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Commission on:
Anthropology and Education


David Shankland


Emma Ford

Are you teaching, working or researching in the field of Anthropology and Education?

1. Join the IUAES Commission on Anthropology and Education

The Commission on Anthropology and Education brings together researchers, educators and students involved in the field of Anthropology and Education. Interests of the commission include the complementary roles of anthropology of education and anthropology in education. We encourage our members to exchange experiences of setting up anthropology education at pre-university level and explore similarities and differences between the teaching and learning of anthropology in schools, colleges, universities, adult education centres and extra-curricular events and activities. We encourage all those interested in joining the IUAES Commission on Anthropology and Education to contact Emma Ford education(at)therai.org.uk.

2. . Planned Activities for 2019 and beyond

The commission will meet again at the IUAES Inter-Congress in Poland (Poznań) from the 27-31 August 2019. The call for papers is now open. We warmly invite you to submit paper abstracts to the three panels associated with our commission.

How to submit an abstract
Please read all instructions about paper submission from the Inter-Congress organisers. The deadline for the submission of paper abstracts for open panels: 15 February 2019.

The IUAES Commission on Anthropology and Education has three panels associated with it:

1. Teaching and Learning Anthropology
How is anthropology being taught and learned around the world? We warmly invite papers which explore the similarities and differences between the teaching and learning of anthropology in schools, colleges, universities, adult education centres, extra-curricular events and independent study.
Convenors: Kevin Purday & Joy Hendry

2. Games, Technology and Concepts: resources we use for teaching and learning anthropology
Are you using a game, form of technology or concept which you would like to share with other anthropology educators and learners? We invite you to showcase resources from early years, school, university, continuing education and independent study. Let’s explore creative ways to teach and learn.
Convenors: Emma Ford & Mailing Rivera Lam

3. The value of anthropology to therapists, counselors, coaches and educational professionals
The panel will present and discuss the contribution of anthropologists and the cross-cultural perspective in the context of therapy, counselling, coaching. It is relevant for research, practice and policy. It is for various participants who work with professionals or practise in these fields.
Convenors: Malka Shabtay & Kiran Lata Dangwal

For the full abstracts of these panels, please see the open panel list here.

3. History of the IUAES Commission on Anthropology and Education

On 17th July 2015 at the IUAES 2015 Inter-Congress, Bangkok Re-imagining Anthropological and Sociological Boundaries, WCAA delegates met to discuss possibilities in the form of a face to face meeting. David Shankland proposed a joint WCAA-IUAES panel on the place of anthropology in pre-university education which would also be the first meeting of the IUAES Commission on Anthropology and Education. The need to develop a more global understanding of anthropology education was evident following events in England. In early 2015 AQA announced its decision to not redevelop Anthropology A-Level (a qualification for 16-18 year olds offered by some schools and sixth-form colleges in England).

The first formal gathering of the IUAES Commission on Anthropology and Education took place at a joint WCAA-IUAES panel entitled ‘The teaching of anthropology in schools’ on 7th May 2016 at the IUAES 2016 Conference in Dubrovnik, Croatia. The conference theme was World anthropologies and privatization of knowledge: engaging anthropology in public. The secretary of the commission was voted in at this meeting and names were collected from attendees who wished to be part of the commission. The panel gave those present an opportunity to discuss the decision to discontinue anthropology A Level, the complementary roles of Anthropology of Education and Anthropology in Education, similarities and differences between anthropology as it is taught in pre-university and university education and the extent to which Anthropology is being taught as part of other qualifications and extra-curricular activities around the world.

On 10th August 2017, the commission held the ‘Anthropology and Education’ symposium at the World Humanities Conference in Liège, Belgium. The conference was co-organized by UNESCO, the International Council for Philosophy and Human Sciences (CIPSH) and the World Humanities Conference – Liège 2017 Foundation. The symposium featured six papers which addressed anthropological approaches to education and anthropology in a range of educational settings. For example, international mindedness was discussed in relation to the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme Social and Cultural Anthropology. Speakers also discussed summer camps for undergraduate students, anthropology in early-years education and anthropology in high school. Several papers drew upon examples of teachers using anthropological content and approaches in their classrooms to help students discuss culture, difference and diversity. Benefits and future possibilities of introducing anthropology into a range of educational settings were explored.

Between 16-20 July 2018, the IUAES Anthropology and Education commission met in Florianópolis, Brazil at the 18th World Congress of the IUAES. The conference theme was World (of) Encounters: The past, present and future of anthropological knowledge.

Three commission meetings took place to discuss the mission statement, plan future directions and activities and forge links with the ABA Commission on Education, Science and Technology A symposium on Culture, Learning and Education involved speakers from both commissions.

Four open panels were organised at the World Congress in association with the IUAES Commission on Anthropology and Education:

OP 019. Anthropology in the Classroom – How Is It Taught?
Panel convenors: Emma Jane Ford (Royal Anthropological Institute) - UK
David Homa (Los Gatos High School) - USA

OP 066. Education and Wellbeing: Correspondent Ecologies
Panel convenors: Elizabeth Ann Rahman (University of Oxford) - UK
Krzysztof Bierski (Freie Universitaet Berlin) - Germany

OP 143. Preparing Postgraduate Students for Diverse Careers
Panel convenors: Daniel Ginsberg (American Anthropological Association) - USA
Steffen Jöhncke (University of Copenhagen) – Denmark

OP 188. Towards a “pedagogy of intercultural/peaceful coexistence”: teaching anthropology in multicultural societies
Panel Convenors: Nora Christine Braun (Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen) - Germany
Gordon Mathews (The Chinese University of Hong Kong) - Hong Kong