Entomology, Department of


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'When our Secretary sent out his preliminary notification of this meeting and asked me to take part in a discussion of "present methods of teaching Entomology," the matter at first seemed of little importance so far, at least, as the speaker was concerned. However, after giving the subject some thought I have decided that it might be well at least to take the time and trouble to attempt to explain briefly a few of the methods by which the student in Nebraska is enabled to absorb some entomological information. In order to do this with an unbiased feeling it might be well as an introduction to state that the speaker began his work as Experiment Station entomologist with the explicit understanding that no teaching was to be required of him. During the twenty-two years and over since becoming connected with his present position matters have changed somewhat. Today the greater portion of the time of the entomologist, during the school year at least, is taken up with instructional duties. A department of Systematic and Economic Entomology has developed; and, thanks to the grade of students choosing the work, fairly well equipped men have been turned out to take their place among the working entomologists of the country. It should be strictly understood by my audience also that the speaker docs not consider himself a teacher in any sense of the word, neither is he conceited enough to claim any great amount of credit, if credit be due, for the plan followed in making entomologists at the University of Nebraska. The methods, if any exist, have simply evolved. Again if my audience understood the courses offered and the different classes of students who take these courses, it would be an 'easier matter to d{'scribe our method of teaching the subject. Of course in Nebraska as elsewhere not all the students who are obliged to take up entomological studies do so with the intention of becoming trained specialists, neither do they register for the work with the expectation of learning all there is to be known concerning insects. In fact, though I do not like to confess it, many of the students who do register for entomology in our institution, do so under the impression that they arc registering for "a snap." Others register because entomology is required in the particular group of studies which they have chosen. A very few students in the beginning have decided that they would like to take -entomology for its own sake, but none choose the study of insects because by doing this they expect to make it the stepping stone to an independent fortune.