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THE CLASSICALWEEKLY

Entered as second-class matter November 18, 1907, at the Post Office, New York, N. Y., under the Act of Congress of March 1, 1879

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THE NEW PROBLEMS OF THE SECONDARY LATIN TEACHER IN FIRST AND SECOND

YEAR LATIN1

Being a Secondary Latin teacher in a Public School, just at present, is an interesting occupation. In a comparatively short time we have already adapted ourselves to more actual changes than, I believe, any other group has not only changes which have directly affected the status of Latin, but general High School and administrative changes which have reacted indirectly upon the strictly academic subjects. As the end is not yet, and there is no certainty as to when or what the end will be, teaching Latin, just at present, especially in the first and second years, is quite a serious matter-serious because it is fast coming to pass that the battle for all future Latin, one might say the whole Latin cause, is won or lost within this part of the course. Classical teaching has always demanded unusual preparatory study and excellent class-room methods, but never more so than now. So many new problems have developed quite recently within this field that it has become necessary for the Secondary teacher to make over his ideas almost completely and to work out his own solution.

The most difficult phase of this, it seems to me, is not coping with the ultimate reaction, when it comes, no matter how radical it may be, but rather dealing wisely with the constantly shifting period in which we are now. Obviously, the case calls not only for abundant energy and resourcefulness, but quite as necessarily for an open-mindedness toward the changing educational views. It is my purpose to present some of the recent developments in our Latin situation. And, although when compared with previous conditions and standards, the present seem inferior, it is not my intent to draw comparisons, but rather to give an account of present conditions, just as we find them, with the aim of emphasizing how different the whole field is, how differently it must be treated, and how important it is that we understand it.

To my mind the most decided change is the change in student type. In the Latin classes we are teaching, in the main, the younger brothers and the younger sisters of former students. The sources of our supply are therefore not greatly changed. But the former group

This paper was read at the Eleventh Annual Meeting of The Classical Association of the Atlantic States, held at the University of Pittsburgh, April 28, 1917.

No. 20

entered High School ordinarily quite mature, responsible, resourceful young persons with some clearly defined aims, who could easily be dealt with in the mass, yet were capable of taking care of themselves, individually, in the important matter of home preparation. The present entering students are quite as bright, but not nearly so mature, at least in habits of study, much less responsible in sense of duty, with far less initiative in meeting School obligations. Obstacles discourage them much more easily, causing them to give up, to change plans, and to follow lines of less resistance. Then, a certain restlessness pervades their work; they crave the interesting and would reject all else. Furthermore, there is a great difference in mental training. Formerly, at least in our own experience, the Eighth Grade was more taxing than the first year in the Secondary School, and even eight to ten years ago the transitional stage was not difficult mentally. Now, definite training must be given, constantly, in connection with one's subject, which makes a very different problem of our work. The great care, observation, and accuracy which Latin requires, even from the first lesson, make it really very taxing and difficult for untrained pupils. The great percentage of failures in Latin and in Mathematics points its own moral. We have been forced to see that our first and second year requirements were poorly adapted to our present needs. We have come to realize the wisdom of much slower procedure, better graded material, at the start, with time to do the first work thoroughly, to review frequently, really to train through our subject, to give the requisite individual attention and direction, and, above all, to interest and hold.

Consider a moment the bearing of the present status of formal grammar on the first year Latin case. Grammar, the bane of boyhood, as a Vassar professor calls it, is abandoned, in the Grades, as futile. The Secondary School has had to accept this decision and to be governed accordingly. We Latin teachers have long been accustomed to strengthening weak places and to giving new insight into language structure; now it is obligatory on us to lay foundations in grammar, step by step, as needed. If this change had come upon us with the admission that Latin is the best medium through which to teach grammar, we would readily and happily have accepted the added responsibility.

