Chapter

Revitalizing Farm and Country Living

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/9780226449920.003.0005
Revitalizing Farm and Country Living

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The expansion of the Agricultural Experiment Station in New York enabled faculty to work with farmers on specific problems and to improve their methods. Extending this mission to families and especially to the coming generation of rural children appealed to the progressive thinking of educators, and, in the 1890s, the methods and rationale of nature study seemed a way to enable teachers scattered in small one- and two-room schools to educate pupils to understand and appreciate their natural environment. The model educational museum at Guelph demonstrated to prospective teachers the value of teaching from objects, although much about the Ontario program took on an agricultural, even vocational, orientation. That farm sensibility helped the nature study movement take root in the ambitious communities that populated western provinces, bringing farm families, and with them, teachers from eastern Canada. Nature study education had an ambiguous relationship to the emerging vocational education movement, which translated into agricultural education in rural areas.

Keywords: nature study; farm; rural children; education movement; vocational orientation

Chapter.  13025 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Education

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