Title

Folk Art Communities: An Examination of Learning as Social Participation and Quality of Life within Occupational Communities of Practice

Presenter Information

Linda Leimbach

Start Time

16-10-2002 12:00 AM

End Time

18-10-2002 12:00 AM

Abstract

Wenger’s conceptual framework of “communities of practice” may provide a useful structure from which occupational scientists may analyze occupational communities, or groups of people who participate in a constellation of occupations to achieve both individual and communal goals, as well as to establish both personal and communal identities. The primary focus of Wenger’s conceptual framework is upon learning as social participation, and as such examines the elements of meaning, practice, community, and identity relative to social participation.

This paper explores the essence and elements of the conceptual framework of communities of practice by examining folk art communities and their impact upon arts, students, and the broader culture. Folk arts are the artistic expression of values and ideals held by communities of people who may share the same occupation, live in the same area or region, or enjoy the same ethnic background. According to Alexander (1997), “the folk arts are part of what makes our homes and communities ours. They breathe life into the community dance.” As a living cultural heritage, folk arts allow individuals and communities to both shape and make meaning of the world. Following the Danish folk school tradition, various folk art schools or communities have been established throughout the United States to serve as centers for the teaching and preservation of folk arts indigenous to their respective regions. Two folk art communities located within the Appalachian Region of the United States are examined in this paper. Wenger’s conceptual framework of communities of practice is used to explore learning within these folk art communities as an expression of social participation. The elements of meaning, practice, community, and identity relative to these folk art communities are explored with respect to their relative contribution to the social participation and quality of life of the artists, apprentices, and visiting students within these communities. Wenger’s conceptual framework of community of practice would also be useful in examining other occupational communities such as schools or educational settings, work settings, religious centers, professional organizations, and clubs or community organizations.

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Oct 16th, 12:00 AM Oct 18th, 12:00 AM

Folk Art Communities: An Examination of Learning as Social Participation and Quality of Life within Occupational Communities of Practice

Wenger’s conceptual framework of “communities of practice” may provide a useful structure from which occupational scientists may analyze occupational communities, or groups of people who participate in a constellation of occupations to achieve both individual and communal goals, as well as to establish both personal and communal identities. The primary focus of Wenger’s conceptual framework is upon learning as social participation, and as such examines the elements of meaning, practice, community, and identity relative to social participation.

This paper explores the essence and elements of the conceptual framework of communities of practice by examining folk art communities and their impact upon arts, students, and the broader culture. Folk arts are the artistic expression of values and ideals held by communities of people who may share the same occupation, live in the same area or region, or enjoy the same ethnic background. According to Alexander (1997), “the folk arts are part of what makes our homes and communities ours. They breathe life into the community dance.” As a living cultural heritage, folk arts allow individuals and communities to both shape and make meaning of the world. Following the Danish folk school tradition, various folk art schools or communities have been established throughout the United States to serve as centers for the teaching and preservation of folk arts indigenous to their respective regions. Two folk art communities located within the Appalachian Region of the United States are examined in this paper. Wenger’s conceptual framework of communities of practice is used to explore learning within these folk art communities as an expression of social participation. The elements of meaning, practice, community, and identity relative to these folk art communities are explored with respect to their relative contribution to the social participation and quality of life of the artists, apprentices, and visiting students within these communities. Wenger’s conceptual framework of community of practice would also be useful in examining other occupational communities such as schools or educational settings, work settings, religious centers, professional organizations, and clubs or community organizations.