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by Archaeology Newsroom

The Incorporation of the Acropolis in the Curriculum

The way in which a teacher includes a topic from Antiquity in the curriculum and incorporates it in his teaching is the subject of this unit. The opportunities the curriculum offers are countless and with reference to the existing papers, they have been divided in the following groups: Interdisciplinary Approach, Classical History, Visual Arts, Science, Drama and Computer Studies.

2.1. Interdisciplinary Approach

Both papers come from international schools of Athens, a French-curricutum high school and a British-curriculum elementary school. The pupils of the 7th grade approached the study of the Acropolis through Biology, Geography. History, Fine Arts. Mathematics, Music, Technology, French and Greek Literature and Science, while in the other school teachers of all the grades, from the kindergarten to the 6th grade, incorporated in the curriculum topics related to ancient temples, taking the opportunity from a programme on the Acropolis temples.

2.2. Classical History

This section includes papers presented by teachers who teach Classical History. Elementary school pupils especially enjoy topics related to the gods of Olympus. The first three papers pre¬sent: a theoretic approach to teaching mythology, the study of Athena-Parthenos that through the work of the celebrated contemporary Greek artist Ghika, resulted in a topic on Gorgon Medusa and the study of Greek Gods through the illustration of their qualities on the pupils’ dolls, the Scandinavian Trolls. The next paper presents a lesson on the

Parthenon Frieze to ninety three 4th graders. The complexity of the subject and the young age of the pupils make especially interesting the personal, charged with emotion, imagination and knowledge, participation of the children who became excellent authors and painters in order to reproduce or interpret the Panathenaic procession. The booklet produced is a work of children’s literature.

In the last three papers, high school teachers describe the way they organized their lesson on Ancient History and Art through a specific topic they had chosen. Elements from Nature on the Acropolis is one of the topics. Another teacher, using the Museum-Kit “Stone-Cutting”, organised her lesson through the topic “Stone Sculpture from Antiquity until Today” and her 7th graders followed the route of the History of Art from the Cycladic figurines to the Neoclassical and the modern works of art; while at the same time they studied the marble. its pathology and conservation, ancient and contemporary quarries. The same teacher with her 10th graders studied Medieval history through Morosini’s expedition and the explosion of the Parthenon. Morosini’s diary was written with ink on parchment, the pupils became journalists, published the newspaper of that day and made a video of the 9 o’ clock News. 2.3. Science

The Science lesson was organised on the basis of an article from the London newspaper “Observer”, entitled “Acid Rain in Athens” and combined most successfully history and culture with Chemistry. 2.4 Visual Arts

Visual Arts teachers are: together with Classics teachers, the ones more interested in the Acropolis and the related educational programmes. In their papers we can focus both on teaching methods and on the analysis of the various techniques. The first seven papers describe Art lessons. Some teachers evaluate primarily the parallel information that the student can compile, the historic events, the terminology of architecture; others focus their interest on the increase of the student’s creativity and artistic expression.

A great variety of colours (tempera water-colours, etc.) are exploited in painting, while the use of a diversity of materials (soap, plaster of Paris, resin, clay etc.) and techniques (ancient and modern methods) in sculpture enrich the possibilities for creation. Various types of jewellery have been produced from the Parthenon Frieze. One hundred and seventy pupils produced the book “The Students Paint the History of the Acropolis”. Classical architecture and its orders supplied the inspiration, layout and content for “The City for the Future Composed With Ancient Greek Elements’, while columns and tiles from the Acropolis were the inspiration for a free expression of decorative elements and forms. The last two papers present work in the lesson Design and Technology both at a Greek and at an International school. Both schools have a workshop and can work with wood and metal. Among the children’s work are: the design of a playground, of furniture, of Swatch watches, as well as, the setting up of the Company “Ictinos: Athens Stone-Cutting Co.”, with its stocks which produced models of the ancient quarries. 2.5. Drama

Drama lessons and performances combine and compliment all courses; Small theatrical performances are included in many papers through these proceedings.

There are three papers in this group: a drama teacher of an International school presents a “Drama Lesson” inside the Centre for the Acropolis Studies. The other two papers present two theatrical performances (4th and 12th graders) which resulted from a lesson on the Parthenon Frieze. The strongly diversified approach of the different age range is not only very interesting in itself-the children acted the Panathenaic proces-sion and the teenagers acted the gods represented in the Frieze, the subject of discussion being the pollution of the monuments – but it also proves once more the vast possibilities a theme such as the Frieze can offer for different approaches. 2.6 Computer Studies Courses in Computer Studies are a recent addition to the school curriculum. In this group, an elementary school teacher, an artist, and a computer engineer, give three different approaches on the Acropolis topic.