Papers in the Biological Sciences


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This is an agricultural nation. The products of the soil are the basis of her industries and her prosperity. The children of our great Commonwealths should be familiar with our crops, our grains and grasses, our flowers and fruits, our trees and shrubs and weeds, our domestic animals and birds and insects. Our children should have a practical knowledge of the management of a farm, of the composition of the soil, and of the adaptability of the farm and its soil for the cultivation of certain plants and the counter effect of such plant growth upon the soil. They should love nature, they should be taught nature's ways and means, taught to observe her phenomena closely and in such a manner that they will learn to love her. Nearly all industries of mankind have their origin in the soil, and children should be led to see the relation between farm labor and its products and the marts of trade and commerce.

Much of the work of the school, including instruction in geography, arithmetic, science, and literature might be correlated profitably with instruction in agriculture and nature study. A school garden with the actual work intelligently directed might prove an inspiration to honest toil and better living. As the effect of teaching vocal music daily in the schoolroom is felt in the church, the Sabbath school, in society, and in all public gatherings, so the teaching of agrictilture and nature study will affect and improve every farm and garden and lawn and flower-box in the neighborhood. The attractions of farm life may be thus enhanced and the exodus to the city diminished.

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