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mechanical methods of the farm".
The teacher is not to
The school has employed him to teach agriculture;
the supervisors of the school do not know what he is to
teach, they have introduced agriculture because every other
school was so doing, or to get the state aid; the legislators did not know what secondary agriculture was, they have left
that to the school men, and they had not yet solved the
(1) problem. As Knapp says: "It would have been better, had
legislation demanded the teaching of one or two things",
instead the indefinite subject, agriculture.
Another result of the rapid extension of agriculural
instruction under the artificial stimulation of legislation,
giving state aid or compelling the introduction of agricul
ture in high schools, is often a remarkable lack of real
Many teachers are now teaching agriculture who
would not do so, were they not compelled to teach it.
The communities are likewise often indifferent to the work,
and indifference is worse than hostility.
It will take
much good teaching to overcome the indifference which is
rapidly turning into contempt because of the unprepared
The unprepared teacher is, in the last analysis,
the greatest of all problems.
The popularity of the
early agricultural schools was directly due to the teachers.
As the number of schools was small, it was not impossible
to find a teacher who happened to have the right combination
of teaching ability, experience, and training, who, in addition,
l, quoted in Proc. N.E.n. 1914, p.894.
brought to his work a love and a belief in the work, which
went far to outweigh any possible shortcomings in prepara
The sudden clamor for teachers of agriculture has
pressed into service many who have little of the enthusiasm of the pioneer, less naturai aptitude for the work, and practically no preparation in the subject matter. Agriculture will in many cases be judged not by its real intrinsic
value, but by the work of the unprepared teacher.
be a decade before agriculture will be taught as it should.
If agriculture is to continue, it is imperative that the
untrained teacher give way to a trained teacher before the
damage done is irreparable.