Crow Canyon Archaeological Center Urges Schools to Save Field Trips and School Group Programs
In today's tough economy, school officials are often tempted to cut field trips and out-of-the-classroom school group programs. Not a good idea, according to Dr. Shirley Powell, vice president of programs at the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center in southwestern Colorado.
"Experiential programs beyond the structured classroom continue to provide the most powerful method of engaging students intellectually, socially and physically. When students are taken out of the classroom, scientific inquiry often emerges spontaneously," Powell said. "As hard as it is in this economy, it's important for educators to make every effort possible to provide their students with these kinds of opportunities."
Crow Canyon is a not-for-profit research and education organization located near Cortez, Colorado. The Center's field trips and overnight school group programs are packed with hands-on activities: excavating at a real or simulated archaeological site, analyzing artifacts in the lab, "experiencing" ancestral Pueblo Indian life at the Center's Pithouse and Pueblo learning centers, reconstructing Pueblo history in the classroom and touring the cliff dwellings at nearby Mesa Verde National Park.
Crow Canyon's curriculum articulates with National Education Standards in social science, history, science, geography and math, making the Crow Canyon experience a valuable adjunct to traditional classroom instruction. The Center's educators have extensive backgrounds in teaching, anthropology and American Indian arts. At Crow Canyon's current excavation site and in the research laboratory, students are guided by staff archaeologists.
Crow Canyon believes that dialog with native peoples is essential to reconstructing a history that is inclusive, accurate and informed. Crow Canyon's American Indian initiatives department works closely with the Center's Native American Advisory Group in the design and implementation of education curriculum.
Amanda Jones, a teacher at the Silverwood School, recently brought her students to the Center for a five-day program. She said, "This was a fantastic program! The classes were well developed, with clear learning targets and active student participation. The instructors are very informative and helpful."
Andrei, a student at the Montessori Schools of Fremont, said, "I never knew I could learn so much!"
Schools are urged to sign up now for a 2012 or 2013 program to secure a favored time slot. For more information and suggestions for raising funds to attend Crow Canyon programs, call 800-422-8975, or go to www.crowcanyon.org/schools.
About the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center:
Since 1983, the not-for-profit Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, located near Cortez, Colo., has conducted long-term, multidisciplinary research into the ancestral Pueblo Indians of the southwestern United States and provided experiential education programs for adults and children. The Center also collaborates with American Indians on a wide variety of initiatives of mutual interest, including research projects, education curricula and language- and cultural-preservation programs.