Unique in focus and content, Strategies In Teaching Anthropology focuses on the “how” of teaching anthropology across all the major sub-fields--Cultural, Biological, Archaeology, and Linguistics--and their two dimensions: research and applied studies.
This text provides a wide array of associated learning outcomes and student activities. In addition, it is a valuable single-source compendium of strategies and teaching “tricks of the trade” from a group of seasoned teaching anthropologists–-working in a variety of teaching settings-–who share their pedagogical techniques, knowledge, and observations.
Focused on the applied, “how to do it” side of teaching, this text is designed to fill the gap between students who are taking an anthropology class for the first time, and instructors who know their subject matter in depth. It helps professors who are not sure how to present anthropological subject matter and processes to their students in a way that will capture and relay their own excitement with the subject.
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Teamwork strategies—e.g., joint writing projects. Provides instructors with a broad range of teamwork strategies that are traditional in archaeology and biological anthropology—and a challenge to the lone ethnographer model of cultural anthropology. Such projects, especially those involving teams of two students who are allowed to choose their own partner, enhance the quality of presentation. They require students to get their points across to each other before trying to explain them to the instructor. Better, clearer writing, and higher grades result, along with a sense that even cultural anthropologists can work in teams.
Tricks for making comprehensible several of anthropology's “esoteric” topics— e.g., ranging from the potlatch, and economic exchange theory to cross-cousin marriage and moiety organization. Provides instructors with special strategies for parts of the introductory course that students find particularly challenging, such as genetics and kinship.
Strategies for demonstrating anthropological perspectives that contradict everyday experience and establish social categories— e.g., teaching about the social construction of race.
Teaching tricks ranging from specific to very general applicability. For example, strategies involving interviewing, hypothesis testing, field trips, museum visits, and ethnographic film viewing, can be applied in a variety of courses.
Techniques that use the familiar to illustrate the novel. Students appreciate current culture examples, whether studying about kinship, genetics, race, gender, rituals, or values.
Four articles that directly teach ethnography—“How to Teach Self-Ethnography,” “Pre-Class Fieldwork: Ethnographic Introductions,” “Introductory Fieldwork: The Meaning of the Gift,” and “Fieldwork and the Observer's Gaze: Teaching the Ups and Downs of Ethnographic Observation.”
TOPICS, LEARNING OUTCOMES, AND STUDENT ACTIVITIES:
(In alphabetical order of authors)
The Candy Gene Pool (Barkley)
… the processes involved in evolution
… how mutations, natural selection, gene flow, and genetic drift alter populations from
one generation to the next
… after receiving their “population” (candy bars), students count individual alleles as the
population goes through the evolutionary processes.
Comparing Archaeological Sampling Strategies in an Introductory Classroom (Baxter)
… archaeological sampling
… how archaeologists sample using any of 3 strategies
… groups use prepared ecological maps and candies substituting for zones and carry out
a sampling “on paper.”
Imaging America (Bletzer)
… a visual image of America by first generation immigrants
… how liberty, democracy, and freedom can be visualized and symbolized
… in small groups, students redesign the Statue of Liberty to reflect immigrant ideals in a
Demonstrating Balanced Reciprocity and Fairness (Bolyanatz)
… using SMUG to teach comparative economics
… all cultures in the world include fairness, balanced reciprocity, and costly punishment
… Player l decides how much $ to give to Player 2 who in turn decides how much he/she
will accept; this results in a discussion of fairness, balanced reciprocity, and costly
Economic Monopoly (Brown)
… local and global economics
… the rules that govern different economies and what globalization does to each
… students initially play Monopoly using the rules of one economic type, but then all
switch to globalization.
Teaching Evolution (Cohen)
… teaching evolution via science
… understanding science first, then evolution
… discussion of science and evolution.
Commercial Films (Movies) as Effective Instructional Aids in Anthropology and Beyond (Covarrubias)
…commercial films in class
… depending on topic — race, war, prehistory, etc.
… students sit and watch appropriate films as if in a movie house and then discuss the
First Day Demographics (Dalke)
… first day demographics
… who is in the class and where they are from
… first in groups, students answer demographic questions about themselves and then
share with the rest of the class.
