« ÎnapoiContinuați »
“I am going too, I also have Morisco blood-see, do you remember this?”
He held out the flashing scimitar from the shade of his cloak.
"It belonged to our Mother's people -I am coming with you.”
Juan paused in his walk.
Juan looked at him keenly out of the keen dark eyes so like his own.
“We used to love each other," he said.
“I remembered that."
"I was very lonely,” added Juan.
“And I-When I heard that you were going.”
"It is strange," said Juan.
The half-brothers stepped together onto the galley that was to take them into perpetual exile.
That night, as they lay together on the hard bench and in the foul darkness, Pablo lying awake with many thoughts, felt his brother gently kiss his brow.
And somehow he was repaid for all he had left behind-and for Estreldis.
THE EDUCATIONAL USE OF THE SCHOOL GARDEN.
The time has come for a very large increase in the number of school gardens, and for a considerable change in the method of using them. It is not merely that a much larger number of people should be taught the principles and practice of horticulture, though that is important. There is no one who does not agree that this country must be more self-dependent in the matter of its food supply, and that a much larger number of people must be induced to work on the land. The multiplication of school gardens will help in that direction; but it is not of the teaching of horticulture that we are chiefly thinking. The fact is that a garden may be so used in the work of a school as to have the highest educational value. It may be made to give life and reality to almost every part of the curriculum, and to assist most effectively in the physical, moral, æsthetic, scientific, industrial, and social education of young people. Indeed it would not be an exaggeration to say that almost the whole of the activities of a school might be made to center upon, and take place in, a garden, and that a great increase of efficiency would follow
any such development.
It seems strange that it is only quite recently that it has been thought necessary or desirable that a garden should be run in connection with the teaching of Cookery. There is, surely, a natural alliance between the kitchen and the garden. The vegetables that are cooked in the one are grown in the other. One would have thought that, wherever it was possible, girls would have been taught to cultivate the cabbages they cooked: It is curious to notice that it is only the schools that are attended by the children of the wealthy that have their garden mistresses, and that teach girls the practical management of the ground. The gardens attached to the Council schools are used exclusively for boys. Yet all girls who are old enough to learn Cookery are old enough to learn Gardening, and our own experience shows that they very much like to do it. We have seen, during 1916, a kitchen garden worked by girls of an ordinary Council school, and no work was more enjoyed by the girls, or better done. Of course there are things which girls should not and could not do; but these are very few. It must be worth while to give to girls a knowledge of the pleasure and profit to be derived
from a garden, and the natural way to do this would seem to be that they should themselves cultivate the things that they use in the Cooking Class. This would, of course, mean that the institutions for the training of teachers of domestic subjects would have to be provided with gardens. As far as we know this is very rarely the case at present. Cookery teachers who want to learn gardening have to go to Swanley, or elsewhere, for a course of instruction. The fact is that in our schools we are far too much given to cutting up the instruction into “subjects" with little or no communication with each other; the consequences are sometimes almost ridiculous. What we should like to see in this country is a generation of housewives who not only really can cook, but who can completely manage a garden of such a size that it supplies most of the vegetables and flowers that a workingman's house requires. When Lord Bacon said that "a garden is the purest of human pleasures, the greatest refreshment to the spirits of man," he was not, probably, thinking much of Woman. But he ought to have been. If all cities were garden-cities, all villages garden-villages and all housewives gardeners as well as cooks, this would be an infinitely happier world—especially for women.
A very determined demand is being made for the more extensive teaching of Science. Not less urgent is the necessity for an improvement in the methods of teaching it, and especially in the methods of instruction in the first stages. There has been a fashion of starting all such teaching by a series of lessons on measurement, volume, density, specific gravity, and so That can hardly be called an attractive approach to Science, and, however logical it may be, it is wholly unnatural. The garden offers a natural approach to science on several sides. Take Chemistry, for example. One cannot
go far in the cultivation of a garden before one begins to use chemicals. "Liming" is universally necessary. When the lime is being placed upon the garden a boy wants to know why. What is lime? How is it obtained? What does it do to the garden? Why is it called "quick” or “slaked"? All these things one really wants to know, and there is the teacher's opportunity for giving his lesson in Chemistry. Life is imparted to the study. Lessons are seen to have something to do with the practical affairs of life, and not to be merely "something out of a book." The chemistry of air and water, carbon and carbonic acid, nitrogen and nitrates, potash, sulphates, phosphates; sand, clay, iron; ammonia and its compounds; the phenomena of decomposition, solution, evaporation-all these arise as matters to be studied because of what is seen and done in the garden. It would be perfectly easy to prepare a syllabus of a first course in Chemistry that would arise out of the affairs of the garden, and for which the instruction could mainly be given on the ground.
