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Education - Summer 2013

New Pedagogy Awards

The Division is now giving new Pedagogy Awards to classics teachers at both the collegiate and pre-collegiate levels.  The Association is able to give these awards as a result of a major gift from an anonymous donor, a contribution from the Classical Association of the Middle West and South (CAMWS), and donations to the Friends of Zeph Stewart Fund to the APA's Gatekeeper to Gateway Campaign for the Classics in the 21st Century.  Those gifts were eligible for matching funds from a challenge grant awarded to the Association by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Pedagogy Award (general): Open to both collegiate and pre-collegiate teachers of classics. APA membership is not required. Funding available is: $500-$2,500.  (This award is supported by income from the Association's new Endowment for Classics Research and Teaching which was established with the help of a challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.)
Possible projects include, but are not limited to, the following: attendance at a professional conference, purchase of teaching materials, study abroad.

Pedagogy Award (Latin Teacher Training Leading to Certification): Open to those preparing for Latin teacher certification. APA membership is not required. Funding available is: up to $1500.  (This award is supported by income from the Association's new Endowment for Classics Research and Teaching which was established with the help of a challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.)

2013 Pedagogy Award Winners

Four classics teachers received the first set of APA Pedagogy Awards.  One of the major goals of the APA’s recently and successfully completed capital campaign, Gatekeeper to Gateway:  The Campaign for Classics in the Twenty-first Century, was to ensure that an inspiring, well trained teacher would be available for every school and college classics classroom.  A subcommittee of the Joint Committee on the Classics in American Education, whose membership is selected from both the APA and the American Classical League, reviewed twenty-one applications requesting funds to support a variety activities that would improve their teaching and their students’ experiences in the classroom.  The awards received by the four successful applicants are funded by income derived from the following contributions to the Campaign’s Research and Teaching Endowment:  a major gift from an anonymous donor, a contribution from the Classical Association of the Middle West and South (CAMWS), and donations to the Friends of Zeph Stewart Fund. 

Rachel Ash (North Gwinnett High School, Norcross, GA) was awarded $1,000 to pursue an M.A. in Latin through the University of Florida’s distance learning program.

Andrew Carroll (Regis Jesuit High School) was awarded $600 to develop a series of videos about Roman and Etruscan sites as part of a curricular revision introducing a ‘flipped’ or ‘inverted’ classroom.

Catherine Nicastro (East Aurora High School, East Aurora, NY) was awarded $1,000 to participate in the Vergilian Society Summer Tour (‘The Italy of Caesar and Vergil’).

Cynthia White (The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ) was awarded $540 to participate in the Pedagogy Rusticatio, an immersion program studying pedagogical strategies for using oral Latin in the classroom.

Thank you to the selection committee (Eric Dugdale, Keely Lake, and Nigel Nicholson) for their careful review of the large number of applications.  In late 2013 the APA will publish a call for applications for the 2014 Awards. Applications will be due around March 1, 2014.

No Latin Teacher Training Awards were given this year. We hope to generate more applications in this category for next year.

JCCAE Meeting at ACL Institute

The meeting of JCCAE (Joint Committee on Classics in American Education) held at the ACL Institute in June, 2013, was very productive.  Six members were present (I believe a record in my time as VP), with representation from college teachers and pre-collegiate teachers, APA-elected committee members and ACL-appointed members.

I made a few announcements:  APA website is to be redesigned and hopefully up and running sometime in the fall; Study Abroad panel (APA Education Co. panel) for the APA Annual Meeting in Chicago, to include Sally Morris, Education Committee member; APA Guide to Graduate Programs up on the APA website.

We are looking at possible involvement in a project to develop a repository for videos showing Latin teaching (contact person John Gruber-Miller or Eric Dugdale, who mentioned this at our meeting in Seattle – John did a presentation on this at ACL, which I attended).

The two main areas that we focused on for discussion were (1) ways to advertise better the new APA teacher training awards and (2) the possibility of more pre-collegiate teachers joining APA. The latter topic broadened in scope to include discussion of the pre-collegiate teacher presence at APA Annual Meetings.

1) Teacher training awards - It was suggested that we make sure to send information about the teacher training awards to all state Boards of Education, state classics organizations, National Committee for Latin and Greek, the regional classics organizations, and ACL. Some, but not all, of these had received information this past year. It was felt that teachers and teachers-in-training at the pre-collegiate level will be most easily reached through Latin teacher training programs (which are registered with the states), and through more local organizations, like those operating at the state level.

