Learning to "see" like an archaeologist: making the most out of field trips in undergraduate education in archaeology.
Author(s): Katherine Patton
Field trips are an integral component of undergraduate education in the natural sciences and in human geography. In archaeology, field trips are a nexus of pedagogy, heritage tourism, public archaeology and critical theory. British archaeological theorists and educators have long discussed these elements of field trips, perhaps because such trips are central to undergraduate studies in the discipline in the UK. Little has been done, however, to assess the impact of archaeological field trips on student learning, both in the short and long term. How do we know, for example, that students get more out of visiting an archaeological site than they do from writing a research paper on the same topic? How do we prevent field trips from being just sightseeing? In this paper, I present the results of a preliminary study attempting to measure the outcomes of archaeological field trips in university-level education. I consider also how we, as educators, might help students get the most out of field trips and help them to "see" heritage and archaeological sites "like archaeologists". This research is drawn from two recent field trips with University of Toronto undergraduate students to the Ohio Valley and Colorado Plateau.
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Learning to "see" like an archaeologist: making the most out of field trips in undergraduate education in archaeology.. Katherine Patton. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404688)