Evolving humanity, emerging worlds
Manchester, UK; 5th-10th August 2013
Anthropology in schools: a global perspective
Location University Place 4.205
Date and Start Time 09 Aug, 2013 at 09:00
This panel aims to draw together a wide range of speakers and perspectives on teaching of anthropology in the pre-university setting.
The RAI Education committee worked throughout the first decade of this century in order to devise, and see through to fruition, an A level in Anthropology, which is now being taught in schools in England. In this conference panel, the Education Committee would like to share its experience, and also explore with colleagues from other countries the possibilities which they have encountered in attempting to introduce anthropology at the pre-university stage. Contributions based on case studies drawn from different national settings are welcome, as are more comparative reflections on the difficulties and successes that anthropology may experience globally when considering the place of the discipline in the school curriculum.
Chair: Hilary Callan
Discussant: Joy Hendry (Oxford Brookes)
This panel is closed to new paper proposals.
Developing An Anthropology-Linguistics Curriculum for Senior High School in Examination-oriented Educational Context: A Case Study from Zhonghua High School, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China
This paper, using Zhonghua High School as a case, will discuss developing an anthropology-linguistics curriculum for Chinese senior high students in the examination-oriented educational context, and how such an curriculum contributes to Chinese quality education.
Pre-university education of China is on its turning point. Present Chinese education system, known to be examination-oriented, is strictly limiting students' freedom of learning, stereotyping individuals, and therefore stifling creativity. Albeit quality education reform has been conducted for a very long time, this pattern still takes the wheel of Chinese education for some reasons, such as the considerably large population.
According to questionnaires from Zhonghua High School, many students described Chinese pre-university education as utilitarian since it totally revolves around college entrance examination. High school students are asked to study knowledge under a same syllabus only. They wrote that Chinese education is, to an extent, strictly limiting students' freedom of learning, stereotyping individuals, and therefore stifling creativity. However, they said there seemed to have no better mechanism of selection.
Being examination-oriented is a stage we have to experience. Confronted with problems caused by a system that temporarily could not be changed fundamentally, educators are supposed to explore varied solutions.
This paper will discuss devising an anthropology-linguistics curriculum for Chinese senior high school students within current system. Anthropology contains a variety of beneficial contents which would help students actively overcome shortcomings, like the narrow understanding of competition and the lack of cross-cultural communication ability, of Chinese examination-oriented education. Knowledge about field work, for instance, may serve to instruct students in treating current educational system from a descriptive perspective, and then further their understandings of Chinese society, which would in turn enable them to hold a more positive attitude toward their study. Linguistics, also, is a social sicence in a good shape to introduce to high school students. It may also serve to improve student's English study.
Based on case-study, this paper would analyze how anthropology and linguistics would benefit quality education, and furthermore, the feasibility of similar projects in China.
Arguments for introduction of anthropological curricula in general education: some examples from Slovenia
The paper will present main arguments for anthropology in general education. Empirical data will present critical overview of Slovenian textbooks on geography for eight grade in primary schools. The author will present the statement he hopes to become the platform for common action of the IUAES addressed to Unesco.
The analysis of textbooks for geography and history in Slovenian primary and secondary schools, provided by the African Centre in Slovenia in 2011, showed that some 19th century prejudices about Africa are still embedded into the primary and secondary schools' curricula. Although the curricula had been updated and renewed in recent years, some prejudices and simplifications, especially with presentations of populations, including racial types, are still present.
The paper will present main arguments for anthropology in general education. Empirical data will present critical overview of Slovenian textbooks on geography for eight grade in primary schools.
The author will critically examine opportunities and necessities to include anthropological knowledge in general education, beginning with practical arguments for the times of change and movements.
Finally, the author will present the statement he intended to present at the Easa conference in 2008 in Ljubljana and hope to launch the new proposal addressed to Unesco.
A Unique Experiment at a No1 High School in Bulgaria: Teaching Ethnological Knowledge to High-school Students
Being an initiator and lecturer in innovative two courses in domestic and world popular cultures at the National School of Ancient Languages and Cultures in Sofia for about 20 years, and an author of the textbooks for the courses, the applicant would like to share her teaching experience.
The idea of this presentation is to share the author's experience in teaching native and world popular culture at a high school level in Sofia, Bulgaria. According to the unified programs of the secondary education in Bulgaria, only a very limited knowledge about the traditional and contemporary popular culture of the own and different peoples is supposed to be taught as part of the obligatory curriculum. Some 20 years ago, by the initiative of the principal of the National School of Ancient Languages and Cultures "Constantine Cyril the Philosopher" (Sofia), and by the idea of the applicant, a course in Bulgarian Popular Culture for the 8th grade was introduced. A textbook was prepared. Some years later the applicant has proposed another course on culture, called "Worldwide cultural anthropology" or "Non-European ethnology". The course was designed for the 9th grade, and included throughout the whole teaching process the massive application of visual materials. A textbook called "Ethnoses, Regions, Cultures", was prepared to support this innovative teaching.
Being an initiator and lecturer in these two courses in domestic and world popular cultures for about 20 years, and an author of the textbooks for the courses, I would like to share my concerns, impressions and ideas regarding the topic of how to use the popular cultural knowledge in education of the young people in humanistic and egalitarian values.
This panel is closed to new paper proposals.