Learning From the 2003 SHA Public Session’s
PEIC K-12 Social Studies Education Event:
What can be taken forward from this Public Archaeology experience?
by Patrice L. Jeppson
Circulated for Comment
This study evaluates
a public archaeology event held during the 2003 Conference on Underwater and
Historical Archaeology. The two goals of the event were (1) testing a strategy
for effectively contacting an audience of teachers and (2) targeting the publicly-directed
SHA membership with information about 'education needs' as opposed to archaeology
needs. Specific strategies experimented with in the planning stages to reach
these goals are assessed, namely (a) creating a joint teacher/membership format
for the event and (b) implementing teacher/family-friendly scheduling needs.
In specific, this evaluation includes the following elements: a) a description
of the front-end evaluation research that informed the conceptual design process
for this event; b) a description of the formative evaluation research implemented
as the event's planning evolved (i.e., fine tuning through pre-testing); and
c) the application of several summative evaluative measures including both
qualitative and quantitative measures that are based on both formal and informal
feedback results (survey forms, formal interviews, and informal corridor talk).
This evaluation helps identify knowable and unknowable variables that either
do or could condition K-12 educational outreach efforts. At least some of
what was learned from this event can and should be taken forward to future
SHA PEIC K-12 outreach endeavors and may be of use in planning public archaeology
undertakings in general.
This study evaluates a public archaeology event held during the 2003 Conference on Underwater and Historical Archaeology. The two goals of the event were (1) testing a strategy for effectively contacting an audience of teachers and (2) targeting the publicly-directed SHA membership with information about 'education needs' as opposed to archaeology needs. Specific strategies experimented with in the planning stages to reach these goals are assessed, namely (a) creating a joint teacher/membership format for the event and (b) implementing teacher/family-friendly scheduling needs. In specific, this evaluation includes the following elements: a) a description of the front-end evaluation research that informed the conceptual design process for this event; b) a description of the formative evaluation research implemented as the event's planning evolved (i.e., fine tuning through pre-testing); and c) the application of several summative evaluative measures including both qualitative and quantitative measures that are based on both formal and informal feedback results (survey forms, formal interviews, and informal corridor talk). This evaluation helps identify knowable and unknowable variables that either do or could condition K-12 educational outreach efforts. At least some of what was learned from this event can and should be taken forward to future SHA PEIC K-12 outreach endeavors and may be of use in planning public archaeology undertakings in general.
The PEIC K-12th Grade Issues subcommittee organized a public
education outreach event for the 2003 SHA conference in
(1) the proposed goals for the event (the outcomes hoped for)
(2) the objectives designed to accomplish these goals (the strategies prioritized so
that desired outcomes might be reached)
(3) the results of the conducted event (an evaluation of the goals reached and/or
missed including the variables impacting the objectives–both those within
and those beyond our control).
These aspects of the PEIC K-12 Social Studies Education Event represent some of the questions that count in this and in any public archaeology endeavor. At least some of what was learned from this experience can and should be taken forward to future SHA PEIC outreach endeavors and may be of use in planning public archaeology undertakings in general.
The Research Context of the PEIC K-12 Outreach Event
Public Archaeology is a rapidly evolving area of practice within the field of anthropological archaeology and is now regularly found as part of disciplinary practice comprising archaeological conference and session themes, publication topics as well as agency, non-profit, and professional Society agendas. The pursuit allows the profession to proselytize about archaeology’s needs by presenting to the public the insights gained while serving as keepers of the public trust with the aim of ensuring continuing public support for archaeology and enlisting public cooperation in efforts to protect archaeology sites from looting, vandalism, and economic development (For discussion, see, among others Hersher and McManamon 2000). Beyond public archaeology directed through this disciplinary lens, there is also a public interest area of practice whereby, in acting civically beyond our disciplinary goals, archaeologists seek to integrate intellectual practice with the daily lives of people giving the public information they need and can use so as to improve communities through archaeology while improving archaeology through communities.
Public Archaeology is found prominently featured in the recently revised Society for American Archaeology Ethics guidelines where it bears fundamentally on the central guiding ethical principle of Stewardship (SAA Principle of Archaeological Ethics No. 1). The topic also directly constitutes another SAA Principle of Archaeological Ethics, No. 4 (out of 8): Public Education and Outreach. Public Archaeology is likewise a feature, albeit one positioned less centrally, in the Society for Historical Archaeology’s Ethical Principles and Professional Guidelines for Practice forming Principle 7 (of 7) and Guideline 7 (of 7).
While increasingly recognized as important and ever more present as a form of practice, public archaeology is nonetheless still finding its footing (Downum and Price 1999; Gibb 2001). Applied anthropologist Erve Chambers has recently summarized the current state of public archaeology as an applied form of practice and found it lacking in critical evaluation (Chambers, forthcoming). Chambers writes:
…it is worth asking how much we actually know about the extent to which such [applied archaeology] activities do contribute to public education. I mean this in two ways. First, is the message getting across in general? How, for example do people actually read heritage into a site, and what is the relationship between their readings of heritage and the intentions of archaeologists? Second, is the message getting across in specific cases? How effective, for example, is a particular educational strategy, or how well do different kinds of sites fulfill their educational and outreach missions? Much is assumed in terms of the educational mission of public archaeology, but I think we know very little in this regard. In my admittedly limited experience, it appears that the evaluation of archaeological public education activities is often limited (if it occurs at all) to relatively simple surveys designed to collect visitor demographics and gauge first impressions related to site specifics and the valuation of archaeological inquiry. That such evaluative efforts are often associated with attempts to justify or seek additional support for archaeological work makes their scientific usefulness suspect….
….There is as yet no standard, or even clear means, for placing such case material within the context of similar efforts. What I mean by this should be apparent if we think of the way we typically write basic (i.e., nonapplied) research. It would be difficult to get any such material past an editor or peer reviewer without providing a fairly comprehensive review of how the research fits within the context of earlier inquiries.
These comments highlight the ill-defined nature of evaluation in public outreach practice identifying two critical failures to this end. The first is the need to determine whether ‘the message’ in a public archaeology effort gets across. In other words, is what the archaeologist hopes to convey ‘conveyed’. The second is the need for adequate evaluation strategies. There needs to be critical reasoning behind any ‘effectiveness/success’ assessments done on outreach endeavors. The fact that evaluation in public archaeology practice is lacking is increasingly being recognized by many publicly directed-archaeologists and there are individuals working to establish useful criteria for the formal assessment of public outreach.
To be fair, it should be pointed out that the course of public archaeology endeavors and the subsequent state of their follow-up evaluation are simply following the evolution of activity as pursued in general archaeology practice: One doesn’t interpret a site before it is excavated nor does one conclude about regional patterns before multiple sites are investigated. Many would reasonably state that evaluation in public archaeology can only take place after there are significant efforts that can be analyzed and compared. Given the varied outreach efforts undertaken (during the past two decades in particular), and the body of valuable information gathered to date, it is time that public archaeology address evaluation as a part of all endeavors. Having said this, it should also be noted however that another view holds that evaluation is expected and built into modern projects in most other professional fields (education, business, etc.) and that publicly-directed archaeologists have been remiss in their undertakings for not beginning with this as a feature of their efforts.
The 2002 PEIC K-12 Social Studies Education Event was designed from the beginning with the need for evaluation in mind. To this end, a formal proposal was constructed at the outset outlining the desired goals hoped for and with objectives put forth as to how these goals might be met (Jeppson 2002b) This was done in the hope that by formalizing the nature of the undertaking the effort would lend itself as useful research that could be objectively learned from.
The Proposed 2002 PEIC K-12 Social Studies Education Event:
In early 2002, Tara Tetrault and Patrice
L. Jeppson – the PEIC K-12th Grade Issues subcommittee – decided
to arrange an event for local
Designing Effective Outreach
The PEIC had gained substantial information about how to effectively
reach out to the public school teacher during the educator/archaeologist panel
discussion organized for the 2002 SHA meeting in Mobile, Alabama (a PEIC and
ISRC sponsored event).
I also had gathered information about how to undertake such outreach from
the History/Social Studies Consultant for the Los Angeles County Office of
Education who presented at SHA in
Specifically, these sources suggested contacting/targeting teachers for archaeology outreach using ‘institutional networks in place as part of the culture of schools’. This directed strategy included targeting school district social studies curriculum specialists/directors (as opposed to the common practice of archaeologists contacting school principles), providing a letter from the National Council for the Social Studies endorsing the event (utilizing the NCSS liaison to SHA), and scheduling teacher events on weekends rather than weekdays (because securing leave just after the Christmas Holiday is unlikely and inconvenient for teachers and is ever more unlikely due to the lack of funding for substitutes). This was information gathered for inclusion in the SHA Annual Conference Public Outreach Session Guidelines and Conference Organizer Overview. It also informed the teacher targeting strategy for the 2003 PEIC Social Studies Education outreach event.
Meeting Educator’s Needs
Experience gained from the audience discussion during last year’s Panel Discussion also identified/verified that there are at least two audiences of publicly-directed archaeologists found within the SHA membership: one more novice and one more experienced with working with schools. This division in experience parallels to a degree the two different approaches found in formal school outreach - one of these being extra-curricular (offerings outside the normal course of study offered) and one being curricular-based (where archaeology content is tailored to meet pedagogical concerns). While either extra-curricular or curricular efforts may be designed towards meeting civic needs, both types of outreach as they are practiced primarily tend to be motivated by ‘insider’ disciplinary needs related to Stewardship. Thus, whether it is a matter of inexperience or motive, the end result in much public outreach to the formal school sector is that all to often the archaeologist provides the educator with resources that are either less relevant or less usable for teacher needs (e.g., not in line with education’s needs). The 2003 PEIC K-12 Social Studies Education Event was therefore also designed as a way to help historical archaeologists better understand the needs of educators. It was hoped that the educational aspects of the event would offer the membership insight into how archaeology is used in the classroom by educators for education purposes (as opposed to for archaeology needs).
These two aspects of public outreach informed the goals for the PEIC K-12 Social Studies Education Event which were:
(1) effectively contacting an audience of teachers
(2) targeting the publicly-directed SHA membership with information about education needs as opposed to archaeology needs
Drawing on information gained from (the above mentioned) education and education-connected sources, several objectives were designed and formally proposed to help meet these two desired goals. These objectives centered on the PEIC Event planning taking two actions:
(a) creating a joint teacher/membership format for the event
(b) implementing specific scheduling tactics sensitive to audience needs
These objectives in turn drew on the budding NCSS/SHA affiliation begun by Tara Tetrault (the SHA Delegate to NCSS) as part of her Inter-Society Relations Committee duties as well as from the relationship SHA established with NCSS in 2002 during the Panel Discussion (where the NCSS President and an NCSS Board Member were participants).
The resulting event proposal forwarded in mid-year to the Chair of the PEIC and to Allen Leveled, the local host public session organizer, follows here:
Proposed 2002 PEIC Event
The PEIC K-12 subcommittee (with the assistance
of the National Council for the Social
Studies*), hopes to organize
a teacher-archaeology discussion event at the SHA’s conference in
"How Is Archaeology Used In the Classroom?
An archaeologist and two educators will
work in tandem in this session, sharing their professional expertise with
an audience comprised of both archaeologists and teachers. First, a Current
Research presentation will be made by an historical archaeologist. This archaeology
presentation will then be deconstructed/translated by Social Studies Curriculum Specialists
for use in the classroom. In this way, local
Both educators and archaeologists will benefit from this event:
-Educators will receive formal instruction on how to incorporate archaeology content into lesson plans. (The teachers will thus be primed to make the most of the Public Session’s offerings). This event helps meet the Society’s public outreach objectives.
-Observing how educators make use of archaeology for education needs will be informative (possibly eye opening) for the Society’s membership. This event will help prepare the membership for stewardship activities in outreach to the formal school sector.
Based on the membership’s attendance at last year’s PEIC panel discussion of educators and archaeologists, it is apparent that SHA has an audience for this topic.
*The NCSS is the largest association in the
nation devoted solely to social studies education. Their 26,000 members are
comprised of K-12th grade classroom teachers, college and university faculty,
publishers, and leaders in the various disciplines that constitute the Social
Studies. NCSS works to strengthen
the social studies profession and social studies programs in schools through
professional development, resource provisioning, and legislative network activities.
NCSS is particularly important
to SHA, and to archaeology in general, because NCSS
standards guide social studies decision-makers in K-12 schools. This influence
extends to teachers who are not NCSS
members (and it is estimated that approximately 200,000
. The event would ideally be an hour-long session with 20 minutes for an archaeology presentation followed by 40 minutes of commentary by the education discussants.
