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Fermenting the free folk school: tending a culture of place-based ecological learning and living

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(Thesis) M.A.
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This research examines an example of a place-based learning initiative focused on sharing folk/self-sufficiency skills (the Free Folk School) at the neighbourhood level in helping participants put their socio-ecological values and concerns into action in order to live better in place. The work is inspired by place-based education and folk schooling literature. It mixes the approaches of Grounded Theory and Participatory Action Research, and what the author calls, “place-based marginal praxis.” Discussion of results focuses on ingredients that help in tending a culture where it is more appealing for people to act more in line with their socio-ecological values. The ingredients include: unlearning alienation, reskilling in both “hard” and “soft” skills, reclaiming “self-sufficiency” to mean “community sufficiency” or “self-enoughness,” sharing as a useful tool for adapting to change, searching for living/integrated knowledge, and reconnecting with ancient traditions or intergenerational interactions.
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