P044


Teaching and learning anthropology and ethnography in transforming contexts: objectives, practices, pedagogies and challenges [TAN] 
Convenors:
Ioannis Manos (University of Macedonia)
Robert Gibb (Glasgow University)
Alex Strating (University of Amsterdam)
Annika Strauss (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster)
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Format:
Panels
Location:
SO-F299
Sessions:
Wednesday 15 August, 9:00-10:45, 11:15-13:00 (UTC+0)

Short Abstract:

In an era of increasing student mobility, diversification and blurred disciplinary boundaries, this panel explores aspects of teaching and learning anthropology and/or ethnography in both academic and non-academic contexts and disciplinary and interdisciplinary programmes.

Long Abstract

If sociocultural anthropology is to be seen as a useful tool for understanding the contemporary world, it arguably has not only to adjust its research strategies (e.g. Marcus 1998) and analytical concepts to current sociopolitical conditions (e.g Collier and Ong 2005), but also to reconsider its practices of teaching and learning facing up to the fact of increasing student mobility and diversification and blurred disciplinary boundaries. This panel invites papers that explore different aspects of teaching and learning anthropology and/or ethnography today in both academic and non-academic contexts, and as part of disciplinary and interdisciplinary programmes or projects. It is particularly interested in exploring the possibilities, challenges and threats that e-teaching poses in the context of increasing student mobility and diversity and neoliberal pressures to organize teaching more cost effectively.

Among the questions contributions might address are:

1) How do we teach anthropological theory and methods as well as ethnographic writing today?

2) What are the potentials, advantages and challenges of different peer review tools, workshop formats, quizzes and questionnaires offered as modules on many e-learning platforms in social anthropology?

3) How are e-learning platforms being used to supervise students carrying out fieldwork?

4) How do we teach and make anthropological knowledge relevant to diverse audiences of non-anthropologists?

5) How can our experiences of multidisciplinary and joint research help us improve our teaching and learning methods? What perspectives can we adopt from teachers and students in other disciplines?

Accepted papers:

Authors:

Karen Lane (University of St Andrews)
John Knowles (University of St Andrews)

Paper short abstract:

The evening degree at St Andrews is for mature students from non-traditional pathways. This co-authored paper (lecturer and student) considers the pedagogical challenges in teaching and learning anthropology on an interdisciplinary degree combining classroom and blended synchronous learning.

Paper long abstract:

St Andrews was recently judged the second most unequal university in the UK but little is known of the Lifelong and Flexible Learning programme. In this co-authored paper, Karen Lane (lecturer) and John Knowles (student) explore the pedagogical and practical challenges of teaching and learning anthropology.

Anthropology is one of eleven subject choices, in both physical and social sciences, available on the St Andrews evening degree. Implicit in this offering is interdisciplinarity as an intrinsic good but in our experience this is rarely addressed directly. The challenge here goes beyond explaining and learning different academic conventions to how tension and complementarity of disciplinary approaches affects academic thinking. How do we enable students to move beyond interesting ethnography, or a focus on sample size, to 'thinking anthropologically'?

The mature student cohort varies in age, life experience and prior academic exposure. Developing teaching materials to suit different learning styles is a constant challenge. Learning to teach becomes an immersive, experiential training, divorced from both classroom-based and e-learning 'how to be a lecturer' courses. What impact does this have on student learning?

Students attend classes either in person or via blended synchronous learning. Although 'can you hear me John?' is a frequent question, we wish to go beyond the practicalities to consider sociality in the classroom. How do students form as a group, both formally and informally, when real and virtual classrooms are combined, and how does this impact on student learning?

Author:

Matthew Newsom (Washington State University)

Paper short abstract:

In this paper, I reflect on my experience teaching dream analysis methodologies online to suggest the application known as Blackboard Collaborate is useful for teaching interviewing techniques, fostering class discussion, and making virtual classrooms more personal.

