Date of this Version
Journal of Economic Entomology, vol. 4 (February 1911).
In teaching entomology, much depends upon the ultimate aim of the student. A course in introductory entomology, whether as a required or an elective subject is sure to include many students who will not continue the subject farther. It is at least probable, that these students will form over half of the class, and accordingly, the introductory treatment should be arranged on the basis of the greatest good to the greatest number. This will usually mean some slight knowledge of insect anatomy, particularly external anatomy, and a general survey of insects as a group, with special attention to the pests of greatest economic importance in the region where the majority of the students taking the course are likely to settle, together with a rather careful consideration of methods for the control of these pests, and with field work, so far as possible, which shall enable the students to recognize them and their work. The advanced work, following the introductory course, would naturally be for those students who wish to make entomology their profession, or who wish to use it as collateral knowledge in other lines of work, such as fruit growing, forestry, market gardening, etc. Under such conditions, a course best adapted for one, might be far from the best for the others, and it would seem that an important point to keep in mind is that the course should have elasticity. Certain portions of the work should be common to all, while other parts should be radically different, in order to best meet the needs of the different students. This means individual training, and I cannot too strongly urge that the best results come from a careful study of the plans of each student, and the shaping of quite a part of his work with direct reference to those plans.