David Raymond Carlson

Graduate Student, Department of Anthropology, University of Washington

Teaching & Pedagogy

John Dewey, a key influence in modern American education.
Source: UC Libraries

Below are some of my thoughts and experiences with teaching and pedagogy. When it comes to instruction, I favor the practices of active learning and "flipped classrooms". Here, the goal is to actively engage the students in their own learning, through activities designed to make learning a more interesting and fun experience while simultaneously shifting the responsibility for basic content acquisition to the students. Lecture time in-class is minimized in favor of review, problem-based learning, and critical thinking exercises. Overall, my three primary concerns when designing and implementing college-level courses are:

  1. Developing and maintaining and active and dynamic learning environment.
  2. Teaching and practicing critical thinking and critical reading skills.
  3. Ensuring that the impact of structural inequalities are minimized, so that non-traditional students and students-of-color experience the same opportunities and gain the same benefits as traditional students.

Below are brief notes and reflections on courses I have taught. If you are a graduate student or professor in the UW Department of Anthropology, you can access all of my course material (lectures, slides, readings, activities) on the Anthropology server. If you are not a member of this department, feel free to contact me for more information on anything you see here! My email is davidrcn [at] u.washington.edu.

Principles of Archaeology

UW Quarters Taught: Summer 2014 | Spring 2015

Principles of Archaeology is a 200-level introductory course to archaeological method and theory. At the University of Washington, it serves as the core introductory course to the archaeology program, and is one of the four courses required of all anthropology majors. My version emphasizes the basic terminology and frameworks of archaeological research. Drawing on the principles of active learning, I use multiple types of activities, both planned (e.g. jigsaw labs, critical discussion, structured debates) and unplanned (e.g. think-pair-share), to encourage student learning and involvement.

The syllabus for each quarter or semester in which I have taught this course are linked above.

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