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INSECTS. Three continuous weeks work and some scattered work throughout the year; collection and identification started in fall and continued twelve months. This will necessitate some summer vacation work which can rather easily be suggested by the teacher in June, most of the collecting of insects, birds' nests, and some ecological studies of other forms being best done by the pupils in this way. Special studies of those insects peculiar to grainfields, gardens, orchard, shade and timber trees which are of interest to the community; general ecology of insects; life history and relation of a few insects to diseases of man and domestic animals and plants; special study of the anatomy and physiology of the tomato or silk caterpillar, grasshopper, fly, mosquito, and honey-bee—the two latter in both larval and adult form; evolutionary history of insects and their relation to the allied groups of arachnida, myriopoda, crustacea, annulata.


Four weeks' study of main groups taken in general evolutionary order :

I. Protozoa (amoeba).
2. Coelenterata (hydra).
3. Sponges (fresh water and Grantia).
4. Annulata (earth worms).
5. Arthropoda (crayfish).
6. Echinodermata (starfish).
7. Mollusca (snail and mussel).
8. Fishes (perch).
9. Amphibia (frog or toad).
10. Reptile (snake or turtle).
II. Birds.
12. Mammals.

Histology (study of type cells in muscle, gland, brain, bone, blood). Régime of evolution, heredity, adaptation, etc., should find a place in the latter part of course. (Part of this may be allowed to run over into the Physiology course.)

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I would have this course put in the first semester of the eighth, ninth, or tenth grades, preferably the eighth, and I would have it followed by a laboratory course in physiology and hygiene. The small amount of chemistry actually needed for the work in physiology can be introduced early in the course. The course can profitably be supplemented by a reading course in civic hygiene and in eugenics, which may come at the same time or later. The work on mammals is placed first for pedagogical and ethical reasons. Pedagogically this procedure is from the best known and most interesting to the least known; ethically it dispels at once the sense of shame that enshrouds at present the subject of human anatomy and physiology in our pupils' minds, and it also opens the door for full and free discussion, giving an opportunity for personal instruction in matters of sex which may be demanded, and which is much needed by the pupils of the Junior High School. If the work is extended over ten months the order here given is urged; but if the course is only one semester in length, the order is immaterial, and the needs of the particular school should, of course, be met.


(Written out in part after the meeting.)
In defense of the course in Zoology as outlined, I wish to say:

1. Nothing in the world is so practical as an ideal. In framing the course I have tried to have in mind the social conditions into which we are trying to fit our boys and girls. I have tried to say what ought to be, in the belief that working consciously toward such an end will accomplish far more than working without the strenuous, distant ideal.

I have left the economic and industrial phases of the subject wholly for the course in Agriculture with which it is supposed to correlate. Milk testing, textile work, etc., will be largely taken care of there. Then too we should try to remember that this is to be a cultural course, that its cultural value is the chief and most eternal one.

3. It is objected that the course is too full. For one half year, I think so too. The wise teacher will pick and choose, and even for a whole year's work, involving the long vacation, many of the topics can barely be touched upon. The average college professor would find it difficult to give the course in nine months, for the simple reason that he knows too much. Our boys and girls need to have the subjects opened up, the field pointed out, the line of thought indicated, books and authors suggested rather than long and learned disertations. The right words at the psychological moment will satisfy the majority for the time being and may be stored up for future use.

4. The amount of dissection is objected to and "preserved cats" disparagingly spoken of. As I think of it the actual dissection is reduced to a minimum, much of it being demonstration work only. If the students are correctly prepared there need be no or only rare expression of aversion. The sight of blood even, need never be objectionable and it too can and should be prepared for. If the work of dissection is done as rapidly as usual with high school students the material need not be kept more than three or four days at the most, or if the demonstrations are arranged correctly for small groups fresh specimens may be had daily.

I used to take care to prepare my specimens before class time so as to

save my pupils the pain of seeing them die. Now, with forethought, but not maliciously, I plan to let the class see the animals die, for I believe that even eighth graders need to try to meet the fact of death with some equanimity. It is the great inevitable thing that we all must face and we cannot afford to be afraid. I have learned to say some word that helps my college students, and I have known high school teachers who did the same. Instead of regarding life less highly they reverence it the more.

If the dissection can come at or near the time when the children are in the so-called "hunting stage,” when they are by very nature blood-thirsty, I believe the painless death and the careful dissection will bring satisfaction and that it will tend to lead away from the brutal instincts to those of right consideration.

5. I should not dwell long nor delve deeply into the evolutionary problems but I would not be afraid to meet the questions when they came. More than likely the history of the horse and the development of the frog will furnish enough material, but attention can be called to many other illustrations. Because evolutionary ideas do explain our universe and lay a foundation for a rational religion our adolescent boys and girls particularly need it. In connection with adaptive features such work as Miss Ellis suggests on dentition of mammals can easily be done.

6. I suppose my outline presupposes a pretty comprehensive course in Nature Study in the grades. It needs close relation with such work and also with the physiology and hygiene which should follow. I also believe it demands mature teachers preferably those who have had the experience of parenthood.

