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hood of God. To repeat then, quaintance with the required quanschools should aim to cultivate in tum of arithmetic, or Latin, or sciall their pupils habits of regularity, ence. The boy may be profane, but punctuality, cheerfulness, obedi- he understands the theory of cube ence, mastery, self-control, unsel- root; he has never learned selffishness.
control, but with Caesar he has No narrow, exclusive definition conquered the Gallic tribes; his of education befits the age and honesty is not above suspicion, but country in which we live. That of he comprehends the binomial theDr. Emerson E. White, I think orem; he is impure in thought and clearly and forcibly states its true act, but he is familiar with the nebuends and aims.
lar hypothesis; he may be untruth“Education is any process or act
ful, but he can talk glibly of volts, which results in knowledge, power ohms, amperes, resistance coils, and or skill. It includes not only teach- Wheatsone bridges. Think you this ing and learning, but all acts, pro- is the education the times demand? cesses and influences which occa- To shape and strengthen characsion these results, whether ter the work and methods of a scholarship, culture, habit or char- school should be adapted to that acter.” Note that the true ends of purpose. To this end courses of education as laid down by this high study should be framed. These will and accepted authority are: scholar- require the best thought of boards ship, culture, habit, character. To of education, teachers and superinthese might be added for the public tendents. Then it is to be hoped school a high ideal of citizenship in that along with a knowledge of hearty accord with our democratic science, language and mathematics, institutions.
along with mental acumen, will be Time forbids a discussion of all acquired the virtues of truthfulness, , these ends. I have already spoken obedience, industry, honesty, fidelof habit, permit me for a short time ity, justice, conscientiousness, forto speak of the last and loftiest, giveness, gratitude, purity. character.
There can be no doubt that if the Too long have many schools all schools take care to produce "manover our land been cursed by low ly mien” and “womanly women” that ideals. Even to-day, teachers are to these will be sure to solve many of be found who feel that they have the vexed questions, social, ecofully performed their duty when nomic and moral that are troubling they have given their pupils an ac- the world.
NATURE WORK IN THE PRIMARY GRADES.
BY SARAH W. SMITH.
To live rightly is to live in right has nature all about him he must relation to God, nature, and our fel necessarily know her ways. I lows. Then if, as Spencer says, it is never knew even a country boy to the office of education to prepare make careful, accurate, systematic for right living, is it wise or reason- observation, or even obtain much able to ignore or neglect the nature general information, of the world work in the primary grades? If by about him unaided by home or nature study we meant only the ac- school. One reason for this is the quisition of a few facts, we might unsatisfactory answers he usually safely postpone the study for more receives in his early quest for mature years, providing we were knowledge of these things, and so, sure of having the pupils in school not being able to understand the then, but nature work, rightly most common phenomena about taught, means the formation of him, he soon forms the habit of habits of observation and discrimi- taking it all as a matter of course, nation. It means the cultivation of and thinking very little about it. the heart as well as the head. It Later the schools teach him the lazy means the multiplying of one's re- habit of going to books for all insources and power of enjoyment an formation, so if the time ever comes hundredfold if carried on in the when he desires to know about impressionable period of life. It is birds he buys and reads a book on the ear of childhood that is best birds, or if he wants to know more fitted to "list to Nature's teaching." about plant life he studies Gray's Ours are dulled by the din of traf- "How Plants Grow", and flatters fic, the sounding brass and tinkling himself that he is studying nature. , cymbals of men, and jarring dis- The moral tone of every school cords from within.
will be greatly raised by the introDo you know why I never find duction of the nature studies into its four-leaved clovers, or cocoons,
and curriculum. It gives life and inbut seldom a bird's nest? Because terest to all school work, puts teachI never had my attention called to ers and pupils in loving sympathy them in the days when I had leisure as no dull routine work can; gives to see. This lack in my early train- the children thoughts of the good, ing can never be met by any book true and beautiful, thus crowding knowledge obtainable since. It is out the low, mischievous and idle; a mistake to think that because one leads to reverent, loving knowledge of the Father of all, and teaches terfly, or build according to laws of kindness and care for all He has symmetry and beauty. If we had made. Then the fact that the child power to do the greater, the less enters school already interested and could be learned in any odd hours curious regarding the world of na- when needed. Let us not longer ture makes this the line of least re- ignore the child's natural interests sistance for him, which is a matter and bent, but strive to cultivate in of no little consequence in these him all his God-given powers, rather early years of difficult beginnings. than to mold him according to our Why, then, ignore all that in which faulty notions. he is interested to plunge him into While in the National Museum that for which he has no use and last winter I saw an ignorant lookcares naught? What does he care ing man leading two large, brightwhether bureau is spelled with an looking boys, possibly of eight and eau or uea; whether three and four ten years of age. With a tight grip are seven or eight unless it is mar- on the hand of each boy the father bles and he is playing for keeps; rushed up and down the halls, lookwhether a certain letter begins with ing at all things, but really seeing the right or left curve, while he does nothing. The boys hung back, dewant to know where the rain comes siring to see things, but when the from, what makes the creek SO younger ventured to say, “What is crooked, how plants grow, and that, papa?” he was silenced with a where the cricket and earth worm very emphatic “Now, don't be asklive.
