Assessment in Archaeology Education: Project Archaeology Research

Part of: Society for American Archaeology 82nd Annual Meeting, Vancouver, BC (2017)

Project Archaeology is well known around the country for its inquiry-based archaeology curricula. We reach an estimated 300,000 students annually with our curricular materials. While these numbers are great, it is also important to know if students are understanding the materials and learning the lessons we teach. If students have been taught the curriculum, but do not understand the importance of stewardship or how to interpret evidence to build content, our materials will be useless; if the materials do not meet the needs of educators, they will soon be outdated. Including descendant communities in curriculum development, assessing the needs of teachers, and monitoring results of consultation to maintain long-term relationships are also important areas of research for archaeology educators. To this end, Project Archaeology national staff, state program coordinators, and master teachers, have participated in several research projects to assess student learning and the efficacy of professional development for educators.

Resources Inside This Collection (Viewing 1-6 of 6)

  • Documents (6)

  • Archaeological Inquiry and Integrating Science and Social Studies: A Research Opportunity (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Jeanne Moe.

    Educators have long claimed that traditional school subjects should be integrated while archaeologists praise the ability of their discipline to bridge the divide between science, social studies, and many other subjects. While everyone seems to think that interdisciplinary teaching and learning is important and highly desirable, very little research has been conducted on students’ conceptual understanding of the relationship between science and social studies. In a case study, I assessed...

  • Archaeology Fairs: Measuring Informal Learning (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Rebekah Schields. Nichole Tramel. Erika Malo.

    Archaeology Fairs are held across the United States in honor of Archaeology month and the International Day of Archaeology. Students and families are exposed to many facets of archaeology, tools of the trade, the difference between archaeology and paleontology, and what to do when they find artifacts. Often this learning takes place in an informal setting, a museum or university campus. So what are students actually learning at these Archaeology Fairs and how can we measure their understanding?...

  • Descendant Communities and Curriculum Development; Working Towards a Culturally Relevant Development Process (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Crystal Alegria. Jeanne Moe.

    Archaeological excavations at the Absaroka Agency, a Crow Indian Agency located near present-day Absaroka, Montana, provided an opportunity to develop educational materials using authentic archaeological data. Staff from Project Archaeology, a national archaeology education program, designed and developed curriculum materials for upper elementary students using the archaeological evidence from the excavations at the agency site. These materials use archaeology to teach students historical and...

  • Investigating a Shotgun House: Piloting a new Project Archaeology Shelter Investigation (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only A. Gwynn Henderson. Linda Levstik.

    "Investigating a Shotgun House" draws on diverse data sources to examine the lives of poor, mid-20th century working-class people in Davis Bottom, an historically integrated neighborhood near downtown Lexington, Kentucky. Piloting drafts of the investigation were integral elements in its development. A week-long teachers’ academy provided revisions to the draft, which was then piloted by four 5-7th grade teachers who had attended the academy. Feedback from interviews with both teachers and...

  • On-Site Public Interpretation of Bison Kill Sites (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only John Fisher.

    Translating professional archaeological research into meaningful educational experiences for the public has taken on increased urgency in recent years. Several archaeologically investigated ancient bison kill sites in North America, located in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, and Texas, have an on-site public interpretive facility. The experiences at seven of these sites in moving from archaeological research to developing a public interpretive center are chronicled in a...

  • Putting Archaeology Teacher Workshops to the Test (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Courtney Agenten. Jeanne Moe. Tony Hartshorn.

    Students are assessed constantly throughout the school year. As teachers we ask ourselves how do I know that the students understand the concepts and skills? Archaeology educators should be conducting the same kind of rigorous evaluation of the professional development courses we offer teachers. Challenging our profession to know where teachers are coming from, what their needs are, where we want them to go, and how we know that they learned. What prior knowledge do teachers bring to a workshop?...