. This event would be advertised to both the membership and to an invited public of social studies educators.
. The NCSS’ Delegate to SHA will be part of this event.
. This session will expand on issues identified during the Archaeologist-Educator
Panel Discussion held last year at SHA in
The educators to be tapped for this event* include:
Dr. Susie Burroughs, Assistant Professor, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Mississippi State University’s College of Education, Member, NCSS Board of Directors, and NCSS Delegate to SHA.
George Brauer, Social Studies Curriculum Specialist and Director, Center for Archaeology, Baltimore County Public Schools. (Past Recipient of the SAA award for Excellence in Public Education).
Dr. Burroughs instructs new teachers in general Social Studies Curriculum and Instruction strategies. She will bring to the table classic as well as cutting edge pedagogy. George Brauer on the other hand is one of the few Social Studies Curriculum Specialists on the ground (in the classroom, and at a District level) whose job it is to actually implement substantive archaeology research into K-12 curriculum. (He won the NCSS' own 'Outstanding Curriculum in the nation Award' for doing just this.) He will offer the teachers and the archaeologists in the audience his expertise and experiences with integrating archaeology detail into classroom-based, as well district level, curriculums.
Dr. Burroughs and Mr. Brauer are both part of a group of education specialists working with the PEIC to improve public archaeology outreach to the formal school education sphere.
*The NCSS will not be in a position to confirm the names or number of participants until later in the year. It is possible that the NCSS President will attend as well (as happened last year).
The Archaeologist tapped for the event:
Selection of an archaeologist for the initial Current Research presentation has not been finalized. Anyone with interesting data will do, although we are sensitive to the fact that many of our colleagues are insensitive when dealing with the public and we wish to have someone experienced and interested in public archaeology outreach. Tara Tetrault and I have decided not to step in for the Current Research presentation (although one of us can do so if needed). We know there are others doing exciting public related work and we don’t want to monopolize a PEIC event. Diana Wall is willing to do it but she is heavily committed during the conference and also has suggested that a local researcher might be better.
It is true that the teachers who attend this event could follow through with the featured archaeologist, using him/her as a local resource (for site tours, school visits, and contact assistance). If so, the PEIC would be pleased if this event contributed to the local archaeology in this way.
Inviting the Teachers:
. The NCSS' (as they are part of this) would assist us in advertising the event. The NCSS has offered to make available for us an official letter of support that will put their stamp of approval on the event as an educational undertaking for professional Social Studies teachers. This official stamp of approval by a major professional education society will be helpful in attracting social studies teachers and curriculum specialists to the conference. The pull of this educational skills offering combined with a public session that offers enriching ‘content’, should be quite a draw.
Specifically, this advertising would amount to contacting social studies specialists in the local districts, social studies network teachers, and local college teaching departments of curriculum and instruction.
. We realize [the local host] has responsibilities for the entire public beyond just social studies teachers (and beyond teachers in general). We would like to offer our assistance for the general session planning with whatever teacher contacts and support we can, in turn, provide.
Scheduling of the PEIC event should take into account the following practical needs and unique circumstances:
. Scheduling the event early on the day of the public session would allow the teachers to take the best possible advantage of what the Public Session has to offer: The education event will provide the teacher with the skills needed to incorporate that which the Society offers in the Public Session.
. Early scheduling would also mean that the 'family' problem encountered in past teacher-directed conference offerings would be minimized. The teacher's families could be expected to sit through the education event if it was scheduled earlier in the day. This is a plausible (i.e., not unreasonable assumption) because the kids would know that ‘cool slides’ -- or hands-on activities, or whatever else you have planned -- would soon start again (in the Public Session).
. The NCSS (both last year in Mobile and the year before in Long Beach), as well as a Teacher Group that advises the PEIC, have suggested to SHA that teacher-directed events be planned with an eye towards the fact that teachers will have kids and spouses in tow. (We wouldn’t want to appear to go against the NCSS’ specific (and sought for) professional recommendations for scheduling of a teacher event -- especially when they are endorsing our event to their professional membership of teachers.)
. Effective teacher instruction will be hampered if the kids in tow became disruptive which would likely result if the event were held after the Public Session. It is unrealistic to expect kids to sit patiently through an event that is not geared towards them that is held at the end of the day when they are also tired and hungry.
. The membership would less likely stay around to attend the event if it were held at the end of the public session. It would be long after all the other professional conference doings are completed. A unique opportunity for members of the Society to learn first-hand about how archaeology is used in schools would be missed.
Implementing the Social Studies Education Event Planning:
As the second half of 2002 unfolded and the PEIC K-12 event’s implementation began, two significant modifications had to be made to the above proposed event design. Both of these changes resulted in relevant learning experiences - one of which is already incorporated for future PEIC (and public archaeology) needs. The first change resulted when a major problem developed with the National Council for the Social Studies’ participation in the PEIC event. The second developed when the other Social Studies Education Specialist, George Brauer, became unavailable. These changes and the resulting modifications are described below.
NCSS Related Changes and Results
While the Past NCSS President Adrian Davis had appointed a liaison
to SHA and was very inspired about future joint efforts between social studies
and archaeology, our experience this year taught us that it seems likely that
bridge building between the archaeology and education professions will likely
grow in fits and starts with some NCSS presidents more on board than others.
The new President of NCSS stated to Tara Tetrault
that financial concerns for (this very large and financially flush - in comparison
to SHA) professional body were a problem this year. Negotiations were then
likely dealt a fatal blow by paralleling archaeology interests: NCSS was also
approached with invitations for participating in an ISRC-sponsored WAC session
and for a Project Archaeology curriculum
Both of these other archaeology invitations represented local events for the
NCSS (local to the National NCSS headquarters in
a) National NCSS directed
Tara Tetrault instead to a
This contact had significant
results for the PEIC event. The RISSA President (a private high school History
teacher and Chair of the school’s Social Studies Department, and State History
Day Co-Organizer for
This membership list offer proved fortuitous because the
teacher targeting strategy was facing problems. I had learned as I attempted
to implement the outreach target strategy (using institutional Social Studies
networks) that (a) RI had no state social studies standards, (b) that there
is no Social Studies curriculum specialist at the state office of Education
(a vacant position), that (c) the state of Rhode Island prides itself on independent
school district autonomy and, unlike most other places, is not subject to
the state's control --so therefore there was no set curriculum at a uniform
district level to tap into and in many cases each teacher is doing their own
thing. All this meant that using the recommended institutionalized social
studies network was impossible in the
All we could do was 'not go the institutional route' (which is what NCSS et. al, and my own experience suggested --and which was what was proposed to test) and go instead the individual teacher route (contacting teachers one by one). This was not the preferred way to do things but was still a tactic that could be explore/tested. In fact it was what the one classroom teacher (Sara Wade) as well as one of the two NCSS panel participants last year (the Board member) said we should also try to do: both routes – pursue the individual teacher and the institutional route when we could.
b) As a result of the SHA PEIC /WAC/Project Archaeology ‘confluence of invitations to NCSS’, the PEIC K-12th Grade Subcommittee initiated a program of outreach updates to agencies, non-profits, and professional archaeological societies informing them of (a) the potential problem of uncoordinated public archaeology outreach to the education profession and (b) towards that end, began providing these colleagues with information about what the SHA PEIC K-12 has been up to (Jeppson 2002c). These measures were taken in an effort to encourage coordination of strategies that target the audience of educational professionals, namely the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), but this co-ordination should have broader benefits.
The objective of this action is merely to increase information sharing among education-directed archaeologists but one result may be that individual outreach activities will prioritize audiences. As there are so many archaeologists active in public outreach to the formal school sector these days, and as this outreach regularly involves targeting the same education groups, it seems it would behoove us all to make an effort to keep one another informed about our activities - if only so that the profession comes across as organized and informed. Archaeologists in the societies, agencies, and non-profits tasked with outreach to the formal school sector will one day soon need to think about collaborating, coordinating, and possibly prioritizing so that short term projects don't divert attention from long term possibilities. This is especially true on the road to developing national archaeology standards for Social Studies Education through creation of an educator/archaeologist-based 'Archaeology Alliance' (along the lines of what the geographers have done with the Geographical Alliance or the economics professionals with the National Council on Economic History). The time is approaching where all of us need to be part of an on going conversation about short and long term goals for working with NCSS and coordinating our efforts even if we have somewhat separate agendas.
To date, this outreach update program includes indexing PEIC K-12 activities on the SAA operated Archaeology and Public Education electronic newsletter (A&PE) and emailed updates to the SAA’s Manager of Information and Public Education and to the Director of National Project Archaeology. There is an effort in progress to present an ‘update’ during the SAA Public Education Committee’s (PEC) annual meeting and email correspondence with the AAA’s Public Education Initiative project staff will be soon be enacted. Public Archaeology in general can only benefit to this end.
Other Format Changes
A second modification to the proposal occurred after the educator George Brauer gave notification that he was unable to attend SHA. This change too, in the end, led to a research conclusion (explained below). A social studies specialist and 32-year, avocational archaeologist with extensive historical archaeology experience, it was George Brauer who had originally proposed to me in 2001 the idea of a deconstruction/‘translation’ education event for archaeologists at SHA. I had collaborated with George Brauer at the Center for Archaeology/Baltimore County Public Schools from 1998-2002, and he mentored me extensively about what archaeology needs to do to effectively coordinate with social studies educators for social studies education needs. When the plan for his participation in the PEIC event was disrupted, George felt that my years with him meant I could do well enough in an educator’s absence. While I had experience with curriculum and instruction in collaboration – and Tara Tetrault too had experience with writing curriculum - I was extremely reluctant to go ahead with the PEIC event without an educator on board because (a) teachers don’t like non-teachers to tell them what or how to teach and (b) I felt that archaeologists needed to see what teachers do -- not be told about what teachers needed by another archaeologist.
As primary organizer, and because I felt strongly that the deconstruction/ translation portion of the PEIC event should not be directed by an archaeologist, alternatives were sought to replace George. However, as the RISSA President had coincidently at this time declined to participate as part of the presented program (replacing the NCSS national representative), and because time was running short, I made the decision to reformat this segment of the program in a manner that would allow for, and hopefully encourage, the audience of teachers to share their ideas about the presented archaeology with one other and with the archaeologists in attendance. This way, the teachers would still come away with ideas about how they could use the presented archaeology in the classroom and the archaeologists would still have an opportunity to see first-hand how educators use archaeology for education needs.
Two other factors were in mind when making this substitution. First, not all teachers desire or are capable of constructing curriculum themselves -- and this could especially be so given archaeology content is something teachers are unfamiliar with. This factor meant that the substitution of an audience discussion might not be an effective plan. So another measure was put in place. We already planned to have a classroom-ready lesson plan to distribute as a take away handout. This lesson plan would be moved ‘up front as presented commentary’ to serve as a means to encourage the discussion we desired if discussion proved lacking. Teachers could respond to this lesson plan with ideas of their own and this might, in turn generate further discussion. Moreover, this lesson plan could also serve as THE education segment’s contribution in case the teachers were reluctant to speak up in another profession’s forum (and be observed by these others).
Fortunately, when he abdicated, George Brauer made the offer to help us in any way possible including advising us on a lesson plan that could be used by us in his place. This would be a lesson demonstrating how the archaeology presented in the first segment of the event could be used in the classroom – essentially everything originally planned minus an educator actually demonstrating/discussing it. At the same time, this would be something (an educational resource) designed by an educator so it would not face rejection by the educators. (It wouldn’t be an archaeologist telling an educator how and what to teach.)
To this end, George Brauer designed for our
use a lesson plan modeling how to use archaeology and history in the classroom
to study social studies topics. He used
As part of the revised event proposal, this lesson plan would be modeled IF the educators did not immediately take up discussion on their own at the end of the archaeology presentation. If the lesson model were needed (because the teachers didn’t ‘discuss), it would, ideally, generate discussion among the educators in the audience. Tara and I would loosely direct any resulting ‘discussion’ (namely keeping the discussion on track, allowing archaeologists to ask questions and share education-related experience but preserving the time for educators to discuss how archaeology could be used in the classroom). Thus, even with the necessary substitutions, the teachers would have access to current research and be able to take away with them how to use the archaeology presented during the event in the classroom. The archaeologists meanwhile would still see how educators could use archaeology in the classroom for educational as opposed to archaeological needs. While some objectives for accomplishing the stated goals were modified, the original goals remained viable.
