Bruce talking to Canadian students

Professor Bradley talks over Skype with students in Canada.

Exeter’s research direct to the Canadian classroom

A group of year 6 students in Ontario, Canada were treated to more than just a film on Ice Ace Columbus as part of their First Nations unit. The docu-drama, based on Professor Bruce Bradley’s 2004 research reveals that Stone Age people from Europe colonised eastern North America some 17,000 years before Columbus was even born – challenging the widely held belief that people from Europe first colonised the continent during the 15th century – as expressed in the Canadian class textbook published in 1999.

The film was selected as part of an innovative teaching approach to develop students’ critical thinking by assessing the validity of the information presented to them. This selection highlights the international impact of the Archaeology Department’s innovative research.

After viewing the programme and having extensive discussions and debates about the validity of archaeological interpretation, Professor Bradley’s research was then used as the basis for a critique of articles he and colleague Dennis Stanford published in an international peer reviewed journal.

Eventually three classes became involved in the project and they formulated and selected questions to be posed during a Skype session with Professor Bradley.

Heidi Siwak, science teacher at Dundas Central Public School thanked Professor Bradley saying, ‘my students rush to class with excitement when they know we are watching the next segment [of the film]. They are glued to the screen and we've had compelling discussions. Thank you for your discovery and the documentary. It has filled my students with wonder.' She also stressed the importance of the students connecting directly with an internationally active University researcher.

Date: 18 March 2011

Read more University News