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Exploring People and Cultures: Authentic…

Exploring People and Cultures: Authentic Ethnographic Research in the…

by Mary Ellen Sweeney Ph.D.

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I am always looking for ways to introduce new topics to my daughter, and this book is a great introduction to ethnographic research. Activities are perfect for late elementary or middle school, and include narrative writing, data collection and analysis, and further research opportunities. I particularly appreciate the way all lessons build toward a full-fledged ethnographic report. The level is a bit too high for me to use right now, but I am looking forward to exploring this curriculum with my daughter. ( )
  verbafacio | Nov 6, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book takes you step by step through an ethnographic research unit. It tells you the what, why, and how by giving background information as well as prepared lesson plans. This is a great resource to use in the classroom. ( )
  midkid88 | Nov 4, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is a really thorough set of lesson plans on how to cover language arts, social studies, and even a few math standards through an in-depth unit introducing middle schoolers to ethnography. It seems to be primarily geared to a gifted audience, and even so could stand to incorporate some more explicit modelling, as I can see students easily misunderstanding what is expected from an ethnography and over-simplifying their projects. In fact, the book really presumes that the teacher already has a thorough understanding of what ethnography is, so if you don't, I would recommend Michael H. Agar's "The Professional Stranger" as an enjoyable reference point for yourself. The book is commendable in that it emphasises having students focus on a subculture to which they belong, such as a sports team, school class, or religious group, rather than on their ethnic identity, which could easily get messy and lead to overgeneralisation when basing assumptions on such a relatively short field experience. With enough guidance from the teacher to help students see how we each belong to many cultures, there are a number of useful ideas here that could make for a really interesting and productive unit. ( )
  quaintlittlehead | Oct 13, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I was very excited by the concept of this book, but I don't feel as though the work achieved its intended purpose. While I understand that the scope of possible field research for elementary school students is quite narrow, the activities presented here would fail to capture the imagination and curiosity of most. Great idea, mediocre execution. ( )
  kleahey | Oct 4, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I am looking forward to trying this curriculum in the religious exploration classes in my community. Exploring the different cultures within the classroom , and then moving out of the school, following the student's own interests, is the best way to expand the tolerance and understanding of the student's environment. It seems very clear and well written. The explanations and lessons seem to me to be understandable, and the worksheets follow directly from the lesson, which is not always the case in lessons.

As an adult, I find it reasonable and usable. I am looking forward to seeing how well it can be used by the 5th through 8th graders for whom it is written.

I would also like to see how the work can be used to create a true multicultural book after students have learned the basics studying their school. The work can be expanded to deal with other communities within their lives. ( )
  Bidwell-Glaze | Oct 1, 2012 |
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"Help kids learn about culture through challenging research activities".

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