Educational toy, object lesson box or 'Cabinet of Natural History'

Made:
1851-1900 in United Kingdom

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Educational toy, object lesson box or 'Cabinet of Natural History', containing several trays, each compartmentalised with bottles and boxes of samples, both natural and manufactured, unsigned, British, 1851-1900

The object lesson was a technique commonly used in Victorian schools to teach a range of subjects, but it was thought particularly well suited to scientific subjects. Teachers would either gather objects like pebbles and cloth from their surrounding environment or use a pre-prepared box like this one. Children would then be encouraged to handle the objects and look at them really closely; seeing what they could learn from the objects using their senses. There would also be a discussion between the teacher and the students where they tried to draw out as much information as possible from a close examination of these objects. As well as what they could see or feel, children were encouraged to think about the history of an object and how its used, along with connections they might make between the object and the wider world.

Details

Category:
Science Teaching
Object Number:
1985-811
Materials:
brass (copper, zinc alloy), card, glass, natural substances, paper (fibre product) and pine (wood)
type:
educational toy
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • furnishing - artefact
  • case furniture
  • furnishing and equipment
  • toy - recreational artefact
credit:
Phillips (New Bond Street)