Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

FMoG definition "republic"

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    FMoG definition "republic"

    In our book there's a misspelling (teacher manual, page 120, question 7):
    "Rule by magistrates or counsels" which ought probably be "councils"?

    I don't know if it is on the flashcards or not.

    Also, it is a somewhat odd definition of republic and I thought I'd mention that, in future editions, it might be easier for the children to understand "republic" as a form of government with elected or selected representatives of the people, whose rule is not hereditary. It is the non-hereditary selection as well the representation of the people that seem to be the critical elements for understanding what a "republic" means when the word occurs in history studies.

    Not sure what y'all will think.

    And: thank you for your work & materials!
    Ana, mama to
    ds A, 7A
    ds N, 3A

    #2
    Re: FMoG definition "republic"

    Hi Ana,

    Thanks for pointing out the misspelling. It definitely should be "councils." That's embarrassing.

    If you look at the lesson this is pulled out from (study guide lesson 14, p. 44), the definition is given in contrast to a monarchy: "ruled by magistrates (citizens) instead of kings." That takes care of the hereditary issue and clearing up that magistrates were citizens, not part of an aristocracy. "Citizen" in the Greek world actually means something different from what it means today, but it is close enough that for this age we prefer not to bring that up.

    The thought behind the drill questions (p. 120) is to cull down what we are teaching to the essentials, so we try to make them as brief as possible.

    Paul
    Paul Schaeffer
    --
    Director, Schools Division
    Memoria Press

    Comment


      #3
      Re: FMoG definition "republic"

      Originally posted by pschaeffer View Post
      Hi Ana,

      Thanks for pointing out the misspelling. It definitely should be "councils." That's embarrassing.

      If you look at the lesson this is pulled out from (study guide lesson 14, p. 44), the definition is given in contrast to a monarchy: "ruled by magistrates (citizens) instead of kings." That takes care of the hereditary issue and clearing up that magistrates were citizens, not part of an aristocracy. "Citizen" in the Greek world actually means something different from what it means today, but it is close enough that for this age we prefer not to bring that up.

      The thought behind the drill questions (p. 120) is to cull down what we are teaching to the essentials, so we try to make them as brief as possible.

      Paul
      Thanks for hearing my concern on this! (I misspell disturbingly frequently myself.)

      The reason I'm editing our own memory work on "republic" (along the lines of "representative rule by selected officials") is because I want a definition that is not only brief, but that will serve as a very useful tool moving forward in history. I guess I myself didn't always understand what distinguished a republic from other forms of government, and why a republic is not at all identical to a democracy, and I want to set the child up for this understanding of representation & selection being necessary elements, but not necessarily democratic selection.

      Thanks again for your care & thought, and especially for explaining the ideas behind these choices!
      Ana, mama to
      ds A, 7A
      ds N, 3A

      Comment


        #4
        Re: FMoG definition "republic"

        Paul, I was thinking on this issue of the Draco entry and the Famous Men series generally. It seems to me that these books are presented as history. Also, it seems that it is important that if a history book says something, the claim is known to be true: to be valid. Supposition, legend, and myth are simply not history and should be labeled clearly, even -- or perhaps especially -- in a book for children.

        And if the whole truth is too complex for the child, or not appropriate, then what is given should be correct in essence and later the child should be adding details to her early learning, not having to un-learn error.

        At any rate, that is what I assume as I proceed through these books and why I post about errors and misleading statements.

        I appreciate Memoria Press' amazing work in helping homeschoolers provide a truly fine education to our little ones.
        Ana, mama to
        ds A, 7A
        ds N, 3A

        Comment


          #5
          Re: FMoG definition "republic"

          Ana,

          We truly do appreciate you informing us of issues you find in the text. Every time someone calls our attention to a potential problem, we take serious time to dwell on it, research, and discern what the best course of action should be.

          (As a side note, true research is very difficult today--looking at the Wikipedia article on Draco, it uses as a reference an article from todayifoundout.com. But if you look at todayifoundout.com, they use Wikipedia as one of their references. This circular referencing is obviously not helpful. If we go back to older encyclopedia articles that were more carefully done, we run the risk of missing some modern scholarship.)

          The question of teaching things we aren't absolutely sure of in a text is interesting. If we followed your path to its logical conclusion, it would seem that we would have two options: to include very little prior to medieval/modern history (since a lot of what we have is myth, legend, or fragmented--and the texts we do have come from a perspective very different from the modern) or to constantly be repeating "We aren't sure about this, but we suppose this to be true" (which would make the child question why we are even learning these things). Ancient history presents the additional obstacle of there being a gradation of facts known. There are centuries in which we know certain things to be true but there are plenty of things we guess about. As the historical happenings get closer in time to us, we have more certainty about what happened, but even to our own day there are things we just don't know but must be assumed to create a narrative that even makes sense (Did Marie Antoinette actually say "Let them eat cake"?, did Hussein actually have weapons of mass destruction?). Sometimes it is worthwhile to accept something as true even though it may not be known in a "scientific" sense.

          I completely agree that students should not be taught erroneous information though for sure some information will have to be clarified later. I went back to look at the Draco lesson and I saw that the text was self-contradictory in saying Draco was much more merciful then saying the laws were still very harsh. I will be making a change to reflect that. While both statements can be justified given what we know about Draco (he is the first person to introduce the idea of unintentional homicide and consequently a lesser penalty than homicide but a lot of the laws he wrote down were still very harsh), not requiring the nuance will be easier for the student to grasp at this level.

          Does all that make sense? We are moving away from the practical "Is this fact correct?" to questions of should we be teaching legend and all nuance--a useful conversation to be sure, but one that can make your brain hurt.

          Paul
          Paul Schaeffer
          --
          Director, Schools Division
          Memoria Press

          Comment


            #6
            Re: FMoG definition "republic"

            Paul, thank you for your kind and thoughtful reply! I do know that MP wants to provide the very best education to the children, and share your concern to maintain the legendary truths as well as historical ones.

            I'm very, very grateful that you will adapt the Draco chapter.

            I agree about the challenge of research. To avoid both Wikipedia and outdated encyclopedias, I've been reading:
            Thomas Martin's "Ancient Greece: From Prehistoric to Hellenistic Times"
            John V.A. Fine's "The Ancient Greeks: A Critical History" (much more detailed and thorough)

            To check what is standard in contemporary children's history, I look at our Oxford University Press "World in Ancient Times" (or "World in Medieval Times") series, and for what might be expected from the Famous Men series in terms of historical knowledge I look at Guerber's and Mills' books. Guerber on Draco is much more nuanced, for example.

            For quick online searches, I do like the Ancient History Encyclopedia, which has some review built in though not the rigorous peer review of an academic press.

            all my very best,
            Ana
            Last edited by serendipitous journey; 05-07-2018, 09:19 PM.
            Ana, mama to
            ds A, 7A
            ds N, 3A

            Comment


              #7
              Re: FMoG definition "republic"

              Ana and Paul,

              We will be studying FMofG this year, so this is really helpful, thank you both!

              MG
              ***3A and 6A cores for 2018-2019***

              Comment

              Working...
              X