Think Inside the Box: Teaching Archaeological Methods and Interdisciplinary Problem Solving in the Classroom
Author(s): Helen Blouet
As a professor at Utica College in New York, I am faced with a challenge. I teach archaeological field methods, but I only have room to do so in the spring semester, a time dominated by cold and snowy weather. While a large-scale summer field school would be ideal, many UC students have summer work commitments or otherwise cannot afford to participate. So I have decided to bring the digging into the classroom. In this presentation, I will show how students learn and practice archaeological field methods in a classroom or lab setting through the use of an archaeology "sand box" or excavation simulation. Students engage in typical field work methods, excavation, lab analysis, report writing, and information dissemination. They also enhance critical analysis, teamwork, and leadership skills as they excavate, document and synthesize observations, and present findings in a public setting. This spring, a new venture in this project will challenge students to combine the archaeology project with other academic and professional interests, such as business, marketing, education, and construction management, to create new information and perspectives. Not only will this create new knowledge, but the synergy developed across disciplines will provide innovations in problem solving.
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Think Inside the Box: Teaching Archaeological Methods and Interdisciplinary Problem Solving in the Classroom. Helen Blouet. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 405373)