Being Human

This week I did something which I have rarely done in my many years of teaching; I asked students to spend a whole lesson watching a video. Each student was given a laptop and they were asked to put on their earphones (they always seem to have the latter available at the drop of a hat). They were told to go to Youtube and look for the film “Human” by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, and watch at least any five of the ...

An interesting topic for discussion or research

Recently my group have been exploring the relationship between documentary and propaganda films. One of our key points of reference has been Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the will 1934. And our discussions has raised the problematic of the amorality of formalism as a means for constructing or reading movies. It seemed to me that the main evidence against formalism is the distortion of apparent narrative economy and elegance by racist and morally bankrupt ideological perspectives. The films which spring most readily to ...

Happy New Year – Design Technology Teachers – Best of’s 2013

How to use a Container? Happy New Year to all IB Design Technology teachers, Back to school will happen for most of us at the beginning of next week, and there is never such a good time to have an open lesson discussing Design to inspire students for the rest of their studies in 2014. Many of your students will have looked at the top 10 music charts for 2013 - so why not introduce them to a few of these ...

The must-see museum list

Whether you are staying put or are a Northern Hemisphere teacher off on holiday, it may be time to take a break and visit a museum. Museums give us insight into culture and society and may also spur on some creative teaching ideas. Please chime in with your reflections and suggestions! There are also still many regions on the list not presented –fill them in! As a result of surveying local museum experts, here is the top world list for museum ...

Your morning java & justice…

Prior to continuing on with tourism, I am going to side-step into highlighting an exploding field within anthropology: the study of fair trade. More specifically, there is a great deal of writing on the subject of coffee. Here are three sources to get students thinking about their morning cup… … Krystal D’Costa’s talk on The Anthropology of Coffee. Krystal is now staff blogger for Scientific American, where she also posted on this topic. Sarah Lyon’s Coffee and Community (focused on Mayan communities) ...

Tourism – a little reading for the holidays

Despite a faltering global economy, the UN World Tourism Organization estimates that international tourist arrivals will top one billion in 2012. Moreover, they project that between 35 and 40 percent of these arrivals will involve cultural, archaeological, or heritage tourism in some way, shape, or form. Christian Wells  This week, students in the Northern Hemisphere will write their final examinations. As their pens lift off the paper, their thoughts will inevitably turn to the holidays ahead. With this in mind, I ...

Update on Amber Case

From earliest times, humans had tools like hammers that extended our physical self. Today’s technology extends our mental self. It’s changing the way we experience the world. —Amber Case Each year, National Geographic recognizes visionary individuals who are actively working toward global problem-solving. The recipients do not apply, they are nominated by a panel of experts. This year, Cyborg Anthropologist Amber Case tops the list of 15. Read more here.

Anthropology of political campaigns

Anthropologists have often been involved as part of teams that strategize for political campaign teams. This week, Luhrmann offers a particularly interesting perspective on how the U.S. President Obama might capture more of the evangelical Christian vote.  Luhrmann has studied evangelical Christians for ten years and states that they make up just over a quarter of the American population – a significant portion of potential US voters. She argues that the democrats have not been speaking the right language to reach ...

Techniques for Field Research

A couple of weeks ago I posted on the theme of selecting a research question for the HL fieldwork assignment. I now turn my attention to research techniques. It is important for students to think about what research techniques they will use in conjunction with their research question, as this will ensure that their research is feasible. Here are four things to think about in terms of techniques… 1. Permission & ethics Before using any research techniques, candidates need to have a clear ...