Enhancing Public Archaeology Through Community Service Learning

Michael Shakir Nassaney

in The Oxford Handbook of Public Archaeology

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199237821
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Archaeology

 Enhancing Public Archaeology Through Community Service Learning

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  • Archaeology
  • Contemporary and Public Archaeology


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Public archaeologists are turning to community service learning (CSL) as a model for resolving the perceived learning crisis in the field, and to redress the limitations of archaeological pedagogy and practice. Examples drawn from various projects in the United States show how the CSL approach encourages students who practise archaeology to become civically engaged, capable of confronting real-world problems, and empowered to see themselves as catalysts for change. Service-learning practitioners emphasize research problems that emanate from the community, the learning experiences of students who are committed to civic engagement, and the opportunity for the community to collaborate fully in the teaching and the research. The reform in archaeological pedagogy and practice through CSL will keep the discipline of archaeology cognizant of its anthropological roots and allow it to contribute theoretically, methodologically, and substantively to the social sciences while serving to expand the current scope of service learning.

Keywords: community service learning; public archaeologists; real-world problems; archaeological pedagogy; civic engagement

Article.  10977 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Contemporary and Public Archaeology

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