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builded by his own hand, from plans evolved from his own brain; a hut to which he could invite his own friends and treat them to food cooked over his own fireplace or stove; and in which he could sleep, some night, and not be afraid in the dark; for a boy old enough to build a house should and did feel that of course he would not be afraid of the dark.
Now this project is easily traced back to its inception in a raceinstinct. This boy was possessed of an inheritance which was never written down in any one's last will and testament. But from far-away times in late summer men began to think of coming cold, and to make preparations for shelter from the wintry blasts. We have often noted the hut-building mind-set, and the fact that it attacks boys most violently in late summer time or early autumn. We watched this particular hut grow,-but said never a word. Cellar and stable were raided for materials. A neighboring "dump" furnished several valuable contributions, including a small stove and some stovepipe, for heating and cooking purposes. A large, heavy sky-light that had been removed from a house in process of renovation was utilized for nearly one whole side of the hut. Its ground glass furnished interior light and yet was impervious to too-familiar public curiosity. A roll of tarred paper, purchased without requisition upon the paternal pocket-book, covered roof and other sides and was impervious to rain. The floor boards were raised three or four inches above the ground, giving an air space so that dampness from the earth should be avoided. Great care was shown in arranging for a good draught for the stove, which was so placed that prevailing winds should not carry sparks or smoke toward neighboring buildings. A curious and original thought and device to exclude undesirable big boys was the making of the only doorway so narrow that a big, bullying boy could not squeeze through it. Positively that "was one" on the old folks. Carpenters and builders take notice, and next time make our doorway of such dimensions as will exclude undesirables! Defects that might be mentioned were the omission of screens to prevent the annoying presence of mosquitos, flies and other insects; an insufficient slant to the roof
to properly shed the water in the case of heavy storms; and a deficiency of shelves for books and small objects, such as every boy habitually keeps "in stock."
Now that project kept its projector out of mischief for more than one week. This, however, is a negative suggestion. What for the positive? Why, it interested him intensely. It developed brain power by the interested thought that he put into it. Ingenuity and diligence and exactness were required in finding and fitting together materials. He learned how to use tools of various kinds with skill and efficiency. A large variety of muscles were exercised and their strength increased. His lungs were expanded and forced to take in a large amount of pure, fresh air (save at the dump). His eye was trained to judge relations and proportions. He gained a new dignity through the development of a sense of ownership and mastery. The irresponsible boy was developed, in every act, toward a purposeful and efficient manhood.
Our conclusion is that the school project and the home project are equally valuable when we learn how to handle them rightly. The big secret is in encouraging the mind-set from the background of maturity, and then letting the child alone.
The Relation of Physical Education to a
WILLIAM H. THALER, PH. G., M. D., INSPECTOR OF HYGIENE,
T will be well at the outset to determine the exact scope which the term, physical education, embraces. In the pending Federal legislation, the SmithTowner Bill (now known as the Towner-Sterling Bill) includes physical education as one of the five major objects for which Federal aid shall be extended. The Fess-Capper physical education bill
was introduced into Congress February 20, 1920. This bill is the result of two years' work on the part of the National Committee on Physical Education and of the successor of that committee, the National Physical Education Service, in the interest of Federal legislation. Senator Capper, in introducing the bill, indicated its purpose as follows: "Physical education means more than exercise. It includes adequate supervision of the health and physical condition of the children, and practical instruction in the principles of healthful living. . . .”
The above, I quote from the report of the Commissioner of Education for 1920. In this address, I shall take the liberty of appropriating the title, physical education, as applying primarily to the public schools of our country, since they represent the basis on the largest scale for federal legislation. This is at it should be, for our public schools being logically the cradle of our democracy, therefore, anything that is intimately wound up with the ideals and welfare of our nation as a whole should find its inception in the public schools, although this paper in the general sense may well apply to any branch of our national activities which are engaged in producing better and more physically fit American citi
The first and foremost factor which must receive our attention is the educational institution of America. Education is passing
Address delivered before the physical education section of the State Teachers 'Association at the annual convention, November 4, 1921, St. Louis, Mo.
today through the most crucial period of its existence in our land. The changes and transitions which are transpiring on every hand render it unwise indeed to prepare any elaborate program for the pedagogical world, for with the morrow comes frequently a hitherto unexpected demand of the times which relegates all previous endeavors to the limbo of the past. We are attempting in America today to co-ordinate the various units and activities which go to make up an efficient school system. The most talked-of branches among these units today, are vocational guidance endeavors and departments of hygiene and physical education. For some strange and unaccountable reason, educators in America have been very reluctant to accord these activities the prestige and assistance which they should rightly have possessed in the days of their inception. Today, however, these recent associates of the three R's are coming prominently into the limelight, and the future is full of promising developments. Pedagogues have at last come to realize that to attempt to instill knowledge into the malleable minds of our kiddies, without considering the health phases, is an uphill climb; and trying to produce an individual who may take his proper place in organized society as well equipped and as efficiently as the state has a right to expect of the schools, is an almost hopeless task without taking into consideration the factor of vocational guidance.
If any one desires to contest the statement of reluctance anent the slowness of recognition of physical education and vocational guidance, as well as the concrete factor of health in American education, I shall take the liberty of referring him to the following articles which the writer has contributed on these subjects, and which are based on historical facts: "Evolution of Hygiene as a Factor in Education," Part 1, Journal of School and Society, Oct. 18, 1919. Part 2, Medical Review of Reviews, Oct. 1920. The second article was reprinted in its entirety in the "Medical Sentinel" of November 1920. "The Evolution of Physical Training as a Factor in Education," an address delivered before physical directors at St. Louis, and published in the magazine "Mind and Body," September-October issue 1920; as also other articles in
the "Educational Review" and the magazine "Education," to which I will be glad to refer any one who is interested in the substantiation of the truth of the above statements. My reason for emphasizing these matters that may at first thought appear to be trivial is that America was made to realize in the recent unpleasantness that she had committed a terrible blunder in neglecting these most important fundamentals in education. I shall again take the liberty of referring to this matter, which was treated by the writer in a comprehensive way in an address before the general convention of Missouri State Teachers, under the title: "A Critical Analysis of the Present Day Attitude of the American Educator Toward the School Child, from the Viewpoint of the Public Health;" which is to appear in an early edition of the "Medical Review of Reviews."
The second topic which will be considered, is that of the word health. It must be admitted that in this country we have been only too prone to consider physical health, when using the term. Fortunately, there is now sweeping the country a wave of intense interest in this direction which promises to result in a proper correlation between mind and body from the health standpoint. The fact is being brought home to us today that the size of criminal and allied institutions varies inversely in proportion to the interest which is manifested in the subject of mental hygiene. One of the ludicrous outcroppings as a result of our neglect of giving proper attention to mental hygiene, has been the swarm of mind healers which have invaded our land in various guises and disguises, and who have preyed successfully upon the pocketbooks of the gullible citizens, who in the majority of instances are simply victims of the neglect which has been hitherto accorded physical education.
In considering the topic of physical education as a factor in our national program, I shall classify the subject under two distinct heads or branches; namely, the purely medical phases which comprise medical inspection and instruction, and the art of physical training, which must ever remain an independent, albeit closely allied science. Both of these professions are at present under