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A Manual of Elementary Science

Nature volume 63, page 513 (28 March 1901) | Download Citation



OF the three parts into which this book is divided, those dealing with physics and chemistry are along familiar lines, but it may be stated that they are treated with the thoroughness and attention to practical details which the authors have accustomed us to expect. It is to the third part that teachers will turn with the greatest interest, for the reason that an effort is made to extend laboratory methods in the teaching of astronomy. Hitherto, with the possible exception of two American books, there has been no guide to this class of work suitable for elementary students who can only give a comparatively small amount of time to the subject. The practical exercises described comprise the illustration of astronomical phenomena by the use of simple apparatus; suggestions for observations of the heavenly bodies themselves, including measurements of altitude, &c., with home-made instruments; the graphical representation of the paths of the sun, moon and planets with the aid of an almanac; and easy numerical exercises. Those who have endeavoured to teach chiefly by the observation of the heavens will appreciate the provision made for instructive work when outdoor observation is not possible or convenient. The course laid down is certainly a step in the right direction, but it would be too much to say that it could not be improved. The use of the globes, for instance, might have been introduced with advantage.

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