Tufts College Laboratory School For Teachers and Children

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  • This article was downloaded by: [New York University]On: 06 October 2014, At: 17:51Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954Registered office: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK

    Religious Education: The officialjournal of the Religious EducationAssociationPublication details, including instructions for authors andsubscription information:http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/urea20

    Tufts College Laboratory SchoolFor Teachers and ChildrenProfessor Edna M. Baxter aa School of Religious Education, Hartford SeminaryFoundationPublished online: 09 Aug 2011.

    To cite this article: Professor Edna M. Baxter (1949) Tufts College Laboratory School ForTeachers and Children, Religious Education: The official journal of the Religious EducationAssociation, 44:5, 302-306, DOI: 10.1080/0034408490440509

    To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0034408490440509

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  • TUFTS COLLEGE LABORATORY SCHOOL

    For Teachers and ChildrenPROFESSOR EDNA M. BAXTERSchool of Religious Education, Hartford Seminary Foundation

    TEACHERS of religion generally need tosee good teaching in order to have

    the desire and the skill to do it themselves.It was inspiring to have a college summer ses-sion offering teachers and directors of reli-gious education not only courses of studyin Bible, in psychology, and in teaching butto have a school for older children and forearly adolescents going on for observationand in which some teachers could participate.Such an arrangement was made possible forreligious educators at Tufts College in Med-ford, Massachusetts. It was perfectly clear bythe close of this summer session that theteachers had a new vision of teaching. Theyhad seen children at work, making discov-eries, discussing, asking questions, takingtrips, learning resources for worship, par-ticipating in well-planned worship, and pre-senting the results of their work to theirparents in an interesting climax program.The older children declared "This school isnice. We wish that we could have it all thetime." Certainly both teachers and childrendid enjoy it and it was a school where muchwas learned. The children's school met fortwo and a half hours each day for five daysa week during three weeks of the adult sum-mer session.

    Very early the teachers discovered thatthese average children who came from sev-eral public schools had had little or no ex-perience with paints, crayons, drama, or edu-cational activities. It was noted also thatthese children who had just been promotedfrom the fourth and the fifth grades hadbeen given no information about creation,growth, and the development of life on thisplanet. Yet when exposed to opportunitiesto see and discover, these children were eagerto find out about this realm of life. A list of

    some of their major questions which followwill reveal this. The children were greatlystimulated in their thinking by the variedexperiences which were provided. Duringtheir examination of pictures of the evolu-tion of life, of fossils and other exhibits atthe Peabody Museum in Cambridge, in theprocess of creating their shadow play of thestory of the growth of living things andthrough the study of contrasting ideas ofGod found in some of the Bible materials, thechildren began to ask the questions whichfollow:

    Did all life begin with a single cell?What makes all the same cells appear in

    the same order?Why are cells so much alike?Where did cells first come from?Does the hair root of a Chinese person

    look the same as ours under a micro-scope?

    What makes cells increase?Do we know everything about cells?Where did the cavemen get their chil-

    dren?Why are we spread over all the world?How did man find out about God?Will our idea of God change in the next

    billion years?Why does everyone (of different races)

    come to America?Why don't the Chinese live like we do?

    (Dress, food, etc.)Where did the first man live?Were the Indians once the only people

    on earth?Where did they come from?Are there more cells in a grown man

    than in a little child?How do you get more cells?Are there still volcanoes and earth-

    quakes?Are there any cavemen today in the

    world?Is the story in the Bible of Adam and

    Eve right or is science right?Was Adam another man that was created

    besides the cavemen?How did Jesus know better than anyone

    else what God is like?

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  • LABORATORY SCHOOL 303

    Are there any places in the world wherethere are no people living?

    Will all the people in the world everfind out that they belong to one fam-ily?

    Are there any new animals in the worldthat we don't know about?

    Why do people have to die?Will someone find our bones the way

    we find those of the birds and beastsof long ago?

    Why do we have museums?Why did the animals get lost? Why did

    some of one kind of animal die off?Why are the Bible stories of creation dif-

    ferent from those of the scientists?

    It was the belief of the teaching staff thatolder children can learn about God and themeaning of brotherhood if they are exposedto the common beginnings of all life and par-ticularly of all people. It seemed imperativethat they learn this before they were in-volved too much in an emphasis on differ-ences, on nationalism and on races. Fortu-tunately Eva Knox Evans had written hercharming book All About Us which greatlyenriched our experiences. The Wonder ofLife by Levine and Seligmann,1 the First Bookof Earth by Rugg and Krueger, So LongAgo by E. Boyd Smith2 together with partsof Genesis, some Psalms, and some of Jesus'teachings constituted the major materials.

    Questions, interests and varied learningsgrew out of many kinds of experiences. Theearliest and most continuous ones were witha very good microscope from the science lab-oratory of the campus. Gradually the olderstudents in the class began to find ways to usetheir knowledge of biology and geology inrelation to the teachings of religion. A largefrieze was developed from drawings andpaintings to show the way life grew fromcells and appeared at different stages throughthe long periods of time. The cells wereenlarged pictures drawn or painted after see-ing them under the microscope. Cells inthe skin, in the roots of hair, and in the bloodwere examined and painted.

    One of the favorite experiences was themaking of a shadow-play for the climax pro-gram telling the story of life. Facts grewclearer, new words were used easily, while

    "Simon and Schuster.'Houghton Miffin Co.

    questions and thinking grew steadily. Thestory to accompany the shadow pictures wascomposed cooperatively and copied on largeposters so that all the class could follow itsdevelopment.

    Trips to gather specimen for the micro-scope and to the Peabody Museum gave in-valuable experiences. It was astonishing todiscover that none of these junior age chil-dren had ever been inside a museum beforeand yet they were fascinated and declaredthey would go again. In the museum theysaw the skeletons and the fossils of ancientlife so that the facts discovered and discussedin the classroom were verified and real.

