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.