The Use of Essays: Developing Critical Thinking Skills Outside of the Classroom to Promote a Long-Term Understanding of Anthropological Terminology (Einhorn)
… outside of class essays
… learn new anthropology vocabulary and how to use it properly
… specific to the 6 essay topics such as visiting a zoo, going to a religious service
different from one’s own, or attempting to identify the function of an artifact.
The “End Game:” Teaching the Collapse of Complex Societies (Fitzsimmons)
… how/why complex societies collapse — in game form
… how complex societies in the past worked and the connections of economics, society,
and political complexities
… students are given a particular role in Mayan society and choose which allowed
actions will give them prestige.
Friends and Relatives: Using Incest to Make Kinship Memorable (Fletcher)
… incest, marriage rules, and kinship
… that social organization in any culture is based on logical principles
… students use an episode of Friends to guide a discussion on kinship.
Using Star Trek to Explore Human Origins Models and Human Variation (Frazetti)
… Star Trek and bioanthropology subjects
… how to decide what species are, the evolution of modern humans, and “race”
… students watch one episode of Star Trek and enter into discussions on species,
evolution, and “race.”
Opening Up Mic Night: Using Karaoke to Teach Gender (Freidus and Whiteford)
… using karaoke to understand gender
… how to do participant observation; the difference between sex and gender; and how it
feels to deviate
… using karaoke, students can embody their own gender or deviate into another.
Is Cultural Evolutionism Ethnocentric? Hands-On Introduction to Guttman Scaling (Graber)
… using Guttman Scaling to evaluate cultural evolution
… how to use facts about different cultures to construct a Guttman Scalogram
… students work individually or in groups to construct a scalogram and use it to discuss
ethnocentrism, cultural relativism, and cultural evolution.
Worth a Thousand Words? Studying Images on the Covers of Introductory Cultural Anthropology Texts (Hammond)
… analysis of cultural anthropology text covers
… how to do discourse, content, and semiotic analysis
… students analyze 6 cultural anthropology text covers and discuss findings in class.
Like a Fish in Water: Helping Students Identify the Role of Culture in Their Lives (Hirshman)
… culture in everyday life
… that students are greatly affected by their own culture
… on the first day of class, students fill out a card asking what they do in the morning;
the collective results are discussed later.
SlurpeeTM, Silly PuttyTM, and the LegoTM Killer: The Anatomy of a Crime Scene (Jacobi)
… anthropological analysis of a crime scene
… the role of anthropologists in real crime scene investigation using their expertise
… students actually do a crime scene investigation, gathering evidence and being
involved in discussing its implications.
Myth or Legend: You Decide (Karnyski)
… assessing the difference between myths and legends
… how to apply criteria to “stories” to decide if they are myths or legends
… in groups, students read 4 “stories” and conclude whether they are myths or legends.
Zoo Teaching Strategy (King)
… primate observation in zoos
… how to go beyond traditional observations (quantitative) and learn about primates
qualitatively; also learn about zoo’s outreach and animal care
… students observe primates quantitatively and qualitatively and compare methods.
Teaching Authenticity (Lukas)
… authenticity in culture
… what the word means and what in American culture is authentic or inauthentic
… in one exercise, groups discuss authenticity in the US; in another exercise, students do
fieldwork to see if one particular cultural complex is authentic or not.
The Artifact Game: A Warm-Up Exercise for Archaeology (Miller)
… evaluating artifacts
… how to describe and evaluate the function of artifacts
… in small groups, students describe and then hypothesize about the function of a single
artifact and present findings to the class.
Using Wikis in Anthropology Courses (Moritz)
… using Wikis in class
… using a new technological service; reporting individual research
… through individual and group assignments, students design Wikis.
Teaching Scripts: “Mother’s Little Helper” and the Value of “Old” Anthropology (Oldani)
… the Rx generation
… students see how psychotropic drugs have affected American women
… reading articles, observing Big Pharma ads, watching online pieces, and then
discussing the Rx generation.
Teaching Ethics in Introductory Anthropology Courses (Paskey and Panagakos)
… ethical dilemmas
… what ethical issues anthropologists deal with and how to solve them
… reading scenarios about ethical dilemmas from AAA webpage and discussing the
issues in small groups.
