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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/398

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

must consist to a greater or less extent in practical work, and the more the better; that book work was next to useless.

Liebig, when appointed to Giessen, smarting still under the difficulties he had had in learning chemistry without proper appliances, induced the Darmstadt Government to build a chemical laboratory in which the students could receive a thorough practical training.

It will have been gathered from this reference to Liebig's system of teaching chemistry that still another branch of applied science had been created, which has since had a stupendous effect upon industry; and while Liebig was working at Giessen, another important industry was being created in England. I refer to the electric telegraph and all its developments, foreshadowed by Galileo in his reference to the "sympathy of magnetic needles."

Not only then in chemistry, but in all branches of science which can be applied to the wants of man, the teaching must be practical—that is, the student must experiment and observe for himself, and he must himself seek new truths.

It was at last recognized that a student could no more learn science effectively by seeing some one else perform an experiment than he could learn to draw effectively by seeing some one else make a sketch. Hence in the German universities the doctor's degree is based upon a research.

Liebig's was the fons et origo of all our laboratories—mechanical, metallurgical, chemical, physical, geological, astronomical, and biological.—Nature.

[To be continued.]

 

SHOULD CHILDREN UNDER TEN LEARN TO READ AND WRITE?
By Prof. G. T. W. PATRICK.

THERE are certain propositions about education so evidently true that probably no parent or teacher would question them. For instance, the best school is one in which the course of study is progressively adapted to the mental development of the children. Again, certain subjects are adapted to children of certain ages or stages of development, and others are not. One would not recommend the study of logic or of the calculus to the average child of ten, nor would the teaching of English be wisely deferred until the age of fifteen. Finally, if the courses of study in our present school system shall be found to be arranged without regard to the order of mental development, they will sooner or later be modified in accordance with it.