Mary Beard discovers the power of relevance at Jamie’s Dream School

March 2, 2011 at 5:28 pm Leave a comment

by Alec Patton

I don’t hold high hopes for Jamie Oliver’s latest venture, Jamie’s Dream School (though naturally I’ll be watching it, and blogging about it), but I enjoyed Cambridge classicist Mary Beard’s piece in the Guardian about teaching young people as part of the show.

What I found most striking was her surprise that her students were most engaged when they were learning about stuff that connected to their own experiences:

What I hadn’t expected was how keen many of them were on etymology and where English place names came from. The idea that the word “ambulance” comes from the Latin word to walk, “ambulare”, proved particularly intriguing, as did the fact that the months July and August were named after the first two Roman emperors, Julius Caesar and Augustus. And I don’t think many of them will forget that English towns ending in “-chester” or “-caster” (Manchester, Doncaster etc) were once Roman forts, going back to the Latin word castra, or “camp”.

via How I taught Latin at Jamie’s Dream School | Television & radio | The Guardian.

What’s really surprising is that this should be surprising!

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Entry filed under: Education & Children's Services.

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