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fying effect of this misfortune upon the intellectual, business, and community life of each, as well as upon his capacity for enjoyment; and then, when we further consider what our best physicians assert, that, with proper care on the part of parents and teachers, this number would be reduced to two per cent, it requires no very great stretch of the imagination to compel the belief, that vastly more practical good would redound to humanity by careful systematized examination and treatment of these defectives than by so much religious devotion to the abstract mechanical "drills" of our fathers. From the beneficial results of the eye and ear studies above described, as everywhere apparent, it was deemed vital to carry the work farther and to pursue it more systematically. Accordingly blanks, based upon the one suggested by Dr. Krohn in the December number of "The Child Study Monthly," were provided for permanent record of each individual pupil, the essential requirements of which are date, grade, school, name, age, sex, nationality, post office address, birthplace, birthplace of father and of mother, past and present health, causes of death of father and of mother, vision, hearing, visual comparison, and visual and auditory memory. The pupils are taken aside singly or in small groups, the various tests applied, and the facts ascertained carefully recorded. These records are then made a part of the official report of each pupil, the same as the standard items of attendance, tardiness, estimate of work accomplished, etc. While it will probably take years to realize the full salutary effect of this system, yet a sufficient amount has already been accomplished unhesitatingly to warrant the statement, that, in its influence upon the present and future status of both pupil and teacher, it is intensely practical.
Turning from the investigation of the senses, we undertook the study of children's ideas of justice, by means of the Barnes' story method, taking for the first test the well-known story of the mother who gave her child a box of paints, with which the little one painted and spoiled all of the parlor chairs, and then ran to her mother, calling out, "Oh, mamma; come and see how pretty I have made the parlor!" The question was, "What would you have said or done had you been the child's mother?" These stories are given as regular composition exercises, the teacher never revealing by look or word their real purpose, or his own beliefs regarding them. At the close of the exercise, the papers are collected, studied by the teacher, and then read to the pupils, forming topics for questions and discussion. As to its practical value, I submit the following as characteristic responses to a note of inquiry addressed to the teachers: "I never knew my pupils so well before, and never had so much sympathy for them." From another: "I never realized so fully before the indi
viduality of my school, and the absolute necessity of treating each pupil as an individual." From another: "It gives me a much more perfect insight into the homes of my pupils, and into the parents' methods of treating their children." From another: "I never realized so fully a teacher's responsibility, as many of my own methods are plainly seen in the replies of my pupils." From another: "It is one of the most valuable exercises we have ever had, in that it shows that one of the most essential elements requisite to fit a child for highest citizenship-the cultivation of the moral judgment—has, through lack of proper exercise, been sadly neglected." These reports might be indefinitely multiplied, but a sufficient number have been given, we trust, to show the value of this study as viewed by the practical grade teacher.
Again, we have endeavored to study the child by means of the Russell "still hunt" plan, urging criticism upon the course of study and general management of the schools whenever and wherever not in perfect harmony with the best interests of the growing child as thereby revealed. In consequence, many interesting features have been observed, particularly those bearing upon the child's physical nature—his fears, high nervous tension to which he is constantly subjected, etc., of which the following from one of our teachers may be taken as a fair sample, and may well serve to raise the question as to the advisability of sending home estimates of pupils' work, even as often as semi-annually: "M., seven years old, is an unusually bright child, of a nervous, high-strung disposition; quick, active, conscientious, and of a temperament to feel very keenly either joy or sorrow. Her teacher, Miss K., does good work in school and is not at all unkind to her pupils. Three days before the semi-annual report cards were given out, M. was taken sick with the chicken pox. The first afternoon of her illness her mother was sitting beside her sewing, when M. suddenly said: 'Mamma, do you think Miss K. will mark me "W." (worthless), because I staid out on account of the chicken pox?' 'Why, no; M., I'm sure she won't. She will mark you just according to what you did when you were there.' Satisfied for just a moment; then she cried, again: 'Mamma, maybe she'll have to mark me "W." Another short silence. 'If she did, though, mamma, probably she'd just have to do it that way because I was out, the same as I have have to stay out because I got the chicken pox, and she wouldn't be to blame any more than I would.' Again the same thought and cry kept recurring all the afternoon. In the evening the mother was called out, and I promised to look after the sick child. At eight o'clock I heard a cry from the room and ran to see what was the difficulty. I found the child sitting straight up in bed with the
clothes thrown back and her black eyes blazing with excitement. She threw her little arms about my neck and sobbed out, ‘Miss R., do you suppose I'll get marked "W." because I had to stay out to-day?' I took her in my arms, reassuring her as best I could, trying to quell her fear and to quiet her nervousness, and so to rock her to sleep again. Before sleep came, however, she argued with me as she had with her mother. 'Miss K. will just have to if she does, and wouldn't be any more to blame than I am for staying out because I had to.' Awakening again and again during the evening, the first thought of her mind and the first cry on her lips were, 'Do you think, maybe, Miss K. will mark me “W."?”
This is no unusual report nor unusual incident, as every student of children knows. It is quoted simply to demonstrate, that, by focusing the attention of the teachers upon child study, it brings home to them more keenly than otherwise possible sympathetic appreciation of the "awfulness" of the nervous strain to which children of our schools are constantly subjected, and arouses in them earnest, thoughtful coöperation in all measures looking towards relief.
