1st Edition

Classics at Primary School A Tool for Social Justice

By Evelien Bracke Copyright 2023
    148 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This is the first book to provide a practical toolkit, grounded in both current educational practice and pedagogical research, on teaching Latin and ancient Greek at primary school with the aim of empowering primary school age children who do not traditionally get access to Classics in education.

    Taking the author’s decade of experience in coordinating primary school-level Classics projects in the UK and Belgium as a starting point, this book investigates how we can move towards educational equity by teaching primary school students Latin or ancient Greek. Following an introduction to educational inequity and the role of Classics in this, readers encounter four aspects of teaching Classics at primary school which, together, improve educational equity: widening participation, transformative learning, translanguaging, and community engagement. Through reflections on the author’s personal experiences, practical steps are set out in each chapter to demonstrate how these ancient languages may be taught at primary school in ways that are accessible for every pupil. Each chapter ends with a series of reflection questions to help readers consider future practices.

    Classics at Primary School: A Tool for Social Justice is designed for all those engaged or interested in teaching Latin or ancient Greek at the primary school level. Both the practical and theoretical components of this book appeal to teachers as well as researchers and policy makers with a background in education and/or Classics.

    1. Connecting social justice and classical languages; 2. Raising Young Heroes – teaching Latin and ancient Greek at primary school; 3. Six steps to transformative learning through classics at primary school; 4. Six ‘how-to’ questions on teaching Latin and Greek language at primary school; 5. Community engagement between pupils and policy; Conclusion.


    Evelien Bracke currently lectures Ancient Greek Literature and Teacher Training at Ghent University (Belgium). She coordinates the Ancient Greek – Young Heroes project which brings ancient Greek to primary school pupils growing up in deprived circumstances, and has published widely on the topic.

    "Classics at Primary School is an engaging and accessible read that has something to offer all educators, classics or not, who are interested in teaching for social justice or adopting a more culturally responsive approach. The author’s demonstrated use of effective self-reflection, her argument for how classical languages have a place in social justice activism, and her detailed practical guide for creating transformative learning experiences within classics programmes are important contributions to the professional fields of classics and education." - Jessica Richardi, LSE.