Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 78.djvu/616

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the home can be educated to deal more wisely with the situation than it has yet done it will be necessary for us to follow the example of Italy and certain other countries by placing part of this responsibility upon the schools.

For these and many other reasons, a biological view of human progress counsels us to give more heed to matters of domestic and personal hygiene. Under the present conditions of civilization, more than ever before, man's body, mind and morals are being subjected to difficulties which they were not evolved to meet. Among primitive men, morals were natural and easy, intellectual strain was intermittent and of short duration, while the body throve in its natural habitat of fresh air, sunlight and varied muscular activity. The problem of existence reduced itself chiefly to obtaining food and avoidance of becoming food for others. To-day, conditions are quite the reverse. Possessed of the same animal and egoistic instincts so necessary for the very existence of our ancestors we are required to overcome these in the interests of a higher and more difficult moral standard. The complexity of industrial and social life, with its rivalries, competition and absurdly artificial standards of living, has brought the necessity of continuous mental-and physical exertion. The body has been exiled from its Garden of Eden to the unnatural and unwholesome environment of house, office, factory and mine. The human body is not exempt from the consequences of the biological law that the existence of an organism is jeopardized whenever it is exposed to conditions widely different from those which directed its evolution. Fortunately we are not reduced to a choice between extinction, on the one hand, and a return to nature, as advocated by Rousseau, on the other. A diligent application of the laws of personal and social hygiene will preserve us from this dilemma. Nothing else will, and the contribution of domestic science to this end is absolutely essential to its ultimate success.

Almost if not quite as much can be said for that branch of the manual arts technically designated as manual training.

Ever since Seguin's classical experiments with manual training in the education of feeble-minded children, nearly three quarters of a century ago, the school has moved rapidly toward a clearer recognition of the close inter-relation between mind and body. For hundreds of years education had been controlled by a bifurcated educational aim, with most of its emphasis on the side of mind. In the last few years, however, the psychologists have learned a great deal about the motor aspects of mental activity. They have demonstrated that almost any simple act of attention involves muscular innervation and, contrariwise, that motor exercise quickens intelligence. Psychology teaches that body and mind have grown up together and that the latter has no raison d'ĂȘtre apart from motor adjustment. When educational practise