Nature Study

Sally Gregory Kohlstedt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The idea that children should learn more about the natural world around them is longstanding, and indeed many nineteenth-century educators believed that children were born with an innate curiosity for the natural world. The nature study curriculum for the public schools, which was formally introduced in the 1890s, emphasized the importance of experiential learning. As nature study became embedded as a subject of instruction, school administrators, nature study supervisors, and teachers sought acknowledgment of their professional achievement and opportunities to enhance the field. Echoing the trend toward certification and national organizations, the emerging experts presented their programs and methods in regional and national educational meetings and discussed additional ways to advance nature study. The most comprehensive account of the nature study educational movement is Sally Gregory Kohlstedt's Teaching Children Science (2010), which traced the movement from its origins through its introduction across the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationA Companion to the History of American Science
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781119072218
ISBN (Print)9781405156257
StatePublished - Oct 10 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • Experiential learning
  • Natural world
  • Nature study curriculum
  • Nature study educational movement
  • Sally Gregory Kohlstedt
  • Teaching Children Science


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