“Teaching Upper-Level Latin and Greek:
There is More to the Book than the Footnotes"

A CPL Pedagogy Panel for CAMWS Southern Section 2002
Birmingham, Alabama

Saturday, November 9, 2002
9:30  A.M.

Thomas J. Sienkewicz (Chair of CPL)
Monmouth College, Monmouth, Illinois

In this pedagogy panel, sponsored by the CAMWS Committee for the Promotion of Latin, high school and college teachers present some of their experiences teaching advanced Latin and Greek classes. They address a variety of issues, including the special challenges of teaching in the International Baccalaureate or Advanced Placement Programs, addressing issues of other voices in the classroom, and transitioning from introductory to intermediate courses. Each participant will speak for ten minutes. Special emphasis will be placed upon practical tips and hints for the classroom. The presentations will be followed by discussion with the audience.

"Preparing Upper Level Students The IB Way"

Sue Robertson
Midlothian High School, Midlothian, Virginia

What makes the International Baccalaureate Program unique for the secondary Latin student? What are the required authors for this specialized program? Are the strategies for teaching in the IB program different from any other higher thinking skilled class? How does the IB exam compare to the AP test? Can a teacher use his/her existing textbooks and materials in preparing his/her students? Sue Robertson will attempt to answer these questions and more during this panel discussion.

Teaching AP Latin:
Bring Context to the Classroom-Live the Literature

Kelly Kusch
Covington Latin School, Covington, Kentucky

How can Advanced Placement courses take students beyond “high-school” translating? I will present techniques to help students relate the words of Cicero, Catullus or Vergil to their own lives. With this context, students then can better analyze and work with the Latin as literature instead of just “decoding” the words. Maybe too, some students will develop a love of the language, the literature, and the culture of the ancient Romans.

"Teaching the 'Female Perspective' in Catullus and Ovid"

Shelby Brown
The Archer School for Girls, Los Angeles, California
or SBrown8366@aol.com

How can the high school teacher of Roman poetry meaningfully incorporate issues of sexuality and cultural context into the classroom, in order to make Roman poetry relevant to girls' lives? Just as it is often accepted that the female nude is a natural subject of high art, so it is often a given that the male perspective in Roman poetry is the natural one. In publications arguing otherwise, the subject is sometimes highly politicized and is often strongly focused on issues of explicit sexuality. More importantly, texts are difficult for an upper-level high school student to read, and inappropriate for younger students. Considerable research has shown, however, that girls learn well when they understand the nuances in relationships and when multiple points of view are considered. The imagined viewpoint of Pygmalion's perfect, nameless woman, as she awakens to a total stranger's caresses, is liable to emerge in an all-female classroom--and to elicit more debate than the meagre lines in Ovid's poem would seem to warrant. I will present some of the recent research on gender and sexuality, and some strategies for evaluating the gender assumptions in Roman poetry about women, with the goal of helping students see poems from more than one perspective. One useful approach is to compare the "point of view" of writers and artists, and to discuss males and females as viewers and subjects in visual as well as literary imagery. Making such evaluations and comparisons involves students in the poetry in a more personal way, and prepares them to write more thoughtful, analytical AP essays.

Sampling the Feast: Some Thoughts on Teaching Third Semester Greek

Tim Winters
Austin Peay State University,  Clarksville, Tennessee

Classicists tend to have the opinion that the Greek of the classical period is the best Greek ever written. This bias is reflected in the choice of readings for that most critical term of Greek, the third semester. Most instructors use a very limited range of texts for third semester Greek: Plato, Herodotos, Xenophon, and Euripides are probably the most common. While I sympathize with the notion that Plato and Herodotos were masters of the language, the exclusion of Hellenistic, Byzantine, Medieval, or Modern Greek in the third semester course severely limits our students understanding of Greek. In this paper, I argue that Greek teachers can strengthen their classes by including a broader range of texts from the Bronze Age to the present. In this paper, I suggest some specific texts which might be considered in this light. Latin teachers have introduced readings in third semester courses not only from Plautus, Cicero, and Caesar, but also from Medieval Latin and even Renaissance and modern Latin. Greek teachers might do well to follow suit. Why not expose our students to the rich history of Greek?

NOTE: This website is maintained by CPL Chair, Tom Sienkewicz, at Monmouth College, Monmouth, Illinois. If you have any questions, you can contact him at toms@monm.edu.

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