The Archaeology Component of the Event
As format modifications were integrated, and the event planning moved forward, the co-organizers also spent previewing current research presentations at historical archaeology conferences in an effort to identify a talk that would be useful for the Social Studies Education event. A talk by David Orr was selected and he was approached about reprising his CONEHA presentation during the public session at SHA (Orr 2002).
This presentation was selected because it touched upon several topics
covered in middle school and high school in Rhode Island (U.S. Presidents,
Historical Landscapes, Revolutionary War, US History, Life in Colonial America,
How people view themselves overtime, how people created and changed structures
of power, authority and governance, Revolution and the New Nation etc.,).
The information in the talk could also be applied more generally by innovative
teachers for other curriculum needs -- for example, for Civics (e.g., students
could write the President or Head of the National Park Service about the need
Orr’s talk also compared new archaeology data from recent excavations to what was written at in period documents. So the talk provided useful content for teachers who want to instruct about the strengths and weaknesses of primary documents and to compare primary and secondary documents. It was hypothesized that we could in fact introduce the education segment of the event with an overture to the educators saying something about how archaeologists perceive this content as an opportunity to teach about primary documents by using the learning skills of gathering information, forming hypotheses, and re-evaluating (by breaking the class into two groups, giving the different groups the different data sets, having them draw conclusions independently, then redrawing conclusions once they hear the other groups information). The educators, in turn, could correct or corroborate our assumption leading the education segment discussion to take off from there.
Orr's research comparing the archaeology and documentary record was
moreover a good example of historical archaeology. His research would not
just verify with archaeology what the documents say or vise-versa but instead
used the two data sources against one another to extend what is known about
the past beyond that possible using either resource in isolation. Importantly,
Dave Orr is also a terrific presenter when he speaks. The
Rounding out the archaeology portion of the program would be handouts for the teachers to support this talk. These would include professional archaeology society material as well as handouts made specifically for the PEIC K-12 Social Studies Education event. The former could be used as a classroom resource (for example for Career Day) and the latter could be used as ‘prompt notes’ that the teacher could draw on when discussing the Orr talk topic with the class. One handout would be useful for a student reading as well. The materials gathered for dispersal included the SHA brochures “Careers in Historical Archaeology” and “Underwater Archaeology”, the SAA brochures “The Path to Becoming an Archaeologist” and “Experience Archaeology” and an SAA handout entitled, “Educational Materials Available from the Society for American Archaeology Public Education Committee. Handouts produced for the event included an archaeological education fact sheet entitled “Archaeology as Education: Some Identified Benefits” (for Students, Teachers, and for Archaeology), and a general archaeology fact sheet containing the kinds of knowledge archaeologists rely on when they conduct archaeological research, a short list of important archaeological sites and finds, types of Historical Archaeology Sites, a small sample of historical archaeology sites, a list of reasons that people visit archaeology sites, a list of what archaeology contributes to (economy, tourism, heritage, etc.), and a list of Valley Forge Web Resources directly linked to the David Orr talk and research. An NPS web resource download “Discovering What Washington’s Troops Left Behind at Valley Forge”, photocopied for the event would serve as the suggested Student Reading and as an ‘Orr talk - High Points Fact Sheet’ while a Valley Forge map download, “Valley Forge Encampment” would be a useful student resource sheet (<www.cr.nps.gov/logcabin/htm>). A Social Studies Education Event Survey Questionnaire seeking feedback on the educational aspects of this event would also be a handout.
Pencils with archaeology as education embossed slogan were also designed
as a give-away to go along with these handouts (courtesy of myself and Tara
Tetrault). In preparation for this item, several
slogans were run by the PEIC K-12 Teacher Help Group and by a handful of publicly-directed
archaeologists. The archaeologists and teachers came down united on different
slogan directions. The teachers selected slogans about archaeology (“Archaeology
- Dig Into The Past!”, “Archaeology – Dig It!”) while the archaeologists chose
education sounding slogans, (“Teach Archaeology”, “Teach With Archaeology”,
“Teach The Past”). When queried about each others choices, the teachers responded
that the education directed slogans looked like “You are telling us what to
do” or “makes us feel bad because we don’t know enough about archaeology”.
The archaeologists expressed preservation concerns in that the archaeology
slogan, to them - or if not to them, to other archaeologists (!) - could be
seen to be promoting excavation by lay people. My own experience indicated
that this is a misguided archaeology mindset - that archaeologists do not
understand teaching objectives and that this kind of fear is not valid (Jeppson
and Brauer 2003).
This completed the planning for the proposed plan that formed the basis of the PEIC K-12 contribution to the SHA Public Session held on January 19th:
SOCIAL STUDIES LECTURE/DISCUSSION: ()
- Revolutionary War Archaeology for Social Studies Educators -
** 'Cabins and Command:
Washington and the Hutting of the Continental Army at
A talk to be presented by David G. Orr, National Park Service Archaeologist
Research Professor of Anthropology,
*** 'How Can This Archaeology be Used in the classroom?':
An Audience Participation Discussion
Educators will explore this topic sharing their professional expertise
with one another and with a group of education-oriented archaeologists
(teaching them about the kinds of resources educators want and need!).
This plan was not designed as a typical teacher workshop where teachers would break into small groups to learn or operationalize a curricular lesson plan. That type of event was untenable because a broad range of social studies teachers were invited, we had no idea of who or how many would show up, and no way of knowing in advance what grades or social studies topics (courses) would be represented among the teachers in the audience.
In regards to the ‘teacher targeting strategy’, all high school teachers on the RISSA membership list were contacted via a flier, by name (with their printed name followed by “RISSA”). Those on the RISSA list with email addresses were contacted by email, as were high school teachers at RI schools with internet Email addresses archived. There were 41 successful (not bounced) emails sent out although we have no way of knowing how many of these were read. A total of 120 fliers were mailed in bulk to Social Studies departments at 28 schools. These fliers (sent in batches of between 4 and 8, depending on the number of social studies teachers in the department) were directed to the teachers by name (about half of these teachers were also on the RISSA list.) The envelope carried the name of all known Social Studies teachers. A note was attached to the top flier asking the named Department Chair to pass on the enclosed fliers. This bulk mailing strategy was chosen to limit mailing costs.
An email notice about the event was posted on three RI teacher chatboards, and emails notices were sent and fliers mailed to two curriculum resources centers located at two local colleges. Two professors of Social Studies and Secondary Education were also sent emails and fliers and were asking to share the information about the event with their students - teachers in training - that they thought would be interested. Email notices were sent to the leadership of the RI National Education Association (a union), the Director of the RI Association for Curriculum and Instruction, and all the board members of the RISSA. Letters or emails were also sent to a few random RISSA members not otherwise contacted including 2 retired but active RISSA members and the RISSA newsletter's director. The teacher authors of the RI State Social Studies Standards Guide (a guide to resources, not a curriculum guide as found in other states) also received notices. Tara Tetrault contacted by email an additional teacher at a private school.
Email notices were also sent to the SAA Archaeology and Public Education (A&PE)
electronic newsletter for the Fall and Winter issues.
In response, one
What Went Right? What Went Wrong? What Can We Take Forward?:
The Results of the PEIC K-12 Social Studies Education Event
Were the goals proposed for in the PEIC K-12 Social Studies Education event achieved? The two goals aimed for in undertaking this event (as described above) were (1) testing a strategy for effectively contacting an audience of teachers and (2) targeting the publicly-directed SHA membership with information about ‘education needs’ as opposed to archaeology needs. Examining whether or not these goals were successfully addressed requires in part evaluating the proposed objectives implemented to achieve them. These stated objectives (the strategies taken to reach the set goals) were (a) creating a joint teacher/membership format for the event and (b) implementing specific scheduling tactics.
An evaluation of success or failure for these objectives depends on the measures employed for assessing them: Different measures might be ‘useful’ or ‘not as useful’ (strong or weak) depending upon which variables are considered relevant. Multiple variables came into play during the PEIC K-12 Social Studies Education Event -- some of which could be controlled for and some of which were beyond our control.
What follows here is a discussion of possible measures that could be used to evaluate the objectives designed to meet the event’s goals. This discussion is followed by a summary of known and unknown variables that either do or could condition the conclusions based on these measures. The result is a set of qualitative and quantitative assumptions that can be made about the event. From these we get an indication of what we do and do not know as a result of the event, and what we can and can not take forward as experience from this event.
One measure often used in assessing public archaeology events is based on audience numbers. The ‘scheduling objective’ proposed as a way to meet the aims for this event bears on any assessment based on audience numbers. The event timing was designed to bridge the professional conference and the public session. Scheduling the event as the first offering during the Public Session meant that the membership would hopefully still be in attendance and those members interested in public outreach would be able and more likely to attend. This scheduling objective relates to the goal of targeting the publicly-directed SHA membership with information about ‘education needs. At the same time, it also relates to the teacher targeting strategy: By attending the PEIC Social Studies education event early in the afternoon (and learning something about ‘how to use archaeology in the classroom’), any teachers in attendance would also be better prepared to take advantage of the other public session offerings scheduled later in the afternoon. This early scheduling would also maximize opportunities for teachers who might have families in tow: kids and spouses could be expected to sit through an early afternoon offering addressed to adults/teachers if hands-on general activities were to follow. A critical application of the audience numbers should take into account this objective of ‘strategic scheduling’.
Another measure that could be used to assess the overall success or failure of the event could be based on information gained through audience surveys. Chambers (2002) has negatively evaluated the use of surveys for this purpose in public archaeology to date saying (repeating from his quote above):
the evaluation of archaeological public education activities is often limited (if it occurs at all) to relatively simple surveys designed to collect visitor demographics and gauge first impressions related to site specifics and the valuation of archaeological inquiry. That such evaluative efforts are often associated with attempts to justify or seek additional support for archaeological work makes their scientific usefulness suspect….
Chambers is correct that surveys require critical rationale behind their implementation. It is also true that this is something that archaeologists generally aren’t skilled in doing. Knowing of past problems with survey results in public archaeology, the PEIC event survey was thought about in earnest and an effort was made to construct it so that it piggy-backed on the general public session survey (as opposed to replicating it) and followed through on the two goals aimed for in the event. (A copy of the survey is included in Appendix A).
The PEIC Education Event survey agenda mirrored the two-fold purpose (two-directional aim) of the PEIC K-12 Social Studies Education event in that the questions directed at the educators in attendance were ALSO a message directed AT the membership. The survey contained education-specific questions adapted from professional education evaluation questionnaires. In soliciting education specific information from teachers for future PEIC K-12 needs, the survey also demonstrated ‘in black and white’ to the archaeologists in the audience the type of needs educators have. In other words, the questions focused on education needs as opposed to those pursued in many public archaeology efforts, including that of the joint-archaeological society commissioned Harris Poll Survey (Ramos and Duganne-Harris Interactive, Inc., 2000), which explore public perceptions and attitudes about archaeology (i.e., archaeology’s needs). The efficacy of this strategy for reaching these specific two aims should be included in any evaluation using survey results.
Another measure useful for assessment of such events is post-event feedback. Both formal and informal feedback were sought after this event. Feedback was gathered via the PEIC survey form, from interviews conducted with public session participants who spent time with visitors in the demonstration room, and from corridor talk with colleagues after the event. This type of assessment information can be invaluable even if it remains open to criticism as anecdotal and/or subjective. Any analysis of the gathered feedback should include its contribution to evaluating the specifically stated aims of the event.
Data and Results
Basic audience demographic information was compiled during the event (See Figure 1.) From these statistics we know that there were 40 people present at the start and 30 people (average) at the end of the PEIC K-12 contribution to the SHA Public Session. We know that this audience size is similar in size to that found for many papers presented during the SHA conference meeting in Providence and it is comparable in size to last year’s PEIC K-12 Panel Discussion with educators and archaeologists held during the conference itself (an audience comprised of only archaeologists).
