P67
Anthropology in and of education: implications for representations of human nature

Convenors:
Brian Street (King's College, University of London)
Chair:
Hilary Callan
Discussant:
Joy Hendry
Location:
Quincentenary Building, Wadsworth Room
Start time:
21 June, 2014 at 14:00
Session slots:
1

Short abstract:

Anthropology in education and the anthropological study of education: including 'the distinctiveness of sociocultural anthropology vis-à-vis the science of human nature', and the way Enlightenment ideas influenced the education systems imposed on Indigenous peoples.

Long abstract:

Anthropology's relations with Education, taking account of both anthropology in education and the anthropological study of education. We draw upon the RAI's experience in working for an anthropological presence in pre-university education from the 1980s to the present as an extended case-study, including the development of a new GCE A-level in anthropology. We review the implications of these initiatives for the future of the discipline, including the broader question of how anthropologists might 'engage' with the wider public and how the 'public' have 'learned' about anthropological issues. We will, in particular, address how a more professional input might help to challenge dominant and distorted perceptions both of the discipline and also of the peoples with whom anthropologists research, across the globe. In the context of the overall theme of the Conference, this will include addressing the way Enlightenment ideas influenced the education systems imposed on Indigenous peoples, who now want to use their own heritage which usually rejects the separation of humanity from the rest of nature; and the question of 'the distinctiveness of sociocultural anthropology vis-à-vis the science of human nature', an issue that arose in the design of the Anthropology A level Curriculum and to which the engagement with Education pre University has already suggested some responses. An anthropology of education, then, has a significant role to play in the larger role of the discipline, and this role will in fact , we argue, have to be closely linked with the work of anthropology in education.