Aside from being less trained and from being unprepared as students, the present-day pupils have developed a trait which comes more directly as one of the reactions of the new educational ideas. They hear these discussed and are greatly influenced by them. Especially they hear talk about the practical ends of education. So, accordingly, at every turn they ask, What's the use? Now the answer to this question has never been hard to give to those who can comprehend, but it is often hard to give an adequate reply to immature students. One can't talk to them of mental development, or of mental discipline, or of culture, or of language foundation; one can't advise them to wait two years-they have no tolerance for postponed results, but expect each subject to justify itself in a day for day way. Consequently, each semester's work must yield its own returns, cumulatively, in the student's own experience. No one will deny that this question, What's the use?, from within and without has awakened us Secondary teachers (who needed an awakening) to reveal convincingly the immediate benefits of Latin-benefits within the reach and the comprehension of every student. The great and increased need of the dictionary, just at this particular time, when students are first coming in frequent contact with longer, more learned, technical words, is such a ripe opportunity to present daily and systematically the important subject of derivation. No phase of the work appeals more, in interest or in practical worth.

So far, in describing the type of students, I have mentioned characteristics which can be met by the individual teacher with the use of intelligent insight and effort. To do this involves keeping alertly in touch with the host of excellent suggestions and experiments coming from all over the country. It means analyzing one's own local situation, so that the modifications may be sane, in keeping with the Latin past, yet in wise comprehension of present needs.

But some other reactions are not so easily counteracted. The policy of a widely extended curriculum, combined with a very free elective system, has had some temporary effects, especially in certain subjects, including Latin, not only unintended, but entirely unforeseen. The aim of this policy, to throw open countless avenues for selfdiscovery and selfmastery, was and is undeniably fine. Dr. Snedden, in describing the High School of Tomorrow, says:

The field of human culture is so large, its valuable prospects so many that each learner, under wise guidance, will usually make his own individual program. But it will be assumed <here's our difficulty> that the guardians of the pupils are disposed to do things, educationally, that will prove most profitable to them and that advisory agencies will be found in school, to indicate what lines of study, of personal training, of culture, will prove most worth while. He adds:

We may hope that the doctrine of innate depravity of the secondary school students, as well as the incor

rigible imbecility of their parents, will have been rendered innocuous, if not obsolete.

While the terms in the latter sentence strike us as too strong-we would substitute 'thoughtless', 'pleasureloving', 'distracted' for "depraved" students, and 'too busy', 'over-indulgent', 'lax' for "imbecile" parents, yet it more truly represents the first reactions we are feeling from the wide elective system and extensive curriculum. In all probability time will provide the certainty of wise guidance and advice, in the proper selection of subjects. I am concerned with the temporary condition and its effect on the Latin cause. The elective system is now in about as full operation in the Secondary School as in the College. English alone is required of all. This means that the average fourteen-year old student is not only selecting his own subjects, but is continuing or discontinuing them at his own desire; parents and teachers really have very little to do with it. Theoretically, it is well that each subject should make its own appeal and should maintain its own worth. But this theory requires that the one choosing between subjects shall be a judge of values. Needless to say, a fourteenyear old boy is not. To him the doctrine of interest too often means the least work for credit. No subject with heavy demands for outside preparation has favor. It is the day of the easy subject versus the hard, the day of avoiding difficulties instead of mastering them. Now, Latin will never be an easy subject. It still demands qualities of persistence, regularity of preparation, concentration at a time when attractions and distractions are abundant within and without, when most other subjects have lessened their requirements, especially in outside preparation, but give, at present, identical credits. Dr. Snedden realizes "the desirability of eventually evaluating all these subjects somehow in terms of time and effort which should be properly given them". This adjustment will prove a boon to us, but just now languages, mathematics and certain sciences are subjected to very unequal competition. The answer made to the Dean of an Eastern College has many counterparts, just now, in the Secondary School. He asked a Freshman for an explanation of his choice of subjects, saying that they were all good subjects, but that he couldn't see any correlation in them. The reply came frankly, "None of them are before ten a. m. or above the first floor of any building".

Another interesting development has been the effect of the withdrawal of College requirements. After all, the traditional reason for taking Latin, in the minds of the pupils, has been as a College preparatory subject. Its value per se has not been sufficiently emphasized all along the course. Unquestionably our teaching has been at fault in this respect. We had not realized the bearing the word 'requirement' has had in making and maintaining elections. Even now students who are preparing for such Colleges as

still require four years of Latin go along contentedly in their four years' work. This academic group still forms a very substantial, fine class. But it is seemingly a natural student trait not to take anything beyond requirements, but to take anything quite cheerfully, if it is required. Even English, if not required, would not be continued by all students. Consequently, in the case of students preparing for Colleges which accept two years of Latin, Latin is apt to be taken for just two years. Of course, it is likewise true that, just as Latin requirements in the past have crowded out the possibility of taking other subjects, now the reverse is true. The increased desirability of more science, mathematics, and modern languages is doing much to curtail the amount of Latin taken.

