Exemplary programs and activities
that integrate anthropology in schools

About the exemplary programs and activities
Are you interested in developing a program or activity that integrates anthropology in Pre-K-12, community college, or adult school settings? The following descriptions suggest possible models and strategies. These programs and activities have been nominated by AAA members and selected for inclusion on this Web site by members of the Anthropology Education Commission. To learn more about each one, click on the pdf file within each summary.

Summaries of exemplary programs and activities

Winner of the 2002 Integrating Anthropology
into Schools $2500 Seed Grant:

A few years ago, Ball State University's anthropology department became concerned as the State of Indiana proposed a new teachers training program that omitted anthropology from its social studies requirements. As a result the department began discussing other ways that faculty and students might integrate anthropology into pre-collegiate education. Ball State associate professor Luke Eric Lassiter decided to merge this departmental effort with the current discussions about developing a more explicitly engaged and public anthropology. To learn more, please click here.

Winner of the 2001 Integrating Anthropology
into Schools $2500 Seed Grant:
SimShoBan Computer Simulation

SimShoBan is an educational simulation created in collaboration with teachers, students, and tribal culture representatives at the Shoshoni-Bannock reservation in southern Idaho. The project is translating some of the sophisticated traditional knowledge systems, which included botany, zoology, astronomy, and number and geometric patterns, into the framework of contemporary math and science education. Rather than assume the usual "one-way bridge" across the digital divide, with one side characterized as technologically rich and the other as technologically poor, SimShoBan uses an anthropological framework to illuminate both the culture of software programmers and the technology of Shoshoni tradition. In addition to immediate practical application at the tribal school and possible replication by other indigenous groups, dissemination of this research can be used to improve software design practices by illustrating new possibilities for a collaborative approach to simulation.
To learn more, please click here.

Native Pathways to Education
This initiative was developed to systematically document the indigenous knowledge systems of Alaska Native people and develop pedagogical practices and school curricula that appropriately incorporate indigenous knowledge and ways of knowing into the formal education system. The initiative is being implemented through many activities and programs both in local regions and statewide. For example, some regions are developing village science applications; others are developing multimedia cultural atlases, and several regions hold academies for elders. Statewide activities include the Alaska Standards for Culturally Responsive Schools, cultural frameworks for curriculum, Native educator associations, and other efforts. To learn more, please click here.

Multicultural Teacher Collaboration Group
The Multicultural Collaboration Group, located at Logan High School in Union City, California, consists of teachers who are committed to developing high school students' understandings of their own ethnic and cultural heritage and that of others. These teachers have created a large array of elective and required courses that infuse concepts such as ethnicity, race, racism, culture, and nationality in the social studies and language arts curricula, teaching students to recognize the distinctions among these concepts and to question the validity of "race" as a scientific category. They have also succeeded in getting district approval for a Multicultural Studies requirement for high school graduation, ensuring that all graduating students will have academic exposure to these concepts.
To learn more, please click here.

Funds of Knowledge for Teaching
This work stems from the assumption that the educational process can be greatly enhanced when teachers learn about the everyday lived contexts of their students' lives. In this initiative, ethnographic research methods involving participant observation, interviewing, life-history narratives, and reflection on field notes help to uncover the multidimensionality of student experience. Teacher-ethnographers venture into their students' households and communities, not as 'teachers' attempting to convey educational information but as 'anthropological learners' seeking to understand the ways in which people make sense of their everyday lives. While the concept of household visits is not new, entering the households of working class, Mexican origin, African American, or Native American students with an eye toward learning from the households is a radical departure from traditional school-home visits.
To learn more, please click here.

Archaeology Youth Outreach Programs
Students from K-12 programs in the Cleveland area have been engaged by the Center for Community Research at Cuyahoga Community College in stimulating research on the archaeological history of their own community. Classes of students from regional middle and senior high schools work with area college students on significant historical sites on land adjacent to the central urban campus, in archaeology labs, on computers in the technology learning center, in regional archives and historical societies. Students experience the connections among disciplines and educational resources for research as the work involves faculty from several fields, including anthropology, history, urban studies, African American studies, women's studies, and other fields as needed.
To learn more, please click here. - (274Kb PDF file required Adobe Reader)

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