In 1966, a class at Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School in Georgia published a collection of articles based on interviews with elders in their rural Southern Appalachian community. They called their magazine Foxfire, and it’s been in continuous publication ever since.
How it works: The Foxfire project began in an English classroom led by a first-year teacher – Eliot Wigginton – who was looking for a way to make his curriculum relevant. His students chose to produce the magazine, and Wigginton imagined they would practice their writing skills along the way. After the project became famous, many teachers became interested in replicating the work. Foxfire then became a model for teaching, based on three important findings: Students directed the process, they used the local community as a resource for learning, and they engaged an audience beyond the classroom.
“It seemed that people couldn’t understand the importance of the difference between the magazine, which was the choice we made, and the fact that we made a decision.”
– Kaye Carver Collins, an early magazine student and a Foxfire staff member, on why the magazine can’t be exactly replicated
Why we love it: The Foxfire project is totally aligned with what we believe is possible in every classroom: Student-driven work that has a true purpose and authentic audience. The Foxfire non-profit offers professional development and other resources for educators who are curious about the Foxfire method.