From the Handbook of Nature Study, Part 1: “The Teaching of Nature Study” – which is my favorite section.
Therefore, the object of the nature-study teacher should be to cultivate in the children powers of accurate observation and to build up within them understanding.
Comstock goes on to emphasize:
But, more than all, nature-study gives the child a sense of companionship with life out-of-doors and an abiding love of nature. Let this matter be the teacher’s criterion for judging his or her work. If nature-study as taught does not make the child love nature and the out-of-doors, then it should cease. Let us not inflict permanent injury on the child by turning him away from nature instead of toward it. However, if the love of nature is in the teacher’s heart, there is no danger, such a teacher, no matter by what method, takes the child gently by the hand and walks with him in paths that lead to the seeing and comprehending of what he may find beneath his feet or above his head. And these paths, whether they lead among the lowliest plants, or whether to the stars, finally converge and bring the wanderer to that serene peace and hopeful faith that is the sure inheritance of all those who realize fully that they are working units of this wonderful universe.
This has proven true so far in our home.