AN OVERVIEW AND ASSESSMENT OF ARCHAEOLOGY PUBLIC EDUCATION AND OUTREACH PROGRAMS IN OHIO

Alan C. Tonetti

ASC Group, Inc.

Sandra Lee Yee

SunWatch Indian Village and Archaeological Park
Ohio Archaeological Council © 2001

As far as we know, this is the first attempt at providing an overview and assessment of archaeology public education and outreach programs in Ohio. By archaeology public education and outreach programs we mean activities specifically designed to teach students and non-student adult learners about archaeology outside of the traditional classroom, although technology is rapidly transforming the traditional classroom from a relatively static to a much more dynamic learning environment where archaeologists will be able to bring their often outdoor work place into the classroom. There are a number of successful archaeology public education and outreach programs/activities in Ohio that should serve as models for the development of others. Most are sponsored/conducted by professional archaeologists. Ohio conducted its first Archaeology Week in 2000. Prospects for future Archaeology Weeks are discussed. Some audiences critical to conserving Ohio's nonrenewable archaeological record and building support for state sponsored archaeological programs are being neglected. Measuring the impact of archaeology public education and outreach programs on public awareness and the political process is difficult and subjective, as is determining the wants/needs of the public. We conclude by discussing neglected audiences and try to assess the effectiveness of such programs in educational as well as political terms.