This audience size was much
smaller than that present at last year’s public session lectures offered in
ATTENDANCE AT THE PEIC K-12 SOCIAL STUDIES EDUCATION EVENT
Event Schedule Audience Totals Male/Female ratio
Introductory Comments at the start and
the finish (10 minutes later): 40/37 16M 24F (at start)
Archaeology Presentation at the start
and 10 minutes later : 47/36 19M 28F (at start)
taken at 10 minute intervals 30-29-30-31-29 10M 20F (at start)
Figure 1. Audience Statistics (Compiled on-site in real time by Co-Organizer Tara Tetrault)
We know that the audience at the PEIC K-12 Social Studies Education event ‘appeared small’ (low in turn out) to some archaeologists at the time, and that this appearance was taken by some to be an indicator of low success for the event (feedback comments in corridor talk). We know that this ‘appearance’ was in part inevitable because the event was held in the hotel’s large ballroom with seating arranged for 200 people. Had the originally assigned, much smaller-sized room been used (Providence II/III, which have conference seating for 28 persons each, respectively), the venue would have ‘appeared’ more full and might have, based on this kind of ‘appearance-based’ measure, conveyed an indication of success. However, the smaller original venue could just as likely have appeared too small with the result being that the event would be assessed by segments of the audience as poorly planned.
Another number-based indicator related to audience size comes via the handouts made available for the audience. Fifty sets of handouts were provided for the audience (left out on chairs in the room with three sets of handouts per row on average). We collected back 26 sets of handouts after the event, meaning that 24 sets were taken away by audience members. We do not know who in the audience took advantage of the opportunity to have these resources.
The general Public Session Survey and the PEIC K-12 Social Studies Education Event Survey provide minimal ‘number-based’, information with 12 and 3 survey respondents (respectively) indicating they attended the PEIC K-12 Event. It is possible the respondents completing these two surveys overlap. Additional information about these surveys is found below.
A measure of audience composition can perhaps be more useful in effectively addressing the goals of, and the objectives operationalized for, the event. The event’s goals targeted both teachers and SHA members with different strategies (objectives) implemented for helping achieve the desired goals for the two different audiences. Based on visual identification by the co-organizers and feedback from audience members, SHA members seem to have comprised a significant portion of the PEIC K-12 Social Studies Event audience. This is noteworthy because the PEIC event took place after the SHA conference ended. One objective involved scheduling the event early in the public session so that SHA members might be likely to attend (to hear the ‘education needs’ message). On this account, the visual assessment information indicates that the audience targeted for the ‘education’s needs’ message (the archaeology half of the Event’s audience) was present in the room. This indicates that the scheduling and joint format objectives (vis-à-vis the membership part of the audience) were likely successfully met. But this does not indicate that the goal for that portion of the audience was successfully reached: Having archaeologists in attendance does not mean that the ‘education needs’ message was ‘conveyed’ to this audience.
In terms of the other targeted audience of invited Social Studies Educators, we had no way of knowing how many teachers would respond to the pre-circulated invitation fliers -- and IMPORTANTLY we had no idea of what ‘a good response rate’ would even be because there is so little evaluation done in other events to allow comparison with. The best we could do was ‘try and go from there’ (go forward with what we learn). Qualitative and quantitative information gathered from post-event interviews is useful in evaluating this teacher targeting strategy, adding information about the audience composition. This interview data follows below.
Data from Interviews
Post-Event interviews were conducted with archaeologists demonstrating/presenting in the Public Session exhibit room operating alongside and after the PEIC K-12 Social Studies Event. These interviews took place between the hours of 3 and towards the end of the Public Session open house. The informants included individuals demonstrating materials for Archaeology In Education, Ltd [AIE] (Candice Byrd, Margaret Carlini, and Ann Garland), individuals demonstrating the Thinking Strings LLC company's instructional software/'courseware' (Heidi Katz and Jana Steenhuyse), and another individual (SAA Manager of Education and Information, Maureen Malloy) presenting Society for American Archaeology information brochures and handouts. The information gathered was partly obtained using traditional ethnographic interview techniques but was also informal (purposefully jocular in a ‘police procedural-like’ way: “Tell me what you saw, Mam. Then what happened?..What did they say about…?”. This interview information can be correlated with information from the 30 general public session survey forms.
At least 7 high school student visitors to the exhibit room were identified by exhibit room demonstrators/presenters during interviews. These are students who directly stated to AIE, Thinking Strategies, and SAA personnel that they “were directed to the public session event by their teachers” (personal communication from SAA collaborated by Thinking Strings and AIE). We also now know from the debrief interviews - and from information that these presenters collected for their own needs (see below) - that three high school teachers visited the public session exhibit room, all of whom are identifiable as teachers of history/social studies. These three individuals directly identified themselves ‘as teachers’ to the exhibit room demonstrators/presenters in conversation and did so again in leaving their name and details in requesting AIE materials. One of these teachers mentioned that his students were present as well (AIE and Thinking Strings, LCC personal communication).
Two of these teacher’s names have been located in cross-referencing the AIE request list for materials (see below) with the PEIC Social Studies outreach teacher contact list. In other words, these teachers directly received PEIC K-12 invitation fliers. The name of the third identified 'teacher' was not located on the PEIC K-12 social studies teacher contact list but IS at a school whose social studies teachers received fliers (possibly explaining her presence as a result of ‘word of mouth’ about the flier or as a second hand receiver of the flier [possibly posted at the school’s teacher’s lounge]). AIE’s demonstrator thought this teacher came with one of the identified (above mentioned), directly targeted, teachers (AIE, personal communication). However, the AIE lesson material request form (see below) signed by these two individuals (sequential entries on adjacent lines) indicates the third individual is from a different school: This third ‘teacher’ writes “---school district” under the category entry for ‘organization’. In conversation with AIE personnel, this third individual indicated her subject was social studies education. A post-event internet search showed that her name was not located on the department list for teachers at the school she indicates. It is possible that this is a student teacher.
Pinning down how this third suspected educator and the other identified teachers came to be present at the public session is clarified by the information gathered in the general survey form (see below). This form asked directly ‘Who did you come with today? friends, colleagues, or family - and also queries the person’s source of knowledge about the event (How did you hear about this flier, newspaper, Internet, etc).
PEIC K-12 is indebted to Archaeology in Education, Ltd., who shared
additional information they collected from the public during the Public Session.
AIE compiled a list of names from the members of the public who requested
AIE’s sample lesson plans. AIE’s
request form asked the following information: Name, Organization, Grade Level Interest, Phone
and email. Because the public attending
the exhibit room did not give me this information (but rather gave it to AIE,
Ltd. for an intended purpose) it would not be proper to collect the phone
and email details of these public session attendees. I did not collect this
information. (Note: I already have all
Below is the information gathered by Archaeology in Education, Ltd., about the public session exhibit room visitors. The first line in each entry is from AIE’s list. The second line is information based on cross-referencing these names with the Rhode Island Social Studies Association (RISSA) list, the SHA membership list, the local high school social studies teachers contact list compiled for the invitation fliers, and, in one case, post-event Internet research:
Name Organization Grade Level Interest
(Name removed) (Name removed: Archaeology Outreach Program) Primary
(SHA member attending the public session. An archaeology public education focus is indicated by the affiliation.)
(Name removed) (Name removed: University)
(SHA member attending public session. Individual mentioned to AIE that she was incorporating
public education into the undergrad and grad classes that she is teaching
Maureen Malloy SAA K-12 Amer. Arch.
(Maureen is Society for American Archaeology Manager of Education and Information. She contributed to the PEIC event (brochures) and Exhibited in the public session exhibit room.
(Name removed) Local
I remember right, Alan Leveled targeted the local Historical Societies and
this could be one of these contacts.)
(This is one of the Social Studies teachers directly targeted by a PEIC flier (the flier carried an endorsement of the Rhode Island Social Studies Association). Several presenters in the exhibit room noted that this teacher attended with her husband and child [she also looked in on the PEIC event]. She mentioned in conversation with Candice Byrd of AIE that she taught history.)
(Name removed) Local
(Teachers at this teacher's school were targeted by the PEIC. The individual's Sir name correlates with that of other teachers and administrators on the PEIC social studies teacher target list but not the first name. This name is not listed at the school either (I re-checked). AIE demonstrator Candace Byrd learned in conversation with this individual that she was interested in social studies (see below). MAYBE this is a student teacher? We can ask AIE to follow this up and let us know if this is deemed appropriate and relevant.)
(SHA member who has run an elaborate, very successful,
archaeology education program with school kids
(Name deleted)Archaeology Outreach Company
(*Possible new SHA member? Presenter in exhibit room.)
(Name deleted) (wrote down what
(This was one of the teachers directly targeted by the PEIC outreach fliers. He was not a member of the Rhode Island Social Studies Association. Candace Byrd of AIE learned of his college studies in conversation with him (where he may have come across archaeology and education in his training.)
(Name deleted) Americorps
(This individual was in a workshop I attended earlier where I passed out the flier. She said then that she was at SHA because she works for an organization where there is an archaeology component (in a forest project). *She could possibly be a new SHA member as well?)
(This individual is an SHA member who is listed with an address at a College of Education. A search for by me on the Internet revealed that the main web page has tabs that take one to his state Association of Computer Using Educators and to a statewide architectural heritage education curriculum (its goal is stated: to provide the state's children with a sense of appreciation, pride, and stewardship for Louisiana's historic buildings).
(Name deleted) Nearby State Arch. Society
(*Maybe a new SHA member, however Alan Leviellee did target local archaeology societies which could explain her attendance.)
(Name deleted) ( a web site was listed under organization) elementary K-5.
(I couldn’t find out anything about this individual. *Maybe he is a new SHA member. Maybe he is someone from the public. Maybe a teacher. We can ask AIE to follow this up if deemed appropriate and relevant.)
* These names are not on the SHA membership list in the 2002 SHA NEWSLETTER list but could be new members as of 2003 and the meeting registration.
Summary of Targeted Educator and Educator-Related Audience Obtained from the Interview Information
From the interviews conducted with exhibit room presenters and the AIE list we know the following about the audience composition at the Public Session in toto:
Thanks to the observations of Maureen Malloy of SAA and Jana Steenhuyse and Heidi Katz of Thinking Strings LLC, and, in particular, the exceptional observation skills of AIE, Ltd., partner Candice Byrd, (all presenters/demonstrators in the exhibit room) we know that there were two small groups of students who attended the SHA Public Session:
Thinking Strings personnel said they observed what they thought were “two groups of students” -- one had “3 demur girls who could possibly be from a private Catholic school” and one group was “four punky-looking and pierced kids”. (Note: one of the Thinking Strings demonstrators is an ex-teacher). Candice Byrd learned that the group with 3 female students represented 12th graders. A teacher that came by separately pointed out his students to the Thinking Strings presenters. Candice Byrd of AIE noted as well that there was “a teacher who brought along students”.
We additionally know that these students attended the event as a way to earn school credit:
Heidi Katz learned that one of these groups of students attended the public session because they “would get an A on a quiz for being here”. The teacher (male) who pointed out his students told Candace Byrd that “he didn’t like to give extra credit but he was doing so in this case because the kids were coming in on their day off” (note: the weekend, let alone the Martin Luther Kind holiday weekend, is a variable affecting turn out). Jana Steenhuyse learned that this same group was thinking of “going over to the ice skating rink across the street if they were done [with the public session]” (note: competition for the event).
We know that three teachers of social studies were present at the Public Session, two of whom are known by cross-listing the names to have been targeted by the PEIC outreach strategy. One of these is the teacher who encouraged his students to attend for credit. Candice Byrd learned that one of the teacher's (J. Cassidy) had gone to college at Washington and Lee so it is possible that he may have had exposure to archaeology in education courses taught there. Candice learned in conversation with Tina Silva (whom Candice took to be a teacher) that Tina taught social studies. This is the teacher whose name was not on the contact list but who mentions a school where teachers were targeted in her details on the AIE list. We also know from the AIE list that archaeologists with a research or employment focus in public archaeology took advantage of the opportunity of the SHA public session to learn about and from their colleagues active in public archaeology (providing some insight into what is a current SHA membership interest and need).
The interview data indicates that the teacher targeting strategy brought several teachers and in one case, a teacher’s students, to the Public Session - although not specifically to the PEIC K-12 Social Studies Education Event.
Data From the General Public Session Survey Form
Additional information about the targeted educator audience outcome and the Event audience composition comes from the general Public Session Survey Form. The PEIC designed a general survey form for the Public Session separate from the PEIC K-12 Social Studies Education Event survey form. Announcements about this survey with a request that the public complete them were made by the Public Session Organizer several times between and . An announcement was also made by the PEIC K-12 event organizers at the beginning of that event. The local host Public Session organizer stationed someone at the door of the Exhibit Hall to see that these forms were completed by visitors attending between the hours of 2:30 PM and 4:15 PM. Presenters in the Exhibit Hall mentioned that the volunteer monitoring the survey compliance was “very good” and it can therefore be assumed that there is very good survey coverage of those visitors in the Exhibit Room for the period after the PEIC K-12 Education event.
