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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 remaining 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 inost 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, jumber 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." 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 view, 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.
In accordance with these regulations the students are examined by a commission of teachers under the presidency of the director. The practical examination consists of two trial lessons, one on a subject selected by the student and another on a subject selected by the commission. Some of the students who have passed the examination may be assigned by the ministry to the best elementary agricultural schools for additional practical training.
The following subjects compose the curriculum of the pedagogical courses: (1) General pedagogy, didactics, and methods of teaching agricultural subjects and natural history in application to farming; (2) agriculture and animal industry in a wider scope; and (3) practical occupations. These practical occupations consist of: (a) Tutoring individual students of an agricultural school or any other special school selected for this purpose; (b) participation in practical occupations in agriculture and its branches; (c) experimental lessons on natural science and agriculture under the supervision of the teachers; (d) discussions following the lessons, participated in by all the students present, under the direction of the teacher; and (e) making collections of illustrative material. The students also make excursions to private farms and perform tasks in agricultural economies.
The courses were established in January, 1896, and were continued up to 1900 on a temporary basis. Their usefulness having been demonstrated by actual experience and indorsed by numerous educational institutions, associations, and congresses, the ministry of agriculture and imperial domains decided to make them permanent. The minister submitted to the council of state (cabinet of ministers) his project for placing the curricula on a permanent basis. The council of state, by a resolution passed on November 27, 1900, adopted the proposal and provided for the maintenance of the courses already in existence at the Kharkoff Agricultural School to the amount of 5,800 rubles annually.
In the year 1912 an important reform was instituted in the pedagogical courses. Review courses in zoology, botany, mineralogy, chemistry, and physics were introduced; farm economy was included in the number of regular subjects; and the scope of the practical occupations was extended. For the purpose of giving the students better and more complete practical training there was also established, in connection with the courses, a primary agricultural school, in which all teaching and direction of practical tasks was to be done by the students.
The system -of stipends was modified so that, instead of merely cash, the students received room and board and a smaller amount of money than formerly.
Owing to these important changes, the expenses of the courses were almost doubled, and accordingly the annual grant of the ministry was raised, starting with the year 1912, to 11,600 rubles.
BESSARABIAN SCHOOL OF VITICULTURE AND WINE
The Bessarabian School of Viticulture and Wine Making, though classed as a secondary agricultural school, has a distinct organization and a special purpose, and therefore is well worth a separate study. It has for its aim, as the name suggests, the preparation of specialists and managers for vineyards, wine factories, and wine cellars.
The school is located in Kishinev, in the Province of Bessarabia. It was established in 1894 and reorganized in 1911 in conformity with the act of 1904 on agricultural education. In January, 1910, the total number of its students was 46.
The course of instruction covers five years, the first year being devoted to general subjects and the remaining four to special subjects pertaining to fruit farming and viticulture. The following subjects are taught: Religion; physics and meteorology; natural history; geodesy and drawing; chemistry; science of soils; knowledge of machines and implements used in horticulture, viticulture, and wine : making; fruit farming; viticulture; wine making and manufacture of by-products; wine-cellar keeping; organization of vine and fruit farming; bookkeeping; and law.
The preparation required of new students corresponds to the course of “two-class” county schools or other schools of similar scope, including the primary agricultural schools. The high age limit for applicants for the first grade is 20 years for those subject to military duty, but for those exempt from military service there is no age limit. The minimum age limit is 16 years. Graduation takes place in the month of August, and new students are enrolled at the same time.
The tuition fee is fixed at 20 rubles annually. Boarding students pay 200 rubles annually. Fifteen scholarships are offered by the school, of which 10 are provided by the Government and 5 have been founded by the zemstvo.
The graduates of the Bessarabian School receive certificates upon completion of studies. To obtain the degree of viticulturist they are required to pass through three years of practice in vineyards or in wine-producing plants, and at the end of this term they must submit a certificate and a report of their occupations. Those receiving the degree of viticulturist acquire also the rights of personal honorary citizenship. Practice for a period of 10 years conveys the rights of hereditary honorary citizenship.
The holders of the degree of viticulturist may occupy Government positions as teachers of viticulture and wine making in primary schools of this kind, as practical instructors in viticulture, as wine experts, cellar managers, etc.
1 From the “ Collection of data on agricultural education," 16th issue.