Paper No. 21
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM


JOLLEY, Alison and AYALA, Gianna, Department of Archaeology, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, S1 4ET, United Kingdom,

Geoarchaeology continues to be a growing field, yet geoarchaeological education is largely restricted to the advanced undergraduate and postgraduate level. However, it is possible to introduce basic geoarchaeological concepts at lower levels and high school poses a suitable setting for this. Archaeology, and sometimes geology, is considerably under-represented in high schools, despite offering valuable opportunities for students to connect with the world around them, past and present, as well as possible career paths. To introduce this field and its interdisciplinary nature, a ninety minute geoarchaeological teaching activity was designed for upper year high school students in Northern England. Feedback and perspectives on content, pedagogy, geoarchaeology and interdisciplinarity were gained through an iterative pre-interview process with high school teachers of geography and classical civilisation. The activity was piloted and observed with a total of thirty students between one geography and one classical civilisation class. Students showed positive learning gains and shifts in perceptions, regardless of class enrolled, gender or additional classes studied. They responded positively to the hands-on portions of the activity in particular, whilst simultaneously finding them the most challenging. Some students did not enjoy the short, lecture portions of the activity, finding themselves easily distracted. Post-interviews support these findings and teachers were largely impressed with the capabilities of their students. The two teachers involved in the pilot found it to be rewarding and plan to use the activity as an enrichment experience for future students. Final revisions have been made to the “Living with Volcanoes” activity based on these findings and it is ready for wider implementation in any number of related high school subjects, including geology, geography, archaeology and classical studies.
  • Living with Volcanoes Poster_Final.pdf (923.9 kB)
  • Teaching Guide_Final Version.pdf (653.0 kB)