Dockery, Christie Denise
MetadataShow full item record
The purpose of this study was to examine the pedagogical culture of three arts and craftsschools of the Southern Highlands. The following questions guided the research: (1) Whatcharacterizes the educational and cultural environment of the schools? (2) What is the collectiveidentity and experience of the workshop students? (3) What are the backgrounds andorganizational visions of administrators and workshop instructors? (4) How do the organizationalhistories and economy influence the current curricula and experience of the schools? (5) Whatare the schoolsÕ roles in the local communities, professional communities of arts and crafts, andeducational communities?A qualitative research approach was employed. The sampling of schools was based ontheir geographical location in the mountainous regions of the Southern Highlands in northGeorgia, western North Carolina and east Tennessee. The sample included the John C. CampbellFolk School in Brasstown, North Carolina; Arrowmont School of Arts and Craft in Gatlinburg,Tennessee; and Penland School of Craft in Penland, North Carolina. The Southern Highlandscraft schools' frameworks were influenced through a social and regional history defined by theArts and Crafts movement, Regionalism, the Appalachian Handicraft Revival, the Country LifeMovement, social experiments in utopian community and the Progressive educational reformefforts of the Socialist movement in the United States. Interviews were conducted with 34participants that included administrators, instructors, students and resident artists. The primarydata sources for this study included interviews with open-ended questions and supporting datafrom observation and documents such as promotional materials, catalogues and websites.Analysis revealed that the pedagogical model of the arts and crafts schools is based on acurricular emphasis on work, process and community designed for a variety of audiences, fromprofessional to novice. Based on the findings, the following conclusions were drawn from thestudy: (1) qualities that characterize the unique educational experience of the schools includethemes of craft, skill, ritual and community; (2) parallels in the schoolsÕ programs and objectivesinclude a) transmission of skill and teaching both traditional and contemporary crafts; b)stimulating ideas through a community of exchange and creative dialogue; c) egalitarian courseofferings for beginners and skilled practitioners; d) rural, pastoral environments designed toencourage the creative spirit; e) retreat structured environments that foster experimentation; f)promotion of arts literacy through community programming; g) experience in skill developmentin the creative arts; h) rich histories in aesthetically beautiful surroundings and; i) encouragementpersonal development.