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Folk Heritage Trust

Culture-Based Activity

Not Just Another Buzzword

Whether for formal education or personal enrichment,
curriculum will grow stale quickly if it is not fortified
with compelling cultural context.

See how this affects Education, Enrichment, Internships, Mentoring, and Living History



Culture-Based Activity is not a strict term of art, but is meant to loosely refer to those endeavors that have a strong cultural dependence. Of the list that follows, some might not intuitively appear to be overly immersed in culture and arts, history and heritage, tradition and ritual. In that case, the application is to that subset of the class of activity that does have a strong cultural aspect.




Instruction usually is based on a predefined curriculum, controlled by the upper levels of a State hierarchy. Without the organizing element of the instructional materials, the focus of the education may wander and be less productive. Regimented, mass education in government operated schools has elevated the influence of the few curriculum development "mills" beyond what the limits of their quality (as in the lack thereof) would belie. A radical new set of curriculum, with a strong cultural emphasis, would provide a welcome option for private educational circles (presumption is that the government run schools will stay with the mediocre results producing materials they buy in bulk). These private educational entities would include private academies, charter schools, parochial schools, home schooling, international schools, and the like. The new curriculum would of necessity take advantage of modern technology to produce and deliver the instructional materials—that are compelling, tailorable to the student's interest level, and flexible to adapt to differing learning styles. The instructional content could be used in formally graded studies, after-school supplemental studies, summer school, distance learning, or whatever is appropriate.





Sometimes people want to learn, simply for enrichment purposes, under their own motivation, and when there are no tests being graded. Whether in the format of a movie, documentary, serialized episodic television show, reference works (not meant to be absorbed in sequence, but in sections only as needed), or some format not yet invented, the more compelling and culturally infused, the more appealing it can be to those so inclined.




Internships are an opportunity for a person (youth or adult) to work in a new environment, for the purpose of exploring a profession, art, or trade that is of interest. The experience should bring clarity to both the intern and the sponsor (usually a business, shop, or studio) as to the suitability of the person for the occupation.




Mentoring is less formal than an internship. It will involve more personal attention between someone who has mastered some endeavor and the student. This is kind of like a simpler version of the apprenticeship system practiced in the past.




Living History is the term for historical reenactments. The goal is to portray historical events with as much accuracy as is reasonably possible, using period costume. It is not absolutely necessary that the reenactment be done on the original historic site that the events were to have occurred, but that enhances the effect.

Some examples of Living History sites are:


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