Paper long abstract:

As a psychological anthropologist, I have used dream analyses in my research to study the relationship between individual and cultural practice. Since 2016, I have taught students to analyze dreams through an online class at an American university. In this paper, I reflect on my experience teaching dream analysis methodologies online to suggest potential benefits of using an online application known as Blackboard Collaborate. This application is similar to Skype and is ideal for teaching these methodologies because it enables students to see them work in action. Dream analyses themselves are very intimate, and the students who volunteer for these video-recorded sessions are surprisingly candid and typically share personal and emotional information related to their life histories, personal trauma, fantasies, and desires. As roughly 120 classmates from a variety of academic backgrounds look on, statements such as "I can't believe I'm even talking about this" are common. I explore possible explanations for why students are so open in such a public setting and ultimately propose this application makes virtual classrooms more personal and offers useful features for teaching interviewing techniques and fostering class discussion in general. I conclude by briefly comparing my experience with teaching these methods online to a recent experience of teaching them in front of a regular classroom setting at a university in Berlin. Through this comparative exercise, I consider the pros and cons of online teaching.

Author:

Suzanne Goopy (University of Edinburgh)

Paper short abstract:

This paper discusses the genesis, development and implementation of the Urban Healthscapes: Empathic Cultural Mapping project. ECM disseminates anthropological knowledge via connections between community narratives and 'big data'. The ECM is designed for use by educators, policy-makers, and others.

Paper long abstract:

Anthropology has great potential to inform education and training, both across disciplinary areas in the university and in government and community organizations. This paper discusses the genesis, development and implementation of a pilot Knowledge Transfer and Exchange (KTE) project Urban Healthscapes: Empathic Cultural Mapping (ECM). The ECM is an online educational resource using vignettes derived from ethnographic research undertaken with first-generation migrants and refugees living in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and 'big data' (for example, census data). These are brought together in interactive maps that highlight the complex relations between health, location, identity, and integration. The ECM disseminates anthropological knowledge students, educators, and researchers across universities, local government, and non-government newcomer-serving organizations.

This KTE pilot project emerged from an ongoing relationship between a social anthropologist working across multiple disciplines at the University of Calgary, the City of Calgary, and various Calgary NGOs focused on the interaction between social and built environment, transportation, and chronic health issues. The overriding aim of the ECM is to present anthropological knowledge in an accessible and culturally empathic way that makes connections between individual narratives and 'big data'. Integrating the ECM resource into university teaching and training within city authorities and NGOs will disseminate the voice of participants and encourage students (particularly future health and environmental design professionals) and policy-makers to find connections between individual experience and the demographic and social knowledge presented by 'big data'.

Author:

Ulrika Persson-Fischier (Uppsala University)

Paper short abstract:

With experiences from teaching in settings such as engineering, entrepreneurship and destination development, I discuss ways to make anthropology relevant outside anthropology. This activates questions on what anthropology is and why it is important, relevant also to the inside of anthropology.

Paper long abstract:

After a presentation in Vietnam about teaching entrepreneurship, a woman told me "I am an anthropologist and I see that your view of entrepreneurship is very anthropological". I hold a PhD in anthropology, but inside academia I teach entrepreneurship, engineering and destination development. Outside academia I lecture in financial risk management and innovation in the health care sector. I do not teach anthropology - I teach with anthropology.

I use anthropological perspectives in my teaching, in a world in which what an anthropologist says is often automatically discredited, while what an engineer or economist says is taken seriously also regarding things beyond their training, like people and culture.

I think that by using anthropological perspectives I add value in these educational settings. I teach things these students need to learn, that will enable them to make better decisions in their future careers. I also add value to anthropology, since I contribute to making anthropological perspectives part of the conceptual tool-kit of more people than only trained anthropologists.

However, making anthropology relevant outside anthropology raises questions about what anthropology really is and why it is important. Are there such things as generic "anthropological perspectives" applicable to any context? What are they, if not field-related? Can anthropology be used for anything, and still maintain its value and relevance? Does anthropology risk being "sold out"? Are there some fields that are more "anthropological" than others? These questions are probably also relevant to the inside of anthropology, and will be discussed here.

Author:

Shukti Chaudhuri-Brill (NYU Paris)

Paper short abstract:

Based on experience teaching introductory anthropology in English to French information science students, I interrogate how anthropological views on culture and ethnography intersect with or challenge these students' conceptions of what culture means to them as participants in a globalizing world.

