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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Anthropology and Education

Hello Ancient Diggers. I would never write a post saying I have not posted in a while because that would be too cliche. I would just like to give you a quick update of some the things happening in my life as an anthropology student, as well as some things I've recognized when it comes to anthropology and education.

As I previously mentioned, I've applied to Teach for America and I'll find out if I have the position on March 6th. I'll also find out where I'll be moving to, so needless to say, this is a very exciting time. This is also my last semester at UCF and I'll be graduating in May. Yippie!

My main reason for applying to Teach For America was because I started to recognize how important anthropology is to education. Understanding people on a global level and assessing their academic abilities based on their backgrounds, gender, and economic status, has become a fascinating and challenging subject for me.

I've realized in my own schooling that professors use tests to verify learning as opposed to accessing for it. I believe that this the main reason there is a such divide in the education system all over the world. Individuals with access to education and highly skilled teachers are already ahead of the curve. However, those of us who are forced to take standardized tests, which measure a lifetime's worth of education in a few hours, is hardly representative of the students we really are and what we are capable of achieving.

Many of you are anthropology students, and in fact, if your focus is archaeology, you can not have context without understanding the inner workings of anthropology. Many of us are driven to dig in the dirt, allowing you to use educated guesses about how people lived, but what about how people live today? There are hundreds of cultures around the world which are dying because no one is documenting their lives, languages, and traditions.

I believe my experiences over the past few months have really opened up my eyes to some serious issues occurring on a global level. I plan on taking the education that I received, as well as the advice that many of you have, to implement changes in the educational systems, as it pertains to dying cultures.

If you any of you are working with some of these cultures on a direct level, I would live to hear about the challenges you are facing.


Emm said...

You do sound like you've been on an incredible journey in the past couple of months. I can detect that from your writing. I'm waiting here with fingers crossed to see if you get in to the program!

Shari Maria Silverman said...

To be honest, I'm worried about all cultures dying, both locally and globally. However, societies have continually altered throughout time, so maybe I shouldn't. Due to my parents' generation on both sides, my cousins , my sister and I are a wide mix: Ashenazi Jew, Elwha Klallam, Norwegian, middle Europe (that part is a bit hazy). The Jewish part wandered all over the place before even reaching the United States. As a result, all these cultures lost bits of themselves and and gained bits of others.

I'll be interested about what others have to say about the dying cultures elsewhere (I imagine many survivors migrate to other areas to carry them on, or against their will). The Caribbean is fascinating, eh?

Congratulations and best wishes for your future!

Lauren Axelrod said...


I am mixed as well. My mother is Polish, my father is Jewish, my grandmother was English, great grandparents were Russians. It goes on and on. I think during the migrations after 1880, immigrants started to lose too much of themselves and assimilate into the American way. I know that Jews did try to hold on to their heritage and they make great strides in the country as far as education and politics go. However, like you, I worry about people from Africa, Caribbean, India, etc. I worry that they get caught up too much with the culture in this country, and I do what I can to speak with them about the heritage when I can.

Thanks for stopping by and thank you for the best wishes.

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