Friday, September 28, 2007

Something Needs to be Done About Classroom Discipline Carthage in the year 400 A. D.

Right now, I'm reading St. Augustine's Confessions. St. Augustine made his living as a teacher and lived around 400. In Confessions, he talks about leaving his teaching job in Carthage...
...the most important reason, and almost the only one, was that I had heard that the behavior of young students at Rome was quieter. Discipline was stricter and they were not permitted to rush insolently and just as they pleased into the lecture-rooms of teachers who were not their own masters. In fact, they were not admitted at all without the master's permission. At Carthage, on the other hand, the students are beyond control and their behavior is disgraceful. They come blustering into lecture rooms like a troop of maniacs and upset the orderly arrangements which the master has made in the interest of his pupils. Their recklessness is unbelievable and they often commit outrages which ought to be punished by law, were it not that custom protects them.
Kids these days!

Update: For more theological theorizing, visit this week's Catholic Carnival.

1 comment:

ligneus said...

That's highly amusing. Though thinking back to my school days in England more than fifty years ago now, we were very well behaved and interested in learning. As well as the cane for ultimate threat, we could get disorder marks for mis-behaviour which counted against our 'house' at the end of term, quite an incentive. [Do they still have 'houses'?]