Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 83.djvu/164

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160
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

year, 1.5 if offered in the second, 2.5 in the third and 3.5 in the fourth year. For each subject, the value was taken as determined by the printed course, and the sum of the twenty-one values divided by twenty-one to find the average. Thus should each offer a particular science in the first year, the average would be a value of .5; but should any offer it at a later date the effect would be to raise that value an amount agreeable to the year in which found, subject to the reduction due to averaging. The averages thus obtained for the six sciences susceptible to this treatment were as follows:

 
Physical geography 75 Zoology 1.85
Physiology 94 Chemistry 2.95
Botany 1.45 Physics 3.00
 

The order given in the table is the prevailing order in these schools, the chief value of the table being to show the relative, rather than the actual positions. For it is apparent that the natural tendency to vary is restricted within the limits and 4, the beginning and close of the high school course, with the result that reducing a science from the high school into the grades inequitably destroys its influence on the average, and that intermediate values may result from averaging extremes as well as means, while all averages tend unduly toward the middle value.

The figures should also be interpreted in the light of a statute requiring physiology to be taught in the first year of the high school, and another which requires geography and physiology of all candidates for teachers' certificates, all the remaining sciences but chemistry being required for the first grade certificate.

In an investigation of 48 high schools "principally in the Middle West," Miss Ada L. Weckel[1] obtained data which give almost the same sequence, though not the same values for these subjects, the only difference being that physiology, probably because it is not so firmly bound in place by statute in other states as in Illinois, has migrated to a position between botany and zoology. Mr. E. E. Ramsey[2] in a similar investigation of the high schools of Indiana and other states of the Middle West gets corroborative results.

The recommendation of the Committee of Ten concerning geography was that the more elementary portions constitute the "physical geography" of the first year, while the more technical portions be carried over to the last of the course. Though no school was found to divide the subject for an elementary and an advanced treatment they generally agree with the recommendation by placing it in the first

  1. School Science, May, 1911.
  2. School Science, December, 1911.