Again, accepting the conclusion of Burgstein and others relative to the unhygienic effects of long sessions, we have arranged for the lowest grade periods of rest at the close of every forty-five or fifty minutes of study. These periods are from ten to fifteen minutes in length, and consist of recesses, gymnastics, marches, singing, etc., as the case and the state of the weather may warrant. At times the pupils simply slide down into their seats, relax all their muscles, and close their eyes in pretending sleep, while the teacher or some pupil sings a soothing lullaby. The results have more than met our expectations. The pressure is lifted, the pupils and teachers refreshed and invigorated, and more intellectual work accomplished than before. Indeed, so great do its advantages appear from every point of view that I have no hesitancy in saying that the "no recess” plan, a plan invented and fostered, for the most part, for the benefit of the teacher, should receive our merciless condemnation, or should be absolutely prohibited by law.
Stepping into a primary room near the close of the school year, a little girl with swollen eyes and tear-stained cheeks attracted my attention. The teacher, observing this, handed me a beautiful specimen of penmanship, remarking as she did so: "R. worked on this specimen earnestly and faithfully, without uttering a whimper, until she had completed it, and then she brought it to me, threw her arms about my neck, cried as if her little heart would break, and shook as if attacked with a fit of ague." Upon inquiry it was found that a large number of the pupils of this grade exhibited the same nerv
ous overstrain and fatigue whenever engaged in this class of work, while an examination under a large magnifying glass of the specimens mentioned confirmed only too alarmingly the conclusions above stated. It was resolved at once, therefore, to abolish this exercise, and to conduct the work at the opening of the new school year in accordance with Dr. Hall's discoveries concerning the development and use of the so-called fundamental and accessory muscles and the groups of nerve centers governing their movements. In consequence, the blackboard with full arm movement has been substituted for the fine finger exercises of the slate and pencil, three feet of room without lines and spaces being assigned each pupil. At first it was decided to make use of the base line as a sort of a guide, and the messenger, or supervisor of buildings, was instructed to cause the same to be painted. Before he had time to do so, however, our teachers had discovered, experimentally, to their great surprise, that such lines were not only unnecessary, but if used would prove an insurmountable barrier to freedom of movement-the end sought. To be sure, the pupils in the beginning did not write in a straight line; but this was quickly overcome by causing them to stand back a few feet from the board and to observe its variation. As a practical result of the application of this doctrine to the work of the first grade, as pursued in our schools, the teachers, the supervisors, and the superintendent are of one mind in stating, that never before have our pupils written so easily, so rapidly, and so well at this time of the year, and that, too, without a single case of nervous physical or mental exhaustion apparent.
In our judgment this is a grand triumph for scientific child study, and must eventually revolutionize this important branch of primary instruction.
In conclusion, I would say, by way of summation, that child study has had a very marked beneficial effect. First, upon the child, in that it has led to a better understanding of his growing powers and necessities, his periods of strength and of weakness, his physical defects and their remedies. It has also led to a keener appreciation of the physical repression and mental stultification to which he is constantly subjected and the enormous dangers arising therefrom, and to a more accurate, just, and equitable interpretation and manipulation of the motives governing his hourly conduct. And second, upon the teacher. On this point, I desire simply to confirm, from the ordinary school supervisory standpoint, what has been stated again and again by every writer upon this subject. As never before, child study has acquainted the teacher with the complexity of a child's physical and mental constitution; has magnified his concept of the child's individuality and emphasized the necessity of adapting in
struction in both matter and method in conformity with it; and has brought him into more tender and loving sympathy with the child, into more perfect teaching relation with the child. It has also quickened within the teacher a more tender conscience, a more exalted ambition, and a keener sense of his own powers, limitations, opportunities, and responsibilities; and best of all, it has inspired him with a deep and hallowed reverence for the little lives intrusted to his care, and has engendered in him an insatiable thirst to implant within every growing breast the sacred ideals of highest manhood and noblest womanhood.
THE INFLUENCE OF THE KINDERGARTEN SPIRIT ON HIGHER EDUCATION.
BY JAMES L. HUGHES, INSPECTOR OF SCHOOLS, TORONTO, CANADA.
H. Courthope Bowen, the Englishman whose interpretation of Froebel's principles is most perfect sympathetically and intellectually, in his admirable work on "Froebel and Education through Self-Activity," says: "Froebel was possessed of large and generous views on education as a whole, and on its methods and results as wholes; but it is the work which he did for the education of infants between the ages of three and seven that chiefly demands our gratitude, so far as his aims have been realized up to the present. In the future, unless I am seriously mistaken, his greatest service will be in the reforms which his principles and methods will have forced on our schools and colleges." And again: "It argues, therefore, an absolute misunderstanding of the whole matter, to callously and indifferently admit that Fræbel's ideas are true enough for the kindergarten and at the same time to deny that they have anything to do with the schools."
That Mr. Bowen's estimate of the influence of the kindergarten is the correct one is becoming more clear as the kindergarten is more widely introduced and more fully understood. The principles upon which the kindergarten is based are fundamental principles that should guide the teacher in the work of teaching and training the child throughout its school course. The application of principles should change as the child ascends through the advancing periods of its growth, but the laws of true educational development apply universally in the university as well as the kindergarten. These principles have influenced the work in schools and colleges even where the kindergarten itself is not recognized. Many men