I can hardly write this editorial without mentioning the singular issue of our times: the lock down of schools and all public places as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. I write this from my own study at home: school children and university students almost the world over are adapting to life without the usual routine of going to physical schools; teachers are adapting without much training to teach online. Words like synchronous and asynchronous, Zoom, Skype, GoogleMeets are in common parlance. PowerPoint or Peardeck? Kahoot, Quizzlet or Socrative – which are the better platforms for assessment? Teachers have become adept at video narration or searching for YouTube clips as the basis for providing information.
Out of necessity has come tremendous goodwill: teachers’ social media are alive with tips, ideas and suggestions; sharing resources has become international.
When I look back on the history of the teaching of Latin in the twentieth century described in the pages of Didaskalos, the forerunner of this journal, one can see for the first time the development of ideas about pedagogy: rankles over grammar-translation and the Direct Method, reading-comprehension, prose composition - even whether literary appreciation was a suitable topic for school children. The use of the slide show gets its first mention in 1964. Digital media is, of course, barely mentioned until the 90s. It's not until 2001 that the Cambridge Latin Course DVD is published. And when I have read through all those articles, I've often wondered whether some of the teaching practices which are held dear today are the sorts of practices which were necessitated because students worked from the printed page. Perhaps now it is time to consider the place of such practices when our students and many of the teachers themselves are ‘digital natives’.
This edition of the Journal of Classics Teaching is packed with articles. We have three Roman Society PGCE prizewinning essays to start: Simon Atkin, Amelia Gall and Claire Speers. Simon Atkin's article Introducing authentic materials alongside a reading-approach Latin course describes how he experimented with developing Ovid resources in original Latin literature way before GCSE requirements in Year 10; Amelia Gall, in her article A study in the use of embedded readings to improve the accessibility and understanding of Latin literature at A Level, solicits student responses to the use of tiered texts to support student understanding. Claire Speers’ How can teachers effectively use student dialogue to drive engagement with ancient drama? An analysis of a Year 12 Classical Civilisation class studying Aristophanes’ Frogs finds ways to engage students with deepening thinking about ancient Greek drama. Guy Barrett's article An Experiment with Free Latin Prose Composition with a Year 10 Latin Class in a Non-Selective Girls’ School explores untraditional approaches to Latin prose composition; Maria Pavlou commences her two-part article on gamification with a college-level course on Greek lyric: Game-Informed Assessment for Playful Learning and Student Experience; my own PGCE teacher trainees contribute with their thoughts and practices with the series of connected articles Telling Tales; and Evan Dutmer describes how he seized the moment of the burning down of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris as a springboard for exploring neo-Latin texts - Sicut Sol Inter Astra: Timely Latin in the Aftermath of the Fire at Notre-Dame.
There follows a series of shorter pieces which give a flavour of the classroom today. Anna Reynard of the Leicester-based Lionheart multi-academy trust describes how her team introduced Latin to all students across the Trust: Classics at Lionheart Trust; Clare Harvey, from personal experience, provides useful information on how to be a peripatetic Classics teacher: A peripatetic model for teaching Latin; John Hazel provides a clear perspective on ‘Aspect’ as a feature of meaning in in the Classical Greek verb; and James Watson relives the travels of Cambridge Latin Course Quintus with Quintus in Britannia: visiting Roman Britain with the Cambridge Latin Course for when we are all released from social distancing.
Atkins, S. Introducing authentic materials alongside a reading-approach Latin course.
Gall, A. A study in the use of embedded readings to improve the accessibility and understanding of Latin literature at A Level.
Speers, C. How can teachers effectively use student dialogue to drive engagement with ancient drama? An analysis of a Year 12 Classical Civilisation class studying Aristophanes’ Frogs.
Barrett, G. An Experiment with Free Latin Prose Composition with a Year 10 Latin Class in a Non-Selective Girls’ School.
Pavlou, M. Game-Informed Assessment for Playful Learning and Student Experience.
Hunt, S. et al. Teacher Trainees Telling Tales
Dutmer, E. Sicut Sol Inter Astra: Timely Latin in the Aftermath of the Fire at Notre-Dame.
Reynard, A. Classics at Lionheart Trust.
Harvey, C. A peripatetic model for teaching Latin.
Hazel, J. ‘Aspect’ as a feature of meaning in in the Classical Greek verb.
Watson, J. Quintus in Britannia: visiting Roman Britain with the Cambridge Latin Course.
Allan, W. (ed.) Greek Elegy and Iambus. A Selection. Alex Carroll.
Aldrete, G. and Aldrete, A. The Long Shadow of Antiquity. What Have the Greeks and Romans Done for Us? Alison Boyd.
Colakis, M. and Taoka, Y. Lectiones Memorabiles III: Selections from Caesar, Horace, Livy, Ovid, and Virgil. Clive Letchford.
Evans, M. Against All Gods. Stephanie Saunders.
Geue, T. Author Unknown: The Power of Anonymity in Ancient Rome. Andrea Allman.
Harrison, S., Mackintosh, F., and Eastman, H. (edd). Seamus Heaney & the Classics. Terry Walsh.
Jaeger, M. Lectiones Memorabiles IV: Selections from Horace, Livy, Martial, Sallust and Virgil. Clive Letchford.
Jensen, E. Barbarians in the Greek and Roman World. Neil Treble.
Jones, P. Memento Mori – What the Romans can tell us about old age and death. Giles Dawson.
