Link to the Syllabus: Syllabus.htm
This is a four-week summer institute for school faculty (grades 6-12) of Social Studies and History selected from applicants around the United States. It is designed to facilitate the expanded integration of Mesoamerican cultural heritage materials – new discoveries and the latest research interpreting the same -- into curricular units or lesson plans that will appeal to a variety of learners and bring greater multicultural depth and understanding into the classroom. The aim is to explore how the histories of Mesoamerican peoples might provide useful comparisons for exploring humanities questions in the broader American and the global context – such as how peoples move from non-sedentary to more settled societies, what leads to city formation, the emergence of writing and literacy, the development of complex societies, cultural florescence (and decline), how empires are built and what the human consequences are, and what are the nature and outcomes of cultural encounters and exchange. It is also our aim to explore our methods and sources, considering perspective and voice and how we can interpret cultural heritage materials such as museum objects, architectural remains, or pictorial and textual archival manuscripts. For those who are interested, we will consider how technology can aid our humanities research and teaching, with new applications that help us tease out the meanings from heritage materials.
EXPECTION OF PARTICIPANTS
All participants will have as their goal a deepening of their knowledge of the latest research in Mesoamerican history, art history, and anthropology, as a means to achieving a greater understanding of both a shared humanity and the variety of human experience. They will embrace both our thematic approach and our historiographical inquiries to recent research findings and archaeological discoveries. They will take advantage of having access to experts in the field of Mesoamerica to stimulate their own intellectual vitality and move forward their own professional development. They will tap into the expertise and models provided by the broader community of inquiry and the scholarship provided by the institute, working to build new or improved curricular materials.
All participants will be expected to enhance one or more lessons in their courses in Social Studies by incorporating Mesoamerican content and infusing the classroom experience with more of a multicultural approach, showing a curiosity about and an appreciation for the indigenous peoples and cultures inhabiting Mexico and parts of Central America for millennia. In order to maximize the potential for these curricular revisions, participants will be expected to attend all presentations and workshops, complete the reading assignments (preparing some of them prior to arrival in Oregon), participate in discussions, and complete the projects outlined below, contribute to the final evaluation of the institute, and respond to later communications as projects are made available for sharing within the larger group of participants.
One of the principal institute requirements will involve participants working individually or in teams to revise or create a new lesson for use in their school classroom. Informal gatherings in the mornings at "coffee hour" and optional gatherings in the afternoons and evenings will be times when faculty will be encouraged to discuss ideas for integrating Mesoamerican cultural heritage materials into their courses. Participants may also take advantage of the optional digital humanities component of the institute, attending workshops offered on Fridays.
LECTURE/DISCUSSIONS AND REQUIRED READINGS
All readings will be available on line. In addition, a packet with some of the required readings will be provided at nominal cost to participants upon request. Please note that most days we will have more than one lecture, each with associated readings, so it will be advisable to read in advance before arriving in Eugene for the institute. Readings given below are tentative until the lecturers provide us with copies to share with you; when we have the copies linked from this syllabus, you will know you may go ahead and begin reading. Fridays will see optional workshops that offer technological expertise for those wishing to create electronic slide shows as they develop new projects or revise their own current teaching materials.
Download a PDF of the Schedule: Schedule.pdf
WEEK ONE (July 14 to 18)
Mesoamerica and Digital Resources (Stephanie Wood and Judith Musick)
Introduction to Material Cultures – Textiles (Wood)
Introduction to Material Cultures – Sculpture and Ceramics (Carolyn Tate)
Introduction to the Olmec Civilization (Tate)
Reconstructing La Venta at 400 BC (Tate)
Creation Stories (Tate)
Imaging and Electronic Presentation Workshops (Musick)
WEEK TWO (July 21 to 25)
An Overview of FAMSI Research Materials on Line (Sandra Noble)
Introduction to Maya Civilization (Noble)
Class ic Maya Cultural Heritage Materials: Curricular Approaches at FAMSI (Noble)
Rethinking the Classic-Period Maya ‘Collapse’ (Noble)
Development of Writing and Literacy in Early Mesoamerica (Marc Zender)
Cracking the Code: Glyphic Texts of the Maya (Zender)
A Lesson in Reading Glyphs (Zender)
The Mesoamerican Ballgame (Zender)
Imaging and Electronic Presentation Workshops (Musick)
WEEK THREE (July 28 – Aug 1)
Introduction to the Mixtec and Zapotec Civilizations (Lynn Stephen)
WEEK FOUR (Aug 4 to Aug 8)
Introduction to the Aztec (Nahua) Civilization (Robert Haskett)
Teaching the Topic of Human Sacrifice (Haskett)
The Spanish Conquest (Haskett)
Indigenous Views of Spaniards (Wood)
Primordial Titles: Nahuas Look Back on Conquest (Haskett)
The Mapas Project: Overview (Wood and Musick)
The Mapas Project: Case Studies (Wood)
Incorporating Film into the Curriculum (Wood)
Editing Video Clips (Musick)
Finding Women in Early Mesoamerican Cultural Heritage Materials (Wood)
Rethinking La Malinche as Malintzin (Wood)
Indigenous Christianity (Haskett)
The Virgin of Guadalupe as Tonantzin (Wood)
Indigenous Perspectives on Mesoamerican Studies (Sullivan and de la Cruz)
Indigenous Languages: Universal and Unique Communication Forms, the Example of Nahuatl (Sullivan and de la Cruz)
The technology track will primarily focus on developing fundamental skills in the use of presentation, imaging, and video editing software. We will teach what we believe to be the most user-friendly and effective applications to use when incorporating technology into the classroom (e.g., Microsoft PowerPoint, Keynote for Mac users, Photoshop Elements, and iMovie). We will survey participants prior to the beginning of the Institute to determine what, if any, other applications they are already using or have ready access to. We will be prepared to incorporate these alternative applications into our technology workshops.
