"Sit down and feed, and welcome to our table." -William Shakespeare

Friday, May 13, 2011

Food for Thought Friday

“If nature-study is made a drill, its pedagogic value is lost.
When it is properly taught, the child is unconscious of mental effort or that he is suffering the act of teaching.
As soon as nature-study becomes a task, it should be dropped; but how could it ever be a task to see that the sky is blue, or the dandelion golden, or to listen to the oriole in the elm!”
-Anna Botsford Comstock, Handbook of Nature Study, pg 6
“The teacher may judge as to her own progress in nature-study by the length of time she is glad to spend in reading from nature’s book what is therein written.
As she progresses, she finds those hours spent in studying nature speed faster, till a day thus spent seems but an hour.
The author can think of nothing she would so gladly do as to spend days and months with the birds, the bees, and flowers with no obligation to tell what she should see.
There is more than mere information in hours thus spent. Lowell describes them well when he says:
Those old days when the balancing of a yellow butterfly
o’er a thistle bloom
Was spiritual food and lodging for the whole afternoon.”
- Anna Botsford Comstock, Handbook of Nature Study, pg 7
Handbook of Nature Study

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