6/10/11

foxfire





The Foxfire project began in 1966 in Eliot Wigginton's English class at the Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School in Rabun County, Georgia. Wiggington's students interviewed their elder family members and neighbors about traditional Appalachian crafts, culture, folklore, and history. The product was the Foxfire magazine and the subsequent Foxfire books. Some of my favorite articles are "Moonshining as a Fine Art", "Rope, Straw, and Feathers are to Sleep on", and "Snake Lore".

The magazine and books are great but what's really so fascinating is that this simple English assignment turned into a multimedia enterprise. After the commercial success of the Foxfire books, the students used some of their royalty money to buy land in Mountain City, Georgia to start a heritage museum of homes, crafts, artifacts, and tools. The students collected and preserved over twenty log cabins, a gristmill, a blacksmith's shop, and the Zuraw Wagon - the only existing wagon known to be used on the Trail of Tears.

Educators and Foxfire staff studied and expanded on the success of the original Wiggington classroom and came up with the Foxfire Core Practices for Education, the basis for the Foxfire Approach to Teaching and Learning. The Core Practices emphasize the role of the student as an active learner, teacher, and evaluator in their own education. Quite simply, the Approach empowers students to use their local community as a resource for learning and to create an audience outside of their classroom and community. According the the Foxfire site, there are Foxfire-trained teachers in 38 states.

Foxfire Fund, Inc
Foxfire @ Amazon

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