Carl A. Bimson Humanities Seminar
Colorado State University
College of Liberal Arts
Department of Anthropology and Laboratory of Human Paleoecology
Learning From the Field
Teaching from the Field:
GK-12 Teacher Goals
Goals for CSU
CSU Student Goals
GK-12 Student Goals
During 2001, we initiated a pilot program to use the site as a setting for allowing GK-12 students and their teachers to participate in Simulated Excavation Unit (SEU) project. For the pilot study a group of eight girl scouts (aged 10-13 years) were given an introductory discussion about archaeology; provided with basic overview of mammalian osteology; and then given closely mentored training in basic archaeological field methods within a 1x2 m simulated excavation area located inside the bonebed enclosure. Our goals in establishing this simulated excavation were:
During the summer and fall 2002, wed like to take advantage of this facility to work with a group of 15 primary and secondary teachers to foster a multi-scale learning and teaching dialog. First, we see the Hudson-Meng SEU project as an ideal opportunity to introduce GK-12 teachers to the basic operation archaeological research, which could serve as the basis for integrating the archaeological examples into their curriculum materials and lesson plans. Given the level of public interest in archaeology through movie and video game characters (e.g., Indiana Jones or Lara Croft), student often are much more open to learning about a variety of topics ranging from the importance of cultural awareness to the uses of geometry when it is packaged as an archaeological example. The program is designed to increase teachers exposure to the most recent research in scientific archaeology and offers them access to materials and experience with they can describe in their classrooms.
Second, we see collaboration with K-12 teachers as a way to develop innovative, effective approaches for making best use of the on-site learning potentials for a variety of younger students. In this respect the field archaeologists could serve as content providers while the teachers guide us in how to design and implement the most effective learning activities for a variety of age groups.
Finally, the program will provide an opportunity for Colorado State University students enrolled in the AP460 V (Field Class in Archaeology), Graduate Students, and USDA Forest Service Staff to gain experience and training in the learning-teaching process from collaboration with University Staff, Interpretive professional, and the GK-12 teachers. Building on the list of benefits and goals described for the NSF GK-12 Graduate Teaching Fellows program (NSF 2002), we will seek to develop an interactive teaching/learning environment between these groups. Specific goals for each of the groups (adapted from NSF 2002) are:GK-12 Teacher Collaborative Goals:
Goals for Participating GK-12 Students (both at the site and in the teachers classrooms)
A group of about teachers accepted to the program will travel 5 hours to the Hudson-Meng site to participation in learning and helping to develop ways to make learning experiences at the site productive and effective for a variety of age groups. Transportation will be provided, although use of personal vehicles is also allowed. Camping facilities are available at the site. For participants desiring slightly less rustic settings, a bed and breakfast is located 3 miles from the site (High Plains Homestead) Food, kitchen facilities, showers, and basic supplies will be provided at the site. The following general outline of daily activities is tentative and intentionally vague because we want to be able to have enough flexibility in the daily programs to allow the participating teachers to have as much input as possible. On-going research at the site deals with a very wide range of topics for discussion ranging from rotting bison carcasses, to harvester ant foraging behaviors, to the impacts of grazing cattle on landscapes, to creating cognitive landscape maps, to the applications of GPS mapping to environmental monitoring, to solving complex, long-ago murder mysteries.
The basic daily scheule is as follows: breakfast is own your own with food provided and available in the cooktent; the field day begins at 7:00 AM (be ready to go at 7:00 AM); lunch is either in the cooktent, or out of cooler if we are away from the site. The field day ends at 4:00 and 4:00-6:00 is free time. Dinner is at 6:00 PM, and evening discussion are 7:00-9:00 P.M.
Part of the selection process of which of these receive the most attention must be based on the dynamics of a specific group of teachers interests. We want to leave options open for smaller groups of teachers to be able to follow their interests in the Hudson-Meng/Oglala National Grasslands setting.
Monday June 24, Goal Think about the of complex systems though deep time: Travel from Fort Collins to Hudson-Meng, Nebraska. Meet on CSU campus at 8:00 AM in parking lot on west side of the General Service Building (see campus map). Travel to site will include tourof Agate Fossil Beds National Monument and discussion of how archaeologists, paleontologists, and paleoecologists try to learn about the remote past. Arrive at Hudson-Meng mid-afternoon and have introduction to the site and the research program. Evening lecture-workshop; telling time; Speaker: R. Graham.
Tuesday June 25, Goal Envisioning human/landscape interactions since the Ice Age: Morning human use ofthe grassland ecosystem; bison hunters to homesteaders. Afternoon. Participation in simulated excavation. Evening workshop: Plants, Ants, and Data plots. Speaker : C. Hurst.
Wednesday June 26, Goal Bringing Time and Space into the K-12 classroom:Morning designing learning modules. Afternoon: Preparation of Simulated Excavation. Evening lecture; workshop, mammal skeletons. Speaker: L. Todd.
Thursday June 27, Goal Implementation of Field Learning Exercises:Student (K-12) participants work at Hudson-Meng (conducted with the assistance of Colorado State University Field Class in Archaeology students, faculty, and USDA Forest Service Hudson-Meng Interpretive Staff).
Friday June 28 Goal Evaluation, Assessment, and Retooling: Taking archaeology back to the classroom and leaving a better learning environment at Hudson-Meng; Farewell dinner bison barbecue at Hudson-Meng.
Saturday June 29: Return to Fort Collins. Depart site at 10:00 AM, arrive at General Services Building at approximately 3:00 PM.
After the 5 day intensive program of activities, we will make arrangements for teachers interested in spending additional time to continue developing their field curricular projects. Well have basic mapping equipment, digital cameras, computers, printers and copiers available and can continue to assist teachers during our final ten-day field session at the site (July 2-11). Seminar Participants wishing to take advantage of this option may also enroll for 3 credits of our field school (AP460 Field Class in Archaeology).
After school starts in the fall (during September and October) each teacher who participated in the seminar will be invited to bring a class of up to 20 students for a field visit to excavations at the Kaplan-Hoover bison kill site near Windsor, to experience the archaeological record and to see CSU students working to learn more about the lives of people who lived here in Colorado nearly 3000 years ago. Over the last 3 years, we've had nearly 3000 grade school, middle school, and high school students have toured the site and we would like our Bimson participants to be able to include site visits in their fall lesson plans. Each tour takes approximately 1 hour.
Goals Allow students to gain first-hand experience watching older students doing field research. Emphasis will be placed on several key points: