The Animal School is a
great story by George H. Reavis. My understanding is that he was an
educator in the 1940's. To the best of my knowledge, the story is public
domain. I love this story. It is such a visual of the mistake we make in
trying to teach all children in the same way when each child is such
I plan on adding to this section. So check back another time and see what new articles I may have added.
Once upon a time, the
animals decided they must do something heroic to meet the problems of a ‘New
World,’ so they organized a school. They adopted an activity curriculum
consisting of running, climbing, swimming and flying. To make it easier to
administer, all animals took all the subjects.
The duck was excellent
in swimming, better in fact than his instructor, and made excellent grades in
flying, but he was very poor in running. Since he was low in running he had to
stay after school and also drop swimming to practice running. This was kept up
until his web feet were badly worn and he was only average in swimming. But
average was acceptable in school, so nobody worried about that except the duck.
The rabbit started at
the top of the class in running, but had a nervous breakdown because of so much
makeup in swimming.
The squirrel was
excellent in climbing until he developed frustrations in the flying class where
his teacher made him start from the ground up instead of from the tree-top
down. He also develop charley horses from over-exertion and he got a C in
climbing and a D in running.
The eagle was a problem
child and had to be disciplined severely. In climbing class he beat all the
others to the top of the tree, but insisted on using his own way of getting
At the end of the year,
an abnormal eel that could swim exceedingly well and also run, climb and fly a
little had the highest average and was valedictorian.
The prairie dogs stayed
out of school and fought the tax levy because the administration would not add
digging and burrowing to the curriculum. They apprenticed their children to the
badger and later joined the groundhogs and gophers to start a successful