Human Variation: Data Collection and Analysis (Rice)
… data collection and analysis of human variation traits
… the scope of human biovariation today using one group (class members) and how to
take and analyze human variation data
… students play the role of both a “native” giving biological data and a professional
bioanthropologist collecting and then analyzing that data.
From Sensitivity to Intelligence: A Test of Cultural Constructs (Robbins)
… evaluating intelligence tests
… that any cultural construct is biased
… students devise a test of sensitivity and give sensitivity scores to all; this becomes
adapted to intelligence testing.
Stratified Monopoly and Social Inequality (Rotman and Danner)
… inequality in America
… the perks that come from wealth in American society
… students play Monopoly with different rules that mirror American social/economic
Using Ted Talks in Anthropology Courses (Rowe)
… Ted Talks
… depending on what is viewed, speakers have cutting edge ideas and inspire discussion
… in or out of class, students view assigned talks and either write essays about them or
discuss them in class.
Using Experimental History of Science in Teaching Biological Anthropology (Štrkalj)
… experimental and historical bioanthropology on “race”
… how past scientists did their work
… students repeat the experiment of Russian biochemist E.O. Manoiloff and compare
methods and results using modern equipment.
Kula Ring Review Session (Thompson)
… using the Kula Ring to review for an exam
… Kula Ring principles are reviewed as well as materials for the next exam
… students exchange both questions likely to be on the next exam and their group’s
necklace or armband.
Dobe Ju/’Hoansi Kinship and Marriage Game (Thompson)
… Ju/’Hoansi kinship and marriage
… how one group in the world gets its kids married according to their rules
… members of “5 families” use kinship diagrams, visit other families to find suitable
spouses for their kids, and get them married.
What’s So Special About Homo erectus? Teaching Human Origins to a Young Audience (Tokarsky-Unda)
… how to make fire as a Homo erectus
… how to use the Internet to make a PowerPoint presentation on fire making by
… in small groups, students research the topic and create a short PowerPoint to
demonstrate how H. erectus may have made and used fire.
“Listening to Each Other: Quote Cards” (Wogan)
… quote cards
… students learn that they, as well as the instructor and textbook authors, have something
… students write memorable class quotes and read them off as a basis for review session.
”Nacirema” and “Ah-Ha Moments” (Wogan)
… the Nacirema — who the are and why they are important
… that American culture is no more or less exotic than any other and sometimes as
difficult to understand
… after figuring out who the Nacirema are (that ah-ha moment), students write their own
Nacirema bits and the class has to guess what part of American culture it describes.
Revisiting the Kula: Understanding the Politics of Economic Networks (Zanotti and Vaccaro)
… the Kula Ring as a complex economic system
… how complex non-western economics can be
… students are given Kula items and trade items along with Kula instructions and attempt
to increase their original allotment.
New to This Edition
- Economic Monopoly
- Stratified Monopoly and Social Inequality
- Game based on SMUG
- The Artifact Game
- The End Game
- Dobe Ju/’Hoansi Kinship and Marriage Game
- Strategies based on using Wikis, Ted Talks, and PowerPoint
Table of Contents
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Annotated Index by Topic, Learning Outcomes, and Student Activities
Forward by Conrad P. Kottak
Introduction by Yolanda T. Moses
Part 1: General
“Listening to Each Other: Quote Cards” (Peter Wogan)
Commercial Films (Movies) As Effective Instructional Aids
in Anthropology and Beyond (Lorenzo Covarrubias)
Using Ted Talks in Anthropology Courses (Bruce M. Rowe)
First Day Demographics (Karen Dalke)
The use of Essays: Developing Critical Thinking Skills Outside of the Classroom to
Promote a Long-Term Understanding of Anthropological Terminology
Part II: Archaeology
The Artifact Game: A Warm-Up Exercise For Archaeology (Lynne Miller)
Comparing Archaeological Sampling Strategies in an Introductory Classroom
(Jane Eva Baxter)
The “End Game:” Teaching the Collapse of Complex Societies
(James L. Fitzsimmons)
Part III: Bioanthropology
The Candy Gene Pool (Lori Barkley)
What’s So Special About Homo erectus? Teaching Human Origins to a Young
