National Extension College notes for Class Civ?

Andy posted this as comment on another post, where it may not get seen, so I've copied it here.

Has anyone ever used the National Extension College notes for Classical Civilisation? I'd be grateful if you could tell me how useful they were to you – the AS modules I teach are Art and Architecture, Greek Epic and Greek Tragedy 2.

Thank you, Andy


Bread and Circuses: Convert to 'Rome'

Adrian Murdoch has thoughts about the second series of 'Rome' coming soon on BBC TV. What he has to say is worth reading. I wonder, will this mass-audience show, with nudity and pretty extreme violence/horror be good or bad for the Classics in the long run?

Adrian cites the Daily Telegraph on the series.

Montessori 'condemned as elitist' – in what way?

Can someone please explain to me this sentence from today's Times? The news item tells how a primary school has changed over to Montessori methods and found its pupils calmer and ready to work for 3 hours at a stretch. They also eschew testing, apparently. This all seems very good. But I am ignorant about the system, and would like information.

In Britain, Montessori teaching had a strong following until the 1970s when it was condemned as elitist.

And while we are on the subject, can someone explain what 'elitist' means and why it is so appalling?

It might just have relevance to some of the debate about Latin teaching. Possibly.

I've found this from The Times in October. By the Shadow Education Sec, it tells how a Montessori school wished to join the state sector and was not allowed to because it would be good and therefore would become too popular. Very interesting, but it doesn't answer my questions. Also this, reporting on a study showing the success of the Montessori method.

A brief thought on those who say "I wasted my time doing Latin."

The spate of newspaper articles, letters to the editor, and particularly on-line comments, occasioned by the two books, by Harry Mount and Bob Lister, inevitably include some which say something like:

I was taught Latin for seven years, and left school knowing nothing about Science. I have not read any Latin since. Therefore Latin was a waste of time.

When reading such comments it is important to remember that no one is advocating a return to a timetable dominated by Latin and Greek. What we need is a balanced curriculum, allowing all children to be literate and numerate, to understand basic scientific principles, and to understand and enter into our heritage, civilisation or whatever you prefer to call it. This last will include History, RE, and, naturally, the Classics.