Paper long abstract:

At a time when teaching social science and humanities subjects has come under attack from outside of academic discourse, particularly in the US context, it is important to consider how to teach subjects such as anthropology in a way that is relevant and meaningful to students, especially those who are pursuing other disciplines. Teaching the concept of 'culture', as is fundamental to introductory anthropology courses, becomes complicated when the term is embedded in students' own beliefs and worldviews, and is regularly used in common language in ways that do not always correspond to anthropological perspectives. The particularly Anglophone aspect of how 'culture' has been treated theoretically within the discipline means that issues of translation and interpretation arise when we teach about 'culture' (or related ideas such as 'race', 'ethnicity', or 'national identity') to non-English speakers or to those whose social and educational backgrounds provide them with different models of what 'culture' signifies. Additionally, ethnography and qualitative methodology is alternatively understood when viewed through the lens of Big Data and market research, a perspective which these students tended to equate with social scientific analysis. In this paper, I draw on class discussions, student classwork, exams and papers, and compare this material to the results of a questionnaire on culture and identity administered at the beginning of the term, and I consider pedagogical and theoretical implications of engaging with the culture concept in this context.

Author:

Zerrin Tandogan (Bilkent University)

Paper short abstract:

This study is based upon the perceptions and experiences of individuals who are in the teaching and learning positions in the context of an ethnographic research course at tertiary level.

Paper long abstract:

In the realm of teaching there is nothing static. Due to the dynamic nature of this interactive process the need is very apparent to reconsider our ways of teaching by all means in the context of all stages of formal education. Based upon my teaching ethnographic research and politics course for the last five years at tertiary level I will reconstruct my own and my students perceptions and experiences in the context of implementing various techniques in teaching and learning how to conduct ethnographic research. In the shade of digitalization of education, the classical understanding 'being there' is steadily challenged and participant observation is questioned as participation in what? Face-to-face interaction in social research is being gradually replaced by research without human contact like social research without social. In the midst of all these emerging tendencies, ethnographic type of research might need more attention if not protection due to its vulnerability as opposed to the reliability of big data. We can learn a lot from our students with respect to the possible transmission of 'ethnographic values' to coming generations. Thus, this study aims to explore how to develop new strategies for this purpose from the potential future ethnographers point of view.

Author:

Petra Panenka (University of Education/Univerity of Lucerne)

Paper short abstract:

This paper shows how the teaching of anthropological methods in interdisciplinary master programs is supported by researched-based modules designed for exploratory learning and accompanying workshops courses.

Paper long abstract:

Which benefits do research-based modules accompanied by workshop courses have in teaching anthropological methods in interdisciplinary master programs? In the last years anthropological methods became increasingly important in educational studies and were established as a central part of methodological teaching of qualitative methods in many disciplines related to educational and pedagogical sciences. While exploratory learning (Ludwig Huber 2004, Margrit Kaufmann or Henning Koch 2015) is a useful didactic concept in the teaching anthropological methods, its implementation in everyday teaching praxis faces some challenges. This is especially the case in the teaching of anthropological methods in interdisciplinary master programs with researched-based modules. There students have different biographies, professional knowledges, and methodological skills. They therefore need different support offers and accompaniment. The paper presents how research-based modules in interdisciplinary study programs establish time and space for students to practice anthropological methods and how accompanying flexible courses with different contents and formats support students at their exploratory learning of anthropological methods. This will at first be exemplified by the research-based modules of the master programs in Educational Studies and Intercultural Education, Migration and Plurilingualism at the University of Education in Karlsruhe. Secondly first results of the development project Bildungsinitative ² will be presented, which has the goal to improve the quality of learning and teaching qualitative methods, and therefore designed very flexible accompanying workshop courses for the research-based modules of the two master programs.

Author:

Valentina Kharitonova (Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, RAS)

Paper short abstract:

In Russia, medical anthropology is not yet represented by professions legalized in state registries, and scattered author's courses are read at universities. The paper will discuss promising proposals on the formation of educational programs and the creation of professional standards.

