CAMWS Committee for the Promotion of Latin
The Committee for the Promotion of Latin has had a relatively quiet year marked by several good grant proposals and continuing concern about the growing shortage of individuals qualified and willing to teach Latin in high school. CAMWS continues to be well-served by an outstanding corps of enthusiastic regional and state vice-presidents who, with the help of many other selfless members of CAMWS, labor on behalf of Latin in Canada, the Midwest and the South.
The CPL committee established four ambitious goals for 1999-2000. The status of each of these goals is reported below.
1.) celebrate and publicize Latin activities in CAMWS territory (with promotional awards and newspaper publicity
The 2000 regional reports are filled with descriptions of efforts by state and regional vice-presidents to encourage such publicity. CAMWS members annually make possible an impressive number of awards for high school and college students at the state and local levels. For the last two years CPL has sponsored an award for the best promotional activity by a high school group. So far interest in this award has not been widespread. Perhaps the trophy and certificate are not considered worth the effort of applying. Perhaps CPL should consider additional or alternative ways to encourage such promotional activities.
2.) identifying state foreign language contacts in CAMWS territory
Members of CPL have felt for several years that CAMWS members need to develop close ties with foreign language supervisors and employees of the boards of education in their states and that the first step in insuring such contact was the creation of a list of such individuals in every state and province in CAMWS territory. Such information proved difficult to obtain through the vice-presidential network, but CPL’s efforts were simplified by the Joint ACL/APA Committee on Education, chaired by Eddie Lowry, who provided a ready-made list which now appears on the CPL website at <https://department.monm.edu/classics/CPL/SupervisorsofForLangList.htm>. For the future CAMWS vice-presidents need only keep the list up-to-date and encourage individuals in their states and provinces to develop working relationships with these individuals, who can be of great assistance in insuring that the voice of Latin is heard at the state board of education.
3.) collect and develop good promotional resources
The amount of promotional material made available in print and electronic form continues to grow. Considerable information is provided on the CPL website at <https://department.monm.edu/classics/CPL/PromotionalMaterials.htm>. Some of this material is also available to CAMWS members in print and in bulk from the chair of CPL. During the 1999-2000 year approximately1014 flyers were mailed by CPL to 36 individuals. CPL is particular proud of its new brochure “Latin for Students with Learning Disabilities”, which developed from the 1999 CPL Pedagogy Panel in Cleveland and which is largely the work of Barbara Hill, Coordinator of the Latin Program at the Department of Classics of the University of Colorado at Boulder. With the help of Rick LaFleur at the University of Georgia, CPL is also in the process of developing a brochure and possible traveling exhibit intended to promote to Latin students a career in teaching Latin in high school.
4.) encourage applications for CPL funds
CPL is quite pleased with the quality and quantity of grants funded in 1999-2000. Indeed, for the first time within recent memory, all available CPL funds were expended prior to the annual meeting. Seventeen grants were funded to CAMWS members in ten states representing six regions of CAMWS. CPL is still eager to witness a year in which there are requests for CPL funds from every region and every state in CAMWS territory. It seems that the largest number of CPL grant proposals come from the same few states every year. Funds were awarded for a variety of promotional purposes, including seed money for JCL events, prizes for Classics days, personal presentations for recruitment purposes, promotional brochures, and even a Classics calendar.
5.) CPL panels at CAMWS meetings
A highlight of the year for CPL was the publication of “Latin Teaching Standards: Process, Philosophy and Application” by Thomas J. Sienkewicz, Danetta Genung, Carol Ilhendorf, and Sue Robertson, in the Forum section of The Classical Journal 95.1 (1999) 55-63. This article is a written version of the 1998 CPL pedagogy panel on teaching standards at Charlottesville, Virginia. CPL hopes that the information on the development, philosophy and implementation of teaching standards for the Latin classroom will be of value to a wide audience of CAMWS members.
The topic for the 2000 pedagogy panel at Knoxville, entitled “Alternative Assessment in the Classics Classroom,” was suggested by a number of high school teachers. In this panel five high school and college teachers will discuss the philosophy and application of alternative forms of assessment in the Latin and Classics classroom.
CPL is also in the process of planning a pedagogy session on teaching Latin in elementary schools for the CAMWS Southern Section meeting in Athens, Georgia, in October, 2000.
Unlike 1999, the year 2000 has been relatively quite in terms of endangered programs. Quite the contrary, the reports by regional vice-presidents make reference to a number of success stories at both the high school and college/university levels. Not only have precarious programs managed to survive but new programs have been established, especially at the college/university levels, in such diverse places as New Mexico, Mississippi, and Michigan. From one point of view, Classics appear to be thriving in CAMWS territory. From another point of view, however, there are serious warning signs on the horizon. Almost every regional report makes reference to the shortage of high school Latin teachers and the possible loss of programs because vacancies cannot be filled. Unless the growing interest in Classics at the college/university level can be used to convert Classics and Latin majors into certified high school Latin teachers, it is a real possibility that the first decade of early 21st-century will be marked by a rapid decrease in the number of high school Latin programs throughout CAMWS territory. In the next few years many capable teachers will reach retirement age. There replacements can only come from the college and university programs which need to reorient themselves from the production of doctoral students and college professors toward the production of the next generation of high school Latin teachers who will insure the long-term vitality of those very college and university programs which all-too-often ignore or devalue them.
CPL is still interested in developing a bank of eloquent testimonials and letters of support for the teaching of Latin from individuals both inside and outside the profession and encourages members to send such materials to the CPL chair. The committee’s hope to develop a set of guidelines to aid teachers in anticipating and avoiding crises wherever possible did not progress very far in 1999-2000 but it is hoped that work on this important project can advance more resolutely during the next year.
Thomas J. Sienkewicz, Chair
This material was posted on the web by CPL Chair, Tom Sienkewicz, at Monmouth College, Monmouth, Illinois. If you have any questions, you can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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