An example of how unthinking rejection of anything new…….

An example of how unthinking rejection of anything new effects us all. The person writing this is extremely active in providing materials for Latin teachers. This is the junk she runs into:

“To the right of those small versions of the images you will see some Latin questions I had written up to prompt engagement with the images in Latin. The publisher, however, refused to include those Latin questions in the book because they felt it would be considered as a criticism of Latin teachers who do not speak Latin in class. In order not to rock the traditional boat, the publisher preferred to not even include the OPTION of question-and-answer in Latin in the book, focusing only on reading skills, including the pictures purely as decoration, rather than using them as a tool to prompt a different kind of engagement with Latin rather than just reading a text, practicing different kinds of skills.

I am sure the publisher is quite right that some people would have found the questions irrelevant to their Latin goals, which is fine with me. But what troubles me is that people seem to consider other people’s different goals to be an attack on their own – so much so that the publisher thought it safer not to put anything in the book that would be considered a “challenge” to the traditional reading approach. Instead of questions, they preferred nothing at all – white space in the book, wasted space, literally. Admittedly, I understand why the publisher made the choice they did; in their attempt to try to please everybody (or, rather, not to offend anybody), they chose logically to go to the lowest common denominator. Nobody is against pictures after all… thank goodness! But since some people are against (even vociferously against) changes to the traditional Latin curriculum, this puts the publishers under tremendous pressure to bow to tradition.

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