Faculty contribute to archaeology publication

MESA, Arizona – Feb. 27, 2019 -- Shereen Lerner, anthropology faculty, and Rick Effland, anthropology faculty emeritus at Mesa Community College, are co-authors of “Connecting the Dots: Teaching Archaeology and Social Relevance” in a newly published edited volume Pedagogy and Practice in Heritage Studies, by the University of Florida Press, edited by Susan J. Bender and Phyllis Mauch Messenger.

Effland and Lerner’s chapter focuses on teaching pedagogy in archaeology, including the importance of critical thinking skills, using the Internet as a teaching tool, making archaeology relevant to students' lives, connecting the past to the present, and using case studies and project-based learning in the classroom.

The authors believe the importance of making the past relevant to students today is critical.

“Students often see the past as a separate world from their own,” Effland said. “The approach we took toward a thematic pedagogy allowed them to see things in a way that relevance followed. It was far easier to make the connections and make comparisons.”

Lerner noted that “Developing creative approaches to teaching archaeology classes at Mesa Community College emerged due to an innovative approach in looking at the past and how to connect it to the present and to student’s lives. Effland and I approached the classes from different, but complementary perspectives and came together to develop successful strategies that engaged students in a varied course content. We found that if students could see the relevance of what they were learning to their own lives, they would be more engaged in the material.”

Effland noted that this cooperation made them better educators in the process, benefiting students in their classrooms. “The shift toward higher level reflective thinking made students see connections and elevated their critical thinking,” Effland said.

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Media contact: Dawn Zimmer, dawn.zimmer@mesacc.edu, 480-461-7892

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Source Details

Publication Date: 
Wednesday, February 27, 2019