Such reactions from the elective system and the withdrawal of College requirements, whether temporary or permanent, are outside the responsibility of Secondary Latin teachers. But another phase and one which occasions loss of students lies within our own realm and control. Every Secondary teacher affirms that the critical period in the four years' course is from the middle of the first year to the middle of the second year. Here are demanded the best teaching, the best judgment, and the deepest insight. Our policy in the past has been, too often, one of vigorous and rigorous preparatory work as a foundation, leaving many by the wayside. For the strictly academic group this method still has its old-time splendid training and it would be a pity, for them, to have it abandoned. But the group to whom this entirely analytical, grammatical method appeals is growing smaller, and the unrelenting continuance of the method undoubtedly accounts for much of the loss of students at the end of the second year. Considering the present student type and present general conditions, one must conclude that the first year and a half are too much of a struggle, without manifestly compensating results. Foreign languages and some mathematics are now the only subjects where there is a direct continuity of subject-matter from year to year. The pupil's record in the first year directly affects the second year. The average student under present requirements has not done the first year thoroughly enough. This necessarily means a strenuous second year in which all previous neglect must not only be corrected but must be paid for dearly. For the student with sufficient mettle this has proven a valuable experience, salutary for his general student habits and for all his future Latin work. The average Cicero student forgets his Caesar troubles in the satisfaction of his third year. On the other hand, it has been discouraging to many, who can not realize that abundant returns are coming. The temptation is strong to make a brand new start in another subject. Modern languages draw many such recruits and profit greatly by this Latin experience. To prevent this discouragement, to tide over this particular period, to meet all the complex conditions is undoubtedly our greatest task.

Consider, lastly, two administrative practices which, although necessitated by schedule difficulties, enter vitally into the matter before us. First, I name the possibility of shifting students from one Latin teacher to another, within short periods of time. To what extent this is true, generally, I do not know, but it is possible here to have students change teachers every five months, either as a whole class, or individually, so that no class works under identical conditions more than a semester. Even with uniformity of standards, there cannot be sufficient uniformity of methods or exact equality of teaching to operate without a loss of time and students. While this has come about as a result of the semester plan, it has demonstrated quickly and conclusively the great desirability of continuity of teaching methods for at least a year and preferably for the full first two years, giving ample time to achieve results with a given method. After the two years, the shifting seems to have some decided advantages and occasions no loss.

Secondly, the present class-groups bring together students who are taking Latin, for different periods of time, with widely different aims. In the same first year, you may have-you cannot always know-those who intend to take Latin but one year, those who intend to take it a year and a half, those who plan to take it two years, and so on throughout the four years, and with motives varying accordingly. Adequate benefits for all must be constantly considered. Each semester's work must justify itself to the student, must be complete in itself, and yet form a part of a continuous whole. Later, it can doubtless be so managed, as has already been done to some extent in some places, that proper subdivisions with differentiated material and methods will be possible. Just now, in this adjustment period, all elements must be served and conserved in the same group.

Such, then, are the complex elements entering into the Latin work of the first and second years and making the whole situation very different and very critical. It therefore rests as a grave responsibility and duty on us Secondary teachers to handle this period with most thoughtful care and insight, realizing that so worthy a cause is in our keeping.

PEABODY HIGH SCHOOL, Pittsburgh.

REVIEWS1

MARY L. BREENE.

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system of England, much aggravated by the World War, and the tendency to decry it in comparison with the assumed efficiency of the German system on the ground that the Classics dominate the English system, while science is the foundation of the German, Mr. Livingstone asserts that the German system itself gives a large place to instruction in the Classics and maintains that the weakness of English education is due rather to ineffective teaching and to the small effort made to foster a belief in knowledge. He recognizes the value of physical science, but claims that it involves specialization before the necessary general training has been acquired, and further that life will compel commercial or professional knowledge but will find no place later for the study of the humanities. Physical science, too, leads to a knowledge of nature and natural processes, while the humanities assist us directly to a knowledge of man, develop flexibility of mind, and help us to see the world with imagination.

