Public School Domestic Science
MRS. J. HOODLESS,
a resolution of the Trustees.
THE COPP, CLARK COMPANY, LIMITED,
Entered according to Act of the Parliament of Canada, in the yearone thousand eight hundred and ninety-eight, by The Copp,Clark Company, Limited, Toronto, Ontario, in the Office ofthe Minister of Agriculture.
"I have come to the conclusion that more than half the disease whichembitters the latter half of life is due to avoidable errors in diet,and that more mischief in the form of actual disease, of impairedvigour, and of shortened life, accrues to civilized man in England andthroughout Central Europe from erroneous habits of eating than fromthe habitual use of alcoholic drink, considerable as I know that evilto be."—Sir Henry Thompson.
"Knowledge which subserves self-preservation by preventing loss ofhealth is of primary importance. We do not contend that possession ofsuch knowledge would by any means wholly remedy the evil. But we docontend that the right knowledge impressed in the right way wouldeffect much; and we further contend that as the laws of health must berecognized before they can be fully conformed to, the imparting ofsuch knowledge must precede a more rational living."—HerbertSpencer.
"Cooking means the knowledge of Medea and Circe, and of Calypso andHelen, and of Rebekah, and of the Queen of Sheba. It means theknowledge of all fruits, and herbs, and balms, and spices, and of allthat is healing and sweet in fields and groves, and savory in meats;it means carefulness, and inventiveness, and watchfulness, andwillingness, and readiness of appliance; it means much tasting and nowasting; it means English thoroughness, and French art, and Arabianhospitality; it means, in fine, that you are to be perfect and always'ladies'—'loaf-givers.'"—Ruskin.
An eminent authority says: "Up to the age of sixteen even a lucidstatement of principles is received by all but a few pupils as dogma.They do not and cannot in any adequate sense realize the reasoningprocess by which scientific conclusions are reached. They are taughtnot only facts but classifications and laws, and causes in relation totheir effect. These are not, in the majority of cases, elaborated bythe pupil. The teaching of them accordingly degenerates into astatement of facts, and the learning of them into an act of memory."
To obviate this condition, or to at least neutralize its effectssomewhat, is one of the principal reasons for introducing DomesticScience into the Public School curriculum; a science which relates soclosely to the daily life that it cannot be left to an act of memory;where cause and effect are so palpable that the pupil may readilyarrive at an individual conclusion.
The aim of this text-book is to assist the pupil in acquiring aknowledge of the fundamental principles of correct living, toco-ordinate the regular school studies so as to make a practical useof knowledge already acquired. Arithmetic plays an[vi] important part inthe arranging of weights and measures, in the study of the analysisand relative value of various kinds of food, in estimating the cost ofmanufactured products in proportion to their market value, in thepurchase of food material, etc. History and geography are closelyallied to the study of the diet and customs of the differentcountries, with their variety of climate and products. Physiology andtemperance principles permeate the whole course of study. In additionto these are the direct lessons, provided by the practice work, inneatness, promptness and cleanliness. It will therefore be necessaryto have a wide general knowledge before entering upon a course inDomestic Science.
Owing to the limited time allowed for this course in the PublicSchools, it will be impossible to teach more than a few of the firstprinciples governing each department of the work, viz., a knowledge ofthe constituent parts of the human body; the classification of foodand the relation of each class to the sustenance and repair of thebody; simple recipes illustrating the most wholesome and economicalmethods of preparing the various kinds of food; the science ofnutrition, economy and hygiene; general hints on household management,laundry work, and care of the sick.
To enter more fully into the chemistry of food, bacteriology, etc.,would tend to cause confusion in the mind of the average school girl,and possibly create a distaste for knowledge containing so muchabstract matter.
This book is not a teacher's manual, nor is it intended to take theplace of the teacher in any way. The normal training prescribed forteachers will enable them to supplement the information containedherein, by a much more general and comprehensive treatment of thevarious questions, than would be possible or judicious in a primarytext-book. It has been found difficult for pupils to copy the recipesgiven with each lesson,[vii] or to write out the instructions carefullywithout infringing upon the time which should be devoted to practicework. In order to meet this difficulty, also to enable the pupil towork at home under the same rules which govern the class work, simplerecipes are given, beginning with a class requiring a knowledge ofheat and its effect, going on to those requiring hand dexterity,before attempting the more difficult subjects. After the pupils haveacquired a knowledge of the "why and wherefore" of the differentprocesses required in cooking, they will have little difficulty infollowing the more elaborate recipes given in the numberlesscook-books provided for household use. Once the art—and it is a fineart—of cookery is mastered, it becomes not only a pleasant occupationbut provides excellent mental exercise, thereby preventing thereaction which frequently follows school life.
The tables given are to be used for reference, and not to bememorized by the pupil.
