Date of Award

12-1980

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Major

Anthropology

Major Professor

Fred H. Smith

Committee Members

Alanson Van Fleet, Richard L. Jantz, Charles H. Faulkner

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which anthropology is presently included in public elementary schools in Tennessee and to identify factors which tend to favor or disfavor its inclusion. Six factors were proposed as being likely influences determining whether or not anthropology is taught in Tennessee's public elementary schools. A questionnaire was devised in relation to these six factors and was sent to 302 randomly selected elementary schools across the state.

Of the 302 questionnaires which were sent, 163 (54%) were returned and analyzed. It was determined that 62% of those teachers in the sample are teaching anthropology as part of the elementary curriculum. The results reflected a significant degree of interest in anthropology among teachers in the sample. However, many teachers indicated that they do not think anthropology should be taught as a separate subject, but rather, should be included in the overall curriculum.

The results suggested that teachers' lack of knowledge of anthropology and lack of anthropological materials are perceived to be major reasons why anthropology is not being taught in elementary classrooms in Tennessee.

Suggestions for making anthropology more easily accessible for both elementary teachers and students were offered in the conclusion.

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