Teaching Anthropology Interest Group

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  TAIG Chair-Elect Katie Nelson at: [email protected]

For questions/comments about the website, please contact Katie Nelson: [email protected]


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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