Archives For February 2019

O Lord, you have taught us that without love whatever we do is worth nothing: Send your Holy Spirit and pour into our hearts your greatest gift, which is love, the true bond of peace and of all virtue, without which whoever lives is accounted dead before you. Grant this for the sake of your only Son Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Advertisements

A Failure of Pedagogy

February 24, 2019 — Leave a comment

We economists, especially those of us who have had some responsibility for educating students, have a lot to answer for. Presumably all the politicians strutting across our television screens did attend some sort of educational institution at one time. Indeed, many attended institutions of so-called higher learning. Yet somehow their economics teachers failed them.

https://www.the-american-interest.com/2019/02/21/a-failure-of-pedagogy/

Ancient Greeks artists could have travelled to China 1,500 years before Marco Polo’s historic trip to the east and helped design the famous Terracotta Army, according to new research.

The startling claim is based on two key pieces of evidence: European DNA discovered at sites in China’s Xinjiang province from the time of the First Emperor in the Third Century BC and the sudden appearance of life-sized statues.

Before this time, depictions of humans in China are thought to have been figurines of up to about 20cm.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/china-terracotta-army-ancient-greek-sculptors-alexander-the-great-marco-polo-a7357606.html

Who was Julius Caesar?

February 24, 2019 — Leave a comment

Few Romans would have chosen young Julius Caesar (ca 100–44 B.C.) as the man most likely to succeed on a grand scale and dominate their world. But when he led his troops across the Rubicon River in defiance of the Roman Senate, he distinguished himself for the ages and set Rome on a path of transformation from republic to empire.

Caesar made the political prime time at around age 40 by forging the First Triumvirate with Pompey the Great, noted general and statesman, and Marcus Licinius Crassus, one of Rome’s richest men. In 59 B.C., Caesar was elected consul.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/people/reference/julius-caesar/

Myths were very important in the ancient world. The Roman myth of Romulus and Remus is one such example and many believe that it is based on real-life events. Now experts claim that they may have located the over 2,500-year-old ‘tomb’ of Romulus – the legendary founder and king of Rome. They theorize that this sarcophagus is located underground in the heart of the city.  The tomb was a symbol of the founder of the city on the Tiber and will not contain any remains which would prove his historical existence.

https://www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/romulus-tomb-0011485

Bad teaching is a common explanation given for the disastrously inadequate public education received by America’s most vulnerable populations. This is a myth. Aside from a few lemons who were notable for their rarity, the majority of teachers I worked with for nine years in New York City’s public school system were dedicated, talented professionals.Before joining the system I was mystified by the schools’ abysmal results.I too assumed there must be something wrong with the teaching. This could not have been farther from the truth.

Teaching French and Italian in NYC high schools I finally figured out why this was, although it took some time, because the real reason was so antithetical to the prevailing mindset. I worked at three very different high schools over the years, spanning a fairly representative sample. That was a while ago now, but the system has not improved since, as the fundamental problem has not been acknowledged, let alone addressed. It would not be hard, or expensive, to fix.

https://quillette.com/2019/02/10/public-educations-dirty-secret/