2) APA membership for pre-collegiate teachers – It was suggested that we look into offering such bibliographic resources as JSTOR for our regular APA membership in order to provide potential pre-collegiate APA members with a research tool to which they may not have access.  Many teachers need and want such tools to remain current in classical scholarship, both for their own continuing growth as students of the classics, and for their own preparation for the classes they teach. In addition, pre-collegiate teachers writing for publication and researching for giving classics presentations and papers need such access. It was also suggested that we offer a free year’s APA membership to those who are not already members and who win the new pedagogy and teacher training awards. This would give them a free look at what full membership entails, potentially producing new continuing members. It was decided that the best route for attracting more pre-collegiate teachers to the APA was to offer an associate membership (along the lines of what Kathryn Gutzwiller is working on for non-professionals) for $35 as an alternative to the regular membership, which some will still prefer. This was considered an appropriate and un-burdensome dues level that might actually draw in new members. It was suggested that this include all APA emails, reduced attendance at the Annual Meeting (it was felt that few would attend often, but when they could, the reduction would be an enticement), access to the website and blogs (i.e. member-only material). Likely this would include participation in blogs etc., too, although that whole area has not been finalized yet for the membership as a whole. I informally mentioned at the Institute such a membership possibility to a couple of pre-collegiate teachers who hold PhDs and who have not been APA members at all or not often. They both said they’d definitely join through such an associate membership. This was informal confirmation that there is a potential pool for such an additional membership option. 

Coordination with APA Classics Advisory Service

The Education VP was in touch this year with Jeff Henderson, head of the Classics Advisory Service, concerning a threatened pre-collegiate level Latin program in New Jersey. This may be the first time that a pre-collegiate program was put in touch with our service at APA. A coordinated response by several organizations, including APA, ACL, CAAS, and New Jersey Classical Association produced positive results, at least for the short-term.

Coffin Fellowship

The winner of the 2013 David D. and Rosemary H. Coffin Fellowship for Travel in Classical Lands, from a strong field of applicants and the largest to date, was Mr. Thomas Cox of the Heights School in Potomac, MD. Mr. Cox will travel to Rome to attend the Pontifical University of Santa Croce, where he will be immersed in fluent language acquisition of both Latin and Greek, an innovative technique for learning and teaching ancient languages that he plans to implement further in his own pedagogy. His 2013 citation can be found at this link, and his report is here.

Thank you to the Coffin Committee for their work: Nigel Nicholson, David J. Murphy, and Bronwen Wickkiser, Chair.

ACTFL Latin Interpretive Reading Assessment (ALIRA)

The new Latin reading assessment developed jointly by ACL and ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) is now available. Sherwin Little and Sally Davis were the chief classics people involved in its development. This will be used as an assessment tool at any level of Latin. Some states will almost certainly be using it to assess Latin proficiency of those looking to be certified to teach Latin.

Latin Survey (pre-collegiate level)

National Latin Survey Project
TESOL and Applied Linguistics Programs
Department of Arts and Humanities
Teachers College - Columbia University

I have been in touch with Elliott Goodman, a former Latin teacher and current graduate student at Teachers College, Columbia University, who is conducting a national survey about Latin teaching and have shared the materials with the Education Committee. Results will be disseminated.

Three Proposals to the Board Concerning Membership

I will be making three proposals at the September 2013 APA Board Meeting in Philadelphia:

1. That we offer a new associate membership for pre-collegiate teachers (dues $35)

2. That we offer a free one-year regular APA membership to winners of the APA Pedagogy and Latin Teacher Training Awards who are not already members

3. That we explore including JSTOR and Project Muse as possible benefits to add to regular APA membership

Rationale - I hope to attract more pre-collegiate teachers to APA, either as regular or as associate members. I would like all Pedagogy and Latin Teacher Training winners to learn about the benefits of APA membership, if they are not already members, through experiencing a free year’s membership. Finally, I am eager to see additional benefits of regular membership for all. Access to JSTOR and Project Muse is especially important to those without institutional access to them. This group can include pre-collegiate teachers, independent scholars, and college teachers whose institutions do not have access. 

Respectfully submitted,
Ronnie Ancona
APA VP for Education (2010-2014)


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