The writer is greatly indebted to Prof. Atwater for his kindlyinterest and assistance in providing much valuable information, whichin some instances is given verbatim; also to Dr. Gilman Thompson forpermission to give extracts from his valuable book, "PracticalDietetics"; to Prof. Kinne, Columbia University (Domestic ScienceDept.), for review and suggestions; to Miss Watson, Principal HamiltonSchool of Domestic Science, for practical hints and schedule forschool work. The Boston Cook Book (with Normal Instruction), by Mrs.M.J. Lincoln; and the Chemistry of Cooking and Cleaning, by Ellen H.Richards (Prof. of Sanitary Science, Boston Institute of Technology),and Miss Talbot, are recommended to students who desire further[viii]information on practical household matters. The publications of theU.S. Experiment Stations, by Prof. Atwater and other eminent chemists,contain much valuable information.
To the school-girls, and future housekeepers of Ontario, this book isrespectfully dedicated.
 S.S. Laurie, A.M., LL.D., Prof. of the Institutes andHistory of Education, Edinburgh University.
 Where time is allowed, much benefit may be derived fromwriting notes, as a study in composition, spelling, etc.
Owing to the limitations of a text-book, it will be necessary for theteacher to enter very carefully into all the details of the variousquestions; to explain the underlying principles so thoroughly that"the why and the wherefore" of every action in the preparation of foodwill be clearly understood. She should endeavor to impress upon thepupils the value of thoroughly understanding the relation of food tothe body. In practice lessons frequent reference should be made tothe analysis of the various foods, as given in the tables and charts.
The first practice lesson should be given on the making and care of afire, regulating dampers, cleaning stove, etc. The pupils should thenbe taught the name and place of all the utensils. Special attentionshould be given to the explanation of weights and measures; the tableof abbreviations should be memorized. Arrange the class work so thateach pupil may in alternation share the duties of both kitchen workand cooking.
Personal cleanliness must be insisted upon. Special attention shouldbe given to the hands and nails. The hair should be carefully pinnedback or confined in some way, and covered by a cap. A large cleanapron and a holder should be worn while at work. Never allow thepupils to use a handkerchief or their aprons in place of a holder.Untidy habits must not be allowed in the class-room. Set an example ofperfect order and neatness, and insist upon pupils following thatexample. Teach the pupils that cooking may be done without soilingeither hands or clothes. The pupils should do all the work of theclass-room, except scrubbing the[x] floor. Everything must be left inperfect order at the close of each lesson.
Frequent reviews are absolutely necessary. Urge the pupils to thinkfor themselves, and not to rely upon the text-book. Where pupils arebackward, or have not had previous practice in kitchen work, givespecial attention to their manner of holding a knife or spoon inpreparing articles for use, and in beating or stirring mixtures.Encourage deftness and light handling of kitchen ware. Insist uponpromptness and keeping within the time limit, both in preparing thefood and in the cooking.
Owing to the variety of climate and markets, it would be impossible toarrange the lessons in the text-book in regular order. A few samplemenus are given at the back of the book, but each teacher must begoverned by circumstances in arranging the lessons for her class. Forinstance, recipes without eggs should be given in mid-winter, wheneggs are dear. Fruits and vegetables must be given in season.
The recipes given in the text-book are suitable for class work; insome cases it may be necessary to divide them, as the quantities givenare intended for home practice. The teacher should consider herself atliberty to substitute any recipe which she may consider valuable. Thedigestibility of food, the effect of stimulants—especially of tea andcoffee, the value of fresh air, etc., should be carefully impressedupon the pupil.
The teacher must keep the object of this instruction constantly beforeher: (1) to co-ordinate other school studies, such as arithmetic,history, geography, physiology and temperance; (2) to develop themental in conjunction with the manual powers of the children; (3) toenable pupils to understand the reason for doing certain things in acertain way; in other words, to work with an[xi] intelligent conceptionof the value, both physically and hygienically, of knowing how thedaily duties should be performed.
In order that material may not be needlessly destroyed, each class offood should be introduced by an experimental lesson. For instance,before giving a lesson in the preparation of starches, each pupilshould be given an opportunity to learn how to mix and stir themixture over the fire, so as to prevent it from burning or becominglumpy; this may be done by using water and common laundry starch, orflour. The same test applies to sauces, etc. A few cheap apples andpotatoes may be used in learning to pare these articles. The effect ofcold and hot water on albumen and tissues may be illustrated by thecheaper pieces of meat.
Although the more scientific studies are grouped together, it does notfollow that they are to be studied in the order given. The teachermust arrange her lessons—from the beginning—so as to include acertain amount of the theory with the practice work. Frequentreference should be made during practice lessons to the variouschapters bearing more directly upon the science of cooking, so as tointerest the pupil in the theoretical study of the food question.
The teacher should insist upon the pupils taking careful notes whileshe is demonstrating a lesson, so that they may not be entirelydependent upon the text-book, which from its limitations must simplyserve as the key-note for further study.
Special attention must be given to the chapter on "Digestion," page58, in the Public School Physiology. This chapter should bestudied—especially pages 71-75—in conjunction with "FoodClassifications" (Chap. 2); also in dealing with the digestibility ofstarches, etc.
|Protein Compounds, e.g., lean of meat, white of|