Statistics -It's a Sherd Thing: Archaeology in a High School Math Class

Author(s): Ryan Wheeler; Lindsay Randall; Joel Jacob

Year: 2015


Whole books have been dedicated to the subject of math applied to archaeology, both in the field and in analysis. Archaeology educators have recognized that the excitement of archaeology can be used to share elements of trigonometry, statistics, geometry, and more. Educators at the Robert S. Peabody of Archaeology and Phillips Academy have collaborated to use existing collections of pottery sherds from sites in New Mexico to introduce statistics to high school students. In the "It’s a Sherd Thing" exercise students analyze sherds and then test hypotheses about chronology, all the while contending with issues of collections bias and other challenges often absent from textbook problems. A writing assignment asks that the students concisely describe their results, providing an opportunity to assess the learning goals of the project. Like other learning opportunities offer by the Peabody Museum," It’s a Sherd Thing" supports existing curricula, using the concept of "teaching with" archaeology, rather than adding archaeology to the already burgeoning curriculum. Problem and project oriented learning, like "It’s a Sherd Thing," fosters deeper knowledge and contribute to greater self-esteem, and provides a new way to use older museum collections.

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Statistics -It's a Sherd Thing: Archaeology in a High School Math Class. Lindsay Randall, Ryan Wheeler, Joel Jacob. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397759)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;