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Re: [SACC-L] Update on Evolution Vote in Marietta, GA

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  • Ann Kaupp
    ANTHROPOLOGY CURRICULUM FOR GRADES 9-12 Anthropology. 2000. Gene Boteler and Mary Boteler. The Center for Learning. 259 pp. This curriculum is written by
    Message 1 of 13 , Oct 4, 2002

      Anthropology. 2000. Gene Boteler and Mary Boteler. The Center for
      Learning. 259 pp.

      This curriculum is written by two former participants of the Smithsonian
      Institution/George Washington University Anthropology for Teachers Program
      who teach anthropology at the high school level. The authors have designed
      this spiral-bound manual as a primary teaching tool or supplementary

      Anthropology is organized into five parts. Part 1: "Studying the Human
      Story" introduces students to the study and fields of anthropology.
      Students conduct an anthropological study of their fellow high school
      students, determine what objects can tell us about culture, gain a
      perspective of the concept of time, and learn how natural selection works
      within nature.

      Part 2: "Humanity's Closest Relatives" explores the origins of human
      physiology and behavior by focusing on the primates. Part 3: "Human
      Beginnings" explains how biological anthropology determines what makes us
      human. This section covers the fossil evidence, mitrochondrial DNA studies
      and migration theories, and genetics.

      Part 4: "Hallmarks and Touchstones of Culture" demonstrates the variety of
      the human condition and explores such topics as cultural change, kinship,
      gender roles, marriage, economic activities, environment, warfare, and more.
      Part 5: "Expressions of Culture" focuses on taboos, religion, language,
      art, potlatch, sports, and a Yanomamo case study.

      This curriculum contains 40 creative lesson plans and 80 handouts. While
      it is geared for grades 9-12, it easily can be adapted for lower grades.
      The authors have made suggestions on handling such potentially sensitive or
      controversial topics as evolution and religion. While this book is an
      excellent text for anthropology, it also would be a valuable supplement for
      teaching classes on biology, history, world cultures, math, social studies,
      and art.

      Order from: The Center for Learning, PO Box 910, Villa Maria, PA 16155;
      (724) 964-8083; (800) 767-9090; www.centerforlearning.org. The book is
      listed under senior high electives on the web site.

      (Originally published in the winter/spring 1999-2000 issue of AnthroNotes)

      >>> LJMil@... 09/30/02 11:44AM >>>
      Dear Robin,

      We've corresponded before on anthropology in high schools and I was one of

      those who suggested some books to you. I totally agree with you that
      anthropology desperately needs to be offered in the high schools. However,
      doubt that any suitable textbook will be written in the near future.

      Instead, I would recommend that a teacher combine straight-forward
      discussions with selected articles written for the lay public. In recent
      years, ANNUAL EDITIONS (among other publishers) have culled interesting,
      plain-language articles from magazines like NATURE, DISCOVER and
      In my comm. college classes (before retiring), I often used one good
      as a spring board to discuss various anthropological topics. Students
      always came alive, asked more questions and showed more interest with this

      technique than with others.

      Also, many of the "just regular" high school students you mention attend
      community colleges. Most seem to show genuine interest in the
      anthropologically relevant current issues in spite of the reading and
      skills they might lack. This has led me to believe that rather than trying

      to teach anthropology courses in high school (we've tried for years and
      generally failed), we should try to teach the "stuff" of anthropology.

      For example, what if we created a unit in some general social studies
      curriculum on "human diversity" (we could even call it something like "Why

      People Do What They Do"). In this, we could focus discussion on
      issue-oriented matters like evolution (call it something else), race,
      culture, etc. Almost any of today's news headlines could provide a
      for these and many more anthropological topics.

      I'm often amazed at how many people have anthropological knowledge and
      perspective and may have never taken an anthropology course. I recently
      attended the annual AARP Conference in San Diego and heard two of the
      speakers—actors Edward James Olmos and James Earl Jones—deliver
      lectures (on
      the topics of "race" and "culture," respectively) that belonged in an
      101 textbook. Their audience, of course, were people 50 yrs. old plus,
      of whom probably never went to college. Nevertheless, both talks were
      frequently interrupted by applause at statements that for us were either
      anthropological truisms or reasoned conclusions based on anthropological
      facts and knowledge. Both speakers received standing ovations, and—the
      actors' obvious charisma aside—certainly some of the applause was in
      appreciation of the anthropological content and perspective they provided.

      I think that anthropology's legacy for the future will be its perspective,

      its way of seeing and thinking about the world and human beings. I think
      the current case in Georgia has shown) that this perspective needs to be
      infused into the K-12 curriculum, at all levels, under whatever label and
      whatever ways it can.

      (Sorry for rambling on. As you know, retirees have more time...)


      Lloyd Miller

      Be sure to check out the SACC web page at www.anthro.cc (NOTE THE NEW
      ADDRESS!!) for meeting materials, newsletters, etc.

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