What does it mean to be “civilized”? What is justice? What is a citizen? Given the opportunity, would you have killed Julius Caesar? Was Nero inevitable, or is it possible to keep one’s wits while running such a powerful empire?
These are a few of the questions that eighth graders at The Heights are challenged to ponder together in their core class. With the help of their teachers and a new history textbook, the boys not only consider these questions amongst themselves but do so in dialogue with some of the greatest thinkers of the Western tradition.
This week on HeightsCast, we discuss Tom Cox and Bill Dardis’s new book, Becoming Rome: Foundation, Republic, and Empire in the Words of Eminent Romans. In addition to sharing the story behind their writing, Tom and Bill introduce us to their method of teaching history at the primary and secondary school levels. Drawing on fourteen years of experience in the classroom as well as graduate studies in the liberal arts, Tom and Bill offer practical insights for teachers who hope not only to bring history to life in the classroom but also to prepare their students to bring those lessons into their own lives.
- 0:32 Introduction
- 2:00 A better approach to the history textbook
- 4:50 The big questions hidden in the narratives of history
- 7:00 The contemporary approach to history lessons
- 9:56 Receiving tradition and engaging it
- 11:00 Why study history at all?
- 15:50 A roadmap to history
- 19:15 Method of the book
- 24:23 Seminars and discussing difficult topics
- 28:15 Why write a book?
- 31:32 The book’s target age level
- 32:45 The relationship between Christianity and the book
Also on the Forum
The Importance of Ugly History by Mark Grannis
Keeping the Story in History by Mark Grannis
Seeing History: On Using Images in the History Classroom by Kyle Blackmer
Hillsdale’s M. Spalding on the Importance of History Pt. I with Dr. Matt Spalding
Hillsdale’s M. Spalding on the Importance of History Pt. II with Dr. Matt Spalding
History the Way it Was…and the Way it Should Be by Bill Dardis