High School Anthropology

In an interview between Dexter Chapin and Erin Dean, Dean questions Chapin, a high school anthropology teacher about his experience and opinions of his classes. Chapin raises a few important points on the topic including a list of reasons why it is important, projects he orchestrates, and the benefits of these lessons.

Bergenfield_High_School_2He first brings up a quote from Ruth Benedict, “The purpose of anthropology is to make the world safe for human differences.” This is an important way to use anthropology, as a method of understanding. Particularly in a high school classroom is can allow young students the techniques and mindset allowing for them to cultivate their world knowledge.

Chapin also brings up another important aspect that teaching anthropology allows, the fact that it encourages interdisciplinary studies in a place that is very subjective of different disciplines. This promotes real world problem solving and thinking, as the world is not truly split into math, science, humanities, but rather is crosses and blends together.

The combination of both of these aspects allows for a very wholesome kind of learning in an important time in many young students lives. Learning the process of how anthropology thinks is an incredible tool combating people with the ability to look beyond into the meanings behind practices and behaviors of cultures unalike their own, and to truly make the world safe for human differences.