Four of the 30 visitors who completed the general ‘Public Session Survey listed their occupation as educators. Two of these attended the PEIC K-12 Event, one with students in tow:
#1 writes ‘Social Studies Teacher – High School’ under ‘occupation’. This individual lists their education level as ‘MA’, replies ‘self’ in regard the number in the party, and checks the female age category 26-35. They report they heard about the event by ‘mailing’ which indicates they received or had access to the pre-circulated PEIC K-12 Education Event flier.
#2 writes ‘Educator’ for occupation, writes “Teacher from Portsmouth High School” in the right margin, lists MA (level of education), and has “my class” written next to the ‘I am here today with family, friend or colleagues’ question. The choice ‘5 or more’ is circled for ‘number in party’ and the ages 14-19 are circled for both male and female categories (no age or sex however appears recorded for the teacher). This individual indicates that they heard about the event by ‘mailing’ which indicates they received or had access to one of the PEIC K-12 fliers sent to teachers. The responding teacher indicates attendance at the PEIC Event.
#3 writes ‘Teacher’ for occupation, lists MA under education level, reports two in the party and ‘present with family’. The 14-19 year old female age category is circled as is the 26-35 year old male category (party of 2). This latter is the teacher presumably accompanied by a child or younger sibling perhaps). This teacher records they heard about the event by word of mouth. They may not be a Social Studies teacher. They attended the PEIC Event
#4 writes ‘Social Studies Teacher’ for occupation, BA degree is written in (modifying AA option), this individual attended with a ‘family’ of more than 5 (note: only the ‘or more’ portion of the option is circled, not the ‘5’ in ‘5 or more’). The female age group 36-46 is circled and the male age groups circled are ‘8-13’, ’14-19’ and ’36-46’. This individual records hearing about the public session from the SHA Conference Program.
Three other general Public Survey forms were completed by respondents that indicate they (sometimes with a companion/family members) attended the PEIC K-12 event amounting to a total of 5 people. Some of these individuals may be family in attendance with their teacher spouses. Others may have come as a result of SHA membership-related advertising for the education event. It is also possible that some of these visitors are members of the public who came to the general Public Session and saw the PEIC K-12 event as well just by chance.
Form #5 identifies his occupation as ‘Counsel (Marine)’ with MA for education level and also puts under ‘Other’(education) “LL.M., BCC”. He is a 61-70 year old male (age/sex category circled) who was by himself. He attended the PEIC Education Event and the exhibit room. He records that he heard about the public session in the SHA Conference Program.
Form #6 records a family group of 3 (circled) with two 47-60 year olds with a younger family member. Both male and female age categories are circled (for the 47-60 year old age group) as is the 14-19 year old male age group. The recorder lists under occupation ‘Attorney’ with ‘JD’ as the education level (under ‘Other’). This individual circled ‘word of mouth’ for how they heard about the event. This group visited the Exhibit room and attended the PEIC event. The Exhibit Room option was checked as the event that ‘struck you as most interesting’ and the Education event was checked for ‘not holding the child’s attention’.
#7 is a female age 26-35 attending on her own, with an ‘AA’ degree, with the occupation listed as ‘child care’. She attended all three offerings of the public session and checked the Speaker’ Forum as most interesting. She heard about the event at the library (filling in the ‘other’ option line for ‘How did you hear about this meeting?’).
Seven other forms have respondents that identify themselves as students either by circling ‘high school’ under grade level and/or filling in ‘student’ under occupation and are presumed to be in attendance at the Public Session, although not the PEIC event alone, as a result of flier outreach to local Rhode Island teachers:
Three survey forms (#8, #9, and #10) are nearly identically filled out. All indicate ‘3 in the party’ and indicate attendance in the Exhibit Room and the Teacher’s Program. These three record ‘word of mouth’ as the source for information about the event although one of the respondents writes in the ‘other’ line option “teacher”. All three are females with the age group 14-19 checked off and ‘friends’ checked off. All three of these indicate the Exhibit Room as most interesting and the Teacher’s Program as least interesting.
A fourth high school student (survey #11) also indicates attendance at all three events indicating the Exhibit room as most interesting and the Teacher’s program as least interesting. This respondent is a male, 14-19 years old in attendance in a ‘party of 2’ (the other marked as ‘colleague’). He records that he learned about the event by ‘word of mouth’. It is impossible to match up this individual with another record to find the other of the 2 in his group.
Two other high school students (survey forms #12, #13) record ‘2’ as the number in the party of ‘friends’. These two forms have identical responses for the check off options and circle options so it might be assumed these two came together. They say they heard about the event from ‘teacher’. Both indicate attendance at the Exhibit Room and the Speaker’s Forum, finding the former most interesting and the later the least interesting.
Another survey form (#14) is marked with ‘student’ under occupation and also has high school circled but 2 are indicated as the number of people in the party which is listed as ‘family’. The female 14-19 age category and the male 20-25 age category are circled. The events attended include the Exhibit room and the Speaker’s Forum (the former marked as most interesting). This respondent circles ‘the internet’ as the source of learning about the event. It is possible that a younger sibling filled this out for the party of two. This internet source for hearing about the public session could be the A&PE notice for the PEIC K-12 event (which also listed all the Public Session events). One member of the public did email the contact number for the PEIC event organizers included on the A&PE notice.
George Brauer, the Social Studies Curriculum Specialist who advised the PEIC K-12 on the back up model for the Event discussion [should the teachers not want to discuss]) expected that we would get few or no teachers in attendance. He thought this a) because social studies is unorganized in RI and we couldn't use the social studies instructional networks, and b) because of the holiday weekend conflict. He has recently said that the fact that we got as many as we did is "a good success" rate. (He said this to a third person -- I have not talked to him directly yet.) Thinking as a curriculum specialist who operates through such networks for sharing information widely, and knowing that teachers like their holidays, he thought no one would show. So while this is a singular and subjective measure, our advising educator for the PEIC K-12 event saw the targeting strategy as a surprise success with this turn out.
Email correspondence should also be considered in this enumeration
effort. The email notice and hard
copy flier pre-circulated to the
In addition to these teacher targeting goal results, at least one other social studies teacher (a new member of SHA) was present at the public session in the PEIC event as a result of a member-directed flier (Jim McDevitt who is also a new SHA member). This person received the flier at a workshop held the day prior to the conference and was personally encouraged to attend.
Two additional individuals in the PEIC K-12 event audience are suspected
[by Tara Tetrault, Linda Derry, and myself] to have
likely been educators. These middle aged males were not recognizable to any
of us and they responded visibly to some of what was said in the PIEC event
introduction and during the modeling of the
Taking into account the 5th identified teacher (the new SHA member) in attendance at the PEIC Event or at the Public Session as a result of a PEIC Event Flier, we can surmise the following in a preliminary assessment of the *possible* ‘contact/impact’ as a result of this episode of targeted outreach *in general*. (This would not relate to the PEIC K-12 Social Studies Event alone [the results for which can be found below] but rather to the Public Session as a whole]). Using the MNI for identified social studies teachers present at the Public Session in general (the PEIC K-12 Event, the Panel, and the exhibit room), and knowing that each teacher teaches on average 4 classes of students (with a low average classroom size estimation of 28 students), the following is the resulting *ideal possible* ‘contact/impact’ rate:
5 teachers (MNI) x 4 classes each (with 28 students in each)
= a ‘potential’ 560 students
that 'may' learn something involving archaeology as a result
of this instance of PEIC outreach.
Any such impact immediately needs to be qualified by the following mediating factors: one teacher ‘may’ be a student teacher which would translate in the short term to far less ‘impact’. Also, the 5th identified social studies teacher (also a new SHA member) is known to work in a unique educational setting – a school for incarcerated youth – and that means (at least I hope it means) that the student body numbers he deals with might be lower in size. Taking these factors into account a more *probable possible* ‘contact/impact’ for the targeting strategy would be:
3 teachers x 3 classes of 28
+ 2 teachers x 1 class of 28
= 264 students that might learn something involving archaeology
as a result of this PEIC outreach
In evaluating the goal of targeting local social studies teachers the 5th teacher can not be included as he is from outside the area and learned about the event from the membership directed flier. The 3rd identified ‘teacher’ can be included because a student teacher is a future full time teacher. But the 4th identified teacher (survey respondent #4) can not be included as they report learning about the event from the SHA program. Taking this need into account, the *possible* rate of ‘contact/impact’ for the PEIC K-12 teacher targeting strategy would be:
3 teachers x 4 classes of 28 students each
= 336 students that ‘may’ learn something that involves archaeology
as a result of this instance of PEIC outreach flier
This is, no doubt, a high estimation, however, this model parallels a strategy used within the education culture itself for implementing information flow: In the In-Servicing of teachers, a selected group of teachers receives instructional training and then shares what they learn with their department colleagues and their students. Such a relationship of information transferal ‘might’ reasonably be considered applicable here to some degree. Any such suggested possible rate of contact can not however be considered a measure of qualitative impact. We do not know what, if anything, the teachers learned, nor for what purpose they might use what they learned. For this, and for other reasons, this choice of measure is not therefore meant to indicate that the PEIC K-12 Social Studies Education portion of the public session was a resounding success. The equation relationship is put forth here merely to offer one measure of impact that should be considered in part when evaluating the PEIC K-12 Social Studies Education event as a whole.
When specifically evaluating the goal of effectively targeting local Rhode Island Social Studies teachers there are 7 identified successful ‘hits’ out of the 120 fliers circulated. Two teachers at the Public Session were directly targeted by name in fliers and a third was affiliated at a school that received fliers. We know from a telephone contact that another 4 teachers received information via one flier addressed to their schools ‘Social Studies Chair’. This amounts to just over a 5% ‘visible/identifiable’ response rate for the direct teacher approach strategy (as opposed to the institutional network strategy originally planned for). We don’t know how many of the fliers were received (not dumped in the garbage ‘circulation file’ at the school) nor, of those that were received, how many were read. It is possible that some teachers read the flier, were not available or willing to attend an education function on a holiday weekend (or had some other reason), but newly learned via the flier that archaeology has a place in social studies education (that archeology can be used in the classroom).
Given that there were some 30 people in the other public session offerings (panel and exhibit room) and 40/30 persons (start/finish) at the PEIC K-12 event, it can be concluded that there was a very low turnout overall for the Public Session as a whole compared to last year (although the 2002 event had a large amount of the SHA membership in attendance) with a good portion of the 2003 Public Session possibly in attendance as a result of the fliers targeting teachers. The PEIC K-12 Social Studies event audience approaches the attendance number for last year’s PEIC Education Panel Discussion – an event held during the conference meeting itself (not after the conference). It may be possible to speculate that the PEIC K-12 event effectively targeted those Historical Archaeologists with public archaeology as an interest.
Variables Impacting Attendance Turn Out (Those controllable and those beyond our control)
There are other important factors constraining the evaluation of the targeting strategy. Some of these were known in general, some came to light right away, some later, some at the event:
- The ‘Pretext’Factor:
I fully expected that teachers might use the public archaeology event as an excuse (i.e., tell their principals they were coming, then stop by for a short while, but then actually leave and use the day for some other need). I suspect this in fact is possibly what happened in the case of three females in the audience who left the event early on. I knew about this possibility and another publicly-active archaeologist seconded it as a possibility in post-event feedback I collected (Gaynelle Stone, personal communication). I had not expected however that the best shopping mall I had seen in a long time would be connected to the hallway that we held the PEIC event in. I don't blame teachers if they use us. I expect it. While I am not positive this was even a factor in the case of this event, this possibility is something we need to consider in the future. I didn't ever expect we would have this kind of 'possible' competition so readily in place. In the future, it might be wise to know ahead of time what ELSE is right nearby given that a small portion of teachers are likely to use the event as a pretext for an outing. To this end, one of the students in attendance was overhead by Thinking Strings LCC personnel saying to her group of fellow students: “Are we done yet here so that we can go to the ice skating rink”. The ice skating rink was located directly across the street from the PEIC event venue. There was also a model train show next door.
The model train show held next door to the Public Session venue had considerable publicity at street level and in the chief Rhode Island newspaper, The Providence Journal, where mention of it was found in both the "Metro Weekend” column (01/18/03 Metro Edition: C2: ECT) and as a feature story capping the “More Good Stuff” column of the “Live This Weekend” section (January 16-20, 2003:29). The SHA Public Session was not found mentioned in either list of weekend activities. This newspaper was possibly not the best place for advertising the Public Session and the local organizing people on the ground know best and should be deferred to. I did count on the advertising for the general public session information being a 'reminder' for the invited teacher population -- but had not conveyed this fact.