The same may be urged with regard to Light and Heat. How is it that these are regarded as subjects to be studied, in the first case, indoors and without reference to any living thing? Their first importance lies in their influence upon, and necessity to the maintenance of, life and growth.
How far can one go in a garden before some question of heat or light is met offering to the teacher an opening for exciting interest and imparting information? Here is a hand-light; why is it warmer under the glass than outside? Most people imagine that they know, but few do. This is the teacher's starting-point for a talk about the nature of heat and its transmission. Again, one must understand all about thermometers of all sorts if one is to be a gardener. Snow and soot raise the subjects of absorption
and conduction of heat. The effect of Gorse, broom and laburnum will be frost upon the soil, and the means of found on the borders of the garden. preserving plants from frost, demand Another bed may contain tomatoes, scientific explanations. It is in the gar- potatoes, tobacco, petunia, physalis, den, too, that one should show the con- and other Solanacec. In the same nection between light and life, light and way there will be beds of Labiates, color, temperature and evaporation, Rosaceæ, Scrophulariaceæ, and the temperature and growth, and all such rest. Indeed, there are very few things matters. If these things are approached mentioned in an elementary textbook in the first place as matters of life and of Botany that may not quite readily be death to plants and of success grown in a fair-sized school garden. failure for the gardener, there is some It must be better to study these things likelihood of their appearing to be from the living, growing plant than in worthy of attention. And after all any other way. Pupils may learn for it was in some such way as this that themselves by direct observation. What these subjects were first approached. could be better, for instance, than to We have too much cut off our teaching send pupils into a garden charged to from actual things and made it an find out the different ways in which affair of words, so that science is a plants climb? Bean, hop, clematis, question of conjuring experiments and nasturtium, ivy, virginia creeperof examinations, and not at all con- all will be in the garden, and the pupils nected with Nature. We teach about will visit each and make their own capillarity by means of little blocks of observations, reporting in words and in salt and sugar, in a classroom; but the drawings. practical importance of it lies in the Nowhere else is there so much opporsoil, and it is not unconnected with the tunity for making children investigafarmer's practice of rolling the ground tors. We want to stir up the spirit of and the gardener's use of the hoe. inquiry; we want young people to
We cannot help thinking that when devise experiments which shall answer we come to what is nowadays called questions; that is, we want to make Nature Study, and to Botany, a garden them discoverers. A garden offers is quite indispensable. Here our school endless opportunities for this, especially gardens have not been used at all as if foresight is exercised when the plantthey should. In past years Botany ing is being done. Ask questions of this has largely been learned by children sort: Do the roots by which ivy clings in classrooms, from books and diagrams to a wall feed the plant? Arrange an and dried specimens, and that even experiment to find out. At what rate where a school garden was at hand. does a sunflower grow? Can a hopIn a few cases it has been otherwise. plant be trained to climb round a pole in Why should not elementary Botany the same direction as a kidney bean? be wholly a garden and outdoor subject? Which is better to use as seed-potatoes A considerable portion of the garden that are fully matured or immature should be given up to small beds each ones? There is no end to the number planted with members of one Natural of such inquiries; and the necessary Order, or with plants selected to illus- experiments be invented and trate one or more definite points. For carried out by the scholars themselves. example, a bed may contain red, white, Surely this is good teaching method. and alsike clover; peas, beans, and Nowhere else can the child be so lentils; monkey-nuts, lupins, lucerne, readily led to wonder and to inquire, vetches, sainfoin; and other Leguminose. as in a garden.
There should, of course, be in every school garden a section devoted to plants of economic importance. We could name
a garden where fifteen little beds—perhaps each two square yards—are sown each with a different useful grass; where wheat, barley, oats, rye, millet, maize, sugar-beet, flax, hemp, and mustard each have a place; where a series of small plots illustrates the rotation of crops; and where there is a small plantation with specimens of some thirty British forest trees. Of late there has been a good deal of talk about medicinal herbs; these should have a considerable plot in a school garden. A pond might often be provided, and aquatic plants grown and pond life studied; whilst in some places it should not be impossible to cultivate trout.
