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devoted to practical occupations and work in experimental fields. The following is a typical program, that of the Don Agricultural School, as printed in the report of the school for the year 1911:
Third year :
1 1 1
NSW NAS NO
Hours Sixth year:
The general subjects taught in the secondary agricultural schools have nearly the same scope as in the gymnasia. Absence of Latin and Greek is a noteworthy feature. Much stress is laid on the German language which, owing to the scarcity of Russian scientific and technical literature, is an indispensable means of thorough technical education in any branch.
Practical training. The most interesting subjects are those relating to the special or practical occupations of the students. Some of the schools have issued very complete and coherent reports, and from these it is possible to reconstruct the agricultural school life in all its phases.
Alnost all these institutions belong to the type of boarding schools, and the occupations of students throughout the day are determined by school rules. Even the vacation time is utilized for different farm occupations which meet the natural inclination of growing boys toward activity and physical exercise and are in no way oppressive.
The report of the Kherson Agricultural School for 1911 gives the following information on the practical occupations of students during the year:
During the year the practical occupations of the students consisted of work in the field and about the farm with a view to acquiring skill in the work and in handling agricultural machines and implements.
During the year the students performed the following work: Plowing, harrowing, sowing by machines, and operating harvesters and machine rakes. They alşo cut hay and grain with scythes, carted it off, and stored it. They worked at threshing machines, sorted grain, cultivated crops by hoeing, interplowing, and mulching, attended to young forest plantings, cleaned the cattle yard twice daily and curried the cows, prepa red feed and fed it to the animals. They also attended in turns to the business affairs of the farm and to raising live stock.
During the school year, that is, from September 1 to the date of the examinations for promotion, the grades took their daily turns in field work by the following scheme: Monday, sixth grade; Tuesday, fifth grade; Wednesday, fourth grade; Thursday, third grade; Friday, second grade; Saturday, first grade.
From the date of the examination, May 5, the students worked on the plan of practical occupations, usually two or three grades at a time. The students of the remaining grades studied geodesy, botany, zoology, entomology, agricultural mechanics, and other subjects, or they worked in the orchard, truck garden, or apiary.
The students of the sixth grade do not take part in the summer occupations, because immediately after the examinations they depart to different model farms for practice.
The period of summer occupations lasted until the completion of thrashing. The students were released for summer vacations on July 20.
During the school year the farm occupations of the students begin at 8.30 a. m. and continue until 1.30 p. m., with a 40-minute interval for lunch, from 11.20 to 12 o'clock. After dinner the students work from 3 p. m. to 5 or 6 p. m., according to the time of the sunset. In the summer the work is carried on according to the following plan: Rising in the morning
5.30 a. m. Morning prayer and tea.
6.00 a. m. Beginning work.
6.30 a. m. Breakfast
9.00 a. m. Work.-
9.30 a. m. to 11.30 a. m. Dinner and rest.
11.30 a, m. to 3.30 p. m. Work
4.00 p, m. to 7.30 p. m. Evening tea and supper.
8.00 p. m. Assignment of work for the next day.
8.30 p. m. Prayer..
9.10 p. m. The supervision of the students' work and rating it belongs to the farm manager and his aid-the farmer. Every night the farnı manager apportions the work among the students whose turn it is to work the next day. In this he is guided by the following considerations: (1) That students assigned for the same kind of work be equal in age and physical development; (2) the number of students to do a given work must be large enough to complete the work assigned to them in one day without excessive fatigue; (3) the individual groups of students should not be scattered in the field, but work in proximity to one
another, in this way facilitating the inspection; (4) the students should, as far as practicable, take turns in the performance of different tasks, so that each of them may pass through all phases of farm work; (5) if the students have to perform a given work for the first time or have had little experience in it, all attention is directed toward the work itself with the view of developing in the ' students skill in the particular tasks required.
In fall, winter, and early spring, when there is little work to do in the field, the current work can usually be done by the students, who take their turns hy grades; but in the rush of the spring planting, and especially in the summer, there is often an accumulation of work that requires the hire of additional day or piece laborers. In the summer the hardest work is assigned to the students of higher grades, while the younger boys are engaged in occupations of easier kinds.
Excursions are made by students to large farms which offer opportunities for observing the application to practical farming of the scientific methods taught in the school. These excursions form an interesting feature of the program of the secondary agricultural schools, and are designed to give the finishing touches to the boys' education. They are usually arranged for the higher grades.
One such trip is described as follows in the report of the Kherson Agricultural School:
This excursion, led by the manager of the school farm, was participated in by the students of the fifth grade, 13 in number, who went by steamer up the Dnieper River. By a prearranged plan, the first place visited was the “ Cossack estate" of Prince P. N. Troubetskoy. The excursionists began their journey at 11 a. m., June 9, and at 3 o'clock in the afternoon arrived at the “ Kozatskoye.” After a repast and a little rest they visited the farm buildings, vineyards, and wine pressing and fermentation plant connected with large wine cellars. The manager of the plant, a specialist in wine production, gave the students a very interesting lecture on this subject. The next day the manager of the estate conducted the excursionists about the farm grounds, covering an area of 27,000 desiatines (72,900 acres). The inspection of this vast territory occupied the entire day. At 2 o'clock the next morning they started on a further journey up the river. The next place visited was the estate of Grand Duke Nicholas Mikhaylovitsh, covering an area of over 70.000 desiatines (189,000 acres) of land located in the Provinces of Tavrichesky, Yekaterinoslav, and Kherson.
