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The Position of Natural Science in Education

Nature volume 101, pages 135136 (18 April 1918) | Download Citation

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THE report (Cd. 9011, price 9d. net) of Sir J. J. Thomson's Committee appointed in 1916 to inquire into the position of natural science in the educational system of Great Britain has now been published, and we propose to deal with its main points in a later issue. It is a valuable survey of the position of science in schools and in relation to professional and university education. The case for increased attention to science in order to expand ithe mental outlook as well as equip the nation with the elements of industrial progress is so strong that it has already convinced all who have considered it. What remains to be done now is to act upon the principles set forth in the report, and if the stress of war has not shown the necessity for such action by our political rulers national disaster will do so when too late. It is pointed out that there has been no general and sufficient recognition of science as an essential part of the curriculum for all boys in the public schools, and that in grant-aided secondary schools the customary course of science work is too narrow, to the neglect of great scientific principles with their human interests and everyday applications. More trained scientific workers are needed, and to secure them there must be a generous extension of the system of scholarships and greatly increased contributions from the State for university and technical education. “If,” says the report, “the universities are to discharge their responsibilities towards the science students who are coming, and to maintain their position as homes of scientific learning and research, they must receive a measure of financial support much more considerable than they have received hitherto.” The report concludes with a summary of principal conclusions under eighty-three heads, a selection from which is reprinted below.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/101135a0

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