Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 55.djvu/469

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TEACHERS' SCHOOL OF SCIENCE.

451

TEACHERS' SCHOOL OF SCIENCE.

By FRANCES ZIRNGIEBEL.

"HE who would most effectually improve school tuition must find out the most effectual way of improving the teachers. Hence he is the greatest educational benefactor who does most to raise the character and qualifications of the teachers," said John D. Philbrick; late superintendent of the public schools of the city of Boston, in his twenty-third semiannual report. By providing teachers with the best instruction on subjects the teaching of which was at the time of making this report, and is still, unsatisfactory, The Teachers' School of Science of the Boston Society of Natural History has for nearly three decades been a great educational benefactor. It stands unique as an institution which, while doing a great work for many years, PSM V55 D469 Alpheus Hyatt.pngAlpheus Hyatt. has presented nothing of startling nature such as would attract the attention of the general public, and is therefore not so widely known as it deserves to be.

During a conversation held at the council room of the Boston Society of Natural History, in 1870, between Prof. Alpheus Hyatt and the late Mr. John C. Cummings, a Boston merchant interested in natural history and curator of the plant collection of the society for twenty, odd years, the latter expressed regret that the Lowell lectures for teachers had been discontinued. Professor Hyatt then suggested to him a plan for lectures for teachers exclusively. That afternoon Mr. Cummings gave five hundred dollars for the commencement of such a course, and soon after the matter was brought before a committee consisting of Mr. Cummings, Professor Hyatt, and Professor Niles.

Under the direction of the committee the courses of lessons were given as follows: physical geography, by Prof. William H. Niles, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; mineralogy,