7. Lastly, I see that I have shocked many of you by all that I propose concerning the teaching of the reproductive processes and organs. Of this there is too much to be said to allow of complete presentation now. If one is to dissect at all he cannot avoid doing something with the reproductive systems and the only frank and sensible thing to do is to treat it as all the rest, with no more but certainly no less emphasis than the other systems.

I should most certainly avoid either in the grades or elsewhere having a course called Sex-Hygiene, but I should most certainly want every teacher in the entire school ready to meet the emergencies that are constantly arising in connection with this subject and because of the social fact of sex. The literature teacher, the art teacher, the teacher of civics, each has her own opportunity of establishing ideals of love and marriage. It is of course the ideal, not the knowledge of anatomy or physiology, that is going to make our boys and girls right-minded, but the knowledge of plain facts can be made to help, for there is nothing ultimately so "sacred as a fact," and as Professor Bigelow said this morning, biology is the only approach to this broad deep subject. It may be made to satisfy legitimate curiosity; it may establish correct images; it may give a basis of right thinking. To pass over slightingly the organs of reproduction is to arouse a suspicious and secretory attitude on the part of the pupils. To speak with dignity and frankness makes vulgar thought impossible. Only last week a certain high school class (tenth grade) was dividde into groups, each with its white rat to dissect. The teacher passed around to supervise and help in the identification of the parts. As the female organs were pointed out one big boy looked straight into the eyes of his honest teacher and said, "Is that all?" having evidently expected something very complex and peculiar. There was no snickering, no giggling, no wrong word or look.

The earlier these plain, everyday, universal, vital facts can be known the better. If before puberty then there is full opportunity for the pressing home of an ideal. that should be re-emphasized-without preaching-in the literature, art, and civics, during the early days of adolescence, when philosophizing comes as naturally as breathing and the religious and chivalric impulses are awaking. In the hygiene classes where the boys and girls are later segregated, something further concerning the care and right use of the body should be undertaken.

All of these conclusions I have been forced to by my knowledge of the very frequent illicit intercourse of boys and girls in our schools, the early marriages of many, the utter lack of teaching on the part of parents, and the prevalence of veneral diseases. But even when all social evils are done away with, and all parents are capable of instructing, will not the schools still need to recognize the world's problems, and supplement the home and church training ? If we wish to awaken interest and secure virile effort we must make use of the industrial and social and emotional life of our pupils.

The following references may prove helpful in trying to formulate an opinion on the subject :


1. Allen's Civics and Health, Chap. XXXIX. Ginn & Co.

Putnam-Instruction in the Physiology and Hygiene of Sex: Its Practicability as Demonstrated in Several Schools. Heath & Co.

3. Educational Pamphlet No. 2. Instruct. in Physiology & Hygiene of Sex, by the Society of Sanitary & Moral Prophylaxis.

4. Morrow—The Teaching of Sex-Hygiene. American Federation for Sex-Hygiene, N. Y. City, 105 W. 40th St.

5. The Problem of Sex Instruction by various writers and from several standpoints. Journal of Education, March 21, 1912. Vol. LXXV.

6. Phelps-Sex-Social Functioning & Biology. School & Home Education., February, 1912, Vol. XXXI, p. 237.

(There are many other references which the speaker will be glad to furnish on request.)




The educational world is passing through a period of unrest, transition and experiment. The leaders as well as the rank and file in the organization of this field have reached the conclusion, that with all our boasted educational advances we have somehow failed by far to attain those results which we feel we ought to attain. This dissatisfaction with the immediate past is manifesting itself in a very general demand that education be made more practical, that it have a close relation to life, in short that it be vocational.

The dissatisfaction is not confined to any particular department in the educational field, but our special interest in it concerns the department of the natural sciences and more especially the biological sciences.

It cannot be denied that high school courses in biology have lost standing in the eyes of many high school principals and superintendents as compared with the standing they had fifteen to twenty years ago. Even the strongest advocates of sciences are forced to admit that the results have been disappointing. Admitting this as true to a certain extent, is it not possible by examining the past to discover some of the reasons for this failure and to strengthen our courses in such a way as to obtain better results in the future? The time is opportune then for a reconsideration of our high school courses.

In response to the demand for vocational training a wave of enthusiam is sweeping the country in favor of courses in agriculture. As an art Agriculture is chiefly applied chemistry, physics and biology, plus business management. Its processes and procedures rest on the fundamental principles of those sciences. It follows that courses in agriculture offer an excellent opportunity for the sciences to make that "touch with life” so much demanded at present.

Some of the reasons given for the partial failure of science as an educational factor are that there is too little continuity and dependence of late upon earlier work in the course, and that there is little uniformity in the material offered in different schools, especially in the biological sciences, in short that the work is not well organized and standardized, in marked contrast to the condition obtaining in the teaching of languages in which there is very general agreement as to the material offered in the same grade in different schools, and a close dependence of later upon earlier work.

The lack of agreement as to material and order of presentation appears marked in comparing the text books written in the last ten years for high school courses in botany. Almost every author begins his presentation of the subject with a different part of the plant, or phase of its activity, one

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