Physical Science in Schools

Abstract

THE struggle which Physical Science has had to obtain a footing amongst the regular subjects of the school curriculum has not been altogether in vain, and the study of science now occupies a conspicuous place in the prospectus, at any rate, of many of our schools. But to those who, being behind the scenes, are acquainted with the real facts, the position which science occupies amongst other subjects, with a few honourable exceptions, is insignificant in the extreme. It is admitted as an axiom by all science teachers, that if the study of science is to be of any value, the student must, in some part at least of his work, be brought face to face with the facts of nature, and that unless this be the case the introduction of the subject into the school course is worse than useless; but how commonly does the so-called science-work of a school consist simply in the acquisition of so much “useful knowledge?” And even when in other respects the teaching is fairly satisfactory, the practical work is too often optional—an “extra,” or taken on half-holidays, and so ruined by the competition of cricket and football.

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