Welcome to the blog of the Spring 2014 partnership between the University of Alabama’s Department of Anthropology and the Tuscaloosa Magnet Schools – Elementary (TMSE)! Over the next 12 weeks, this blog will follow our exploits as we teach an Introduction to Anthropology class to a group of 3rd and 4th graders from TMSE.
The goals of the TMSE-UA partnership are manifold, but our primary goal is to introduce elementary students to the exciting world of Anthropology through discussion, directed learning, and goal-oriented instruction. The students will learn about the four fields of Anthropology through classroom activities that will focus on Archaeology, Cultural Anthropology, Linguistic Anthropology, and Physical Anthropology. An important part of this experience will also offer an opportunity for us (as educators) to gain experience sharing our world with elementary age children. The Spring 2014 TMSE partnership uses many of the activities that have been tested in previous iterations of the class, but we also hope to develop a few new activities and contribute to a growing body of outreach activities.
While the partnership has been a success for many years, this semester will bring a few new faces into the program. The TMSE partnership will be under the direction of Dr. A. Brooke Persons, an anthropological archaeologist and recent Ph.D. graduate from the Department of Anthropology. The TMSE will also benefit from the assistance of a select few upper-level Anthropology undergraduate students, including Sophia Fazal, Rachel Miller, and Sally Skelton. Throughout the semester, we will also be coordinating with Dr. Christopher Lynn, a Department of Anthropology professor, founder of the partnership, and developer of many of the classroom activities. Each of us will be blogging throughout the semester to share our experience of teaching anthropology inside of an elementary classroom.
By creating a digital presence for the Department of Anthropology-TMSE partnership, we hope to contribute to a broader dialogue about anthropology outreach and to confirm the place of anthropology in modern education. We will be posting a weekly update of our activities, including the lesson plans and classroom aids.
We look forward to receiving your comments and questions!