Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 53.djvu/290

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276
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

lating effect over almost every native author of the last twenty years"; Tyndall, who "conciliated critical opinion by the courage with which he insisted on the value of imagination in the pursuit of scientific inquiry"; and Huxley, master of a purer and manlier style, who his whole life through "was attacking the enemies of thought, as he conceived them, and defending the pioneers of evolution."

In Dr. Francis Warner s Study of Children,[1] the practical purpose is very evident, to inform parents and teachers how they should study the idiosyncrasies of children and the relations of their special physical conditions to the psychological symptoms, to the end that they may treat their cases judiciously. If a child is restless, troublesome, even bad, there is most probably a cause in its physical conditions or surroundings for its peculiar disposition. The teacher should seek to ascertain that cause, and so conduct the inquiry that the child shall not be embarrassed or disturbed by knowing his purpose. One of the first principles announced in the book is that we must remember that children differ greatly in strength and in mental faculty; education should therefore be adapted to the special needs of the individuals. As there are many classes and varieties of children, whose needs must be studied, while bodily strength and mental faculty differ with the age and surrounding, "child study must be a matter of primary interest to the teacher and others engaged in the care of children as affording a basis for the methods of education; giving a source of perpetual interest to work in school, an interest in the individual child, and a means of working out, in practice, the best that can be done with the child in various phases of life. . . . Observation shows the child's strong points which should be cultivated as well as his weak ones which must be combated." The chapters on the physiology and general conditions of the child are followed by others on points and methods of observation—what to look for and how—and then by general instructions on methods of treatment and training. The almost innumerable varieties of cases may be arranged in groups, for which the general principles of treatment and study are suggested. These are illustrated by detailed accounts of typical cases. The author, an eminent writer in this line of study, has had special facilities for preparing for this particular work; having, as one of a committee of the British Medical Association, to study school children as to their physical and mental states, examined one hundred thousand children upon a fixed plan, and taken copious notes of what he found.

Miss Merriam seeks in her Birds of Village and Field[2] to aid persons who know little or nothing of birds in identifying and studying those they see. The presence among us of larger numbers of them than we usually suspect makes the study of a considerable variety of birds practically possible to any one. We do not have to go away off to seek them. They throng around our very doors; prefer the vicinity of the habitations of men to wild spots; and, shy as they are, reveal themselves to those who look patiently and carefully for them. From seventy to nearly a hundred species a year have been known to resort to private grounds where records are kept. Miss Merriam furnishes an untechnical key, and as simple as may be to the identification of these birds. A "field color key" describes all the various markings that are likely to be seen, in clear, concise terms; and each particular marking is referred to the page in the book where the bird bearing it is described. The descriptions are lively, interesting, bear upon the habits and appearance of the birds, and give many hints as to how we may enjoy them to the best advantage, and even entice them to make their homes among us; and they include a large number of species with the distinctions between them plainly marked, and numerous illustrations, large and small, of special features.

The selection of counties by the Geological Survey of Iowa[3] for special examina-


  1. The Study of Children and their School Training. By Francis Warner, M. D. New York: The Macmillan Company. Pp. 254. Price, $1.
  2. Birds of Village and Field. A Bird Book for Beginners. By Florence Merriam. Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin & Co. Pp. 406. Price, $2.
  3. Iowa Geological Survey, Vol. II. Annual Report, 1896, with accompanying papers. Samuel Calvin, State Geologist; A. G Leonard, assistant. Des Moines, pp. 557, with maps.