Kids and Excavations: Affordances and Constraints

Author(s): Jeanne Moe

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "Archaeology Education: Building a Research Base" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

In 2016, fourth graders from an elementary school excavated four square meters of their playground over two days of school in anticipation of construction and complete replacement of the landscaping. The students had experienced some instruction with Project Archaeology: Investigating Shelter prior to the excavation. The excavation was supervised by two professional archaeologists and the students were assisted in the field by several other volunteer archaeologists. A short "lab" session allowed the students to examine the artifacts more closely and make some inferences about their origins and uses. Following the excavations, students completed a formative learning assessment probe about their experience. I interviewed some of the students, individually and in two focus groups, asking them to elaborate on their written responses. Results show that students certainly enjoyed the experience and will probably remember it for a very long time. Two full days of school is a lot of time taken away from other instruction and I question the value of excavations versus high-quality classroom instruction.

Cite this Record

Kids and Excavations: Affordances and Constraints. Jeanne Moe. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 452256)


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Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 23496