Paper long abstract:

In Russia during the USSR, medical anthropology was understood as a subdivision of physical anthropology; in ethnography, folk medicine (ethnomedicine) was studied. Medical anthropology as an independent scientific direction associated with sociocultural anthropology, actively began to form in the 2000s: in 2002-2015, an historiography course was read at the Saratov Technical University (by D.Mikhel); in 2005, the first academic research group was established at the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology in Moscow, which in 2015 became an independent center (CMA) in the institute's structure; in 2011 the journal "Medical Anthropology and Bioethics" (www.medanthro.ru) was founded; in 2013, the Russian Association of Medical Anthropologists was established (AMA www.amarussia.ru; all three structures, the Center, the journal and the Association lead by the author). Medical anthropology is not yet represented by professions legalized in state registries, only short author's courses are now read at three universities. CMA and AMA conduct twice-yearly specialized international schools of medical anthropology and bioethics for students of medical universities. The AMA develops its own concept of training the specialists necessary for the Russian public health and social sphere and, in contact with state bodies, is working on the issue of legalization of professions: an expert in the field of cultural and ethical competencies; medical anthropologist; bioethics, and also creates educational standards and training programs for professionals. Currently in Moscow it is planned to create a specialized master program. The paper discusses the concept of professional standards and features of educational training in the field of medical anthropology.

Authors:

Helene Hoarau-Uny (University of Bordeaux, Teachning Hospital of Bordeaux (CHU- URISH))
Christine Germain (Universiatire Hospital Centre)

Paper short abstract:

A University Degree of Nursing Research has been integrated a qualitative methods course by an anthropologist since 2016. The pedagogy links quantitative and qualitative methods and a practical issue. We explore the structure of the course and concerns from both students and pedagogic team.

Paper long abstract:

In 2012, the University of Bordeaux created a University Degree of Nursing Research (UDNR). As the context of research puts in light the pluridisciplinarity in the construction of a study whatever the subject, the UDNR has been integrated the presentation of qualitative methods (by an anthropologist) since 2016.

It raises the problem of teaching Human Sciences concepts, techniques and analysis in a short time (3 days) to non-initiated public: caregivers.

First, we constructed a pedagogy linked quantitative and qualitative methods' presentation in hospital/clinical research. As multidisciplinary, this articulation requires understanding and negotiation. Our pedagogy is at once based on formalistic expectations from a research protocol and underlined by examples from real projects which seems to be appropriated to caregivers. In fact, it matches the professional representations of caregivers: "to be in action".

Second, we accompanied students in the methodological construction of a research project for their final dissertation. This support highlights the way student consider, understand and use "tools" from Human Sciences. Their concerns echo ourselves: not distort the qualitative approach, method ethics and internal changes driven by learning these methods.

As a conclusion, in the UDNR structure, teaching qualitative methods - anthropological ones- always challenges teaching without learning conceptual underpinnings which made its nature and meanings. Moreover, methodological boundaries between disciplines are becoming increasingly permeable in research, which is a benefit for research and innovative pathways, but it interferes with teaching.

Authors:

Margret Jaeger (SFU University)
Patricia Hudelson (Geneva University Hospitals)

Paper short abstract:

Teaching anthropology to health professionals has resulted in job opportunities for many anthropologists over the last ten years. The purpose of the presentation is to share experience and strategies (using clinical cases) involved in making anthropology relevant for health professionals.

Paper long abstract:

Health profession training institutions in Europe have shown increased interest in how the concepts, theories and methods of anthropology can contribute to health professional development (including continued education). This interest opens potential new opportunities for anthropologists. However, making anthropology relevant for health professionals is challenging, and requires adapting one's language, teaching styles and teaching methods to the needs and interests of health professionals.

The content, methods, duration and place in the curriculum of such teaching can vary widely, and evaluation of such teaching is rare. Regardless the professions, cases from practice with an intense reflection process have shown the biggest, positive impact in teaching. Cases from countries with different health systems and life conditions can hardly be used without adaptation and need a careful evaluation. Involvement of directly affected people, such as refugees or people with special needs, have demonstrated positive effect on learning outcomes. We strongly advocate internships in health care institutions for teachers in order to acquaint themselves with this work reality and to be able to respond to questions more adequately.