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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 21.djvu/465

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NATIONAL NECESSITIES AND EDUCATION.

the children are not glad, but commonly cry at having to leave the institution, to part with their playmates or their workmates, and to go home. As the physical and industrial exercises have been improved, desertions have diminished and the outcomes bettered. From morn until night bad thoughts are much excluded, and comparatively good thoughts—thoughts of doing better for themselves by work and wages, and by all honest and esteemed position—are generated and impressed. The teacher can not look into the mind and see what effects, or whether any, have been produced by his precepts. But the drill-master or the work-master does see the valuable primary moral principles of attention, patience, self-restraint, prompt and exact obedience, in outward and visible action. The general result is that the pupil gets interested in what he does, and does it with a will."

We are strongly of the opinion that by the introduction of physical training the end will be accomplished of reducing natural crime.

Lastly, we submit that, to insure the future happiness and serenity of the people of the future, the children of the present should have their mental and art training varied by making the subject of recreation a scientific branch of study among all who are engaged in educational work. In such advance, we should have the means for recreation made the means for imperceptible instruction in bodily and mental powers, so that, having never unduly severed them from the tastes of the scholar, they shall be true resting-places, useful as well as pleasing diversions from mental and physical labor.

I have now put forward our programme. It is framed on what we conceive to be the basis of national necessities. A few concluding paragraphs may be taken as proposed resolutions to explain the mode in which we would carry out the reforms we have in view:

1. We propose to lessen the tasks of a mental kind in all schools, by the introduction of what is practically a half-time system. Believing that the brain of the child under fourteen years of age is sufficiently charged, to be safely charged, when it has been subjected to three hours work in book-teaching, we assume that this period per day of such teaching is sufficient for all useful and safe advancement, that the children would have more than they could learn, and would retain more than they need retain on this plan. We propose at the same time to make inspection into such book-learning less critical and less severe, with an institution of inspection into physical capability as a part of the inspection, in place of the part given up to book standards.

In connection with this department we propose that there should be at stated times a physical inquiry, by competent authority, into the health of every school and every scholar, and that as much special encouragement and reward should be given to scholars who present the best physique as to those who present proofs of superior attainments in the standards.

We propose further that this great change shall be effected by