The Difficulty with Much of our Teaching

December 12, 2011 at 8:47 am

The difficulty with much of our teaching is that the pupil does not carry it with him into life; and he does not carry it with him because it is likely to be taught in an abstract way and without any particular articulation or vibration with the situations that he has to meet or with the knowledge that he is likely to gain by experience. I do not care much about the mere “practical” teaching, meaning by that the direct outcome of teaching in dollars and cents; but I care very much to have our teaching really mean something to the pupil, and to this end all teaching should be applicable.

… I think we shall some day consider it to be important that our people know the actual products of the earth, not only that they may utilize these products effectively but that they also may have the resource that comes from good nature-knowledge. – L.H. Bailey, 1913, “York State Rural Problems”

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