Archaeology out of the classroom: Some observations on the Fannie Bay Gaol field school, Darwin

20th November 2013

Excavating a 19th century water storage feature (published in Australian Archaeology 61:43).

Excavating a 19th century water storage feature (published in Australian Archaeology 61:43).

Clayton Fredericksen

This paper reviews the role of the Fannie Bay Gaol undergraduate field school in archaeology teaching and learning at Charles Darwin University. It details trends in the field school’s history in attracting students to the archaeology programme and provides an account of the issues encountered in retaining student interest while simultaneously teaching the fundamentals of archaeological practice. A decline in student participation in the latter years of the field school is critically examined. Undergraduate students, most of who had no intention of becoming professional archaeologists, were eager to participate in fieldwork but only if they were engaged with the novelty of the adventure. The conclusion drawn is that a field school must be specifically oriented toward a target audience. Graduate and postgraduate field schools are vital to providing future practitioners with a strong grounding in method and technique. Undergraduate field schools are equally important, but not for teaching the finer details of methods. They must instead be designed as out of the classroom exercises that, if university archaeologists are to maintain the viability of their undergraduate programmes, need to be delivered as education and entertainment in equal measure.

Fredericksen, C.
Archaeology out of the classroom: Some observations on the Fannie Bay Gaol field school, Darwin
2005
Article
You must be a member to download the attachment ( Login / Sign up )