Audience (Louise Tokarsky-Unda)
Human Variation: Data Collection and Analysis (Patricia C. Rice)
Zoo Teaching Strategy (Barbara J. King)
Using Star Trek to Explore Human Origin Models and Human Variation
(Daryl G. Frazetti)
Using Experimental History of Science in Teaching Biological Anthropology
Teaching Evolution (Mark Cohen)
SlurpeeTM, Silly PuttyTM, and the LegoTM Killer: The Anatomy of a Crime Scene
(Keith P. Jacobi)
Part IV: Cultural Anthropology
“Nacirema” and “Ah-Ha Moments” (Peter Wogan)
Economic Monopoly (Pete Brown)
Teaching Ethics in Introductory Anthropology Courses (Amanda Paskey and
Myth or Legend: You Decide (Margaret A. Karnyski)
Opening Up Mic Night: Using Karaoke to Teach Gender (Andrea Freidus and
Is Cultural Evolutionism Ethnocentric? Hands-On Introduction to
Guttman Scaling (Robert Bates Graber)
Worth a Thousand Words? Studying Images on the Covers of Introductory
Cultural Anthropology Texts (Joyce D. Hammond)
Using Wikis in Anthropology Courses (Mark Moritz)
Tracking Scripts: “Mother’s Little Helper” and the Value of “Old” Anthropology
Demonstrating Balanced Reciprocity and Fairness (Alexander H. Bolyanatz)
Friends and Relatives: Using Incest to Make Kinship Memorable
Kula Ring Review Session (Eric Thompson)
From Sensitivity to Intelligence: A Test of Cultural Constructs
Stratified Monopoly and Social Inequality (Deb Rotman and Mona Danner)
Teaching Authenticity (Scott A. Lukas)
Like a Fish in Water: Helping Students Identify the Role of Culture in Their Lives
Dobe Ju/’Hoansi Kinship and Marriage Game (Eric Thompson)
Imaging America (Keith V. Bletzer)
Revisiting the Kula: Understanding the Politics of Economic Networks
(Laura C. Zanotti and Ismael Vaccaro)
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About the Author(s)
Patricia Rice has taught anthropology for 40 years at West Virginia University where she is an Eberly Distinguished Professor. She has received numerous teaching awards: the American Anthropological Association/Oxford award for Undergraduate Teaching (1998), several West Virginia University Foundation teaching awards, and the Case/Carnegie Professor of the Year for the state of West Virginia (1991). Professor Rice was educated at Ohio State University and the Institute of Archaeology, University College London, and her early field work and publications focused on various aspects of prehistoric art. She currently has several text books with Pearson and has co-edited the six volumes of Strategies in Teaching Anthropology with Pearson. With the other two coeditors of this series, she has conducted Teaching Workshops for the AAA since 2000. She co-edited The Teaching of Anthropology: Problems, Issues, and Decisions (Mayfield 1997) that was based on the American Anthropological Association’s Task Force on teaching, co-edited The Joys of Teaching Anthropology (2007) for McGraw Hill, and co-edits the journal General Anthropology.
David McCurdy has been teaching Anthropology at Macalester College since 1966. He has been chair of the department for extended periods since 1969. Professor McCurdy has received numerous teaching awards. He was the first recipient of the American Anthropological Association / Mayfield Award for Undergraduate Teaching (1997). He was also the recipient of the Macalester Distinguished Teaching Award (1995). Indeed he was made the subject of an article in 1977 by Change Magazine for innovative teaching in anthropology, Change, Special Report on Innovative Teaching, No. 6, 1977. Professor McCurdy completed his undergraduate work at Cornell University and received his B.A. in 1957. He finished his Masters in Anthropology from Stanford University in 1959. In 1964, he completed his Ph.D. in Anthropology from Cornell Univeristy. Currently Professor McCurdy’s interests in anthropology include ethnographic research, cognitive anthropology, applied anthropology as well as comparative religion in the United States & South Asia. His research to date consists of a major ethnography (1961-1963), then restudy (1985, 1991, 1994) of a Bhil tribal community in Rajasthan, India. He has also conducted a cross-cultural study of spirit possession (1966-1967). His ethnographic studies has encompassed corporate managers (1983), stockbrokers (1980), Jehovah witnesses (1973), as well as members of an environment movement (1968-1969). He has also performed continued ethnography (1988-1999) on a national motocycle association.
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