Past events

RAI Research Seminar: Brian Street
Wednesday 04 June 2014, 05:30pm - 07:30pm
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Anthropology in pre-university Education:  negotiating a presence

Professor Brian Street, King's College London

Wednesday 4 June at 5.30 pm

I will discuss the work of the RAI Education Committee in helping to develop anthropological perspectives in pre-university education in the UK. In particular the development of an A Level in Anthropology has involved quite some negotiation – which is still ongoing.  I will drew on the RAI’s experience from the 1980s to the present in working for an anthropological presence in pre-university education in the UK and consider this as an extended case-study of the themes of anthropology in education and the anthropological study of education (Green and Bloome 1997). In the present climate, the arguments for what anthropology might contribute to education are rather different from those of  earlier periods (cf Callan and Street, 2010). In an era when global understanding and recognition of diverse ways of seeing the world are of critical social, political and economic importance, it can be argued that anthropology can play a central role in broadening the range and scope of education. However, the growing centralisation of education and of examination systems, already evident in the 1990s, has meant that it is not always easy for schools to take on subjects such as ‘Anthropology’ when the pressure is for students to demonstrate success in more ’traditional’ subjects. The presence of anthropology in pre university education has, then, involved different negotiations in relation to different institutional and ideological pressures – and the tensions continue as we currently face new government pressures.

This event is free, but tickets must be booked.  To book tickets please go to

Location 3