Confronting Popular Perceptions of a Violent Past: Active Learning Strategies for a Large Introduction to Archaeology Course
Author(s): Emily Sharp
One goal of archaeological pedagogy is to make students question assumptions about "progress" and the relationship between modern human beings and their historical ancestors. One persistent idea is that violence has declined over time, which coupled with stereotypical illustrations of the past as particularly savage, influence how students conceptualize violence today. Developing teaching strategies that ask students to confront popular assumptions about violence can be difficult in introductory classes with enrollment of several hundred students. This presentation will describe two examples of implementing active learning strategies about these topics in an introduction to archaeology course at Arizona State University. Engaging students in small group activities within a large, lecture-based class included strategies such as think/pair/share and write/pair/share. Each activity prompt will be presented, along with a discussion of student feedback and suggested future modifications. The activities gave students hands-on experience with archaeological data and incorporated discussions of past violence in the media and popular science writings. Students were required to evaluate the data based on a set of given parameters to help develop critical thinking skills. By contextualizing modern perceptions of past violence around actual archaeological data, this encouraged students to become better informed consumers of archaeology.
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Confronting Popular Perceptions of a Violent Past: Active Learning Strategies for a Large Introduction to Archaeology Course. Emily Sharp. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 445035)
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Abstract Id(s): 20536