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height and chest girth are shown every year, the counsel of an intelligent physician should be sought and followed.
Parents and teachers need to know more of this subject of the stature of the growing child. We have the results of the careful study and measurement of many thousands of children. Upon the power to see and hear well depends so much of the school's efficiency, that it seems little less than criminal for a teacher to begin a year's work without first knowing pretty accurately the visual and auditory limitations of every pupil in her room. A few of our states have enacted very wise laws providing for the annual examination of the eyes of school children. The statute of Connecticut is one of the best.
The lighting of the school room is a point of the highest importance. Too little light and exposure to radical changes of light are the chief defects.
No sense needs more specific training, no organs more intelligent care, than the visual. The fifth equipment, power to hear, is improved by wise seating, intelligent work in singing, speaking, and reading, and by protection of the general health.
The efficient and cultivated voice which I have named as the sixth equipment for human service is important not simply for public speakers and singers but for all who desire long life. Good singing and fine oral reading make one of their largest contributions to longevity. Their emphasis makes for increased vitality.
The next three powers are especially cultivated through our manual training and rational work in physical culture. And since the tenth, resistance to
disease, is the concomitant as well as the resultant of wise development of the other seven I only ask your attention to the two features of the modern school regime whose development can do most to insure that every child shall come into his heritage of a serviceful body.
Medical supervision and rational work in physical culture are the two agencies that need to be more generously invoked. The work of medical supervision has been well begun in a number of cities.
Rational physical culture is almost unknown in American public schools below the high school grade. This is due to the fact that we have undertaken to provide for it only in platoons and no effective work is ever possible under these conditions. With this demand, the training institutions have sent us what we seemed to be asking, masters or mistresses of the calisthenic art, an art which may or may not have any contributory relation to the preservation and increase of individual health. We have compelled these men and women to drill squads of fifty to one hundred children at a time, and the only wonder is that so much good and no more harm has resulted. What is needed, is men and women of such thorough training in biology as well as anatomy, physiology, and hygiene; such thorough knowledge of brains, nerves, hearts, lungs, stomachs, kidneys, eyes, ears, throats,-as well as of muscles,-that they are able to address themselves to the physical and nervous condition of the individual child and prescribe and direct the exercise which will be both corrective and developmental, re: membering that what is food for one is poison for an other.
This means trained women for our girls and younger children, and trained men for our older boys. It means persons of sufficiently high training and intelligence to have general charge of the health of our children, responsibility second to none in importance because it conditions all our work for minds or morals.
DEPARTMENT OF KINDERGARTENS.
THE KINDERGARTEN OF TO-DAY-ITS
ROSEMARY BAUM, UTICA TRAINING SCHOOL, UTICA, N. Y.
The present condition of the kindergarten in relation to other departments of education is not unlike that of the youngest member of a large family. The baby finds himself at first a center of admiring interest. It is not surprising if he gains an undue sense of his own importance. But it is manifestly unfair that the members of the family who have contributed to the spoiling of the child should later refuse to help him to find his right relation to society.
There are critics of the kindergarten who claim to have lost faith in it because of the shortcomings of its representatives, forgetting that if men had lost faith in principles because of failures in applying them not only all departments of education but Christianity it
self would have been abandoned long ago. It should be remembered that the kindergarten is in process of adjusting itself to the conditions of the American public school.
By this I would not be understood as expressing an opinion that any radical change in the plan of the kindergarten is taking place. As long as there are kindergartens they must be Froebelian kindergartens. Only one system of education is entitled to the name of kindergarten. If others devise a different system it must bear a different name. In the kindergarten the principles regarded by Froebel as fundamental must be observed, even though applied in different ways. The games, and songs are assuming new and better forms as educational experience progresses, but we must not violate the law which demands universal and typical play-experiences for children. New gifts, if introduced, must furnish better illustrations of the principles underlying the original ones. That satisfactory substitutes for the kindergarten gifts might be found is not inconceivable; that they are not yet forthcoming most of us will agree. In the occupations one finds a tendency to do work which exercises larger muscles, also to do less of the formal work and more of the work which gives opportunity for self-expression. There must be system and progression in this, however. The materials for the freer work are less expensive than those required for some other occupations, and this fact must be considered in the public schools. The same cannot be said of the introduction of carpenter's tools, the use of which some of us regard as a departure from Froebel's plan of typical and fundamental activities.
The question of two-session kindergartens is still being agitated in many cities. If the establishment of these becomes necessary as a matter of economy, let us frankly admit that from the educational standpoint we are taking a backward step in response to a demand for the curtailing of expense.
The greatest change which is coming over the practice of the kindergarten is in response to a demand for more systematic and thorough work. The question which most of us are considering at present is "How shall we secure more rational and more purposeful plans of daily work?” This question has been answered to the satisfaction of the kindergartners in some of our cities by the adoption in all kindergartens of a program which has been carefully worked out by certain persons well qualified to judge of the needs of children of kindergarten age. Those who object to this plan question whether instead of trying to make better kindergartners by means of a better program it would not be striking nearer the root of the matter to secure better program-making by encouraging the growth of the individual kindergartner. Although the problem is being worked out by different methods in different cities, I believe that we all recognize so well the fallibility of our own judgment that for the present we are agreed amicably to disagree.
In addition to this tendency to make the work of the kindergarten more systematic and fruitful, a demand for a higher standard of order among the children is being made and met. Perhaps because the old systems of education over-emphasized law the kindergarten has had a tendency to over-emphasize freedom and to lose sight of the fact that one cannot exist without the