« ZurückWeiter »
ever disheartening some of the stages in should train him to "stand upon his feet, the course of their realization.
and play the game” of life. And the very In all the work of education the teacher first requisite is a sound, tough, healthy is a partner with nature. And the wise body. This is nature's first and chief aim teacher always finds in nature an efficient with the child. This is what will be most and inspiring ally. Nature has marked needed by the man or woman who is to out the line of development, and deter- play any successful part in the life of the mined the stages. The teacher can change family, town, or state. With men and these very little, if she would. This does women falling around us because they can not lessen her responsibility or the glory not endure the strain and stress of modern of her work, while it should fill her with life, with the increase of nervous diseases, courage, and calm confidence, and hope. with the steadily growing demands upon For in this field a grand harvest rewards our physical strength, it would seem high right methods of cultivation.
time for us to have recognized that a The school and its courses of study are tough body is at least as important as a means and stimuli to the development of well-filled, or even well-trained, mind. Yet these nascent powers, and the child re- it is an open question whether the school sponds by growth or development. What is not the enemy of even sound health in the child learns is not of so great import- its pupils. Shorter exercises and longer ance as what he becomes.
and more frequent intermissions, especialWe teachers are the servants of the ly in the lower grades, are valuable mitistate. To us is delegated the work of gations. But the constraint of school training a sturdy race of good fathers, hours bears heavily upon the naturally mothers, neighbors, and citizens; of men restless, growing child. and women with tough bodies, stout, What are we doing for our girls? Girls warm hearts, keen minds, and strong wills are taller than boys of corresponding age set on right and truth. We are to-day during four years, viz., eleven to fourteen, making the history of these United States inclusive. They are heavier than boys for during the twentieth century.
the three years twelve to fourteen, incluStudied in this light, our system of edu- sive. The death rate of the girl is lowest cation is wrong, not so much in what it from eleven to thirteen. (See report by does, as in what it leaves undone. In aim Dr. E. M. Hartwell, of Boston.) When and method it is almost purely intellec- the girl is about fourteen her growth is tual. And even in this narrow range it greatly diminished and the death rate still tends too largely to stuff the mind of rises sharply and suddenly. This is the the pupil with the largest possible amount time when she is rapidly changing from a of useful or useless information rather girl into a woman. A period of so radical than to strengthen his powers of thought and rapid change is a critical period. Only and to stimulate his natural appetite for a reasonable amount of work can be safely knowledge. Fewer answers committed to required. If at this time we hold her memory, and more questions asked by the rigidly to hard and continuous daily work, pupils would be healthier signs; although if we increase and multiply the examinaour modern system emphasizes strongly tions, if private lessons at home in music, the necessity of arousing the interest of art or modern languages absorb the time the pupil. A narrower field of study and which should be spent in the open air; more intense cultivation would seem to above all, if to the daily work social exbe more likely to stimulate the growing citements are added, is it any wonder that powers of the child and youth than a invalidism, if not death, is a woefully fresmattering of a host of often uninterest- quent result? The highest intellectual ing subjects. Less cramming and fewer power, if attained at the cost of health examinations might result in a keener ap- and physical vigor, brings little gain in petite for knowledge.
the present generation, and disaster, if not Education, if it is to be good for some- extinction, in the next. It is in the high thing, should teach the child how to live; school more than in the college that the
girl's health is in greatest danger. For of instructions, so much as a new life. It the college girl has passed the stage when was this which he instilled into his discithe greatest harm can be most easily ples, confident that it would spread from mught.
them and vivify the whole race through We can do but little, directly, to ensure the development of a strong will in our We have hardly begun to appreciate the pupils. But the feelings or emotions are possibilities of the school as a means of capable of education, and these bear more preparation for social life. We rightly redirectly on the will than our knowledge or quire that the individuality of the pupil beliefs. The sympathy of the teacher can shall be respected, and we no longer exmold, modify, and direct the joys and sor pect that any one course of training will rows, the indignation and admiration, the suit all minds. But do we appreciate as loves and hatreds of the child so that he we should that each school is a community shall feel deeply, powerfully, and justly. with a school life, and public opinion, and Let us not forget that "out of the heart sentiments of its own—peculiar to itself? are the issues of life.” Our feelings are Do we utilize this class loyalty and sentideeper, older, and more fundamental than ment as a means of training and reform, all our knowledge or beliefs. Opinions, as as the statesman or editor educates by President Hall says, are individual, feel molding public opinion? Here, as Superings are more likely to be racial. And the intendent Dutton has shown, in his book racial characters are more important than on "Social Phases of Education," is a wide the individual. Here the sympathetic field for effort and experiment and one teacher can render invaluable service. promising the grandest results.
