Thursday, March 24, 2011

As far back as the Bronze-Age, writing teachers complained about their students

I'm reading an interesting book called Proust and the Squid by Maryanne Wolf that explains from a neuroscience perspective how man first learned to read and write. Historians believe that writing began in ancient Sumeria around 5,000 B.C. as an early accounting method used to keep track of the trade in goods. Professor Wolf talks about the earliest writing instructors worked in "tablet houses" teaching students to copy early cuneiform symbols onto clay tablets. On page 37, the author notes:

This took years of practice. It is little wonder that newly discovered practice tablets depict miserable students in each year with their teacher, followed by the oft-repeated-line 'And then he caned me.'

And today's students think feedback is harsh! Sheesh.


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