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Education (Outgoing VP) - Winter 2014

This is the final report for my term as Vice President for Education. I would like to say what an honor and pleasure it has been to serve as Education VP. Working with such a dedicated and generous group of people these past four years has been a real delight. I have been particularly impressed by the collaborative, congenial, and professional atmosphere in which individual views are heard and then consensus is reached.

I would like to thank the past and present officers and members of the Board and Executive Director Adam Blistein and his staff, including Heather Gasda, for their support for the Education Division these past four years.  I am also grateful to the many APA members who served on the Education Committee, the Joint Committee (with ACL) on Classics in American Education, the Committee on Minority Student Scholarships, the Committee on Ancient History, the Coffin Traveling Fellowship Committee, the Committee on Awards for Excellence in Teaching, and the Subcommittee on Pre-Collegiate Teaching Awards. Their service is what allows the Division to carry out its mandate.

The Education Division has been active as usual on many fronts. I highlight here only activities and results since my last report to the Board (Summer 2013) and items related to the 2014 Annual Meeting.

APA membership: We have been working hard on measures to increase the involvement of pre-collegiate classics teachers in APA. The Board approved at its fall meeting a new associate membership for pre-collegiate teachers.  This membership, at an annual cost of only $35, is intended specifically for those pre-collegiate teachers who want to be involved with APA, but who do not need all of the benefits of regular membership.  Of course the option of regular APA membership will continue to be available for any pre-collegiate teachers who prefer it.  The availability of the new membership category I think will encourage many pre-collegiate teachers who have not done so before to join APA. It may encourage others, who were members in the past, to re-join.  A flyer describing the new membership category and its privileges will be available shortly. Both this new membership and that for Friends of Classics, spearheaded by Kathryn Gutzwiller, are designed to expand the reach of APA in line with the goals of the Gateway campaign.

The APA Board also voted to explore access to JSTOR and Project Muse for regular APA members as a benefit to all, but especially to those, like many pre-collegiate teachers, who do not have access to these databases through their jobs.

Website: The Association’s work on the website has and will continue to have impact on the Education Division. The fact that VPs are now able to post directly on the APA website allows for much speedier sharing of information. The next Education VP will be the one to really put this into practice, but I have already used this feature myself, doing a blog post about pre-collegiate teacher loan forgiveness possibilities. Our ability to make visible and accessible relevant and up-to-date material about classics and education is very significant. As APA moves forward, we will be able to provide quick and useful access to vital information about our profession. This will lend support to individual classicists and to classics programs at all levels of instruction.

Publicity for Latin Teacher Training Awards and Latin Teacher Shortage: This is the second year in which we are giving the new APA Pedagogy and Stewart Latin Teacher Training Awards. The Board approved at its Fall 2013 meeting a recommendation that all winners of both awards not currently members of APA be given a free year’s membership in order to acquaint them with our organization and the benefits of membership. In order to increase the number of applicants for the Stewart award, we have spread word about it to classics organizations and to Latin teacher training programs registered in each state in the country.  We are eager to give funds to those preparing to teach Latin in the public schools. There is a Latin teacher shortage at the pre-collegiate level, especially in certain parts of the country.  I will be co-authoring a short piece for Amphora about this issue in hopes of making both the classics profession and the wider public more aware of the situation.  

Division Panels: I am pleased to announce that an expanded version of the 2013 Education Committee panel on “Literary Theory in Undergraduate and Graduate Classics Curricula,” organized by Nigel Nicholson, has been accepted for publication in Classical World 108.2. Contributors are: Nigel Nicholson, Reed College;  Leslie Kurke, University of California, Berkeley;  Michele Lowrie, University of Chicago;  Sharon James, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Matthew Roller, Johns Hopkins University;  Christopher van den Berg, Amherst College; Robert Germany, Bret Mulligan and Deborah Roberts, Haverford College; and Paul Allen Miller, University of South Carolina.

The Education Division is presenting two panels at the 2014 Annual Meeting. The Committee on Ancient History is sponsoring “History in Classics / Classics in History,” organized by Georgia Tsouvala, who will provide the introduction and Response. Speakers are Eric Dugdale, Gustavus Adolphus College, “Investigating the Past: The Teaching of Ancient History in Liberal Arts Colleges;”   Cheryl Golden, Newman University, “Bread and Circuses: How an Ancient Historian Put the Classics Back into the Gen. Ed.;” Dennis Kehoe, Tulane University, “Strengthening a Classics Department with Ancient History;” and Jennifer Roberts, City University of New York, “Graduate and Undergraduate Training for the Ancient History Job Market.” The Education Committee is sponsoring a panel on “Study Abroad and Classics.” Organized and introduced by Eric Dugdale, speakers are Thomas McGinn, Vanderbilt University, “The Study Abroad Experience: Developing Realistic Expectations;” Beth Severy-Hoven, Macalester College, “Case Study of a Liberal Arts College: The Integration of Study Abroad into an Undergraduate Classics Curriculum;” Sanjaya Thakur, Colorado College, “Leading Your First Study Abroad Course;” Sally Morris, Phillips Exeter Academy, “Study Abroad in the Pre-collegiate Curriculum;”  David Romano, University of Arizona,” Archaeological Fieldwork as a Practical Classroom.”  This panel will be audiotaped as part of APA’s move to make the content of our Annual Meeting more accessible.

Education Committee: APA was asked to provide input on ACTFL’s (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) “refreshing” of the standards for foreign language instruction. JCCAE discussed this matter and decided to have individuals on the committee provide feedback to ACTFL, if they chose to. The changes will be ones of phrasing and are not substantive. 

I know I am leaving the Education Division in good hands with Mary English, our incoming VP.  (Part 2 of this report will be written by her.)

I appreciate having had this opportunity to serve APA and the profession.

Respectfully submitted,
Ronnie Ancona
January 2, 2014


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