We are wisely striving by examinations, We teachers should feel more pride in by a system of licenses, and in many other our work. Thus only shall we become ways, to gain a properly trained and edu artists instead of laborers or drudges. We cated class of teachers. The teacher must should be hopeful and courageous. thoroughly know the subjects which she all the powers of nature are working with is set to teach and how they can best be us. We must be patient with the child or taught. But even knowledge and intellec youth in his uncouth caterpillar-like tual power, right methods and skill in stages. We should have confidence in his their use, are of less importance than the future as well as sympathetic enjoyment character and personality of the teacher. in his present attainments. We should be For this mysterious essence of life which willing to work for and with him on his we call personality is exceedingly conta own plane, remembering that he can not gious. We naturally seek out and associ yet climb to ours. Above all, let him ate with strong men and women in order catch from us a strong, healthy character that we may catch their strength. And and personality, and we shall not have the great teacher of Nazareth gave the worked in vain. world not a new creed, philosophy or set Amherst, Mass.
A THOUGHT FOR AUTUMN.
A haze on the far horizon,
The infinite, tender sky;
And the wild geese sailing high;
The charm of the golden-rod-
A picket frozen on duty,
A mother starved for her brood;
And Jesus on the rood;
The straight, hard pathway trod-
-William H. Carruth.
There appears to be a lack of thorough training on the part of the average young man, though I do not believe that the public schools are solely responsible for it. The home often fails to inculcate the right views of life. The parents should visit the schools occasionally, get acquainted with the teachers, and by showing some concern in the education of their children, encourage the teacher in her work. The school should impress upon the child that it is not only manly and honest, but absolutely necessary to face the world and make an independent and honorable living. Let the schools train the children to see things as they are and work to the ideal from the real; clear vision is an absolutely necessary factor to all successful business. In my judgment the schools attempt too many things. The old plan of being well grounded in the essentials has much to commend itself to the teachers of the present day. It is more important to the average boy or girl, to teach common sense and the practical things of life than theory.
CONTAGION AMONG SCHOOL CHILDREN.
N. D. Cox, M. D.
[Concluded from September.] It is widely known that we had a serious ban itch and pemphigus, as coninvasion of smallpox in the western por- tribution for the relief of the sitution of Owen county during the fall, win- ation. The disease did not get into the ter, and early spring months, just passed. schools, for we met it at the outer and The disease was central at Clay City, a safer lines of defense and did not suffer it few miles from our western border, and to approach them. I put myself in comentered our county at different points. For munication with the county superintena while the situation was alarming to all dent, trustees, teachers, and schools themwho really understood it, all the more so selves, physicians, postmasters, and merbecause the type of the disease was mild chants, and through these various sources and dealt so leniently with the majority of tried to bring the whole of the threatened those attacked that the public fear was district under close and constant supervinot sufficiently aroused to stir the people sion. It was thus that I was reminded up to vigorous and active resistance. It how important an aid the teacher and his did cause a number of deaths, and other school may become to the health officer, cases which recovered assumed serious and for through them I could gather up every alarming features. Had only these very rumor of danger. The vaccination of puserious cases occurred there would have pils was enforced and a rigid exclusion been little difficulty in securing united ef- and quarantine of all who had been exfort to suppress it, but the added multi- posed. The health board also gave the tude of milder cases seemed to march in matter of public assemblies their attenfront of graver ones and to quiet appre- tion, and as a rule found the people ready hensions of danger. Certain ones of our to conform to requests or directions in own profession aided its progress by giv- this regard. It was by such means as ing it a certificate of good character and these that we dealt with the matter of turning it loose to roam at will. In certain closing schools during our epidemic. By quarters it was a matter of serious debate great vigilance, we closed out the disease whether it was the disease or Drs. Bray- and kept open the schools. We used the ton, Hurty, and the local health officers privilege of continuing the school as the that ought to be quarantined. It was for- incentive to all who were interested in it tunate for our people that the character to join in the fight against the enemy. of the disease had become pretty well un- As to this matter of quarantine I would derstood before it broke into our county, pause to add this: All of us who have and that the mind of the general public been called upon to attempt it have experihad been prepared to resist it. The health enced the difficulties of enforcing it and officers met it with all the diligence and the hardships that attend it. It places the vigor we could command and our medical whole family in most irksome isolation, men, school officers and teachers rendered and affects all others who, for any cause, all possible assistance. I utilized very suc- would visit them. It takes the bread wincessfully two cases which were among the ners from their employment and often first that occurred. They were of severe cuts off every source of income. It threattype and repulsive in appearance.
