Archaeology is inherently a visual and spatial discipline and thus we should strive to center student learning within visual and spatial media. Apart from museum work, site visits, and fieldtrips, the traditional tools of the classroom, however, tend to only convey textual or two-dimensional abstractions of primary archaeological data. The latest digital 3D and eXtended Reality (XR) technologies (Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed) hold the potential for engagement with information in ways that more closely represent the true three-dimensional and visual nature of archaeological objects, spaces, and landscapes. This should allow for an embodied mode of interaction that significantly improves understandings of space and visual content. To maximize these benefits, our deployment of these technologies in the classroom should be guided by formal educational theory and research as well as by prior experiments. Here, we introduce theoretical perspectives on visual and spatial learning, as well as other educational theories, relevant to teaching the humanities and the material past. Our goal is to provide a range of theoretical foundations for pedagogical experiments that involve deploying XR teaching in the archaeological classroom.



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