Chapter

Devising a Curriculum for Nature Study

Sally Gregory Kohlstedt

in Teaching Children Science

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780226449906
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226449920 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226449920.003.0003
Devising a Curriculum for Nature Study

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The new educational psychology and philosophy of education found a sometimes uneasy home in new research universities such as Clark University and the University of Chicago. The faculty involved with educational research made it their primary goal to prepare graduates destined to become instructors at the rapidly expanding networks of normal schools throughout the nation. These university programs carefully distinguished their work from that of normal schools that prepared elementary and grammar school teachers. Educational reformers relished the intellectual excitement of creating new curricula and identifying efficient systems for standardizing and coordinating an array of public school initiatives. These included kindergartens, manual and vocational training programs, evening schools, college preparatory courses, and more. Critical to bringing about system-wide changes were teachers. The introduction of nature study as a new and quite specific subject area was implemented across the country within a decade. Making education work well in the rapidly expanding and socially challenging neighborhoods of the inner city was a major goal of reformers.

Keywords: education; university programs; educational reformers; curricula; nature study

Chapter.  8296 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Education

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