I ens the loss of employment for the future, caused photographs of them to be taken or it may very seriously affect a business and placed the pictures in public places enterprise or investment. All these matters to serve as object lessons.
demand serious consideration in conneclayman who saw them was as well pre- tion with the proposition to establish it; pared as his family doctor to judge but they must all yield to the necessity of of the value of a lecture Cu- preventing the spread of contagion. It, at
the best, is a serious misfortune to the be had at once with the teacher, the truspersons affected, but it is a misfortune tee and the most intelligent of the pathat can and should be largely shared and trons. From these he should learn the alleviated by the community at large. We whole situation, and not forgetting that should insist that provision be made by his decision must govern, the health offisuch community for thus sharing it as far cer will so direct his consultation that his as possible. The family quarantined are decision shall be based on the soundest the prisoner guests of the public and reason, and, if possible, shall commend it should be supported while thus in custody self to the approval and hearty support of and every attention to their comfort, pos all. There should be no hesitation as to sible to be given to them, should be cheer the suspension of the school if it shall fully extended. This is not difficult to seem probable that such a course will ultieffect if the health officer will but sum mately prove necessary. The keynote of mon prudence and tact to aid him, and it success is promptness and vigor at the is only by such reciprocal sacrifices on the start. part of the community and the prisoners I do not regard such a visitation as that a quarantine can often be made effec smallpox as the scourge most to be dreadtive. I'might add that a community which ed by the health officer, especially if it will not thus bear its portion of the bur shall present itself in its more rugged asden does not deserve protection except for pect. It is a soft-footed, and half domestithe merit of the innocent ones in our cated beast-such as measles, whooping midst.
cough, scarlet fever, diphtheria, etc.The invasion of smallpox above referred that most to be feared. They are such to found us in a situation not always old-time and familiar visitors that they prevalent. We knew the enemy was ap seem almost to have established a preproaching and would soon be in our midst. scriptive right to sojourn with us from We had time to prepare for him. We im time to time. As to the first two, measles mediately rallied about the public schools, and whoping cough, the old-time country the church assemblies, the public funerals, school was expected to distribute them all the places and occasions that assem through the neighborhood just as it did bled the people together. We prevented the itch and the variegated samples of some such assemblies, we conditioned head lice. They seem yet in many localiothers, we made the schools our allies in ties to be regarded as foreordained experistead of allowing their capture and enlist ences on the road from childhood to mament in the opposing ranks. We could turity, a kind of physical disturbance as not suppress
all the fools and we did not natural and necessary as those incidental kill any of them, but their influence be to teething. I am amazed sometimes at came quarantined by a wall of ridicule the density of the stupidity I meet with in which, as occasion provoked, assumed the connection with these old-time contaaspect of menace and warning.
gions, and no less so as to the quarters But these epidemics do sometimes get where I find this stupidity intrenched. So into the schools, and perplexing condi fixed is the idea that every one is fated, at tions arise. I can no more advise how to some time in life, to exhaust this catatreat those conditions than I can tell you logue of maladies that we can induce no how to treat your future patient who is yet sort of care to avoid them. As well talk in perfect health. The one thing that the about quarantining against the proceshealth officer should impress upon his sions of the seasons. Instead of heeding mind and conscience is that the school the instructions of the physician as to how thus attacked is his patient, a patient that they may be avoided, folklore is resorted the law turns over to his charge and for to, to determine what season of the year which he is responsible. The notice that and when “the sign is right” for contractcontagion is there should be treated as an ing them with least danger and inconveniemergency summons and met with the ence. It would surprise the inexperienced promptest response. A conference should to learn with what promptness and fierce