Humanities Education Within An EcoSocial Justice Framework
The Foster Woods Folk School
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We are currently enrolling students for virtual summer field trips/camps and the Fall 2023 semester. You can find more information about both, as well as joining either of our online clubs at the link below.
Beth Foster is a teacher, former newspaper editor, and was director of the Mercy Junction Justice and Peace Center. Beth holds degrees in English, political science, journalism, and American history.
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The Foster Woods Folk School operates a small animal sanctuary for formerly homeless dogs and cats at the school. We currently care for between 20-30 animals. Check out our Amazon Wish List to help us provide the day-to-day supplies needed to care for the pack.
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The number one way you can support the school is by learning with us or enrolling a young person in your life to learn with us. Visit our list of courses for the upcoming school year and choose a course (or three) that is a good fit for you or the young person in your life.
Come wander and wonder with us in this place at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. The Foster Woods Folk School is a place where snowflakes fall silently to the woodland floor, tucking in a carpet of brilliant leaves. Time is layer upon layer in this place. The voices of a thousand spring frogs sing to the youth of coming summer and the wisdom of fading autumn. Our place is here, but our community is the world. We believe roots that run deep and limbs that reach high nurture the soul of the Earth and all who call this planet home. Whether you join us in the woods or online, we invite you to community and conversation.
The Foster Woods Folk School focuses on humanities education within an ecosocial justice framework. From ancient times, humans have used stories to better understand themselves and their place in the universe. Stories explain our past and how we can create a better time and world for ourselves and those who will come after us. This is the heart of humanities education. Humanities education within an ecosocial justice framework asks students to consider the stories they read, write, hear, and tell and how these stories impact all humans, the earth itself, and the creatures with whom they share the planet. Ecosocial justice is a thriving planet that celebrates diversity and makes equity policy. We imagine a world where all people can live in safety and dignity, with fair, sustainable access to resources. We are anti-racists and intersectional feminists, who believe that non-human animals also have the right to safe, healthy lives, freedom, and access to resources fitting for their species. As Lilla Watson said, we believe that "our liberation is bound up" with all people, the planet, and the animals with whom we share our Earth.
We are currently offering courses for students at the third grade through high school levels in history, social studies, literature, and English Language Arts. Additionally we organize two clubs for students. ACT: Animal Club for Tweens&Teens and The EcoSocial Justice Club: A Current Events Discussion Group for Young Historians. In addition to our courses, we operate a small animal sanctuary for once homeless dogs and cats on the school grounds. About twenty furry friends share our space and act as humane educators.
Reviews by Students and Adults
"If you feel like there are things that are not being taught to you in school, or if you want to learn history from a different perspective, this class is for you!! I had a blast with my classmates, and I learned many new things that aren't taught in textbooks. The teacher is so engaging and fun, while having us participate and interact. If you are thinking about joining this class, I promise you will enjoy it!" -- A Young People's History of the United States, Fall 2022 student
Read more class reviews here.