WANTED: DFs to contribute to the Journal of Co-operative Studies!

Woodcraft Folk turns 100 years old in 2025, which means it’s an exciting time to be a DF as we start the countdown to next year!

In the meantime, DFs have received an exciting request from the UK Society For Co-operative Studies (UKSCS), who are publishing a special issue of the Journal of Co-operative Studies spotlighting Woodcraft Folk! The editors have requested that DFs submit short think pieces (approx. 1,000 words) concerning the future of DFs and Woodcraft Folk!

The official brief is as follows:

In 2025, the Woodcraft Folk, the co-operative movement’s children’s and youth organisation, will be celebrating its centenary. Whilst articles about the organisation have featured in past issues and other journals concerned with youth and socialist movements, this is the first time the Woodcraft Folk has been the focus of a special issue of any journal.

This special issue is now calling for papers that address both the organisation’s history, current practices, and position within the wider co-operative and labour movement. The Woodcraft Folk has played a major role in promoting a progressive approach to informal learning by children and young people, being the first co-educational youth movement and having a distinctive philosophy based around education for social change.

The editors welcome submissions ranging from full academic articles/research papers (7,000 words), short articles (2,000-4,000 words), and short think pieces (approx. 1,000 words).“­

The UKSCS have also given some guidance for the content of the pieces:

Potential topics for contributions to a special issue of the Journal of Co-operative Studies might include (but are not limited to):

  • The origins of the Woodcraft Folk in relation to other social movements of the time, including Kibbo Kift, and comparisons with other young organisations such as Scouts and Guides.
  • In-depth analysis of how the Folk developed within a specific area and the impact this has had on wider labour and co-operative movement in the region.
  • The role that young people play within the organisation today and the extent to which it provides a model for youth empowerment. 
  • Telling young people’s stories: how they use Woodcraft Folk learning in other spheres of their lives. 
  • The role of women within the organisation and the extent to which the Folk can be seen as the first anti-sexist youth movement in the UK.
  • Being gay in the Woodcraft Folk – opportunities and challenges and support provided to young people who wish to come out about their sexuality.
  • Co-operative learning – what this has and continues to mean as a distinctive pedagogical approach within the Folk. 
  • The role of Woodcraft Folk in creating social change, historically and today.
  • Woodcraft Folk in relation to other youth organisations (similarities and differences).
  • Short pieces, including possible autobiographies, on how the Folk has influenced personal, social, political and intellectual development
  • The relationship between Woodcraft Folk and Co-op Academies Trust (e.g. green education).
  • Think pieces about the future of the Folk.
  • Space, place and Activism: the importance of political spaces for young people. 
  • The value of outdoor education and the contribution the Folk has and can play.
    Reflections on Woodcraft Folk from other perspectives (e.g. a co-operative lens, co-operative education).” 

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