The school garden gives rise to a demand for what the schools call "Manual Work." Often instruction is given in woodwork and metal work with little reference to any real necessity of life. Boys make models; why should they not make things. A man who can make his own frames, build his own poultry house, glaze a window, solder a watering can, and do all such jobs, is in an enviable position. It is worth much to have boys doing these things not as lessons or "specimens” or "models,” but because they are wanted and are to be used. This is what we mean by making the work of a school depend upon, and arise out of, the garden. We really must try to bring the work done in our schools back into touch with reality; we must cease trying to be elaborate and get back to simple natural ways of doing things.
It will be seen that we are suggesting that the provision of school gardens, and some reform in the way of using them, would lead to more time being spent by teachers and children in the open-air of the garden. That would certainly be desirable. If it is good for the physically
defective to be sent to open-air schools it must be good for normal children to be out of doors. But what we are here concerned with is that it is educationally better, that better methods of teaching can be employed, that opportunities can more easily be made for co-operative or team-work, that self-discipline is far more easily arranged for, and that the natural restlessness of a child can be more readily turned to account. Especially we would emphasize the fact that in a garden work becomes "meaningful," "purposeful." How much better, for example, to measure one's own garden-plot and find its area, with and without the path, than to do a sum about it out of a book? How much better to see a square pole, or rood, or acre than merely to learn the words? How much more "sense" there is in keeping the accounts of your own garden than in dealing with some "made-up" figures! Or if you are to discuss rainfall; or maximum, minimum, and mean temperatures; or any kind of meteorology-how much more real it all is if you have taken the observations in, and made your charts and calculations with reference to, your own garden. “Summer Time" presents no difficulties to girls who have entered the revised figures upon the sun-dial in the school garden. Direction is quite clear when one has studied the weathervane in, and made an accurate map of, the garden in which your teacher discusses these things. It is really extraordinary, too, how large a proportion of what is done in the way of arithmetic in schools can be applied to, or begin to be studied in, the garden. Properly employed, a school garden is the very best classroom imaginable.
We referred above to the moral, æsthetic, and social influence that might be exerted by the school garden. This would seem to be evident. What would be the result if children from the slums of our big cities could receive
such education as they get in a school the neighbor's garden wall. Yet this garden or garden school? The human- would certainly be the way to get izing effect of such association with people to believe in the schools and feel beautiful living things would be of some interest in them. untold value. And where will one Arithmetic, Geography, Botany, Nalearn patience, foresight, thrift, clean- ture Study, Drawing, Elementary liness, economy, and altruism so well? Science—these are all subjects in which It is an unwritten law that in a garden much of the work could be made to one works "that he may have to give arise naturally out of the garden and to him that needeth."
be done in it. Other things, too, could In a village the school garden might be studied there. Sitting accommodawell become a center for a good deal tion and shelter would make needleof social intercourse. Boys and girls work and reading possible there; whilst have their own plots to cultivate; a very large amount of literature could fathers and mothers should be quite be, and ought to be, connected with the free to come and help out of school life of the garden and field. In every hours. There would be much more of case the possession of a garden opens sympathy between the school and the the way for new and better methods of home if parents and teachers met teaching, and for more humane ways casually on common ground with some of handling a class. And what an common interest. Moreover, it is opportunity these gardens would give worth a good deal to get teachers for the holiday months!
Of course, associated with their scholars in this garden-schools would not be closed. social and informal manner. The There will be, in the new time, streams farmer might quite reasonably look to of children going out to them for holithe school to do his seed-testing for days--real holidays, when happy and him, nor need there be any great instructive hours are spent among reluctance for help to be given to him bees and flowers, vegetables and fruit. in any time of emergency.
The other There will be fruit-picking and jammonth a certain small farmer making, sleep and play, work and almost in despair about getting up his liberty. The girl who comes home from potatoes. In desperation he wrote to the great boarding-school loves and two large elementary schools near by, enjoys her home garden. For the asking if they could help in any way. dwellers in the congested areas, the Now why should not the schoolmasters school garden must take the place of have taken a dozen boys each and the home garden till the latter is given a day-Saturday perhaps—to provided. help with those potatoes? The school In the coming days we shall make all time usually given to physical exer- country schools garden-schools. We cises might well have been omitted shall cease to build barrack schools that week, and, perhaps, also the time in the congested areas of towns. Ingiven to nature study. The boys would stead, a ring of large school gardens have had a lesson in patriotic altruism. and garden schools will encircle the But no; neither of the schoolmasters towns, and to these children will be sent any reply to the man's appeal. carried by tram and train each day. That small-holder is not likely to feel Then, perhaps, a new spirit will arise very enthusiastic about the education in our country. A generation will come rate.
that will not be denied its right of We dare not take the children off the access to the soil, a generation that school premises, to the farmer's field or knows Nature and loves her; an edu