In approaching the SHA Public Session venue, invited teachers or even the general public saw the advertising about the Train Show as they approached the block. If they read the main local paper ahead of time to see what was on for the weekend, or to find details if they couldn’t find their flier, this train show and other activities was what they saw listed in the paper. So what was learned from this is (1) check out the competition and perhaps advertise where it advertises (if possible) and (2) If you are depending on the general public session’s publicity to be a reminder for any specialized educator-directed event it is best to let the local host organizer know this. This kind of thing is probably assumed but should be stated so anyway.
the convention center/hotel complex hallway (between the
PAL WELCOMES TO
-----and then in smaller letters against the very attractive poster graphic of the city's skyline: ..the members of the Society for Historical Archaeology (?).
I don't have the specific wording for this lower line but I had noted that it got lost to a degree in what was a splendid (beautiful!) poster. This message remained readable by the conference goers because we knew what we were looking for but the sign did not likely meet the public's needs for understanding the location of the SOCIETY FOR HISTORICAL ARCHAEOLOGY conference since the word PAL is what the reader of the poster boards 'saw' first.
. I did check with the local public session host about what the public session event would be called and used the supplied term "Community Open House" in the fliers targeting the teachers. However there was no signage saying COMMUNITY OPEN HOUSE marking the public session event. In the future it should be encouraged that PEIC K-12 organizers track down who (among the local hosts) is responsible for making the signage and confer with them directly about wording.
. Outside the PEIC K-12 Social Studies Event room (Narragansett Ballroom B) there was a conference poster calling attention to the SHA 2003 Public Archaeology Session. The letters for the top line were 1 and 1/4 inch tall (1 ¼”) and "Public Archaeology Session", was printed below in letters that were one half inch (1/2") tall (these were measured). That is really small lettering for such a large hallway space (approximately 20 feet wide and maybe 200 hundred feet long). One had to first find the sign in the large corridor (and the sign listed another name for the event besides the “Community Open House” that was expected) and then one had to stand right in front of it to read it.
. The flier sent to the teachers listed a venue (room) that was then changed just prior to the event (to a larger room on another floor in the hotel). This was unfortunate but this kind of thing happens. (If we had had a small room and just a few more people had shown up, the room would have been crammed in and the teachers may have been ‘put off’). But the signage for this substitute room information could easily have been a problem for the public. The sign outside the event room (the one detailed in the paragraph above) had a black line through the original room details (found in 1/2" tall [small] lettering) and a paper pasted beneath it (which is okay) with the new room information. But this new information was printed in 1/4" inch-sized letters (!) which was way, way, way too small. (These letters were measured for size by me.) (Figure 2.)
Figure 2. Hall sign for the PEIC K-12 event.
So, IF teachers had come, and IF they had found the conference, and IF they had realized the room was changed......there were lots of possible signage hindrances at a minimum for them to content with. BUT we are new at this. We can learn from this and pass on the suggestion for better signage next time. For this event, IF the signage was a problem, the train show was much easier to find and the shopping mall option was just down a corridor -- IF finding us was presenting a hassle.
Other Very Relevant Audience Impacting Factors:
. The event fell on a 3 day holiday weekend which would not appeal to teachers. They would likely not want to attend ‘work’ related activity on their holiday. This year’s conference was held later in the month than usual so this had not even been a conditioning factor initially considered by us. In the future I would think a holiday weekend would not be good time to plan for a teacher outreach. But the SHA conference is usually held earlier in the month so perhaps this will not be an issue another time.
. Allen Leveillee warned about
the weather being a factor in
audience turn out. It was exceptionally cold. With the weather far below freezing
– a high of 19 degrees for the day
according to the newspaper (The Providence Sunday Journal
.There was a teacher's strike in an area where teachers were targeted. The television news showed a large picket line on the weekend and the newspaper reported that more than 100 teachers waited 8 hours to take a union vote. This strike could have impacted approximately 1/8th of the teachers targeted by fliers.
I was not and still am not, disappointed in the PEIC event audience although I saw that some others were (at the event). I recognized at the time that the fliers had gotten at least some teachers there. (I am extra pleased that it got some students there -- unexpected and not targeted for). I knew a large number of SHA members were present and since it was past the end of the conference I was pleased about this (the membership being specifically targeted too). So I knew right away that the targeting had worked to some degree (was not completely off base) but I also went into the event knowing I had no possible idea how many teachers would come and was just waiting to see if ANY teachers showed up. Some did. Whether this turn out means we targeted all those teachers or archaeologists who would otherwise be interested or whether we are still failing to reach these others remains unknown. There were simply too many variables at play.
Another thing learned along the way:
Part of the teacher targeting strategy involved offering the teachers
something attractive and enticing them to attend (give them 'what they wanted/needed').
Dave Orr's talk was perfect for this in terms of both topic and content and
also in his skill at delivering information to popular audiences. Indeed,
the social studies curriculum specialist advising us (George Brauer) is already applying this talk for the needs of the
8th grade curriculum revision currently underway in the Baltimore County Public
Schools (the 22nd largest district in the
Other Data from the General Public Session Survey
The PEIC K-12 Social Studies Education Event survey had two aims. The first of these aims was garnering information from educator’s about how to meet future education needs (in PEIC K-12 teacher directed outreach). The second aim was to send a message about educator needs to the archaeologists interested in public archaeology. No educators present at the PEIC K-12 Social Studies Education event filled out a PEIC event survey although some educators did fill out the general public session survey and it provides some helpful insight. Most importantly, the general survey form asked which public session events the visitors attended (which they chose to attend) with a place to check off Exhibit Room, Speaker’s Forum, and/or Teacher’s Program. A follow up question asked which event the visitor found most interesting, which was found to be least interesting, and if attending with a child, which event held the child’s attention and which did not. Two teachers (general survey form respondents #2 and #3) checked that they attended all the Public Session offerings including the PEIC K-12 Teacher’s Program. #2 writes on the form that they brought their class with them and #3 brought along a member of their family. (Teacher respondents #1 and #4 record that they only attended the exhibit room).
Teacher #2 checked both the exhibit room and the Teacher’s program as most interesting of the three events (leaving Speaker’s Forum unchecked). Teacher #2 (who wrote on the survey sheet in the margins ‘my class’ and ‘5 or more’ in the description of the party) recorded that the exhibit room ‘held the child’s attention’ while checking that the Teacher’s Program did not hold the child’s attention. This indicates that this teacher found the teacher-directed program interesting (at least as interesting as the Exhibit Room. Her students (presumed to be the respondents for several other forms) did not find this offering interesting (did not hold their interest).
Teacher #3 of the general survey respondents is the only other educator who attended the PEIC event and filled out a form comparing the offerings. This teacher found the Exhibit Room as most interesting and was the event that held their child’s attention. This teacher heard about the event by word of mouth and may not be a Social Studies teacher.
The respondents who identify themselves as students who attended the PEIC Social Studies Education Event along with the other public session offerings all indicate they found the Exhibit Room most interesting. If they attended all three events they ranked the PEIC Social Studies event least interesting. If they attended just the Speaker’s Forum and the Exhibit Room they ranked the former as least interesting. If they attended just the Exhibit Room they indicated it held their attention.
A few general public session surveys indicate that members of the general public – non members - attended the PEIC K-12 Social Studies Education event. Their response to the above question helps to contextualize the educator response, minimal though it is.
The Attorney (JD degree) visiting with his family attended the Teacher’s Program and the Exhibit Room and marked the teacher’s event as not holding the child’s attention and the exhibit room as most interesting. The Child Care visitor went to all three offering and marked the Speaker’s Forum as most interesting. The ‘Counsel (Marine) went to the Exhibit Room and Teacher Program but did not answer any questions beyond which events they attended.
Taken together, it can be surmised that not all the teachers who attended the Public Session attended the teacher event. Of those who did who can be identified as Social Studies teachers the event was evaluated as ‘most interesting’. However, this is only one respondent. In all cases, whether hearing from teachers, students, or other members of the public, the Exhibit room held the attention of younger people and the teacher’s event either did not hold the child’s attention or was selected as the least interesting of the three. In hearing from younger respondents themselves, the teacher event, when attended, was selected as ‘least interesting’. This is not a surprising response. It was expected that younger family members and spouses/friends would not enjoy the professional teaching offering, hence the scheduling strategy (of putting it first with better things to follow), having it paralleled with the exhibit room (so the spouse and or children could do something else while the teacher was in the PEIC event), and the suggestion of not opening the event or directly advertising it for the public without referring to its being a K-12 educator directed event.
The general survey form helps to identify how respondents heard about the public session including the PEIC event whether they chose to attend it or not:
One survey form (#15) has both ‘internet site’ and ‘SHA Conference Program’ circled for how one respondent (a 36-46 year old female ‘archaeologist’) learned about the public session offerings. It is possible this refers to the A&PE notice for the education event although it likely refers to the SHA on-line program. This individual did not attend the PEIC K-12 event.
Another respondent (#16) indicates ‘posting’ for how they heard about the event. This could be a flier sent to some location by the PEIC education event organizers (schools or college programs or college/university education resource libraries) or a flier posted by the local public session host organizer (public libraries). This ‘retired’ female 61-70 was on her own and attended the Exhibit Room and the Speaker’s Forum.
Respondent #17 is a 26-35 year old female city planning professional attending with a friend (2) who records that she heard about the event at the “library”. She attended the exhibit room and the speaker’s forum. The Child Care respondent (#19) also heard about the event from the library.
Respondent #18 is a student, aged 20-25 attending in a party of 2 with
a friend who heard about the event from the ‘internet’, possibly the A&PE
site. The PEIC organizers received one email correspondence from a student
Respondent #20 was a student who attended with friends (2 in party), was aged 20-25 and heard about the event via the newspaper. They record visiting just the exhibit room.
One of the high school students reports hearing of the event ‘word or mouth’ but also writes in ‘school’ (under ‘Other’). Two other students write in ‘teacher’.
A Marine Corps (#21) visitor reports hearing about the public session event by word of mouth and said he attended the Exhibit Room (most interesting) and the Speaker’s Forum (least interesting), 2 in party, with colleagues. A documentary film maker (#22) came with a colleague (2 in party) whom they report told them about the event. These were 2 females (26-35, 36-46) who attended the Exhibit Room.
The SHA Program is credited as informing 6 other general survey respondents about the event. These included a ‘PhD student’, a ‘gov’t manager’, ‘Lawyer’, ‘Educator-U-C Prof’, ‘student’ (AA degree)’, and ‘MA’ (under occupation, meaning presumably a graduate student). These of these respondents mark that they came with ‘colleagues’. Three others who mark attending with ‘colleagues’ include an ‘archaeologist’ who has ‘member’ written under ‘other’ for how they heard about the event. They were in a party of 2 (possibly indicating they heard from an SHA member or were an SHA member and filled this in as such), someone with an occupation ‘CRM’ who heard about the event by ‘word of mouth’, and an ‘archaeologist’ who circles both ‘word of mouth’ and ‘SHA Conference Program’ to indicate how they heard about the event..
Alan Leveillee undertook significant preprogram
advertising which likely accounts for some of this Public Session attendance,
including for the PEIC K-12 Social Studies Education event. Public Invitation
Notices were posted by the local host Public Session Organizer in several
local libraries. These notices included information on the Demonstration
"How Can This Archaeology is Used in the Classroom?" PEIC event, and the "Passion
for the Past" Speaker’s Forum session. The notices went to: Providence
Public Library, Warwick Public Library, Cranston Public Library, and Pawtucket
Public Library. Identical notices also went to (the library’s of)
One thing that can be learned from this public session survey is that advertising about Public Session events at the Public Library appears to be worthwhile. This should be remembered for the future.
We also have learned from this general public survey something about what educators say they would like offered to them in the future. The last question posed in the general public session survey form asked, “In the future, what would you like to have at the Public Session (please check). The four possible answers provided included 1) artifacts to look at and touch, ) archaeologists to answer questions, 3) to learn what archaeologists do in the laboratory, and 4) lectures about new archaeological research. A space was then provided for suggestions. The Social Studies teacher who attended with a class of students checked all the possibilities offered except learning about what archaeologists do in the laboratory and included the suggestion: “Perhaps there could be a system where a guide could lead a large group such as mine through the events”. Another identified social studies teacher checked all options except lectures about new archaeological research. Note: this teacher did not attend the social studies teacher event and therefore did not hear David Orr’s current research report. This teacher suggested “more exhibits/hands on”. The last identified social studies teacher in the general public session survey respondents checked all four options as what he would like in the future. The ‘teacher’ respondent (possibly not a social studies teacher) checked the options for more artifacts to look at and touch and archaeologists to answer questions only.