Participants will be able to design, create, and run a PowerPoint (or Keynote) presentation that utilizes early Mesoamerican cultural materials. In addition, participants will be able to evaluate presentations for teaching and learning effectiveness.
We will introduce the workshops with a brief discussion on how PowerPoint, Keynote, and other presentation software can support teaching and affect learning. We will also identify criteria for evaluating and improving any kind of slide show (or for grading the communications value of slideshows if they're created by students.)
Using examples drawn from the Mesoamerican cultural heritage materials described elsewhere in the proposal, Musick will demonstrate the basic skills involved with creating a PowerPoint and Keynote slide presentation. Skills covered will include:
- Creating a presentation – overall appearance, sequence
- Creating slides – formatting (design, layout, color and background)
- Adding content to slides (text, images, objects to slides, sounds, movies, hyperlinks)
- Modifying slide content – editing, deleting
- Using other menu options and tools – views, formatting pallet, notes
- Re-sorting slides and suppressing slides for different showings
- Adding notes, comments, citations to each slide
With digitized materials (texts, images, sound, moving images) provided to them on CD and on the course website, participants will create presentations utilizing the skills outlined above. Participants will be encouraged to continue working on the basic skills as well as their design skills in supervised and open labs. Participants will also be asked to assess their own presentations using the evaluation criteria developed in the class.
Using the example first shown in the Basic Skills class, Musick will demonstrate how to enliven a slide presentation with advanced authoring tools. Specifically, Musick will demonstrate and participants will practice how to:
- Animate slides – laying and grouping elements, animation tools
- Use the drawing tools – custom shapes, freeform lines, and more grouping
We will also address the basics of using PowerPoint in the classroom (how to run a good show, using the pen pointer feature, navigating between slides, etc.). Musick will also demonstrate how to publish a presentation to the web and discuss how to effectively create and manage a collection of presentations.
Participants will use open workshop times to augment their original presentation utilizing the skills outlined above. They will be asked to publish their presentations to the Institute website and to review all the presentations and evaluate them according to the criteria developed in class. These written website evaluations will be submitted online and, with the completed exercises, become part of each participant’s work portfolio.
Participants will become familiar with image editing software as well as with basic vocabulary and effective imaging standards for producing classroom presentations. They will learn how to capture images from the web, download images from files (and the server-based archive we create), scan images from secondary sources, and prepare these images for use on the web and in class. We will repeat caveats and provisos regarding copyright and fair use as well as demonstrate how to incorporate proper credits and citations into all web content.
Skills: Musick will demonstrate basic imaging techniques and participants, with the help from Institute staff, will, in turn, practice each of the following skills:
- Image capture from the web (using screen shot capabilities on both PCs and Macs)
- Working with digital images provided on CD using Photoshop Elements. Specifically,
- Resizing (cropping; enlarging detail)
- Enhancing text
- Modifying dimensions and resolution
- Adjusting color and contrast
- Preparing images for PowerPoint and the web
- Saving options
- Creating images using Photoshop Elements (example: creating web buttons)
- Scanning from secondary sources
Participants will be encouraged to use this class and subsequent open lab times to work with the images they will use in their other technology classes as well as final presentations.
Participants will learn basic skills for creating, editing, and then inserting video clips into their multimedia presentations. Skills will include:
- capturing a clip from longer footage
- adding text to a clip
- capturing a still photo from a clip
- enhancing clips with fading or other transitions
- inserting a clip into a slide presentation
WEB AUTHORING - OPTIONAL
We will provide an optional workshop on web authoring for interested participants and anticipate that this may be opted for by participants who already possess advanced skills in imaging and presentation software. Participants will learn basic skills for creating a website for students to use that utilizes early Mesoamerican cultural materials, conforms to copyright limitations, and provides appropriate metadata for each “asset” included in the website. This workshop will be scheduled once interested participants have been identified.
We will introduce the class with a very brief discussion on the principles of web design and how website design can support teaching.
We will use Macromedia Dreamweaver to focus on basic web authoring skills in this workshop. We will, however, be prepared to assist participants in the use of other web authoring applications indicated in the pre-institute assessment material. Using an example drawn from the Mesoamerican cultural materials, Musick and WHP staff will explain and demonstrate the basic skills needed to create an effective teaching website. Skills covered will included:
- Setting up a website structure (file hierarchy, templates, page types, file types, etc.)
- Creating simple page layouts (using tables, frames, includes, etc.)
- Tailoring content for a webpage (images, text, video, and sound)
- Effectively linking content in logical, intuitive, and exciting ways
With digitized materials (texts, images, sound, moving images) provided to them on CD and on the course website, participants will create a simple website utilizing the skills outlined above. Participants will be encouraged and assisted in continuing to work on their website in supervised and open labs. Participants will also be asked to assess their own website and others’ websites using the evaluation criteria developed in the class. These written website evaluations will be submitted online and, with the completed website exercises, become part of each participant’s
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed on this website do not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.