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The most distinctive contribution that the sciences have made to educational practice is the laboratory method of instruction. We can safely attribute much of the progress made in the various scientific fields and a large share of credit for the fine tradition of scholarship that has pervaded the sciences during the past century to this method of teaching. The science of human anatomy received its greatest acceleration when the young Vesalius pushed aside the clumsy barbers who had been brought into the amphitheater to demonstrate dissection and showed the gowned professor that a student could dissect. When Louis Pasteur introduced laboratory practice into the national school system of France he said, "Where will you find a young man whose curiosity and interest will not immediately be awakened when you put into his hands a potato, when with that potato he may produce sugar, with that sugar, alcohol, with that alcohol, ether and vinegar? Where is he that will not be happy to tell his family in the evening that he has just been working out an electric telegraph? And, gentlemen, be convinced of this, such studies are seldom if ever forgotten. It is somewhat as if geography were to be taught by traveling; such geography is remembered because one has seen the places." (1).

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Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science





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©1938 Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.



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