Teaching - on and with objects
In many a discipline, the direct handling of research objects is an integral part of professional training. The requisite knowledge can be obtained outside the university by means of excursions, field internships and visits to museums and archives. The teaching process is, however, greatly facilitated if the university itself is proprietor of the demonstration materials. These materials can be educational models or life-like copies. But first and foremost, it is the original specimens that are most suited for familiarising students with the physical characteristics of the objects of their studies, and thereby introducing them to practical scientific work.
The process of learning about the subject matter starts with comparative observation and accurate description, then ranges from classification to the independent conduct of research projects.