Presenting a Pluralized Past: Assessing the Efficacy of Multivocal, Bison-Themed Lesson Units as a Public Education and Outreach Strategy for Archaeology
AuthorBattaglia, Mario Kasimir
AdvisorZedeño, Maria Nieves.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractArchaeological education and outreach have become priorities in a discipline that struggles to make its research accessible and relevant to the diverse public. In recent years, researchers have begun to address this issue through the design and implementation of grade school lesson modules on various archaeological topics. Although these lesson modules are readily available, little has been done to assess the efficacy of such public education and outreach agendas. With stimulus and funding from the Blackfeet Tribe and the Montana Department of Transportation, respectively, this thesis addresses this gap by (1) designing archaeological lesson modules for middle school students, and (2) assessing the general efficacy of the lessons. Specifically, the study systematically analyzes four science units for their overall efficacy, general impact, and utility through pre-and-post assessments that measure student understanding and interest. The quantified analyses are then combined to attain an overall percentage of curriculum efficacy. As a public outreach strategy for archaeology, these modules emphasize a pluralistic, multivocal, inclusive, and pragmatic perspective of the past that both connects with a multifaceted, diverse public and avoids educational marginalization of a shared, collective past. Thus, Native perspectives are interwoven with scientific archaeological knowledge to, in essence, pluralize the past. The topical focus of the lessons is bison - a uniquely North American past and present species with which humans have interacted intimately at a multitude of levels but, also, a species that is not always accepted among contemporary ranchers and land users. The curriculum is aimed at middle school students, recognizing that these students, as the future decision-makers, are a key demographic to target. It is hypothesized that (1) the respectful incorporation of archaeological education in a pluralized, inclusive fashion allows the interdisciplinary potential of archaeology to be more fully realized, and (2) such a strategy allows the significance of bison to be better understood and more widely appreciated.
Degree ProgramGraduate College