Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2023
Units: 4
Hours: 4 lecture per week (48 total per quarter)
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: CSU
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will practice cultural relativism as it applies to the people of Ecuador.
  • Students will learn how to critically analyze and interpret historic and prehistoric data from Ecuador.
  • Students will apply anthropological principles for solving human problems on the local, regional and world scales.


Investigation of a specific culture of the world, in this case Ecuador, in which the student group is conducting research. Covers archaeological and historical past of these cultures. Explores the diversity within each culture. Uncovers the dynamics of power relationships within the culture in ancient and modern contexts. Examines politics, economics, religion, and social development in the culture area.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:

  1. Acquire theoretical and practical insight into topic
  2. Assess complexities and patterns of culture area covered
  3. Examine topics using anthropological methodologies
  4. Achieve enhanced and mature analytical abilities
  5. Improve research and/or information gathering assessment ability
  6. Synthesize data acquired in the field
  7. Critically analyze data
  8. Develop and implement a research design

Course Content

  1. Background reading on the culture area using current textbooks and relevant reading on the historical and anthropological background of the culture
  2. Description of research designs by anthropologists working in the culture area
  3. Assessments of fieldwork using current methods and theories pertinent to the culture area
  4. Student implementation of field methods to study the culture area using methodologies currently used by scholars working in the region
  5. Individual and group analysis work pertaining to the culture area via weekly reporting
  6. Weekly discussions of research papers in the field
  7. Preparation of final report and oral presentation on the culture area

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

When taught via Foothill Global Access, on-going access to computer with email software and hardware; email address.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

Oral presentations on the culture area
Cooperative group assignments designed to initiate fieldwork
Final field notes and summary report
Final exam

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

Lecture and classroom discussion on major topics
Field research component
Cultural contact component, which includes intercultural experience, interaction, and assessment of methods. Examples for the country of Ecuador:
1. A barley harvest
2. Traditional healing with a shaman
3. Learning the indigenous dance and music
Brief write-up and analysis demonstrating original work and critical thinking
Group presentations of major projects followed by in-class discussion and evaluation

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Fagan, Brian, and Nadia Durrani. Ancient Lives: An Introduction to Archaeology and Prehistory, 7th ed.. 2020.

Maddicks, Russell. Ecuador - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture. 2014.

de la Torre, Carlos, and Steve Striffler. The Ecuador Reader: History, Culture, Politics. 2009.

Crowder, Nicholas. Culture Shock! Ecuador. 2007.

D'Altroy, Terrance. The Incas. 2003.

Although some texts are older than the suggested "5 years or newer" standard, they remain seminal texts in this area of study and are the best available.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

Examples of assignments include:

  1. Cultural survey and critical analysis of data for presentation
  2. Final essay critiquing the research experience
  3. Readings from required textbooks covering the region both past and present