In defense of Greek Mr. Livingstone urges that the Greek civilization is the foundation of our own, and that the Greek literature, in particular, affords the keythoughts on which our intellectual life depends. While Latin literature does not stand on the same plane as the Greek, Rome represents character, thus supplementing the Greek, which was weak on this side, and the Latin language is unique in its power of concise expression. The study of the vernacular or of modern languages can not replace the Classics, because of the nearness and similarity of ideas involved, and also because of the artificial character of modern expression as compared with the completeness, simplicity, lucidity, and directness of the classical style. Latin grammar and prose composition are defended as tests of intellectual ability and as developing concentration of mind and precision of expression.

All of these arguments and claims are very familiar to teachers in this country. And it may be said with all truth that in the main they are sound. As a reasonably full account of the advantages that should accrue from classical study they leave little to be desired. But as to their value in the controversy now raging as to the place of the Classics in our educational system not so much can be said. The difficulty, however, does not lie with the classicist, but with the general educators, who have not as yet made any serious attempt to attack the problem in any comprehensive way. As we see the situation, we should like to get definite answers to the following questions: (1) Is the basis of education in our Schools to be (a) internal, i.e. interest, whether spontaneous or stimulated by the teacher, or (b) external, i.e. the authority of the teacher or the School, or (c) a combination of both. The last seems to be the logical choice and is supported by many good critics. If we accept this as the correct answer, then comes the further question: (2) Among the subjects whose study is due largely to authority and whose aim is to develop the capacity for voluntary

effort and attention, should a place be assigned to language? If this is answered in the affirmative, we come to the final question: (3) Are the Classics better than the Modern Languages or the vernacular for this training? For the answer to the last question Mr. Livingstone's book well supplements the Princeton volume and the Michigan volume. But these questions, particularly the first two, should be definitely settled for at least a term of years by some body whose findings would meet with wide acceptance by reason of the acknowledged competence of its members, not by men without vision, ideals or breadth of training, such as are at present most in evidence. Classical teachers would be the first to welcome such a decision. Of particular interest to us in this country is Mr. Livingstone's last chapter, Reforms. He realizes that the various advantages which he claims for the classical training are not obtained by many students, and sees the remedy in some change in the method of instruction, not, however, for all students, but particularly for students in the University. Students in the early years, corresponding to our High Schools, owing to their immaturity, should expect, he thinks, little more than good habits of study and a better feeling for English. The University training, however, is too rigidly linguistic, and should be modified by the inclusion of a certain amount of the Realien of ancient civilization, "a change", as he says, "less of curriculum than of the angle of view". He would articulate everything studied with the facts of our modern life, and interpret modern civilization as the development of ancient.

This too is nothing new to us. But we would apply this remedy much earlier. I have recently been looking over a Junior Latin Book by Messrs. Forsythe and Gummere, in which, even in the work of the Seventh Grade, a large amount of space is devoted to what are called on the title page Roman Ideas, that is, the Roman ways of looking at many familiar things, such as the universe, water, fire, the family, the School, and so forth. Incidentally, this slight study of such topics leads to many interesting lights on origins, quite within the range of the child's mind, and yet of considerable value in themselves. In most of our Colleges the steady insistence upon the monotonies of grammar and syntax which used to be characteristic of every teacher has almost entirely disappeared. Our danger now is rather that we should go to the other extreme and not lay enough emphasis upon the absolute essential of language study, that is, the lanGONZALEZ LODGE. guage.

The Prosecution of Jesus: Its Date, History and Legality. By Richard Wellington Husband. Princeton University Press (1916). Pp. 312. The general contents of this volume are apparent from its title. It is a work of close argumentation and the conclusions are conveniently summarized on pages 279-282. They are as follows:

The crucifixion occurred on Friday, April 3, 33, and not on Friday, April 7, 30.

The arrest was duly and legally effected by officers of the Jews under the authority of the Sanhedrin. No Roman officials were concerned in it.

The trial was a Roman trial conducted before the prosecutor and was in every way in conformity with law. Pilate urged the prosecutors to withdraw their charge, but, upon their refusal to do so, was forced to pronounce Jesus guilty. There was no formal trial before the Sanhedrin, but merely an investigation akin to our Grand Jury proceeding.

