Books Should Be Free
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

Louis Agassiz as a Teacher; illustrative extracts on his method of instruction   By:

Book cover

First Page:

This eBook was produced by Avinash Kothare, David Starner and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team

LOUIS AGASSIZ.

ILLUSTRATIVE EXTRACTS ON HIS METHOD OF INSTRUCTION

WITH AN INTRODUCTORY NOTE

BY

LANE COOPER

PROFESSOR OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE IN CORNELL UNIVERSITY.

The beauty of his better self lives on In minds he touched with fire, in many an eye He trained to Truth's exact severity; He was a Teacher: why be grieved for him Whose living word still stimulates the air? In endless file shall loving scholars come The glow of his transmitted touch to share.

Lowell, Agassiz.

PREFACE

If it be asked why a teacher of English should be moved to issue this book on Agassiz, my reply might be: 'Read the Introductory Note' for the answer is there. But doubtless the primary reason is that I have been taught, and I try to teach others, after a method in essence identical with that employed by the great naturalist. And I might go on to show in some detail that a doctoral investigation in the humanities, when the subject is well chosen, serves the same purpose in the education of a student of language and literature as the independent, intensive study of a living or a fossil animal, when prescribed by Agassiz to a beginner in natural science. But there is no need to elaborate the point. Of those who are likely to examine the book, some already know the underlying truth involved, others will grasp it when it is first presented to them (and for these my slight and pleasant labors are designed), and the rest will find a stumbling block and foolishness save for the entertainment to be had in the reading of biography.

I have naturally kept in mind the needs of my own students, past and present, yet I believe these pages may be useful to students of natural science as well as to those who concern themselves with the humanities. We live in an age of narrow specialization at all events in America. Agassiz was a specialist, but not a 'narrow' one. His example should therefore be salutary to those persons, on the one hand, who think that a man can have general culture without knowing some one thing from the bottom up, and, on the other, to those who immerse themselves and their pupils blindly in special investigation, without thought of the prima philosophia that gives life and meaning to all particular knowledge. There can be no doubt that science and scholarship in this country are suffering from a lack of sympathy and contact between the devotees of the several branches, and for want of definite efforts to bridge the gaps between various disciplines wherever this is possible. It may not often be possible until men of science generally again take up the study of Plato and Aristotle, or at least busy themselves, as did Agassiz, with some comprehensive modern philosopher like Schelling. But it should not be very hard for those who are engaged in the biological sciences and those who are given to literary pursuits to realize that they are alike interested in the manifestations of one and the same thing, the principle of life. In Agassiz himself the vitality of his studies and the vitality of the man are easily identified.

In conclusion I must thank the publishers, Houghton Mifflin Company, for the use of selections from the copyright books of Mrs. Agassiz and Professor Shaler; these and all other obligations are, I trust, indicated in the proper places by footnotes. I owe a special debt of gratitude to Professor Burt G. Wilder for his interest and help throughout.

LANE COOPER

CORNELL UNIVERSITY,

April 7, 1917.

CONTENTS

I. INTRODUCTORY NOTE

II. AGASSIZ AT NEUCHATEL

III. AGASSIZ AT HARVARD

IV. HOW AGASSIZ TAUGHT PROFESSOR SHALER

V. HOW AGASSIZ TAUGHT PROFESSOR VERRILL

VI. HOW AGASSIZ TAUGHT PROFESSOR WILDER

VII. How AGASSIZ TAUGHT PROFESSOR SCUDDER

VIII. THE DEATH OF AGASSIZ HIS PERSONALITY

IX. OBITER DICTA BY AGASSIZ

X. PASSAGES FOR COMPARISON WITH THE METHOD OF AGASSIZ

I

INTRODUCTORY NOTE

When the question was put to Agassiz, 'What do you regard as your greatest work?' he replied: 'I have taught men to observe... Continue reading book >>




eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book



Popular Genres
More Genres
Languages
Paid Books