THE LINNAEUS TRAILS

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History of the trails

Linnaeus built up a system of eight "excursions," educational nature walks, around Uppsala, and called them Herbationes Upsalienses. "Herbationes" comes from Latin and means botanical walks. Seven of the excursions started at the town boundaries and an eighth took place in the village of Jumkil. The excursions represented the last lectures of the spring term.

Perhaps Linnaeus's greatest contribution to education was that he let his students discover nature on their own. He let the group disperse freely and then re-gathered them every half hour to go through what they had found from the three kingdoms, animal, vegetable, and mineral. This teaching method is an excellent way of awakening curiosity and a love of exploring.

Before each excursion, Linnaeus organised his group carefully and chose one student to keep notes, which were then copied by the others in the group. This was a way of rendering the teaching more effective; anyone who has taught in the field knows how much time is spent answering questions from those who didn't hear what the teacher said.

Herbationes Upsalienses was a system whereby different types of nature could be studied all spring. In 1753 Linnaeus wrote a thesis that became a manifesto for Herbationes Upsalienses.