There is no dearth of books and articles on the subject. The trial of Jesus has been considered from every point of view, historical, legal, and theological, Christian, Jewish, and pagan. The results have been widely divergent. To present a new viewpoint is, in itself, an achievement, and that Professor Husband has indubitably done in at least one question and has defended it with his usual keenness and learning. Much of what he presents is not new, but it is set forth with an engaging vividness and directness that are rare enough in such treatises.

The difficulties of the problem are the most serious that can confront an historical investigation. There is only one source, or group of sources, and its historical value is questioned. If the account of the trial that we find in the Gospels be accepted as true, verbatim et literatim, the only problem presented would be that of reconciling apparently divergent stories. A critical attitude, however, imposes obligations of a different sort. Criticism, 'higher' and 'lower', has been busy upon these texts for generations. Not all the results can possibly be right, because they are, for the most part, contradictory. Which of them does the author adopt?

Professor Husband does not tell us. His attitude is plainly critical. However, he apparently presumes in his readers a general acquaintance with the critical analysis of the Gospels, but he does not set forth systematically his own attitude toward them, even in the chapter entitled The Gospel Text. We are left to infer from casual side remarks (105, 257) that he accepts the received opinion that Mark is the earliest and John the latest of the Gospels; yet for certain steps of his argument he relies upon John more fully than most historians would care to do. This uncertainty is a disturbing element in a book of this character.

To determine the exact date of the crucifixion, Dr. Husband makes use of the investigations of Gauss, Ideler, and others (44). He sets forth tables of new and full moon nearest the vernal equinox at the meridian of Jerusalem for the years within which the crucifixion must have taken place. As stated before, he comes to the conclusion that the correct date is Friday, April 3, 33. One might follow his argument more readily if he gave us the least hint as to how he determined the day of the week-which is of course the crux of the whole question. Indeed, the author takes his task quite too lightly. There are

many points about the Jewish calendar of that time of which we know nothing. It is likely enough that the month began with an actual new moon, but we have scarcely an inkling of the intercalary system in use and of the method by which the religious year was made to fit the civil (perhaps the Macedonian) year. Until better knowledge on these questions is obtained, dogmatism on the subject is scarcely permissible.

was

The author is convinced that the arrest made by officers of the Sanhedrin, without Roman assistance. To establish it, he completely rejects the "multitude with swords and staves", of the Synoptics, and accepts the version of John 18.3, 12, in which we hear of "a band and officers from the chie priests and Pharisees", and later, of a troop (σñeîpa) and captain (xiliapxos). Now, if Professor Hu band is inclined to rate the historical value of John higher than is usually done, he owes his readers a statement of the fact and his reasons for it. So pronounced is the usual critical attitude on this matter that Wendland, Urchristliche Literaturformen, 292, classes the fourth Gospel among the apocryphal ones. Similarly Professor Husband quotes John 18.28 (37) to the effect that "the Jews entered not into the praetorium that they might not be defiled but might eat the passover", and uses that statement (38) as a basis for further argument. However, Jewish law knows of no defilement that could arise from the mere entrance into the house of a pagan. It is hard to believe that a Jewish writer would have made such a blunder. Mark and Matthew do not make it.

As to the words oneîpa and xixíɑpxos, it is true that later lexica make the terms rather indefinite. This is perfectly natural, since these lexica had to cover the changing usage of many epochs. But even in the lexica, ameipa always denotes an organized military unit. Whatever the word meant to Polybius, and the author of Judith (89-90), it will be remembered that these books are perhaps three hundred years earlier than John. When John was written, σreîpa quite commonly denoted the Roman cohors, and, without explicit statement to the contrary, it is highly probable that it would have conveyed only that sense to a reader of the second or the third century.

But Dr. Husband's chief attack is directed against the current view of the trial before the Sanhedrin. Both Jewish and Christian writers have been struck by the fact that the trial of Jesus, as described in the Gospels, was conducted in a way wholly at variance with the procedure set forth in the Talmud for capital trials. There are three possible inferences that may be drawn from this discrepancy. The Talmud may be right, in which case the events depicted in the New Testament cannot have occurred. Or the Talmud may be unreliable-which leaves the historical accuracy of the Gospel narrative untouched. Or, again, the Talmudic account of the regular procedure may be credited, and the trial may be declared to have been conducted in deliberate and violent disregard of law.

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