Kitchell, K. They Said it First. The Wisdom of the Ancient Greeks and Romans. Jo Lashly.
Law, A. Work and Days. Daily Wisdom From The Greeks and Romans To Get You Through Your Working Day. Andrea Allman.
Miller, A. Pindar's Odes. Evan Dutmer.
Northfield, G. Julius Zebra: Grapple with the Greeks! James Watson.
Parker, P. A Little Latin Book for Gardeners. Giles Dawson.
Petterson, D. and Rosengren, A. Pugio Bruti: A crime story in easy Latin. Charlotte Goddard.
Romm, J. (ed., trans.) Seneca: How to Keep Your Cool. An Ancient Guide to Anger Management. Jo Lashly
Schott, J. (trans) Eusebius of Caesarea: The History of the Church. Evan Dutmer.
Slaney, H. Seneca: Medea. Edmund Gazeley.
Spawforth, T. The Story of Greece and Rome. Barry Knowlton.
Spier, J., Potts, T., and Cole, S. (Eds). Beyond the Nile. Egypt and the Classical World. Steven Hunt.
Stray, C. Classics in Britain. Scholarship, Education, and Publishing 1800-2000. Edmund Gazeley.
Stumpf, A. Ancient Philosophy. A Companion to the Core Readings. Maria Bergquist.
Taylor, M. Thucydides's Melian Dialogue and Sicilian Expedition. A Student Commentary. Clive Letchford.
Waterfield, R. Olympia: The Story of the Ancient Olympic Games. James Watson.
White, P. (ed). Augustine: Confessions Books V – IX. Maria Bergquist.
We are sad to present the obituary of Margaret Drury, a stalwart of the Latin teaching community and strong supporter of the Association for the Reform of Latin Teaching. Her first ARLT Summer School was in 1953 and her last in 2011 and she will be remembered with great fondness. Lynda Goss, who kindly wrote the obituary, mentions Margaret's contribution in the ARLT's 100th anniversary Commemorative History. Amongst many things of interest, she wrote:
Most of those attending were, like me, sole teachers of Latin in their schools, and it was most helpful to compare experiences and to exchange ideas. I came away inspired, informed and relaxed: inspired by the excellent lectures and the teaching methods both imparted and witnessed, informed by all that I had heard and seen, and relaxed because of the informal atmosphere (there was no feeling of ‘them’ and ‘us’) and by the sheer enjoyment and fun of it all. I was grateful, too, for the lasting friendships made in the course of the Summer Schools over the years.
The importance of meeting other teachers formally and informally at such events is a vital part of how we transit and learn teaching knowledge amongst ourselves. While online teaching and learning may be essential in the present circumstances, it will always only be as a supplement to practices which need the social interaction and collaboration of teachers and students together in the classroom.
Many articles for the Journal of Classics Teaching start up as conference pieces or teach-meet talks or presentations at staff meetings. The editor always welcomes interesting or novel pieces, as well as articles which simply describe good teaching practice or events or things of interest to other teachers. Readers should feel confident to submit articles in the usual way to the Classical Association.
1 The comparison table is taken from Teaching Classics with Technology, published by Bloomsbury Academic (Natoli & Hunt, 2019).
Submitting an article to JCT
The Journal of Classics Teaching is the leading journal for teachers of Latin, Ancient Greek, Classical Civilisation and Ancient History in the UK. It originated as the voice of the Joint Association of Classical Teachers in 1963 under the title Didaskalos, being renamed Hesperiam over the years, and finally JCT. It has a broadly-based membership including teachers in the primary, secondary and tertiary education sectors. JCT welcomes articles, news and reports about Classics teaching and items of interest to teachers of Classics both from the UK and abroad. If you wish to submit an article, it should be sent to the JCT Editor, c/o the Classical Association. email:firstname.lastname@example.org.
Articles are welcome on classroom teaching practice or on studies about the teaching and learning of Classics in the UK and abroad and should be up to 7000 words. There should be clear pedagogical or academic content. News and reports of events of general interest to teachers of Classics should be between 1000 and 2000 words.
All articles should be submitted in Arial 12 point, 1.5 line-spaced and with non-justified margins, and should include the author's name and some biographical details. Images, graphs, diagrams and tables should be submitted separately as jpgs or pdfs as appropriate, with an indication in the text where they should be included. In general, JCT prefers references to conform to the author-date referencing style of the American Psychological Association (APA). The Editor can supply further details of this referencing style if desired. Please ensure that you have permission to reproduce photographs of pupils or the relevant copyright for images, or give details of the origin of the image used. Recent editions of the journal give a guide to the layout of articles. Copies are available on request.
After submission by the author, the article may be submitted to peer review. The Editor reserves the right to suggest any changes that are felt are needed to be made and makes minor corrections. If major changes are thought to be needed, the author will be asked to rewrite the section which needs changing. Once accepted, the author is assumed to have assigned the right to JCT to distribute the publication electronically. Articles are copyrighted by their respective authors, but if published after electronic appearance, JCT will be acknowledged as the initial place of publication.
For 50 years JCT and its predecessors have been published in hard copy and made available to members of the Joint Association of Classical Teachers. From 2015 JCT has been available freely online, supported by the Classical Association. Back issues of hard copies of JCT are available from the CA Shop and as downloadable pdfs of individual articles freely online via the Association for Latin Teaching website www.arlt.co.uk.