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Teaching Children ScienceHands-On Nature Study in North America, 1890-1930$
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Sally Kohlstedt

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780226449906

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226449920.001.0001

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Deliberating Theory, Texts, and Topics

Deliberating Theory, Texts, and Topics

Chapter:
(p.111) CHAPTER FIVE Deliberating Theory, Texts, and Topics
Source:
Teaching Children Science
Author(s):

Sally Gregory Kohlstedt

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226449920.003.0006

A basic premise of nature study was that its methods were fundamentally different from the older reliance on rote memorization, but the prescription for what should be substituted was less clear. Educational reformers generally shared that optimism about the potential of teachers, who they to equip with educational philosophy and child psychology on which to build their classroom practice. Nature study advocates adopted four significant, sometimes overlapping, educational approaches, typically articulated in textbooks written by faculty who trained teachers to present nature study in public classrooms. Proponents of these philosophical approaches found in the new curriculum rich potential for teaching children through and about nature. In turn, nature study became a vehicle through which to demonstrate and extend their particular pedagogical outlooks. Educational leaders presented their theories and prescribed applications through widely distributed published materials that could be taught in normal schools and used by practicing teachers. The nature study curriculum spread as commercial publishers fed the broadening market for textbooks with a proliferation of materials.

Keywords:   nature study, educational reformers, trained teachers, curriculum, textbooks

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