Vermont School Transformation

The Vermont School Transformation research and storytelling project employs ethnographic inquiry and documentary film-making exploring and sharing the efforts of systemic school change in Vermont.

With generous support from the Bay and Paul Foundations, the opportunity to pursue research and film-making emerged in 2015 through a collaborative project with YATST / Up for Learning—in which VFC educational outreach staff was contracted to conduct an ethnographic inquiry into the community of students, educators, and institutions involved in Vermont school transformation/redesign through the YATST / Up for Learning network of partners and activity. The impact and success of that project became the foundation for exploring this current expanded research and film-making pilot project.

The foundation of the Vermont Folklife Center's Discovering Community Education Program emerges from our organization history and expertise in authentic, subject-driven, ethnographic media-making—the methodological approach to which forms the pedagogy for our training of educators and students as they engage with community, explore local/regional topics, and create meaningful relationships. In this context, our own expertise has always been leveraged to model best practices for those students and educators with whom we’re working.


Watch The Film Unleashing Partnerships

UP for Learning and its collaborators provide a road map for building meaningful working partnerships between youth and adults – enabling them to take on the challenges and opportunities of improving their own schools across Vermont.