Nature Study for the Common Schools

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H. Holt, 1891 - Science - 448 pages
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Page 7 - Yet, it is a very plain and elementary truth that the life, the fortune, and the happiness of every one of us, and, more or less, of those who are connected with us, do depend upon our knowing something of the rules of a game infinitely more difficult and complicated than chess. It is a game which has been played for untold ages, every man and woman of us being one of the two players in a game of his or her own. The chess-board is the world, the pieces are the phenomena of the universe, the rules...
Page 7 - My metaphor will remind some of you of the famous picture in which Retzsch has depicted Satan playing at chess with a man for his soul. Substitute for the mocking fiend in that picture a calm, strong angel who is playing for love, as we say, and would rather lose than win — and I should accept it as an image of human life.
Page 7 - The chess-board is the world, the pieces are the phenomena of the universe, the rules of the game are what we call the laws of nature. The player on the other side is hidden from us. We know that his play is always fair, just, and patient. But also we know, to our cost, that he never overlooks a mistake, or makes the smallest allowance for ignorance. To the man who plays well the highest stakes are paid with that sort of overflowing generosity with which •the strong shows delight in strength. And...
Page 7 - Now, it is a very plain and elementary truth that the life, the fortune, and the happiness of every one of us, and, more or less, of those who are connected with us, do depend upon our knowing something of the rules of a game infinitely more difficult and complicated than chess. It...
Page 1 - It is under no other conditions that the undertaking can be successfully carried out, and, rather than attempt to do it blindly, the task had better not be begun. Natural science, concerned largely with the earth and the living things it supports, affords the earliest and the only direct means of introducing the child to his earthly habitation. The life, health, and happiness of the individual is dependent upon his knowledge of the things about him, and upon the understanding that he has of their...
Page 6 - Suppose it were perfectly certain that the life and fortune of every one of us would, one day or other, depend upon his winning or losing a game of chess. Don't you think that we should all consider it to be a primary duty to learn at least the names and the moves of the pieces; to have a notion of a gambit, and a keen eye for all the means of giving and getting out of check? Do you not think that we should look with a disapprobation amounting to scorn upon the father who allowed his son, or the...
Page 5 - The true incentive will make scientific knowledge a necessity, and will do more than rouse simply a kind of adventitious interest in the works of nature. If it go no farther than this, then the teacher will be utterly unable to reach the pupil who says by word and action that he cares nothing for nature. The final motive for the study of science is to bring the pupil by degrees to a strong personal realization that he is the focus of innumerable forces about him which so bear upon him, and so limit...
Page 2 - It is a proposition needing no demonstration that without these conceptions the reasoning faculty is simply powerless. But true science work does not stop with mere seeing, hearing, or feeling; it not only furnishes a mental picture as a basis for reasoning, but it includes an interpretation of what has been received through the senses. A child and a goat may see the same thing, with the advantage of vision on the side of the goat; but the latter has no power to interpret what he sees, and is, therefore,...
Page 12 - ... mind, and it gives the teacher endless trouble. A study of the plant, with its buds housed in their winter quarters or with its seeds buried in frozen soil, is an appropriate subject for the season, and the supply of material is natural and abundant. The most serious obstacle in the way of science-work is the teacher's own lack of faith in his ability to do anything useful or creditable. He should without hesitation begin with the simple things around him, and grow with the pupils. The crude...
Page 12 - ... because it is most natural, for the child is placed in contact with nature under normal conditions, and it is much more easy for the teacher and pupils to obtain appropriate material. It is true, flowers may be studied in winter-time; but to the child they are freaks, and such a study is a distortion to his mind, and it gives the teacher endless trouble. A study of the plant, with its buds housed in their winter quarters or with its seeds buried in frozen soil, is an appropriate subject for the...

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