Teaching Anthropology Blog

Teaching Anthropology Interest Group (TAIG) Blog

The goal of this blog is to create a community of educators who share successful strategies, seek answers to instructional challenges, and provoke discussion on timely topics like the public perception of higher education and the value of anthropology within a liberal arts education.

E-Learning Anthropology Website – a set of resources from the Teaching Anthropology Online Workshop – AAA 2014

Call for Guest Bloggers

Any teaching-related topic is welcome and we invite guest posts from both anthropology instructors & students as well as practicing anthropologists engaged in public education.  To find out more about the TAIG, become involved by writing a blog post, or make suggestions regarding how we can support your teaching needs, please email Lauren Griffith at: lmg003@uark.edu

For questions/comments about the website, please contact TAIG Web Editor, Katie Nelson: ktanelson@gmail.com


A Mocktail Party in Honor of Rigoberta Menchu

Posted by on Feb 19, 2016 in Teaching Anthropology | 0 comments

Lauren Miller Griffith Hanover College February 19, 2016 Despite the fact that I lead discussions every single day in my classroom for some reason I still struggle with leading discussions of monographs. Yes, I have my standard ‘go to’ strategies (think-pair-share, Socratic style question and answer, etc.), but inevitably the same students speak up and I either have to call on the more reticent students by name or allow them to remain mute. So every now and then I like to bring in a more unusual discussion technique. For example,...

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Co-learning in a Blended Environment

Posted by on Jan 8, 2016 in Teaching Anthropology | 0 comments

Matthew Trevett-Smith Boston University January 7, 2016 During this 30 minute video, Matthew demonstrates how he and his students develop best practices for co-learning in a blended environment powered by active experimentation, collaboration, and shared responsibility. How our students communicate using such digital tools as Google Docs, email, blogs, Twitter, wikis, websites, instant messaging, news outlet discussion forums, and online virtual worlds such as Fantasy Westward Journey and World of Warcraft has broad implications for our...

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Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer…Can I have an Extension, Please?

Posted by on Dec 22, 2015 in Teaching Anthropology | 0 comments

Heidi Bludau December, 22, 2015 Ah, yes, the end of the semester…the time when we rush to catch up on grading, students repeatedly ask what they can do to make up their poor performance the previous 13 weeks of the semester and grandmothers start dropping like flies. This time of semester, I can’t help but be reminded of the classic M*A*S*H* skit where Klinger “receives a letter from home” informing him that his mother is dying and he needs an emergency leave. We next learn of all the previous like letters he has received over time, ending...

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Blog on Teaching Culture

Posted by on May 25, 2015 in Teaching Anthropology | 0 comments

Lauren Miller Griffith May 25, 2015 The University of Toronto Press have blog that might be of interest to our readers: http://www.utpteachingculture.com/blog/ They also have three different series that are specifically related teaching anthropology. The ethnographies in their series are very accessible and would be great for undergraduate students. They’re also actively acquiring new manuscripts, so our members might want to consider submitting a...

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Placing Stickers on Student Papers for Positive Reinforcement

Posted by on Mar 2, 2015 in Teaching Anthropology | 0 comments

John M. Coggeshall Clemson University March 2, 2015 As a senior male professor with grey hair and a beard, I have no trouble presenting an image of gravitas in the classroom; I also have a relatively low percentage of A’s in my classes. Thus, I need to find ways to appear “friendlier” to my undergrads without compromising academic rigor or modifying my own personality. I have discovered a simple but effective way to inject a little brevity into grading. My wife and I donate to several charities (e.g., Nature Conservancy), and we get an...

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Managing Short-Term Leaves of Absence

Posted by on Feb 7, 2015 in Teaching Anthropology | 0 comments

Lauren Miller Griffith February 7, 2015 Let me start by saying that coffee is a godsend and I have no idea how I made it through my first semester on the tenure track without it. Why would I give up such an essential part of my morning (and afternoon…) routine you might ask? The answer is the cooing, squirming, and occasionally screaming, bundle of joy that is currently blissfully asleep in his crib. Our son made his big debut exactly 4 weeks into the semester. I had plenty of time to work on a plan for dealing with my maternity leave, but he...

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Why Students Take Anthropology (at a School with No Department)

Posted by on Jan 28, 2015 in Teaching Anthropology | 0 comments

Anthony Kwame Harrison January 28, 2015 Teaching introductory anthropology gives us the opportunity to introduce a broad range of students, with vastly different interests and anticipated career trajectories, to the distinct perspectives and approaches in our field. A handful of these student will go on to take more anthropology courses or, possibly, pursue it as a career. Yet even those students who don’t, can come out of an Introduction to Anthropology class with their worldviews expanded and/or with the critical firepower to support the...

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Processing Anthropology from an Undergraduate Student’s Perspective

Posted by on May 18, 2014 in Teaching Anthropology | 0 comments

Processing Anthropology from an Undergraduate Student’s Perspective Caitlin Homrich May, 18, 2014 Anthropology courses and curricula are experienced by students uniquely, as each student brings a unique perspective to the classroom, fieldwork, readings, and assignments. Among the various factors that contribute to this perspective, such as reasons for taking the course or previous education within and outside of the department, is the student’s identity—race, ethnicity, class background, language, gender, etc. My own time in anthropology...

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What Anthropologists Should Know

Posted by on Apr 1, 2014 in Teaching Anthropology | 0 comments

What Anthropologists Should Know Lauren Miller Griffith, Ph.D. University of Arkansas April 1, 2014 Keywords: learning objectives, cognitive domain, affective domain “Now I laugh when I go to the store and see The Jungle Book next to a display of bananas.”  This is what one of my students told me when I asked what he was getting out of being an anthropology major.  While this may just seem charmingly irreverent, what it captures is a deeper realization that his was of seeing and relating to the world is changing.  His comment reflects recent...

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Reclaiming Course Design as Disciplinary Terrain

Posted by on Feb 13, 2014 in Teaching Anthropology | 0 comments

Reclaiming Course Design as Disciplinary Terrain Lauren Miller Griffith, Ph.D. University of Arkansas February 13, 2014 Keywords: course design, learning objectives, scholarship Prior to joining the Department of Anthropology at the University of Arkansas, I spent two years at a different institution working as an instructional designer. It was a wonderful experience in many ways, but the title always felt funny to me. At times, I downright resented it. Why, you might ask. I am first and foremost an anthropologist, a rigorous scholar in a...

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