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History Lives Here Text

The method of nature-study is the expression of the inner impulsionof the teacher. The methods are of course many, but some of the mostimportant lines of approach may be expressed under a half dozen heads.

1. Direct observation of the objects and phenomena.

2. Clear identification. Identification is a primary educationalprocess, but far too much neglected. One who is able to identify the kids ofthings, whether of plants, stones or animals, should also re able to identifyideas and phenomena,

3. Actual contact with the objects and situations, This means fieldstudy, going to the places where the things are.

4. The effort t o relate the objects and phenomena to their environmentrather than to take them away from the it naturalseating.

5. It begins with things as they are, as theypresent themselves naturally, and not with dissections or what in the higherranges is called laboratory work.

6. Nature-study is not the telling of stories, although stories and thegiving of information may very well follow when the pupil has learned theobject or the situation itself.


We may consider what nature-study is able to accomplish. The resultsfollow naturally from the methods.

1. It presents nature as it is, in a whole view,and not as an analysis.

2. It should remove the fear and the dread of nature, under which mostof us live.

3. It should correct many of the prevailingerrors about nature, and challenge the pictures thathave made so much appeal to us in the old text-books.

4. It tends to overcome the imitative tendencies, by giving the childsomething of its own to consider.

5. It should develop an overpowering regard for truth f or its ownsake. Nature is the fountain of truth.

6. It should constitute a good and unfailing preparation for thesubsequent study of science.

7. It should vividly stimulate the imagination.

8. It should develop a love of the objects,sympathy for every living sentient thing, and therefore contentment in one'senvironment.

9. It should provide entertainment and satisfaction for the lonelyhours. Most persons are afraid to be alone.

10. It should engender a wholesome appreciation of literature.

11. It should lead to simplicity, to satisfactions in the commonobjects and circumstance s of life.


Liberty Hyde Bailey grew up on a small farm on the outskirts of South Haven.He graduated from Michigan Agricultural Collegein 1882 and later taught botany and horticulture at MAC. In 1888 he moved to Cornell University where he was dean of thedepartment of agriculture 1903 to 1913. Bailey was one of the earliest torecognize the value of nature study for all students. The above pages werediscovered in a copy of The Nursery-Manual which went through 17printings between 1896 and 1961. He wrote many other plant manuals, gardeningbooks, small books of nature inspiration and one volume of poetry: Followingretirement from Cornell Bailey traveled and became the world's leadingauthority on palms. He died in 1954 at the age of 97.