March 18th at 7:30 AM, My front yard: A half a dozen robins are scratching the duff in search of food; Gray Squirrels are running through the oleanders and trees and morning traffic is going through, on the way to school and work. I am reading the Redlands Facts newspaper Opinion page. There is a piece advocating the use of classic motion pictures in classrooms to teach about the importance of the movie industry in the State Social Science/ History Education Frameworks. This is the time to push for it because the State School Board is revising the History/Social Science Frameworks.
Wow! What about Archaeology?
California is now in the process of revising the 1998 History/Social Science Frameworks, (with an “adjustment 2005.”) This is an opportunity for us who care about promoting the understanding of archaeology and protecting archaeological resources, to influence students for next 20 years.
“Frameworks are blueprints for implementing the content standards adopted by the California State Board of Education and are developed by the Curriculum Development and Supplemental Materials Commission.” (California Department of Education http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/st/.
Frameworks are more expansive than the Education Standards, and will be used for future text books adoptions.
Currently the Framework mentions “Historical resources, Historical analysis” in several places and “Pre Columbus settlement” but archaeology is only specifically in the 6th grade Frameworks and Standards “Students describe what is known through archaeological studies of the early physical and cultural development of humankind from the Paleolithic era to the agricultural revolution)” (California Department of Education, 2000,2005). Students should understand that archeological research gains knowledge far beyond this.
In contrast Arizona Education Standards explicitly has archaeology in several grade levels; asking students to.
“Describe how archaeological research adds to our understanding of the past.” (www.azed.gov/standards-practices/academic-standards/social-studies)
This is a rare opportunity to promote the understanding of archaeology and protecting archaeological resources.
What can you do?
Contact the State Education Department
Who do you know?
Are you a teacher or know a teacher who can speak out?
Can you help a professional organization speak out? SCA, AIA, AHA, ROPA
Are you a member for of a local archaeology society, academic institution or concerned government agency (State Parks, BLM, USFS, National Parks, Office of Historic Information) that can speak out?
California Department of Education
1430 N Street Sacramento, CA 95814-5901
Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division | CFIRD@cde.ca.gov