Advertisement

Folk Schools, Popular Education, and a Pedagogy of Community Action

  • William Westerman

Abstract

What can make pedagogy revolutionary is not just the content, but the process, and the question of who is the teacher and who is the student. There are the dualities-reading/writing, listening/speaking, answering/questioning, accepting/investigating—but in much formal schooling, equal emphasis is not given to both halves of an engaged communicative process. Conceivably, though not always, teaching and studying can exist in a dialogic relationship that in itself is a revolutionary reformulation of the standard classroom technique. Beyond that, occasionally the educational process can lead to further action and to social change. This chapter concerns itself with the act of study as a proto- and prerevolutionary act, an act of questioning and an act of challenging the existing social order. More accurately, this essay addresses historical examples when the act of study was a force advancing a revolutionary process. In fact, the kind of pedagogy I discuss is one in which the student’s actions and questions, and the authority of daily life, are given a primacy that they do not have in static educational models.

Keywords

Social Reality Popular Culture Oral History Base Community Liberation Theology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Abrahams, Roger D. 1993. “Phantoms of Romantic Nationalism in Folkloristics.” Journal of American Folklore vol. 106, pp. 3–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Adams, Frank with Myles Horton. 1975. Unearthing Seeds of Fire: The Idea of Highlander. Winston-Salem: John F. Blair.Google Scholar
  3. Amado, Jorge. 1971. Tent of Miracles. Translated by Barbara Shelby. New York: Avon Books. [Orig. published 1970.]Google Scholar
  4. Arnove, Robert F. 1986. Education and Revolution in Nicaragua. Westport, Conn.: Praeger.Google Scholar
  5. Begtrup, Holger, Hans Lund, and Peter Manniche. 1926. The Folk High Schools of Denmark and the Development of a Farming Community. London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Berger, Peter L. and Thomas Luckmann. 1966. The Social Construction of Reality. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Company.Google Scholar
  7. Berryman, Phillip. 1984. The Religious Roots of Rebellion. Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books.Google Scholar
  8. Bugge, K. E. 2001. Folk High Schools in Bangladesh. Translated by David Stoner. Odense: Odense University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Campbell, John C. 1921. The Southern Highlander and His Homeland. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  10. Campbell, Olive Dame. 1928. The Danish Folk School. New York: Macmillan Company.Google Scholar
  11. Carawan, Guy and Candie Carawan. 1993. “Sowing on the Mountain: Nurturing Cultural Roots and Creativity for Community Change.” In Fighting Back in Appalachia: Traditions of Resistance and Change. Stephen L. Fisher, ed. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, pp. 245–261.Google Scholar
  12. Cardenal, Ernesto. 1982. The Gospel in Solentiname. Translated by Donald D. Walsh. Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books. [Orig. published 1975.]Google Scholar
  13. Cardenal, Fernando. 1981. “Objetivos de la Cruzada Nacional de Alfabetización.” In Nicaragua: Triunfa en la Alfabetización: Documentos y Testimonios de la Cruzada Nacional de Alfabetización. San José, Costa Rica: DEI and Ministry of Education. [Orig. published 1979.] pp. 27–45.Google Scholar
  14. — and Valerie Miller. 1981. “Nicaragua 1980: The Battle of the ABCs.” Harvard Educational Review vol. 51, pp. 1–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Carter, Vicki K. 1994. “The Singing Heart of Highlander Folk School.” New Horizons in Adult Education vol. 8, no. 2 (Spring), pp. 4–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Chacón, Alicia and Victor S. Pozas, eds., 1980. Cruzada Nacional de Alfabetización: Nicaragua Libre 1980. Managua: Ministry of Education.Google Scholar
  17. Coe, Cati. 2000. “The Education of the Folk: Peasant Schools and Folklore Scholarship.” Journal of American Folklore vol. 113, pp. 20–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Equipo DEI (Departamento Ecuménico de Investigaciones). 1981. Nicaragua: Triunfa en la Alfabetización: Documentos y Testimonios de la Cruzada Nacional de Alfabetización. San José, Costa Rica: DEI and Ministry of Education.Google Scholar
  19. Evans, George Ewart. 1956. Ask the Fellows Who Cut the Hay. London: Faber and Faber.Google Scholar
  20. Freire, Paulo. 1970. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Repr. translated by Myra Bergman Ramos. New York: Seabury Press. [Orig. published 1968.]Google Scholar
  21. —. 1978. Pedagogy in Process: The Letters to Guinea-Bissau. Translated by Carman St. John Hunter. New York: Seabury Press.Google Scholar
  22. —. 1981. “The People Speak Their Word: Learning to Read and Write in São Tomé and Principe.” Translated by Loretta Porto Slover. Harvard Educational Review vol. 51, pp. 27–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. —. 1985. The Politics of Education. Translated by Donaldo Macedo. South Hadley, Mass.: Bergin & Garvey Publishers, Inc.Google Scholar
