?

Students harvest wild rice.

Students from Lac du Flambeau Public School launch canoes into lake for the 2015 wild rice harvest. Photo credit: Marcus Cederström. See 2016 JFE article for more information.

Common Ground: People and Our Places Journal of Folklore and Education Volume 5 will be published in September 2018.

Our advisory committee for Volume 5, 2018 issue includes:
Maribel Alvarez
Bror Marcus Leal Cederström
Deborah Fant
Tim Frandy
Mary Hufford
Todd Lawrence
Ellen McHale
Anne Pryor
Betsy Taylor
Thomas Walker

More about Submissions: We seek submissions of articles, model projects, multimedia products, teaching applications, and student work accompanied by critical writing that connects to the larger frameworks of this theme. We particularly welcome submissions inclusive of perspectives and voices from represented communities. Co-authored articles that include teachers, administrators, artists, or community members offer opportunities for multiple points of view on an educational program or a curriculum. We publish articles that share best practices, offer specific guides or plans for implementing folklore in education, and articulate theoretical and critical frameworks. We invite educators to share shorter pieces for “Notes from the Field.” Nontraditional formats are also welcomed, such as lessons, worksheets, and classroom exercises. Media submissions, including film and audio clips, will also be considered.

We highly recommend reviewing previous issues of JFE. Be in touch with the editors to learn more and see whether your concept might be a good fit.

Research-based writing that theorizes, evaluates, or assesses programs that use folklore in education tools and practice are also welcomed. These research articles may intersect with the theme “Common Ground: People and Our Places,” but all submissions with a research component will be considered. We expect that research projects will have appropriate institutional permissions for public dissemination before submission to JFE, including approval from Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) and/or data licensing for the acquisition of existing data, as may be required. See the protocol for publishing a study used by ArtsEdSearch for guidance.

Format: Articles should be 1,500-4,500 words, submitted as a Word document. We use a modified Chicago style (not APA) and parenthetical citations (request our citation template). All URLs lhyperlinked in the document should also be referenced, in order, at the end of the article in a URL list for offline readers. Images should have a dpi of at least 300. Be in touch with the editors to discuss submission and media ideas and to learn formatting, technical specifications, and citation style.

Contact editors Paddy Bowman at or Lisa Rathje at with ideas for stories, features, lessons, and media productions and to request a citation style template. Initial drafts of submissions are due April 15, 2018.

The Journal of Folklore and Education (ISSN 2573-2072) is a publication of Local Learning: The National Network for Folk Arts in Education.

Please share this announcement with colleagues and educators in your community. This endeavor is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.

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