Among the identified high school student general survey respondents answering this question about future offerings, one student checked only the option of having archaeologists to answer questions while another checked only the option of having artifacts to look at and touch. Another 3 student checked all 4 options with one writing “The Artifacts are the most interesting.
For comparison and contextualization, among the non-archaeologists at the public session who completed this portion of the general session survey, a ‘lawyer’ checked ‘artifacts to look at and touch’ and ‘learning about what archaeologists do in the laboratory’, and wrote under suggestions: “underwater archaeological artifacts, underwater technology tools (hard hates, ????, side scan), flint knapping, interactive archaeology techniques, bottled products”. A retired female marked all options except the ‘lectures about new archaeological research’ option. The “Educator – U –C Prof” checked only the ‘lectures about new archaeological research’ option. The city planner and the child care respondents both checked ‘artifacts to look at’ and ‘archaeologists to answer questions’ while another ‘attorney’ checked all four options. Three of eight identified non-education, non-archaeology respondents did not fill in this question.
Among the archaeologists who filled out the general survey form and responded to this question, a CRM (occupation) respondent checked only ‘lectures about new archaeological research’, a PhD student checked only ‘learning what archaeologists do in the laboratory’, an ‘AA’ student conference attendee marked ‘artifacts to look at and touch’ and ‘archaeologists to answer questions’ and suggested in the comment line, “Beer”. An MA (presumed student) checked all options but the ‘lectures about new archaeological research’. Five of the nine identified ‘archaeology’ respondents did not answer this question although one of these five made the suggestion to hold the public session on Thursday or Friday afternoon or evening.
PEIC K-12 Event Survey Form Data
We received only 3 returned PEIC survey forms, one from an “archaeology student who is also a museum educator”, one from a ‘non-teacher who is an amateur underwater archaeologist’, and a third who just indicated “do not teach” but filled in little else.
The majority of the PEIC K-12 Event survey form was comprised of education questions that archaeologists could not respond to. Nothing was actually expected back in response from the archaeology portion of the audience in regards to this set of questions. This in itself may have hurt the return rate from this portion of the audience. However, the forms were taken away by this segment of the audience - along with the other provided handouts. They were not left behind on the chairs. Perhaps people who collected these materials just took everything away with the intention of looking at the materials later – and didn’t even realize there was a survey form. The survey form could have also become buried among the other handouts made available contributing to a low turn out – although pencils were made available and mention of the survey and a request made to fill is out formed part of the introductory comments. It is also possible that the survey form itself was taken as a resource (for archaeologists to use when conducting their own outreach surveys to teachers). If so, then the message of ‘education needs’ may have been conveyed to some degree to this audience.
The underwater avocationalist could be one of the panel discussants in the event that followed the PEIC K-12 event. She wrote that the PEIC K-12 event was too long. I overheard one comment to this end in the hallway afterwards (that the PEIC K-12 event ‘ran over). This was said by someone awaiting the following panel discussion. Many audience members were not aware that we had been told by the Public Session Organizer to take any time that we needed because we were not going to ‘force things to a schedule as we had plenty of time’.
This same underwater avocationalist respondent did write that she ‘might’ come to a similar Archaeology and Education Session in the future (out of the options: Unlikely, Maybe, Most likely). The archaeology student who does museum education made several useful suggestions (incorporated within this document below) and said that she ‘Most likely’ would attend an Archaeology and Education event in the future.
This rate of return for this survey is similar to that of last year’s PEIC education event. Last year there were 5 returned forms (all but one of which was only partially filled out). In both cases, this year and last, this rate of return constitutes at the most 1 percent. I do not know what a good rate of return for surveys in this context would actually be. Before surveying in the future, this might be worthwhile to consider (how many is it reasonable to expect and why?). It is likely that other forms of evaluation may be more informative (directly accosting people for short interviews?).
The PEIC K-12 event survey returned no information from Social Studies educators useful for planning future events. Teachers are used to being surveyed in educational settings but archaeologists rarely survey them and may never have attempted to survey them at an archaeology venue (as opposed to at a primarily educational venue). There were only a few educator’s present at most and there is no way to know what factors conditioned their not completing the form. It is even possible that given the low number of educators in attendance that a ‘no return rate’ for forms was statistically probable.
After two years of trying, we might think about beginning to consider that the portion of the SHA membership that is interested in public archaeology is not big on filling out evaluations at SHA Public Education events. However, this group is VERY willing to accost organizers with ideas and comments in person. They have done so two years running. This experience of noncompliance with surveys should be taken into account when planning events for this segment of the membership. I am not just thinking of these two PEIC K-12 events alone when I conclude this about solicited commentary but am also linking the response, or lack thereof, to something Mitch Allen recently wrote in the SAA Archaeological Record column (Volume 3, number 1, January 2003: 6) in explaining why there are so many edited volumes produced in archaeology: "[in archaeology] each scholar speaks about his own project, region, theory, or time period and feels uneasy about speaking for others". While it is possible that our peers think we are off track, I can’t imagine them not letting us know so. They do freely comment in conversation informally but not in surveys (to date). Maybe questionnaire type responses can’t be expected from this population. An evaluation of this survey outcome against the general public session survey results could be interesting and informative to this end. Given the results of such a comparative study, this ‘no return’ survey response by public archaeologists might need to be considered when planning a future event with the membership.
Other Corridor Talk Feedback
. A major area of comment I heard back about (three conversations with archaeologists in attendance) involved the lack of ‘discussion’ during the education segment of the event. The important and relevant aspects of the ‘targeted outreach strategy’ and ‘message’ goals gets lost to some degree because of a mistake that I made in the event’s production that produced this focus on the level of 'discussion' occurring in the held event. This has me thinking about different objectives vs. perceptions and mistakes therein.
It is very true there was little discussion at the PEIC event except with one teacher and that took place after the back up model was used once it looked like there were few educators present and that no educators were about to step up to discuss. The discussion with the one teacher couldn't be heard because the room was not designed for discussion. Beyond a severe acoustical problem of an audience member trying to be heard from a Ballroom floor, having a dais in the front conveyed a ‘lecturing by an archaeology authority about education’ atmosphere and that possibly hampered any other possible discussion by educators. (This is something that also was raised in the comments on a survey form: “Having attended [Education Conferences], I would highly suggest a less formal format – educators are accustomed to working in groups, sitting in circles, etc. Maintaining a formal presenter – audience relationship perpetrates the perceived hierarchy of “the academic in the ivory tower” presiding over the “poor educated public”.) We can only surmise what the original venue would have produced as far as discussion and it should be urged that this type of room (large ballroom) should not be used for this kind of education event in the future for both acoustical and kinesics (spatial) - perception reasons.
However, discussion could only BE possible after getting teachers to the event and this was one of the primary goals being tested. I am to blame for the resulting emphasis on discussion because I wrote 'Discussion' on the flier. That term was only used [uncritically for archaeology, as it turns out] to avoid sounding to the teachers like archaeologists 'would be telling teachers what to teach'. So one important thing I did wrong: I knew I was aiming for two audiences -- but I didn't adequately advertise for both audiences in the flier. I wrote for the teacher audience. Since the archaeologists (SHA membership) read this word for their needs, they could have been, and at least some were, disappointed -- and reasonably so.
But this disappointment is also disconcerting on one level since the back up model (provided by an educator) was designed to provide the *content* that would have been generated by teachers had they discussed. In other words, some archaeologists in attendance were disappointed even though the information they would have received from teachers in the audience was the same as what they saw presented (possibly much more organized). A Social Studies Curriculum Specialist had prepared the content presented. Unfortunately, it remains unknown whether this disappointment is a matter of the format or the content, or both.
One archaeologist said afterwards: “It [the presented content] would have been better from the mouth of a teacher”. I couldn’t agree more. I had begun with just that principal (see proposal and modifications above) and had planned on Social Studies Curriculum Specialist George Brauer and the NCSS participating for just this reason. But they couldn't be present in the end. So rather than have an archaeologist present about education needs, I tried for a format where the archaeologists could still see educators 'at work'. In case there was no discussion by teachers, I had a BACK UP lesson to model *produced by an educator*. I didn't feel my own background would be enough for Archaeologists- even though I worked with curriculum and instruction in a school district, co-writing curriculum in collaboration with an educator for 4 years (nor Tara, who also had curriculum writing experience). So I do feel as a result of this event there is confirmation of my belief that a teacher must present this kind of information (as opposed to an archaeologist). This is something a lot of archaeologists don't believe is necessary and relevant.
While there was a back up lesson plan to model in case the teachers
didn't discuss (an education model to present created by an educator), there
wasn’t a ‘back up’ for the back up if the teacher’s didn’t show up. In other
words, there was no back up for just archaeologist's needs if they ended up
comprising the majority of the audience. So there was no education model to
present ‘not for educator's needs’ but 'explained' for archaeologist's needs.
Those archaeologists that already knew about educator’s needs were likely
bored with the education model presented. The few post-event conversations
I had with archaeology educators indicated they did not learn anything ‘structurally
new’. (They saw the
How archaeology is used in the classroom for education needs (as opposed to archaeology’s needs) was a message targeted at the membership portion of the audience. The model presented in the education segment was archaeology as education. It is unknown however whether this message in the model was conveyed. This objective couldn't be reached if an archaeologist presenting it created a barrier. In being "presented" as opposed to being "discussed", this information may, in terms of a format issue, have left some disappointed -- even if the content was valid.
Importantly, for the needs of both stated goals for the two audiences, after the Brauer devised model was presented, a teacher in the audience did comment that he did “just what was presented in [his] own classroom” (and he went on to explain how and why). This was the only true ‘discussion’ there was by an educator and he indicated that the model presented in the education segment was right on target for educator's needs. This teacher “agreed” with the applicability of the model for education purposes both directly (in verbal response to a direct question asking if the model was on target) and in a secondary manner: he also explained how he “used exactly this model's operations already” to teach an aspect of the civil war. Because of the acoustics in the room however, what this teacher said was impossible for many to hear.
. It was suggested as feedback in corridor talk (and I had been thinking about this already even before the event), that perhaps SHA isn’t the best venue to launch outreach to teachers when education conferences are already available for archaeologists to integrate into. At the risk of employing a whole bunch of bad metaphors, it seems that ‘hitting two birds with one stone’ (like this effort attempted to do) is useful when you have only one stone (in other words, few resources). But maybe this isn’t the way our ‘few resources’ should be directed if we want maximum ‘bang for the buck’. The ‘education needs’ message is crucial for the archaeology community to learn (archaeology needs of stewardship alone will not suit formal school needs) and educators do and can learn about the application of archaeology for their needs from archaeologists. Perhaps, however, in the future, operationalizing the social studies teacher targeting strategy for use within an education conference agenda (as opposed to an archaeology conference) might be more productive. In an education venue where archaeologists are presenting there is a ready made audience already – although targeting is still suggested, especially if it is not a social studies specific education conference. Alternatively, making use of an existing network of archaeology-interested social studies teachers would be more productive for an archaeology conference venue. Fore example, Project Archaeology teachers in an area could be targeted for a workshop in tandem with SHA. This collaboration would maximize resources and hopefully maximize effective teacher targeting and turn out.
Of course, one can hope that the archaeologists presenting at any education conferences will know about using archaeology for ‘education needs’. As Diana Wall mentioned while Chair in 2002, this is something the PEIC K-12 can and should help prepare the membership with.
. Another useful suggestion (via corridor talk) involved expanding the initial targeting strategy to include an RSVP (requiring a response) along with instituting a mandatory minor deposit (fee sum). It was suggested that this would help get those people who were initially interested in the event to attend it when it occurred down the road. This deposit would not be for money-making purposes but part of the targeting strategy. Such a plan is worth considering although it would impact on the issue of families in attendance (would they all pay, etc.) and the money aspects would have to be thought through carefully.
