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As an anthropologist, I strive to incorporate the principles of engaged ethnographic research into my teaching. This paper presents a case study of five service-learning projects conducted by anthropology students at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. I contrast the minimal impact of two unsuccessful projects focused on documenting participants’ family lives with the great success of the later projects, in which my students taught anthropology-themed courses to older adult students. These projects were successful because they were mutually beneficial: They helped my students apply their knowledge outside of the classroom while providing opportunities for continuing education for older adults seeking to engage in academic debate. I argue that using the methods of collaborative ethnography can help scholars to design community engagement experiences that are more impactful for students and community partners alike.


File nameDate UploadedVisibilityFile size
19 Jul 2022
223 kB



  • Alternative title
    • Learning Anthropology by Teaching Anthropology

  • Journal title
    • Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship

  • Volume
    • 13

  • Issue
    • 1

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022

  • License