Folklore, the school and the child: the role of formal education in children's calendar customs in a Newfoundland outport

Saunders, Sheila Maud (1982) Folklore, the school and the child: the role of formal education in children's calendar customs in a Newfoundland outport. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to assess the role of educational institutions and their representatives in one area of children's folklore in Newfoundland, in the light of contemporary scholarship in the general field of folklore and education. -- An examination of literature reveals that in recent years folklorists and educators alike have focused more attention, and more intently, on the topic of ‘folklore and education’, with a view to incorporating folklore in the regular school curriculum. Though a number of journals have devoted entire issues to the subject of folklore and education, and others have from time to time published articles offering specific suggestions for utilizing folklore in the classroom (usually as a minor portion of a high school social studies or English course or an integrated part of an elementary school language arts program), the material has largely remained sporadic and unorganized. -- When folklorists have considered the school setting as part of their research area, they have generally restricted themselves to an investigation of children's activities on the playground. Attention to children's calendar customs has been even more limited, with general works on calendar customs often incidentally including purely descriptive accounts of children's calendric activities, intermingled with descriptions of adult behaviours. -- This work contends that the formal classroom setting has not been viewed by folklorists as a viable area in which to conduct practical fieldwork. Documentary accounts of classroom settings have come from teachers who have inevitably seen folklore as serving a strictly didactic function. Folklorists and teachers have not seen the classroom group (teacher and students) as worth of study in itself, as evidenced in their omission to study the traditions of the classroom and the school. -- This investigation of children's calendar customs in the primary school at Musgrave Harbour, illustrates the viability of the formal classroom as a setting for folklore research. It is not enough to investigate student activities; teachers themselves have a definite value as informants. Folklorists must study not only the place of folklore as an instructional unit, but the teachers and students, who are together active participants in their own group traditions.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7797
Item ID: 7797
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 125-140.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Folklore
Date: 1982
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador;
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Folklore and education--Newfoundland and Labrador; Folklore and children--Newfoundland and Labrador; Holidays--Newfoundland and Labrador;

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