. One comment I received and held a couple of additional conversations about was a concern that if the public session is not seen as successful, the Society may stop formally supporting outreach to this audience of teachers (and others). As far as I know, this is the first time the SHA has approached Social Studies educators in this fashion (a direct approach to specific 'content area' educators). The undertaking put into practice suggestions for ‘effective communication with educators' that were made to us by educators (including members of a PEIC Teacher-Help group and Social Studies educators who participated in last year’s SHA Panel Discussion --including the President of the National Council for the Social Studies). This approach is essentially an emic one, using the education culture's parlance and bureaucratic structure to organize our outreach (in other words, Applied Archaeology.) We had no idea going in what the rate of success would be for the event having never tried this before and had little to use to gauge the effort given the poor state of evaluation in public archaeology in general. We were hoping for the best even as we learned that Rhode Island is a special case -- and not an ideal place to test this network outreach-- as it is less hierarchically organized than other states (strong local school autonomy) and the subject of social studies in Rhode Island schools (like everywhere) in under attack and appears to be loosing ground to technology training priorities.
. Several comments I received were kind words offered about ‘the amount of effort put into this event’. While it was by NO means perfect (by any stretch of the imagination), and for any number of reasons that were both mine and not mine (or not anyone’s), it was worth the effort. This Social Studies Education event was not just a PEIC responsibility to the public and the SHA membership but also an opportunity to conduct research about effective public archaeology in general and I have said just this to many over the past few months. To this end, strategies were tested and we now have some useful results. The proposal stating goals and objectives has been able to be followed-up with critical evaluation offering assistance for future efforts. The unknowns in taking on such an effort are many and varied but now we have at least some quantified and qualified assessment possibilities for these that we didn’t have before. It is only a beginning - but it is an important beginning. The PEIC K-12 Social Studies Education Event highlights a number of the questions that need to be considered when undertaking a public education effort. These questions now pull us down the road to where we need to be going:
Downum, Christian E. and Laurie J. Price
1999 Applied Archaeology. Human Organization 58(2)226-239.
Du Cunzo, LuAnn and John Jameson
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Forthcoming Archaeology, Heritage, and Public Endeavor in Shackle P. and E. Chambers (ed).
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Archaeology in Contemporary Community Issues. Paper presented at the Society
for Historical Archaeology Annual Conference,
2000 CRM and Public Education: The
Quantitative and Qualitative Benefits. Paper presented at the Society for
Historical Archaeology Annual Conference,
Epperson, Terrence W.
Forthcoming. Critical Race Theory and the Archaeology of the African Diaspora. In Historical Archaeology.
Funari, Pedro Paulo A.
2000 Public Archaeology from
a Latin American Perspective. Paper presented at the Society for American
Anthropological Association annual conference,
2001 Evaluating Public Programs in Archaeology.
Session organized for the Society for Historical Archaeology,
Herscher, Ellen and Francis P. McManamon
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Outreach: The Obligation to Education. In Ethics in American Archaeology, edited
by Mark L. Lynott and Alison Wylie, pp. 49-51.
2nd rev. ed. Society for American Archaeology,
1993 Public Interpretation Initiative: New Horizons.
In Federal Archeology Report, Vol. 6. No 1.,
Archaeological Assistance Division, National Park Service,
Jeppson, Patrice L.
2002 PEIC Event. Proposal prepared for the PEIC Social Studies Education Event
held during the Society for Historical Archaeology Conference in
2002b K-12TH Grade Outreach Information Coordination
Effort. PEIC K-12th
Grade Education Issues Subcommittee Report submitted to Diana Wall on
2002c Educators and Archaeologists Meet to Discuss ‘Archaeology As Education/National Council for the Social Studies Appoints Liaison to SHA/PEIC K-12 Outreach Subcommittee Notes. Society for Historical Archaeology Newsletter, Vol. 35, Number 2:6-7, Summer.
Pratfalls, and Pragmatism in Public Archaeology. Paper presented at the Theoretical
do You think it is?”: Lessons learned during a year of archaeology at the Baltimore
County Public Schools. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society
for Historical and Underwater Archaeology Annual Conference,
Leveling the Playing Field”
Jeppson, Patrice L. and George Brauer
2003 Hey, Did You Hear about
the Teacher Who Took the Class Out to Dig a Site? Some Common Misconceptions
About Archaeology in Schools, in Maureen Malloy and
Jeppson, Patrice L., Tara Tetrault, Adrian Davis, Susie Burroughs, George Bauer, Linda Derry, Maureen Malloy and Sara Wade
Krupicz, Arthur S.
2002 Be all the You Can Be:
Evaluating Public Archaeology Outreach Programs. Paper presented at the Society
for Historical Archaeology annual conference,
Lynott, Mark J. and Alison Wylie
The Central Principle of Archaeological Ethics, in Ethics in American Archaeology, Society for
American Archaeology edited by Lynott and Wylie.
Society for American Archaeology,
Malloy, Maureen and Linda Derry
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the Past. Society for American Archaeology.
McDavid, Carol, Mary Kwas, Patrice L. Jeppson, and Jeanne Fenter
1998 Proposed Web Design Plan for the PEC Pages of the SAA web site, A Report by the Society for American Archaeology’s Public Education Committee (PEC) Web Page Subcommittee, presented to the SAA PEC in January and the SAA Board in April 2002.
Orr, David, G.
2002 Cabins and Command: George
Washington and the Hutting of the Continental Army at
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Social Studies Event Questionnaire
Social Studies Event Questionnaire
SOCIETY FOR HISTORICAL ARCHAEOLOGY
PUBLIC EDUCATION AND INFORMATION COMMITTEE (PEIC)
2003 SOCIAL STUDIES EDUCATION EVENT
– SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE –
a) What Social Studies subject(s) do you teach?
b) In what subject(s), if any, do you use archaeology content?
To teach what topic or learning skill specifically?
(Example: In World History, students use archaeology as a primary source for gathering information about a time and place.)
c) Please rate this Social Studies Event: (Circle)
The Archaeologist’s talk provided me with content knowledge I can incorporate for classroom use.
Rating 5 4 3 2 1 Rating
The Discussion Session provided me with teaching strategies for implementing this content.
Rating 5 4 3 2 1 Rating
In terms of the Discussion, I generally……. was satisfied with / could have used more:
…linkage of archaeology content to the Standards __________ __________ (check one)
d) The Content presented today… I Agree / I Disagree
.supports the curriculum of my school (or District). _______ ________ (check one)
.represents current practice within the disciplines of Social Studies. _______ ________
.is relevant to student interests and concerns. _______ ________
PLEASE TURN OVER………
(Page 2 of 2)
e) How did you hear about this event? (Please circle all that apply)
word of mouth radio professional training announcement Internet Site
mailing newspaper SHA Conference Program Other__________
f) Number of people in your party: 1 (yourself) 2 3 4 5 or more
I am here today with: family____ friends ____ colleagues ____
Female ages (circle all that apply): 0-7 8-13 14-19 20-25 26-35 36-46 47-60 61-70 71+
Male ages (circle all that apply): 0-7 8-13 14-19 20-25 26-35 36-46 47-60 61-70 71+
h) At what school do you teach? _____________________________Grade(s)______
Your Name (optional):
i) Have you any background experience with archaeology? Yes____ No_____
If yes, please explain: (e.g. site visits, museums exhibits, excavation experience, college courses, particular books or movies.)
j) Would you attend a similar Archaeology and Education Session in the future?
( ) Most Likely ( ) Maybe ( ) Unlikely
k) Any additional comments you would like to make?
Thank you so much for your help!
Enjoy the other Community Open House offerings this afternoon!
APPENDIX B (Resized to fit page set up)
General Public Session Questionnaire
General Public Session Questionnaire
 We are grateful to local host Public Session organizer, Alan Leveillee for his accommodating this event and his assistance with planning and coordinating the event.
 For example, the 2000 SHA conference theme, Teach The Mind, Touch The Spirit, and the Invited Presidential Session at the 2000 American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting (theme: ‘The Public Face of Anthropology’), entitled, Public Archaeology: International Perspectives, Debate and Critique organized by Jeppson and McDavid.
 See among many examples, John Jameson’s (1997) edited volume: Presenting Archaeology to the Public: Digging for Truths, the forthcoming (2003) Society for American Archaeology handbook (edited by Maureen Malloy and Linda Derry) entitled, Archaeologists and Local Communities: Partners in Exploring the Past, and the peer reviewed, international journal Public Archaeology.
 For example, the Public Interpretation Initiative initiated and coordinated by the Southeast Archeological Center (SEAC) of the National Park Service, Southeast Region (Jameson 2002, 1993).
For example, among many others, ‘National Project Archaeology’,
originally of the BLM and now in partnership with The Watercourse at the
 The SHA’s Public Education and Information Committee (PEIC) and the SAA Public Education Committee (PEC) have developed resources for the public and the SAA has a dedicated, part-time, staff position (Manager of Information and Education). For other examples, see, among others, the forthcoming SAA and SHA public archaeology web projects by McDavid et. al. (2002) and DuCunzo and Jameson (2003).
 For overview discussions about politically engaged historical archaeology see, among several others, Epperson (2003) and Jeppson (1997). For examples of historical archaeology engagement for the publics rather than archaeology’s needs see, among many others, Jeppson 2001, Watkins 2000, Funari 2000, and Derry 2000. For examples of this elsewhere in archaeology see, for example, the use of ‘shared pasts for the needs of a Palestinian/Israeli conflict resolution, The Wye River People to People Exchange Project,
 See Mark Lynott and Alison Wylie ed., (2002), Stewardship: The Central Principle of Archaeological Ethics”. Quoting Hershel and McManamon (2002:50), “The concept of Stewardship, however puts a different perspective on the need for public education and outreach….communicating to the public an understanding of its heritage becomes an essential element of the archaeologist’s role as steward”.
 For definitions and discussion of the SAA Principles of Archaeological Ethics see Lynott and Wylie (ed), Ethics in American Archaeology, 2nd revised edition.
 See the “Call for Comments: Recommended Revision of the SHA Ethical Statement and Proposed Ethical Principles and Standards of Practice Statements”, in the SHA Newsletter (vol. 35. no. 3, Fall 2000: 6-8). The SHA ethics feature public archaeology as more of an insider-based, archaeology need whereas SAA outreach orientation is based in the acknowledgement that “stewardship requires that archaeologists become aware of and respect the wide range of other legitimate interests in the possible uses of archaeological sites” (Lynott and Wylie 2002:31).
 See Archeology, Heritage, and Public Endeavors in a forthcoming volume edited by P. Shackel with E. Chambers.
 For example, evaluation is a proposed topic of discussion for the upcoming SAA PEC Meeting in April 2003, and the SHA PEIC K-12 has organized a group of teachers to provide feedback and comments on educational endeavors that the SHA PEIC K-12 undertakes. See Carol Ellick (2000), James Gibb (2002) and Arthur Krupicz (2002).
The SHA Panel Discussion: “‘Reach
 Tom Gibbons made several suggestions about how to effectively ‘get word out to educators’ during a conversation after his presentation at SHA (Tom Gibbons, personal communication).
Jeppson (2000) “What do You think
it is?”: Lessons learned during a year of archaeology
at the Baltimore County Public Schools. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting
of the Society for Historical and Underwater Archaeology Annual Conference,
 School principals are not eager to release a teacher from teaching duties when the teacher has just returned from a two week holiday and, importantly, the teacher is not eager to leave at this time as they are attempting to get the class re-directed and back on task after a holiday.
 See Jeppson, ‘PEIC K-12 Outreach Subcommittee Notes’, ibid., and the PEIC 2002 Mid-Year Report submitted by Chair, Diana Wall.
 After several contacts with NCSS, Tara Tetrault met together with Project Archaeology Director Jeanne Moe and one of the NCSS executive staff to present our needs and broach again the subject of continuing along the path towards building an archaeological alliance.
 The general Public Session survey form was designed to elicit insight on audience characteristics to allow for better future Public Session planning. One priority was determining how the audience heard about the public session. Also desired was an understanding of how many public session attendees were SHA members as opposed to members of the general public.
 Harris Interactive was commissioned by a coalition of archaeological organizations (including SHA) to conduct this study to gain insights on how well American’s understand archaeology’s practice, results, and value, to measure the public’s interest and participation in archaeology and archaeological activities, and their attitudes towards laws and conservation issues.
 Described above.
 Alan Leveillee kindly provided copies of these completed surveys for this evaluation.
 Flier wording: *** 'How Can This Archaeology be Used in the classroom?':
An Audience Participation Discussion
Educators will explore this topic sharing their professional expertise
and with a group of education-oriented archaeologists
(teaching them about the kinds of resources educators want and need!).