Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page

News from the Public Education Committee

Teresa Hoffman

Public Education Manager Hired by SAA -- Because of the increasing interest on the part of the education community and the general public in archaeology, as well as SAA members' concern that these constituencies get the best information available about the field, last March SAA hired Dorothy Schlotthauer Krass to manage the society's public education program at the Washington, D.C., office. The position is supported by short-term grants from the Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, and the National Geographic Society. Krass has begun working closely with many constituents across the country, providing information on the resources and publications available through SAA. This spring, faced with an avalanche of requests for the booklet Archaeology and You, the education program managed to send out more than 10,000 copies to groups and individuals, ranging from school teachers and college professors who have selected them for introductory anthropology and archaeology courses, to park rangers who use them in education programs and for training summer employees, to state historic preservation office personnel who find them instrumental in explaining why archaeologists do not want to dig every site! The publication is a joint effort of SAA, in large part through the Public Education Committee; the U.S. Department of the Interior, particularly the Bureau of Reclamation and the National Park Service; and the National Geographic Society. Each SAA member also received a copy last spring, and additional copies are available for the cost of shipping and handling by emailing public_edu@saa.org.

State Network Pilot Project Underway in Pennsylvania -- In late 1995 SAA requested proposals for developing a pilot project to help define the role of a state coordinator for archaeology education. The Bureau for Historic Preservation of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, the successful candidate, has completed the first phase: organizing and implementing a facilitators' training workshop, which launched "Project Archaeology" (the core component of the Bureau of Land Management's "Intrigue of the Past" program) in Pennsylvania. A group of 30 teachers, archaeologists, and museum educators spent two intense days at the workshop in preparation for presenting at least nine regional teacher workshops across the state in the coming year. A long-distance interactive television project, which will be based on the "Project Archaeology" curriculum, is also being developed in partnership with the Pennsylvania State Museum. For more information on the network pilot project, contact Beverly Mitchum Chiarulli at (412) 527-5585 or email bev@chert.pgh.pa.us.

Archaeology and Public Education Newsletter -- Among the popular publications SAA offers as a benefit to members on request is Archaeology and Public Education. Published three times a year, this newsletter features articles and lesson plans; the latest on training opportunities, museums, archaeological parks, and educational resources; and news and commentary about classroom and public archaeology issues that are primarily oriented to precollegiate audiences. The newsletter reflects the conviction that archaeology can serve a wide range of public purposes: promoting cultural awareness and sensitivity; encouraging stewardship for archaeological resources; and promoting critical thinking, cooperative learning, problem solving, and citizenship skills. To request a free subscription to A&PE, members should contact the SAA office or email public_edu@saa.org. Nonmembers can subscribe for $10 per year.

Breckenridge Report Available -- The 1994 SAA-sponsored conference, "Save the Past for the Future II," brought together people from many backgrounds to provide a national agenda for protecting the archaeological record. The education workshop focused on ways to increase and improve the public's awareness of archaeological issues. Workshop results were recently compiled by Public Education Committee member George Smith and published as Save the Past for the Future II: Education Workshop Action Items and Recommendations. Among the topics included in this final report are how to expand and improve systems for exchanging ideas and information in archaeology education; how to expand, evaluate, display, and catalog current archaeology education materials exhibited at professional meetings; finding ways to strengthen the quality and quantity of precollegiate archaeology education resources by evaluating materials and encouraging closer communication and collaboration among educators and archaeologists; and how to increase education, training, and involvement of professional archaeologists in a wide range of archaeology education activities. The report, which recommends priorities and procedures, including details on time frames, estimated costs, funding sources, participation, and coordination, is supplemental to the committee's Strategic Plan (see below) and is available for a shipping and handling fee of $5 from SAA's headquarters (public_edu@saa.org).

Public Education on the Web -- The Public Education Committee is now on-line at the SAA Web site (http://www.saa.org). The education page provides access to the Archaeology and Public Education newsletter, the committee's Strategic Plan, and a brief introduction to the committee's activities. Coming soon to the education page will be Guidelines for the Evaluation of Archaeology Education Materials, Teaching Archaeology: A Sampler for Grades 3 to 12, and Classroom Sources for Archaeology Education: A Resource Guide.

For more information on SAA Public Education Committee activities, contact Edward Friedman, Bureau of Reclamation, PO Box 25007, D-5300, Denver, CO 80225, (303) 236-1061 ext. 239, email efriedman@do.usbr.gov. Or ask the SAA office for a copy of our new brochure about education resources, Teaching Kids through Archaeology (email public_edu@saa.org).

Compiled by Teresa L. Hoffman, Archaeological Consulting Services, Tempe, Ariz., with contributions from Beverly Mitchum Chiarulli, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, and Dorothy Krass, SAA public education manager.


Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page