OFC Once and Future Classroom

Volume I, Issue 1
September 2002

Editor's Welcome
PDF Version

On behalf of TEAMS, it gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the first issue of Scientia Scholae, an electronic journal dedicated to medieval studies at the K-12 levels. Much collaborative work has gone on in the months since the TEAMS board gave approval to launch this journal. In particular, I would like to thank the following people for their willingness to make Scientia Scholae a reality: Bruce C. Brasington, John W. Houghton, Vickie L. Ziegler, and Laura V. Blanchard.

The mission of Scientia Scholae is simple: to provide quality, thought-provoking articles related to the teaching of Medieval Studies in elementary and secondary schools. Raymond Lavoie’s article on re-thinking the concept of feudalism and how we address it in the classroom is sure to bring us to that field where traditional views and modern scholarship meet in battle. How do we treat feudalism in a non-biased way, while keeping in mind that our students seem to work best with a more concrete, rather than abstract, approach to history? Or do they? Tough questions to be sure, but ones that we must ask of ourselves. Pedagogy is certainly not a concrete discipline; as teachers, we need to think "out of the box," i.e. abstractly. Pedagogy is as much a craft as anything else.

Anne Prescott, author of the second article, has offered some food for thought concerning Chaucer. We know that Chaucer is taught, in some capacity, in most high school English classrooms. But are we complacent about it? Do we teach Chaucer simply to say that we have taught Chaucer? Prescott prompts us to think about the reasons why Chaucer should be taught, providing corroboration for his place in English curricula. Such an argument could be valid for any number of medieval texts. Even if you do not teach Chaucer, I leave you to consider why your choice of texts strengthens your own curriculum, and just as important, the general mindset of your students.

Speaking of students, do take the time to speak to them after class about medieval studies. Encourage them to do some extra reading, or to look at a specific web site. If we promote medieval studies thoughtfully and with care, we can ensure that future generations will continue to find the Middle Ages just as fascinating and worthwhile as we do.

Good reading!

Kevin J. Ruth
Tower Hill School

Original Citation:
Scientia Scholae, Volume I, Issue 1, September 2002

Revised (2016):
The Once and Future Classroom, Volume I, Issue 1 (September 2002)
TEAMS Medieval