    The climax program is included here be-cause it indicates something of the scope ofthe experiences of these children. Parentsand guests were invited and responded withgreat enthusiasm.

    God's Plan for the Growthof Living Things

    I. Folk music and gamesWeggis Song SwissNoble Duke of York EnglishSkating AwaySwissAch Ja GermanForty Ways to Get There AfricaHey! Suscha Czech

    II. Worship Service1. Call to worship:

    Praise Ye the LordPraise God in His SanctuaryPraise Him in His mighty actsPraise Him according to his excellentgreatness.

    Let everything that hath breath, praisethe Lord.

    Great things doeth he that we cannotcomprehend.

    Sing unto Him, Sing praises unto Him;Talk ye of all His marvelous worksPraise Ye the Lord.

    2. Gaul's "Santus"3. Hymn: "The World, Dear Lord Is

    Very Large."4. Shadow Play: "God's Plan for the

    Growth of Living Things"The fifth grade boys and girls of the sum-

    mer session of Tufts College have been ask-ing questions about the way that life began.Have you ever wondered how life began?

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  • 304 RELIGIOUS EDUCATION

    Have you ever wondered what a cell lookslike? We wondered, too. We used a micro-scope to enlarge a cell which cannot be seenwith our own eyes. Our microscope en-larged things 441 times the natural size. Weare going to show you some of our discov-eries about the way life began and developedin a shadow play.

    (1) Here the first thing we see is theleaf of a water plant. We can seethe cell has a nucleus and four cellwalls.

    (2) We can see that cells have differentsizes and shapes.

    (3) Here are several shapes. Some areround. Some are squares. Someare triangular.

    Let us change the power of our microscopeto high-power.

    (5) This is what we see. Here is a singlecell of the same flower which wehave just seen. Around the cell wallsit looks white. In the center of eachsection it is purple.

    (6) All life comes from life. It beginsfrom a single cell. Animal life be-gins from a single cell which we callan egg cell. This has a nucleus, also.You can see at the top of the cell asperm which is entering the cell.It is necessary that a sperm enter thecell in order that there be a new ani-mal. After the sperm has enteredthe ceil, the cell grows in the motheranimal and soon a new animal isborn.

    (7-13) One of the simplest forms of animallife is the amoeba. Let us look at anamoeba. Here we see a single cellwith a nucleus. We see somethingnew in this cell called the food vac-uole. This is where the food is stored.Let us watch this amoeba separateinto two amoebae. This is the waythat a new amoeba is formed. Wesee the nucleus grow smaller in thecenter, finally making two separatenuclei.

    (14) Millions and millions of years ago,long, long before man was on earth,hot rains fell upon the earth. Manymillions of years later when therains had ceased, plant life and ani-mal life began on the earth. These

    animals lived in the water. It is likelythat the hydra was one of these firstanimals. This is a hydra. It is at-tached to a rock. We see two armsbetween which is the mouth. Thehydra is so small that we have tolook at it through a microscope tosee it.

    (15) Thousands of years later we find largefish living in the sea like the hydradoes. This fish looks very differentfrom the kind which we catch today.

    (16) After many years when the water be-gan to disappear, land began to ap-pear. Once more the animal lifechanged. Animals began to learn tolive on the land. These animals arecalled amphibians. Here is one ofthe many kinds of amphibians.

    (17) Many more millions of years passedand then some of the reptiles hadlearned to fly. These birds weredifferent from those of today.

    (18) After the birds, then came the dino-saur, one of the largest animals weknow. They were so large that theyate the smaller animals.

    (19) Another large animal, called thewooly mammoth, was the first mam-mal. It looked very much like anelephant.

    (20) Next came the animals that walkedon two feet, like the ape and thegorilla.

    (21) Probably the earliest man lookedvery much like these animals. Thesefirst people were covered with muchhair and spoke no language. The chinbone and the bones of the foreheadprotruded. They looked very strongbecause they had such big muscles.These early cavemen lived togetherin one big group, like the rest ofthe animals. They had to move fromplace to place in order to find food.Sometimes there was not enoughfood, so they fought over what theycould find and who would have it.After an earthquake, some of thecavemen were probably separatedand some would be on one side ofthe great crack in the earth and somewould be on the other side. Some-times volcanoes erupted and sepa-rated the people by the stream of

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  • LABORATORY SCHOOL 305

    hot lava. It was in these ways thatthe early cavemen became separated.Some of them went to the south,some to the east, and some to thewest and north. Those who went tothe south around the equator becamedark-skinned and their hair becameblack and very curly. The climate,the food they ate and the places theylived all helped to change their ap-pearance. Some of these people whostarted out together went to thenorth. Their skins became light, al-most white, and their hair blonde.Those who went to the east had yel-low skins and their hair was straightand black.

    (22) Here are some of the different kindsof people who are now living in dif-ferent parts of the earth. We are apart of these people. We now haveto learn all over again that we all areof one blood and that we are stillone big family.

    5. Choral Reading: "Of One Tongue" byCarruth

    6. Story: "All About Us" by Evans (sum-mary of last chapter)

    7. Scripture: (Choric Speaking)(1) WE ARE ONE FAMILY ON THE

    EARTHGod has made of one blood all nations of

    men to dwell on all the face of the earth.Have we not one Father? Has not one God

    created us?For in the image of God made He man.This commandment have we from Jesus:

    That he who loves God loves his brotheralso.

    I tell you, my hearers, love your enemies.Think what love the Father has for us in be-

    ing called "The Children of God."This is what we are. '(2) JESUS TAUGHT THESE THINGSGod no one has ever seen, but if we love one

    another then God remains within us, andlove...

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