ing me what things are; I don't May not the child's idea of rela- know." This in such a bothered, tive values be as correct as ours,
helpless tone, that I pitied father tinctured with worldly prudence and and boys. In my note-book, among utilitarianism? It is quite too com
mention of other curiosities, I put mon for ambitious parents and a
down: "Blind father leading two few superintendents and high school wide-awake boys." And
And I sighed teachers to ridicule the idea of as I thought of the numerous blind teaching children to make mud leaders not of the blind, but of balls, paint butterflies, and make our bright, wide-awake youth, who jimcracks out of paper, when they are having their eyes closed to the might forsooth be learning the mul- beauties all around them that they tiplication table or writing their may learn books, books, and hear spelling lesson! not realizing that words, words, when the mind and any of us to-day would be willing heart are hungry for things. They to give all the multiplication table ask bread and we give them a stone,
ever knew for the ability to and then when they acquire somemodel skilfully in clay, paint a but- thing of an appetite for stones, we
turn about and chide them for not If the children do not bring you coliking good, wholesome bread, and coons, oak-balls, leaves, stones, for not developing better on their fruit and flowers, it is because they hard fare.
have never been encouraged to do One great difficulty in the way Take the next pretty leaf that of getting nature work into the you find into the school room and schools is that it is not in the teach- in the first few restless moments, users. If the teacher is full of this sub- ually taken to crush out all of the ject you can't keep it out of her play spirit, call their attention to the school. It will get in in spite of un- pretty leaf you found, and see how favoring boards of education or in- soon your table will be literally covdifferent superintendents. Teach- ered with pretty leaves brought by ers not having been taught thus in the children. Then, when brought, their early school life do not know use them for language work, numhow to adapt the knowledge gained ber lesson, or for seat work. Fasfrom books to the children's needs ten a bit of golden rod to your waist and comprehension. All honor to and it will not be long before some the teacher who confesses ignor- one will bring you a nice large ance but is willing to learn, but only bunch. Then reward them with a contempt for those who, because beautiful gem or story about the they do not know how, declare it is golden rod, and your nature work not being and cannot be done.
has begun. To those who believe in nature But do you fear there will be a work in the primary grades, but do lack of purpose or system in thus not know how to teach these sub- following the children's lead? Perjects to little children, my advice haps it will be so for a time, but you would be begin; begin somewhere, will soon find order coming out of anywhere, only begin. Watch the chaos. Their gifts and finds will children. Notice in what they are group themselves around a few main interested, and begin with that. lines and you will soon be able to Take up the first natural object give subordinate place to that which brought by the children into the
is not to your purpose. For inschool room, investigate, question, stance, you will find September the study; consult encyclopedias, sci- best time to study fruit, which will entific works, and send questions naturally lead you to the study of home to parents by the children, fruit trees, their branching and and I have no doubt the next maga- leaves. “Ripe apples and peaches zine or educational paper you take and plums, I am glad when Septemup will have an article on the very ber comes", was our calendar motsubject before you. If it comes too to. "October gave a party, The late make a note of it for future use. leaves by hundreds came." Of
course we must study forest trees, with water colors; children four with their nuts and different ways of and five years old. The colors were branching in October. Seeds and placed on the table and the children their distribution follow, taking up, shown how to use the brush and first, seeds in general, their kinds, paint; that was all. Then a dandeuse, and relation to plant life. The lion fast asleep, as the children dechildren are always interested in scribed it, and one wide awake, were hearing about the seed that must given to each child. The bud was travel, even if they have to steal taken first and they were told to their rides. Then after making a look at it, paint the stem, then the study of a few types as corn or other parts. The courage of bewheat among grains, and milkweed ginners is marvelous. No one or thistle among winged seeds, you doubted for a moment his ability to can go on to preparations for win- do just as told, and no one hesitated ter made by man, plants and ani- for a moment when the opportunity mals. Frost, snow, crystallization, was given. Some of the stems were stones and domestic animals can be as wide as your little finger, and studied in winter, and the spring parts that should point downward brings its own subjects in the stood bravely up.
No fault was growth of bud, leaf, flower, and the found, but their attention coming of the birds and their nest kindly called to the difference bebuilding. And so as the months tween theirs and the real dandeand seasons roll by, the children will lions in such a way as to make them be learning to interpret the tongues eager to try again, seeing where in trees, the books in running they could do better. I am afraid brooks, the sermons in stones, and you would have laughed at the reto see the good in every thing. sult as shown on paper, but I have
One difficulty the teacher has to no doubt those, litte folks went meet in the line of work is the de- home with a better idea of a dandesire for tangible results on the part lion bud than many of us have at of superintendents, parents, and the this minute, and while the children teacher herself. The best results in got a vauable lesson in observaany school work are not those tion, I got one in methods, and I brought out by examinations. They said, how much better to let them can not be summed up in per cents, observe the real thing, each for but never fear, "after many days himself, than to have said, "Chilthou shalt see of the travail of thy dren, this is the stem, see me paint soul and be satisfied.” I was it; now you do as I do", resulting fortunate once as to be in a kinder- in a copy of the teacher's painting garten when the children were re- instead of copying nature. Do not ceiving their first lesson in painting let
let their bungling attempts and