Local Learning offers a diverse series of professional development workshops that particularly focus upon the art forms that can be found in our own communities. Also known as Folk or Traditional Arts, these art forms can support learning in all subjects, including the arts. Study of local art forms and their creators contribute not only to students’ understanding of cultural traditions, but also to their ability to think critically, gather and analyze evidence, and express their ideas and interpretations through personal creativity. 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.
Our professional development consultants will provide resources for teachers, teaching artists, other educators who want to learn a practical set of tools and activities ready for classroom use. We customize each training and service event to your unique situation, ensuring that local educational and curricular needs are met, while also inspiring educators to see local culture as another tool in the classroom.
Everyone has folk traditions — expressive customs practiced within a group and passed along by word of mouth, imitation, and observation. Using folk arts in the classroom educates, motivates, engages, and fosters the creative expression of students and powerfully links them to their communities. Integrating the study of folk arts into existing curricula awakens self-awareness in students of their own roles as tradition bearers, their families as repositories of traditional culture and history, and their communities as unique resources.