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which have been evolved from the common ancestor or from the original idea of a creative mind, the value is plainly inestimable.
As these pass successively before his mind, to them as kindred may subsequently be referred the new acquaintances that he is constantly to meet in his future life of investigation.
By the laboratory method in biology pupils are thus taught to see accurately, hear accurately, draw accurately, talk accurately, write accurately. This magnificent work, it must be remembered, could never be accomplished simply by the presentation of a mass of facts, either from book or from teacher. The learner needs, not so much facts themselves as an ability to appreciate facts when presented. Facts and phenomena will be thrust upon his attention all
rough his life. If he has been taught to investigate phenomena and facts and has been taught to draw logical inferences, he is indeed well equipped. He is educated rather than instructed.
The great utility of the constant reproduction of things seen needs hardly be mentioned. If there is a little personal expense for drawing and other materials, so much the better. In a life spent almost entirely in school work, it has often occurred to me that the New England rate-bill of a half century ago had special advantages. What costs nothing is too often regarded as worth nothing.
By many it is claimed that it is impossible in school to do the line of work indicated in such a laboratory manual as the one authorized for use in the schools of Chicago. Besides doing much work not suggested in the manual, our biologist has this year substantially done the work of the manual; the omissions being a part of the work in vertebrate anatomy. This apparent neglect of the vertebrates is strictly in accord with the fundamental thought in education and instruction, viz., that the most time shall be spent upon what is least known. Ameba, actinophrys, paramecium, stentor, spongilla, vorticella, daphnia, cypris, hydra, cyclops, etc., as well as numerous higher organisms, have heretofore been entire strangers to the pupil. They are now his companions and provocative of constant investigation and further intimate acquaintance. The work in physiology in the grammar grades has familiarized the pupils anatomically with the vertebrate type, and this may therefore with good reason be somewhat slighted in the high school. I can hardly be alone in this opinion, if one is to infer opinions from conduct, since the biologists, to a man, seem to have avoided any thorough treatment of the warm-blooded vertebrates of the text-book used as our laboratory manual. Indeed, the author of the manual himself tells us, that, by reason of lack of good facilities, he has felt compelled to omit some of the suggested work on the vertebrates, especially that on the pigeon and the cat. I sincerely hope that there was another underlying motive which prompted his action, a motive in line with that of the humanitarians. For the past three years the biology teachers of the Chicago high schools, whether with or without modern laboratory facilities, have had no special difficulty in completing all other work of the manual. The omissions suggested should to some extent do away with some of the objections enumerated. If sufficient material of a desired kind is difficult to obtain the ingenious teacher will be ready to utilize the material at hand.*
A former conservative superintendent of Chicago schools was too frequently regarded as a decided opponent of what has been termed the new education. The truth is, that he was far in advance of the noisy and reckless self-styled avant-couriers of alleged reform. I have a very distinct recollection of his having once provided for the use of the students of his high school at his own expense a suite of the birds of Colorado, at a time when many of the present teachers of biology had not yet aspired to the dignity of trousers. Far away from his inner consciousness was any opposition to the teaching or the teachings of science. His only anxiety was lest the haste of the builders of the foundation should cause the edifice to topple before the roof was in place or even the walls had been carried up. As many of us remember, he was equally conservative in not yielding to the first pressure for the use of entire classic models in place of reading-books crammed with disconnected material from all sources. In these and similar instances we can hardly go astray if we follow the lead of one who made few mistakes because his motto ever was "Festina lente;" or, as monosyllabically expressed in our own vernacular, “Go slow!"
• As indicative of work which may be substituted for the exact work of the manual, I append memoranda of a study of Fucus vesiculosus which we had in abundance by reason of its utility as packing material for the transportation of our star-fish.
FUCUS VESICULOSUS (ROCK-WEED).
(Example of the Oöphyta instead of Study III.) Habitat. Usually growing to rocks, etc., in the salt water near the tide mark.
General Morphology. (Vegetative condition.*)
What is the general appearance and color?
Is there an upper and a lower side to the thallus? B. Is the stem elastic? What is its shape? How do the branches differ from the ordi
nary branches of a shrub or a tree? What is the common sense in the difference? Examine a tip and find the terminal pit. (In this pit is the delicate apical cell upon
the fission of which the growth of the plant depends.) Why the terminal pit? C. Describe one of the bladder-like vesicles.
Where on the thallus are they most abundant? Why?
• The reproductive condition will be described later.
(For the inspection of those interested, I have also similar studies of Agaracus, Echinus, Campanularia, Eudendrium, and Lucanus.)
PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY-ITS POSSIBILITIES AND
BY EDWARD L. HARRIS, PRINCIPAL OF THE CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL,
There was a decided difference of opinion between the conference and the general committees on secondary schools as to the relative positions of physics and chemistry in the school curriculum. Instead of following the recommendation that chemistry should precede physics and that both should be placed as late in the course as possible, the general committee proposed that physics come first and be placed even as early as the second year. We agree with the one committee, that physics and not chemistry should precede the other, and, with the other committee, that both should be postponed as late as is consistent with this in order that there may be more maturity of mind and a more nearly adequate mathematical preparation on the part of the pupil. We suggest physical geography for the second year. Change this subject from the one semester of the first year to the full time of the second. This will give as a required course in natural science for the four years, zoology or natural history, physical geography, physics, and chemistry, with botany, geology, and astronomy elective.
As geography has been presented in many works and by many teachers the subject has been uninteresting, not instructive, and almost wholly without educational value. Nothing short of the whole earth seemed sufficient in the treatment. Each continent, each island, in its formation, must be studied in detail. The catalogue of the vegetable and animal life of the different zones must be committed. It was of little importance that the causes that invariably lead to the same result should be understood; causes which,
if understood, might easily be applied to any location or to any climate. In some schools the subject has been placed in the senior year in order to serve as a recapitulation of all the natural sciences taught therein. That the study of physical geography might be and should be made attractive there is no doubt. Dr. Houston has well said that this subject should "form the natural introduction to elementary natural science, since it treats of the causes and effects of the things that are constantly before the child's observation.” The study of this branch, then, in educational value, should have two objects: First, the understanding of the causes upon which the form of the land depends; second, the introduction to other natural sciences, especially physics and chemistry. The entire treatment should point to life and to mankind.
I have not a clear understanding of that vague term physiography, as applied by some scientists. I do understand the meaning which Professor Huxley gave to the term. I prefer the old name, physical geography.
The possibilities that await the modern, energetic teacher of this subject will be appreciated more readily from practical illustrations than from a statement of theory. It is not iny purpose to lay out a logical course for the year, but to take up different topics under different headings. This will show the method of work suggested.
The essential parts of the text should be taken, supplemented by experimental work on the part of the teacher. The pupil should be prepared with a note-book, in which he may place all supplementary work, including the experiments made by the teacher and by himself.
Geology. At the beginning of the text comes the description of the form of the earth. “The earth is an oblate spheroid, being slightly compressed about the poles and slightly bulging in the equatorial regions.” This is a statement of the fact in the text. It conveys to the pupil little idea of the cause of the shape of the earth; if, indeed, it does of the shape itself. Here at once is an opportunity for experimental work. Use the whirling table. Show, by the depression of the flexible hoops, the flattening at the poles and the bulging at the equator. The probable cause of the shape of the earth, formed while in a plastic state, is seen and understood, and in addition you will have helped to attain the second object, “the introduction to other natural sciences." You have Newton's first law of motion. Urge the child to continue the experiment with his old friend, the sling; tell him to watch the course of the stone when it is released; make an application of the law to the earth in its orbit; to the earth in its relation to the other members of the solar family.
Drainage. There are many experiments that may be made in treating of the internal heat of the earth and its evidences. To illustrate the geyser, the lowest one-third part of a narrow glass tube, three-fourths filled with water, may be heated in a Bunsen flame. This will produce ejections of hot water and steam similar to those of a geyser. Incidentally the boiling point of water and the effect of hydrostatic pressure upon it is brought out.
Too little attention is given in our texts to the formation of soil and to erosion. It takes little to turn the mind of the child already familiar with nature to the agencies that are wearing away the rocks and carrying the soil to other places. He is somewhat acquainted with sand, clay, and mud. He should know from what kind of rocks these different kinds of soil came and are constantly coming. After any storm he can see the effects of the little rivers; he should recognize that each little brook or large river is doing its share in proportion to its size and its rapidity of work (or rather, in the proportion to the second and sixth power of its rapidity).
In the explanation of the intermittent spring the term siphon is used, a term which the average pupil understands fully as well as he does the intermittent spring itself. I have known teachers to pass over this subject with only a definition of the siphon. I have seen another teacher with two battery jars, a glass tube bent for the purpose and some water, not only show what the siphon is but obtain also from the pupils the cause of the action of the water. It took some time. One thought it was due to the suction of the atmosphere; another to the weight of the water. It was worth all the time spent when the children themselves said that it was due to the pressure of the atmosphere. It takes only one niore jar and one more tube to have a model intermittent spring, seen in active operation and thoroughly understood.
Physical and Chemical Changes. —It will be of much assistance to show early in the course the difference between physical and chemical changes. Chemistry will be a willing and powerful ally in the explanation of many phenomena connected with this subject. The object should be, not to teach the chemistry or to show the reactions but to bring about, by her assistance, certain results. This very treatment will prompt the pupil to investigate, to ask questions. It will furnish some little idea of what chemistry will be to him, and it will tend to hold him through the high school course.
The difference between the physical and chemical changes should be shown by experiment. Heat some iron wire and then allow it to cool; heat some iron filings and sulphur; dissolve some salt and recrystallize it; heat some red oxide of mercury. Note carefully