Large Small Schools

The growing realization of the importance of relationships has led to a movement for smaller schools within large schools in the state school systems. Here’s an intriguing dialogue with a lot of useful ideas for schools with more than a couple hundred students – even if they’re private schools. Recommended reading.

Why we teach Latin (one little reason)

This from The Nature of Culture Studies, by RM Wenley, University of Michigan:

Accuracy of mental operation does not come with memorizing linguistic forms and rules. Here our culture study friends frequently fool themselves. Nevertheless, ability to write decent Latin prose, with dictionary at elbow, simply cannot be acquired without at the same time inducing the kind of mental organization which at length enables a man to go anywhere and do anything, as a great general phrased it. My brilliant colleague, Mr. Shorey, of Chicago, lays his finger on the point when he says:

I am cyncially skeptical about students who cannot understand elementary Latin syntax, but distinguish themselves in mathematics, exact science, or political economy. The student who is really baffled by the elementary logical analysis of language may be a keen observer, a deft mathematician, an artistic genius–he will never be an analytic thinker.

You can read this passage in an extraordinary work from 1911 called Latin and Greek in American Education, edited by Francis Kelsey. Look for more quotations from time to time.

Tables or Desks

Here’s an interesting take on one of the most practical decisions a school ever makes. I’m surprised by how little thought goes into this question and how little input the teacher typically has. Of course, the question is whether we should use desks or tables. If we have to choose, I would take the table over the desk 95 times out of 100.

 What do you think? What are the advantages of desks? Why are they so ubiquitous? Is it just a power play?