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Lessons of Obedience.
child, teacher and pupil, and bows cheerfully and from choice to the decision of another, whose character and position render it incumbent upon him to direct.
Here it is, in the public schools, that all the pu pils learn a lesson which many of them would never learn elsewhere; a lesson which is essential to the perpetuity of our free government. This, if I mistake not, is the most important bond of connection between the free-school system and the State, and in this alone is found a sufficient argument for the support of schools at the expense of the State. *
*“Of all the dangers which threaten the future of our country, none, not even the fetid tide of official corruption, is so fearful as the gradual decrease in our habits of obedience. This is a result of the “inalienable right of liberty' which we enjoy so fully; and is shown in the impaired force of parental influence, a greater disregard of the rights and comforts of others, and an increasing tendency to evade or defy the anthority of law. Young America is now exuberant in its independence; but the greatest blessing it can have, is to be saved from itself, and to be taught that liberty rising above law, destroys its victim ; untempered by humanity, is mere selfishness; and unregulated by law, becomes anarchy. This discipline is the work of education, and can only be accomplished by its broadest and most thorough operation.”— Report of Andrew H. Green, President of New York Board of Education, 1857.
HEATING AND VENTILATION.
The improvements that have been made during the last thirty years in the principles and modes of teaching, are without a parallel in the history of the world.
In school architecture very great progress has also been made, and most of the principal cities and villages now possess neat and commodious schoolbuildings. It must, however, be confessed, that in the art of heating and ventilating school-houses, we have not made the same degree of progress.
In attempting a few practical suggestions on the heating and ventilation of school-buildings, I will first introduce some of the more important principles relating to the subject.
We are so constituted that a certain degree of heat is essential to health and comfort. The proper temperature of a school-room, according to the testimony of a large number of the best physicians and educators, is about 68° Fahrenheit. When the thermometer in a room rises above 70°, measures should immediately be taken to reduce the temperature; and when it sinks below 65°, measures should be
taken to raise the temperature. If at any time the thermometer sinks below 60°, pupils can not be confined in their seats without an exposure of health.
The healthy action of both mind and body requires a constant supply of fresh air for the lungs. A pure atmosphere is composed of about 80 per cent. of nitrogen, and 20 per cent. of oxygen. The life-giving principle is the oxygen. Air that has once passed through the lungs, is deprived of a large portion of its oxygen and charged with a poisonous gas. If it is retained in the lungs a few seconds, it will not even support ordinary combustion. Any one desirous of satisfying himself on this point, can do so by the following simple experiment. Provide a vessel containing a few quarts of water, a short tube of sufficient size for the breath to pass freely through it, a common drinking-glass, and a piece of candle about half an inch in length, attached to a few inches of wire, by which it may be suspended. Now plunge the glass into the water, and when the air is all expelled, invert and raise it gradually till most of the glass rises above the water; the open part being still below the surface, and the glass being still filled with the water. Next inhale a full breath of air and hold it in the lungs for fifteen or twenty seconds; then breathe it through the tube under the edge of the glass. It will of course displace the water, and the glass will be filled with air from the lungs. Before
taking the glass out of the water, plunge in a small plate or board, and close the opening of the glass. It may now be removed from the water and set on a table, and is ready for use. Having lighted the candle, remove the cover from the glass and drop the candle into the impure air, and the flame will be instantly extinguished.
Besides the impurities sent out from the lungs, the insensible perspiration from all the pupils in a room contributes very considerably to increase the pernicious quality of the atmosphere.
To those who value the health of their children, it needs no argument to prove that this devitalized, poisonous air should be constantly removed from the school-room, and pure, life-giving air be introduced in its stead.
In estimating the amount of fresh air to be supplied, we ought not merely to consider what the system can be made to tolerate, but what amount will sustain the highest state of health for the longest time. Dr. Reid recommends at least ten cubic feet per minute as a suitable average supply for each individual; and states that his estimate is the result of an “extreme variety of experiments, made on hundreds of different constitutions, supplied one by one with given amounts of air, and also in numerous assemblies and meetings, where there were means of estimating the quantity of air with which they were
* Reid on Ventilation.
No physiologist estimates the amount required by each individual at less than five cubic feet per minute; and yet not one school in a hundred receives even this supply. The consequence is, that most of the pupils in our schools are compelled to inhale a small amount of poison at every breath. But most constitutions can bear a gradual undermining by slow poison, without any sudden or alarming symptoms of disease, and so the process is allowed to go on.
It is a reproach to the age in which we live, that with so many opportunities for advancement, the heating and ventilation of most of the school-buildings in every section of the country are still so unsatisfactory.
Let us not, however, neglect to avail ourselves of the knowledge we possess, nor regard all efforts to introduce improvements as failures, because they are only partially successful.
Hot-air furnaces are natural ventilators. The heated air that is sent into the room by them, necessarily forces the same amount of impure air out of the room.
But the heated air itself, with which the room is constantly supplied, is rendered more or less impure by contact with the overheated surface of the furnace.