Summer Institute for Educators

Registration 2015




  • The Discovering Community Summer Institute offers participants basic hands-on experience learning the methods of community-based research, the process of making a documentary, and the skills of working with digital media—in a school setting.

    Past participants have come from a broad spectrum of roles in the K-12 system, including classroom teachers, special educators, librarians, and administrators. This diversity makes group process a rich opportunity to explore ideas, probe models, and collaboratively visualize site-appropriate applications. To read more about our educational approach and ideas, click here.



  • A Quick Look at the Institute

    Each day of the five-day Institute focuses on developing a different aspect of the research and documentary process. If you want to learn more about the workshop program or the curriculum focal point, click here.

    DAY 1
    Day 1 focuses on place-based education, service learning, and the power/significance of personal stories, including a practicum on the interview process.
    DAY 2
    On Day 2 participants go out into the community as participant/observer teams to literally discover the extraordinary character of everyday life.
    DAY 3
    Day 3 offers an introduction to video, audio, and photography as documentary media, after which media teams spread out to preselected field sites.
    DAY 4
    Day 4 is given over to production work: learning the technology, finding the story, and producing a short documentary piece.
    DAY 5
    On Day 5 participants reflect on process, refine project concepts, and outline plans for specific applications.
    We pack a tremendous amount of information and hands-on learning into a single week. To learn more about our curriculum, click here.

  • The Summer Institute schedule is built around sessions led by educators, folklorists, digital media specialists, and artists who have done exemplary work as ethnographers, teachers, and documentarians.

    To meet our Summer Institute faculty, click here.


    2015 Discovering Community Summer Institute has been postponed

    This June we will welcome the arrival of a new Director of Education at the Vermont Folklife Center—Kathleen Haughey. After much consideration we concluded that our priorities for the summer months should be introducing Kathleen to the various dimensions of our education program ahead of the start of the new school year, and focusing our energies on completing the final stages of development on the Discovering community Web site so it can better serve as both showcase for student-produced work and resource for educators who are interested in undertaking student-driven, community-based projects grounded in ethnography and place-based education.

    To this end we have chosen to wait until the summer of 2016 to stage our next Discovering Community Summer Institute for Educators when Kathleen will have deeply immersed herself in Vermont schools over the 2015-2016 school year, and all of the tools will be in place to create an expanded experience for both educators and their students, especially online.

    If you have questions about any aspect of our education outreach program—regarding next year’s summer institute or our on-site work with students in schools around the state—please feel free to contact Kathleen Haughey at or by calling (802) 388-4964.

    For additional information, please contact the Vermont Folklife Center:

    Vermont Folklife Center
    88 Main Street
    Middlebury, VT 05753
    Phone :: (802) 388-4964
    E-mail ::

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