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Australian Archaeology in Profile: A Survey of Working Archaeologists

  • Sean Ulm
  • Stephen Nichols
  • Cameo Dalley
Chapter
Part of the One World Archaeology book series (WORLDARCH, volume 1)

Abstract

Results from the most comprehensive survey of professional Australian archaeologists ever undertaken are considered in the context of teaching and learning issues. The survey focused on the composition of the archaeological workforce, professional activities of archaeologists, skills and qualifications needed to work in archaeology, and opinions on archaeology teaching, learning and professional training. Data about the discipline are a basic requirement for informed decision making on archaeology teaching and learning, but few useful datasets are available. While results generally confirm anecdotal evidence and findings of previous surveys, the large sample size (n = 301) enables more detailed characterisation of important aspects of the contemporary archaeological workplace. An analysis of self-assessed skill sets and skill gaps indicates that the training of many professionals left significant gaps in several core skill and knowledge areas which are remarkably consistent across industry sectors. These findings can be used to inform curriculum development and the exploration of new archaeology teaching and learning models that are more attuned to the contemporary Australian archaeological workplace.

Keywords

Historical Archaeology Learning Issue Professional Development Workshop Maritime Archaeology Valuable Skill 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgements

For comments and feedback on the survey instrument we thank Jane Balme, Wendy Beck, Sarah Colley, Jane Harrington, Michael Haslam, Ian Lilley, Geraldine Mate, Karen Murphy, Judy Powell, Jon Prangnell, Jill Reid, Annie Ross, Lynley Wallis and Catherine Westcott. For assistance with data entry we thank Renee Gardiner, Geraldine Mate and Emma Oliver. For support and assistance in distributing the survey, we thank Cosmos Coroneos (Australasian Institute for Maritime Archaeology), Susan Lawrence (Australasian Society for Historical Archaeology), Judith Field (Australian Archaeological Association), Colin Pardoe (President, Australian Association of Consulting Archaeologists Inc.) and Denis Gojak (2005 Sydney Historical Archaeology Practitioners Workshop). For comments on drafts of this paper we thank Ian Lilley, Sarah Colley, Judy Powell and Jill Reid. Funding was provided by the Australian Joint Interim Standing Committee on Archaeology Teaching and Learning (JISCATL, now Australian National Committee for Archaeology Teaching and Learning or ANCATL). Finally, a special thanks to the 301 archaeologists working in and from Australia who took the time to complete the survey. A version of this paper was published in Australian Archaeology (Ulm et al. 2005). SU is the recipient of an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship (project number FTIZ0100656). This study was approved by the University of Queensland Behavioural and Social Sciences Ethical Review Committee (Clearance Number: 2005000159).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Anthropology, Archaeology and Sociology, School of Arts and Social SciencesJames Cook UniversityCairnsAustralia
  2. 2.Cultural Heritage UnitDepartment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islands and Multicultural AffairsCity EastAustralia
  3. 3.Aboriginal Environments Research CentreThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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