The Charles Humphreys Award for Innovative Pedagogy
Thomas Hendrickson’s pedagogy inspires his students, his colleagues at Stanford OHS, and colleagues across the country. Whether he is finding ways to engage his students in an online environment, collaborating with them to create accessible readers, sharing his insights and experiences with colleagues, or expanding the canon to include a greater variety of authors and texts, Dr. Hendrickson is pushing the boundaries of how we teach and what we teach in the Latin classroom.
In working with students, Dr. Hendrickson knows how to build community even during a pandemic and even in an online environment. In a wonderful article in Eidolon, he and his colleague Anna Pisarello face the challenge of student engagement head on. While there are tips for using video conferencing technology, they stress the importance of community over content and they offer a “toolkit” for building community. Whether it is using the chat function, the mic, polls, or choose your own adventure, he embraces cacophony, multitasking, and eliminating dead space through relevant side activities. Students feel their voices matter and they are front and center. Building on this shared sense of community, students in Latin II collaborated to prepare unpublished neo-Latin manuscripts for publication, and Latin IV students prepared an edition of the Passion of Perpetua. Although student-faculty research is becoming more common at the undergraduate level, it is certainly rare among high school students. “[W]hat makes this book highly innovative is the fact that most of it was written by students in the advanced Latin course at Stanford Online High School.” writes John Godwin. Each student was responsible for a section and then together they peer-reviewed each other's work. As a member of the Awards committee writes, “They’re authors!” And through his blogposts, online articles, and conference presentations, Dr Hendrickson has shared his ideas and built community among other Latin teachers as well.
In addition to building classroom communities and empowering of students to go beyond what they believe they are capable of, Dr Hendrickson has been successful at making the field of classics broader and more inclusive. In the first two years of Latin, he has been responsible for the expansion of spoken Latin and comprehensible input. Starting with Martial and the Pervigilium Veneris and continuing into Renaissance texts, he has introduced “bite-sized” chunks of Latin as a way to motivate students to pick up a few lines of Latin that they can read when they have a spare moment. Further, he has initiated a new series, the Experrecta Series, whose goal is to “create open access student editions of Latin texts written by women.” The Passion of Perpetua is but the first in the series. Finally, his work on Gender diversity in Greek and Latin Grammar fruitfully introduces the many ways ancient authors conceived of gender. In short, for his focus on empowering students, building community, and expanding the canon, the American Classical League is delighted to honor Thomas Hendrickson as the winner of the 2022 Charles Humphreys Award for Innovative Pedagogy.