About 11 a, m. the excursionists landed in the harbor of Bolshaya Lepietikha, where a number of carriages, sent from the estate, were already waiting for them. They covered the distance of 30 versts (20 miles) to Rogatshitskaya, where the administration of the property is centered, in four hours, arriving there at 3 p. m. The remaining part of the day was utilized for a tour around the administration grounds and shops. Among the implements of the estate attention was attracted to a plow drawn by a steam tractor, which the students saw for the first time. The next morning they visited the great horse-breeding establishments of the estate, which presented many interesting features. At noon the excursionists were transported to Groushevskaya, the home of the central management of the estate. Before the night set in they had enough time to see some cultivated fields, particularly the experimental grounds, which were very interesting. The following day the students looked over the remain
ing part of the estate. They visited the distillery which produces alcohol mainly from corn, of which a great quantity was raised on the place. They inspected the sheep-breeding establishments, which were in a perfect state of management. They also viewed the experimental grounds of the Yekaterinoslav provincial " zemstvo," established mainly for the purpose of trying out different kinds of corn and sorghum.
The following day the excursionists visited Annovka, the property of Count Kotchubey, located in Upper-Dnieper County of the Province of Yekaterinoslav.
This estate is famous for its thoroughbred gray Ukrainian cattle. Much attention is given to raising corn, alfalfa, and hay grasses. The inspection of the Annovka estate was completed before the end of the day, and on the day following the students set out for Riadovaya station, where they boarded a train for Onoufrievka, a large place belonging to Count M, M. Tolstoy. On this estate the excursionists spent two days. They saw the perfectly cultivated farm grounds, forest plantings, brick works with a Hoffman furnace, and the horse-breeding establishments. The next place visited was Trostianetz, located in the province of Kharkoff. A delay of seven hours between trains was utilized for a sight-seeing tour in Kharkoff, 20 versts distant from the Liubotin station.
The Trostianetz estate is located in Akhtyrsky County, Province of Kharkoff, close to the Smorodino Station of the Southern Railway. It is a large place, covering an area of 22,000 desiatines (59,400 acres). The most important crop cultivated is sugar beets. The other crops were also in a fine condition, especially the winter wheat and hay-producing grasses. In Trostianetz the excursionists stayed for one day and a half, visiting the sugar factory, lumber mill, parquetry mill, and a large forest estate with model artificial plantings. They also inspected the dairy, where there are over 100 cows of Swedish breed.
On June 20 the excursionists started from Trostianetz for their home in Kherson, where they arrived at 10 a. m., June 21.
The excursions reported by other agricultural schools were arranged in a way closely similar to that just described. They seem to be a part of a strictly defined demonstration system, supplementary to the school instruction, and, like everything else, are carried out with precision.
TRAINING OF TEACHERS.
In connection with some secondary agricultural schools there have been established pedagogical courses whose object is to prepare teachers for primary agricultural schools.
A very interesting report, which incidentally throws light on the origin of these courses, is contained in a publication entitled, “Information on the Establishment and Subsequent Reforms of Pedagogical Courses at the Kharkoff Agricultural School.”1 It appears that the initiative in this movement belonged to the ministry of agriculture and imperial domains, which is so prominently identified with agricultural education in Russia.
1 See bibliography.
The report explains the conditions that gave rise to the pedagogical courses as follows:
Pedagogical courses at the Kharkoff Agricultural School were established in the year 1896 for the purpose of giving instruction in special subjects and natural history to teachers of primary agricultural schools.
The rapid growth of these primary schools caused a demand for instructors having sufficient preparation to teach agricultural subjects in them. As there was no institution for the preparation of such teachers, the ministry of agriculture and imperial domains found it advisable to establish temporary courses of short duration for the purpose of preparing graduates of the secondary agricultural schools for the work of teachers. With this object in riew, in 1894, the minister issued a circular to all the agricultural schools, proposing, in a tentative way, to establish pedagogical courses in connection with some of the secondary agricultural schools.
The pedagogic council of the Kharkoff Agricultural School, having considered the proposed plan from the technical as well as from the economical point of view, presented its opinion to the department of agriculture in October of the same year.
In January, 1895, the plan of organization of pedagogical courses had already been worked out and, together with other circumstances pertaining to the local conditions of the Kharkoff School, it was subjected to full deliberation. The director of the school was requested to present to the department of agriculture a statement regarding the foundations on which the courses would be based, as well as estimates of the initial and subsequent annual expenses that would be necessary for the establishment and maintenance of such courses. Directed by the instructions of the ministry and by the conclusions of the pedagogic council and having himself gathered much information pertaining to the subject, the director presented to the department in June, 1895, his project and estimates. covering fully not only the organization of pedagogical courses, but also of a primary agricultural school in connection with the courses.
On December 20, 1895, the ministry accepted the project and issued a set of regulations for the proposed courses.
They were defined as “ Courses for the preparation of teachers for lower agricultural schools," and were placed under the control of the ministry of agriculture and imperial domains. The duration of the courses was to be one year, the number of students was limited to 10, and the preparatory education required was covered by higher or secondary agricultural schools, including the additional year of practical employment on private farms. Persons who had had three years of actual teaching in one of the special subjects in primary agricultural schools were also accepted, without regard to their previous education.
The students were obliged to sign a pledge to serve at least three years as teachers after the completion of the courses, or to return the amount that the Government had spent for their education. The courses were managed by the director of the Kharkoff Agricultural School, aided by the pedagogic council, composed of the teachers of the courses and presided over by the director.