This paper will outline the current state of Classical education in the UK and will highlight areas of both growth and decline. At a time when funding for Classics in schools and universities is being scaled back, what is the prognosis for the study of Latin, Greek, Classical Civilisation and Ancient history?
Innovative UK initiatives such as the ‘Classics in Communities’ project, the Department for Education’s non-specialist teacher training programme, the creation of local Classical ‘learning hubs’ and the expansion of the ‘Literacy through Latin’ scheme will be shared, for the first time, with North American colleagues. Results from teacher training workshops for primary school teachers held in Scotland, Northern Ireland and England will be disseminated, as will details of the current research project to assess the impact of learning Latin and Classical Greek on children’s cognitive development. How can we most efficiently, and sustainably, maintain and expand the learning of Classical languages in schools and communities?
Literature in the field of Classics education is very limited in the UK: the studies of Morwood (2003) and Lister (2007) are augmented only by short survey articles in the Journal of Classics Teaching. This paper aims to highlight and promote the work being done in schools, communities and universities across the UK to widen access to Classical language learning for all learners, regardless of their age, academic background or socio-economic status. The momentum established by collaborative initiatives is currently being harnessed for the benefit of all stakeholders – in this paper I will reveal how successful partnerships can be cultivated between government departments, local education authorities, school leaders and teachers, with a single goal of re-establishing Latin and Greek in classrooms.
By showcasing some of the triumphs and tribulations experienced by educators and Classicists in the UK, it is hoped that the results of the various Classical language revival initiatives might inform policy and practice in North America. Are current conditions in the UK and the USA ripe for a boom, or a bust? Possible answers to this question will be conjectured.
The Future of Classical Education: A Dialogue