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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 85


page 53


Man. Monkeys. Bats. Insect-Eaters. Flesh-Eaters. Gnawers. The Toothless Tribe. Cud-Chewers. Thick-Skins. Pouch-Bearers. Water-Moles. Seals and the like. Whales and the like. Birds, Reptiles. Frogs and the like. Fishes. Insects. Spiders and the like. Crabs and the like. Worms and the like. Soft-bodied Animals. Rayed Animals. Primary Animals.

It may be seen by the foregoing, taken from the Syllabus of Lecture VIII. of the "Science made Easy" series, that in so rudimentary a course, I found it expedient to begin Zoology with the Human Species, and to progress downwards, as is usually done in Botany, instead of adopting the modern plan of an upward progression, and I am convinced that as regards the teaching of our proposed first Period, addressed to boys from 10 to 12 years of age, the same downward plan will be found the best. In fact the Human Type, leaving details of the structure and functions for Physiology, but introducing the chief physiognomic distinctions of Race with the aid of striking Diagrams, like those of the Working Men's Educational Union, can scarcely fail to excite in juvenile minds, an interest as lively as that evinced by the Mechanics, who used to flock to ray Lectures at the London Institutions. That interest is moreover well kept up by the remainder of the Mammalia, not to say of the Vertebrata generally. Very different would be the effect of beginning with an uninviting disquisition on Protoplasm and the Amoeba. In the second Period the ascending progression may have its turn. Additional interest and instruction will be gained by travelling in an opposite direction through the same scenery, or in other words, working one's way back again from the mysterious depths of the ocean to the daylight of familiar forms.

Pictorial Illustrations of Animals suited for class-use page 54 abound, including besides the English, some good German and French sets; but in order to have a uniform series, I have found it best to adopt a selection of those published by the S.P.C.K., grouping them in due sequence on sheets of stout cardboard. This plan has answered so well, and the epitome of information contained in Lecture VIII., which they serve to illustrate, approaches so nearly to what school-boys are likely to want in the first Period, that I may venture to suggest its use, the more so as boys classically educated would find the Latin names added in brackets to the English ones. For the second Period, it would be desirable to select from the copious stock of zoological literature, some standard work popularly written, and well supplied with woodcuts, which after serving for eclectic study, might be permanently useful as a repertory of Economic Zoology.