  24. —. 1994. Pedagogy of Hope. Translated by Robert R. Barr. New York: Continuum.Google Scholar
  25. —. 1996. Letters to Cristina: Reflections on My Life and Work. Translated by Donaldo Macedo, Quilda Macedo, and Alexandre Oliveira. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  26. —. 1998. Pedagogy of Freedom: Ethics, Democracy, and Civic Courage. Translated by Patrick Clarke. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.Google Scholar
  27. Freire, Paulo and Donaldo Macedo. 1987. Literacy: Reading the Word and the World. South Hadley, Mass.: Bergin & Garvey Publishers, Inc.Google Scholar
  28. Giroux, Henry A. 1981. Ideology, Culture, and the Process of Schooling. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Glen, John M. 1996. Highlander: No Ordinary School. 2nd ed. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press.Google Scholar
  30. Gramsci, Antonio. 1971. Selections from the Prison Notebooks. Edited and translated by Quintin Hoare and Geoffrey Nowell Smith. New York: International Publishers.Google Scholar
  31. —. 1985. Selections from the Cultural Writings. David Forgacs and Geoffrey Nowell-Smith ed. Translated by William Boelhower. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. [Orig. published 1920.]Google Scholar
  32. Hammond, John L. 1998. Fighting to Learn: Popular Education and Guerrilla War in El Salvador. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Hart, Joseph K. 1926. Light from the North: The Danish Folk High Schools-Their Meanings for America. New York: Henry Holt & Co.Google Scholar
  34. Horton, Aimee Isgrig. 1989. The Highlander Folk School: A History of Its Major Programs. Brooklyn: Carlson.Google Scholar
  35. Horton, Myles. 1938. “The Community Folk School.” In The Community School. Samuel Everett, ed. New York: D. Appleton-Century Company, pp. 265–297.Google Scholar
  36. —. 1944. “Grundtvig and Danish Folk Schools.” Mountain Life and Work vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 23–25.Google Scholar
  37. —. 1947. “Farm-Labor Unity.” Prophetic Religion vol. 8, pp. 79–82, 93.Google Scholar
  38. —. 1973. “Decision-Making Processes.” In Educational Reconstruction: Promise and Challenge. Nobuo Shimahara, ed. Columbus: Charles E. Merrill Publishing Co., pp. 323–341.Google Scholar
  39. —. 1983. “Influences on Highlander Research and Education Center, New Market, Tennessee, USA.” In Grundtvig’s Ideas in North America. Copenhagen: The Danish Institute, pp. 17–31Google Scholar
  40. —. 1990. The Long Haul. With Judith Kohl and Herbert Kohl. New York: Anchor Books, Doubleday.Google Scholar
  41. — and Paulo Freire. 1990. We Make the Road by Walking: Conversations on Education and Social Change. Brenda Bell, John Gaventa, and John Peters, eds. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Google Scholar
  42. Knight, Edgar Wallace. 1927. Among the Danes. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.Google Scholar
  43. Kozol, Jonathan. 1978. “A New Look at the Literacy Campaign in Cuba.” Harvard Educational Review vol. 48, pp. 341–377.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Lewis, John, with Michael D’Orso. 1998. Walking with the Wind. New York: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
  45. Manniche, Peter. 1939. Denmark, A Social Laboratory. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  46. Miller, Valerie. 1985. Between Struggle and Hope: The Nicaraguan Literacy Crusade. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  47. Paredes, Américo. 1969. “Concepts About Folklore in Latin America and the United States.” Journal of the Folklore Institute vol. 6, pp. 20–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Paulston, Rolland G. 1974. Folk Schools in Social Change: A Partisan Guide to the International Literature. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh.Google Scholar
  49. Rolando (pseudonym). 1985. Interviewed by author, in English, Philadelphia. May 29.Google Scholar
  50. Rørdam, Thomas. 1980. The Danish Folk High Schools. Revised 2nd ed. Translated by Alison Borch-Johansen. Copenhagen: The Danish Institute.Google Scholar
  51. Searle, Chris. 1983. Grenada: The Struggle Against Destabilization. London: Writers and Readers Publishing Cooperative Society Ltd.Google Scholar
  52. Tennessee State Library and Archives, Manuscript Division. 1967. Zilphia Horton, 1910–1956. Folk Music Collection, 1935–1956. Nashville: Tennessee State Archives, Registers no. 6.Google Scholar
  53. Tolstoy, Leo. 1862 [1967 reprint]. “On Popular Education.” In Tolstoy on Education. Leo Wiener, Trans. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  54. Whisnant, David. 1983. All That is Native and Fine. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.Google Scholar
  55. —. 1995. Rascally Signs in Sacred Places: The Politics of Culture in Nicaragua. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© E. Thomas Ewing 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • William Westerman

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations