Imágenes de páginas

interested, and I have no doubt will derive much permanent good through the skill and example of good teachers. Nothing should be left undone that will fix in the minds of our youth a sense of the folly and danger of the use of alcoholic beverages, and a resolution to entirely abstain from their use. I therefore cordially support this law, and have, so far as I know, used every means to administer it thoroughly. It ought, however, to be noted in a report upon education, as this assumes to be, that temperance in the restricted sense of abstinence from the use of any kind of food or drink is in itself but a negative virtue, and must therefore in an educational view take a subordinate place in any curriculum of instruction. Character is determined by what a man is, and not by what he is not, by what he does, and not by what he does not do. Hence, education having to do with the whole man in his health, intelligence, and character, it has chiefly to do with the positive virtues of temperance in the broader sense of self-control and the subordination of appetite and passion to the authority of the higher moral and intellectual natures, of high purposes in choosing worthy objects of life, of pure tastes in the love of the good, the beautiful, and the true. These receiving the first place, a secondary consideration should in reason be given to what is destructive and inconsistent with what every wise man should be, and for what he should live.

Reports of county superintendents—(1890).

Anoka County.-No opposition has been made to the instruction in temperance hygiene. Both teachers and pupils seem to enjoy this subject. Anatomical charts have been purchased for about two-thirds of all the schools. The greatest difficulty seems to be in getting parents to supply the children with books. Douglas County.-Instruction in temperance hygiene has been systematically and regularly given in all schools, since the law requiring it became operative. The books recommended by the commission have been used exclusively and have given the best of satisfaction.

Lac qui Parle County.-No objection to the teaching of this subject in the schools has been heard. In nearly all of the schools it is taught, and I believe there is no subject more entertaining to the little ones, or one that will be of more importance to them in their general education. The teachers in nearly all of the schools use the book recommended by the commissioner.

Meeker County.-Temperance hygiene has been taught in every school without exception. In some instances, however, threats had to be resorted to in order to induce school boards to do their duty in this respect. All the teachers have been loyal and active in doing their parts in fulfilling the law.

Redwood County.-The temperance hygiene work is quite satisfactory. Teachers feel the need of good, earnest work on this subject. Nearly all make place for it on their programme. Some try it on the three times a week plan. What have we accomplished in the work, no one can tell. We shall know more five years hence.

Swift County.-Temperance hygiene has found a place on every programme in our schools, and the law is well observed.

Wilkin County.-Instruction in temperance hygiene has been given in this county, I think, very thoroughly and has been met with no opposition.


The law a farce and a fraud.—The law on teaching the evil effects of alcoholic stimulants and narcotics upon the human system is a farce and fraud. It is virtually a prohibition against temperance instruction in the public schools. And strange as it may appear, those who claimed to favor proper legislation upon this subject, favored this measure, while they rejoiced over the defeat of Senate bill No. 52, which required such instruction in all schools of the State. The law as it stands is worthless, and should be repealed or amended. (State Superintendent W. E. Coleman.]


Montana without a luw.-State Superintendent John Gannon (1892): The only law upon our statute books relating to the teaching of the effects of stimulants and narcotics is that known as the "Blair bill," approved May 20, 1886; but as that applied only to the Territories, it became void upon the admission of Montana into the Union, and has not been reënacted by our legislature; though

teachers are still examined in "physiology and hygiene, with special reference to the nature and the effects of alcoholic drinks and other narcotics upon the human system."

Statistics (1890).-Out of three hundred and sixty-one school districts in the State, physiology and hygiene were taught in three hundred and thirty-six.


Scientific knowledge necessary.-State Superintendent W. C. Dovey (1890): The legislature passed an act in 1885 which provides that elementary physiology and hygiene, which shall give special prominence to the effect of alcohol and narcotics upon the human system, shall be taught in the public schools. No wiser provision is found in our school law. Scientific knowledge on this subject, though very primary, will do more in shaping the habits of the children in this respect than can be done by appeals to his moral nature or by reviewing the terrible degradation and ruin which its use has inflicted upon the human family.. Reasons, stronger than sentimentalism, excite in him a wise fear of the tippler's habit. The following figures show that the great body of our teachers are in hearty accord with this law: Number of children studying physiology in 1885, 365; in 1886, 851; in 1887, 1,602; in 1888, 2,150; in 1889, 2,265; in 1890, 2,283. [out of 7,387 pupils enrolled]. In six years the number has increased from 365 to 2,283. This item is a source of thankful congratulation to every intelligent friend of the rising generation.


Nearly all schools complying with the law.-State Superintendent J. W. Patterson (1890): In the year 1883 an act was passed, without any material opposition in either house, which required school boards to prescribe in all schools sufficiently advanced the study of physiology and hygiene, with special reference to the effects of alcoholic stimulants and narcotics upon the human system. To prevent evasion by those not favorable to the law, it was amended in 1887 so as to require the introduction of this study in "all mixed schools and in all graded schools above the primary."

Being deeply interested in the execution of the law, I endeavored to inform myself as to how far it had been complied with and the spirit with which the subject was taught. It took a year or two to qualify the teachers to do even respectable work in this branch. There were a few towns which ignored the law, as every sensible man knew there would be, and there were others that complied with the letter of the law and violated its spirit. But as time went on I was gratified with what seemed to me as general a compliance with the law as any one had reason to anticipate.

I was, therefore, greatly surprised and not a little annoyed when his excellency the governor, in his inaugural, stated that so far as he could learn the law had been "almost entirely disregarded." I said to myself, either I am mistaken or the governor has been misinformed, and the public has a right to know whether the law is a dead letter or not. I therefore inserted the following questions in the statistical blanks sent to the school boards for their annual returns: 1. Give number of schools in which physiology and hygiene are taught with text-book. 2. Give number of schools in which they are taught orally.

All but eight towns in the State responded to these questions, and the result is as follows: In 946 schools physiology and hygiene are taught by text-books, and in 817 they are taught orally. This gives us 1,763 schools out of 2,302 in the State in which the law has been regarded, leaving only 539 in the whole State in which the subject is not taught. This number would be considerably reduced by the statistics from the eight towns not heard from. It is gratifying to learn from the school boards, who know the facts, that nearly all the schools of the State, except the primary, in which the subject is not required to be taught, are complying with the requirements of the law. Clearly his excellency the governor, whose scrupulous loyalty to facts and fearless fidelity to the cause of temperance all men must respect, was misinformed by parties who presumed to advise on matters in respect to which they had no definite knowledge. I do not claim that the subject is taught with great thoroughness in some of the schools, but I presume it is up to the average teaching in other studies in those schools. The limitations are in the qualifications of the teachers, and will be removed with their improvement.

ED 90- -46


Statistics. In 1889, out of 30,024 pupils, 18,523 studied physiology and hygiene. In 1890, out of 30,821 pupils, 21,301 studied physiology and hygiene.


Statistics. In 1889: Number of pupils, 777,162; number studying physiology, 155,621.

In 1890: Number of pupils, 797,439; number studying physiology, 236,901.


Such knowledge is of vast account.-State Superintendent E. E. Higbee (1885): In regard to the recent law requiring physiology and hygiene to be taught as part of the necessary curriculum of our public schools, a word here may not be out of place. Of course, where children can not read intelligently or with ease, it would be a monstrous perversion of ordinary common sense to expect them to use a text-book. Their instruction, to be such and not a farce, must be oral; and such instruction must and ought to be given, properly adapted to the age and attainment of the pupil. In higher grades, text-books in full conformity with the meaning and purpose of the law should be used; and thus all pupils, whether of low or high grades, will receive instruction. Only enmity to the law can warrant such an interpretation as will defeat its own purpose, which plainly is, that all our children shall gain as much knowledge of physiology and hygiene as our common schools, with their limited sphere, can give, accompanied at each step with a proper practical application of this knowledge in reference especially to the effects of alcohol and narcotics on the human system. Such knowledge is in itself of vast account; and such special application of it, in way of warning, properly belongs to the moral discipline which should characterize all teaching, whether required by definite statute or not. The lawabiding habits of teachers and directors give abundant assurance that this law will be fully obeyed. We are willing that time shall demonstrate how far it may serve to remove one of the greatest curses that pollute social life. The fathers and mothers of this Commonwealth will be more than thankful for anything which may aid their children in keeping away from those temptations which they themselves so much fear, and from which so many of them have been made miserable and broken hearted.

In harmony with public sentiment―The right to impart such instruction unquestionable.-State Superintendent E. E. Higbee (1886): The practical operation of the act of assembly requiring the subject of physiology and hygiene, with special reference to the effects of alcohol and narcotics upon the human system, to be introduced in the schools as a legal branch of study, strengthens and confirms our belief in the wisdom of the law. The act was approved April 2, 1885, and went into effect at the beginning of the school year, in June following.

The commendable spirit in which the measure was so generally acquiesced in by the patrons of the schools, its prompt enforcement by directors, the earnest cooperation of superintendents, and the willingness of the teachers to comply with its provisions by a ready performance of the duties required of them, offer an unanswerable argument in proof of the fact that such instruction given to the children in the public schools is in favor with the people, and in harmony with a strong and growing public sentiment throughout the Commonwealth.

There have been shortcomings in some instances and partial failures in others, but there are few indeed in comparison, and occasioned more, we believe, by a misunderstanding of the law's requirements than by a disposition to evade its provisions. All things fairly considered, the friends of the measure have cause for congratulation, and even the most sanguine and hopeful of its advocates can find much to commend in the work of the first year.

The good results that will come from judicious and timely instruction in the subject will in the near future demonstrate the practicability of temperance teaching in the public schools, and will fully justify the policy of the course pursued.

The principles underlying moral instruction in the schools as a proper preparation for good citizenship, as well as to afford protection and safety to the individual, are pressing themselves more forcibly to-day than ever before upon the

earnest attention of our teachers. The causes, only too clearly discernible, that make such teaching an absolute necessity need not here be referred to.

The right to impart such instruction can not be questioned with any degree of sincerity or consistency, and when made an imperative and lawful requirement by the State, it becomes the duty of all concerned to render willing obedience thereto.

Gaining favor with teachers and pupils.-State Superintendent E. E. Higbee (1888): Scarcely any difficulties have arisen in reference to the comparatively new study of physiology and hygiene made obligatory by law. The teachers at the outset, in preparing themselves for this work, have very naturally given themselves to the study as a science, and no doubt in many instances have made this so prominent in their teaching as to overshadow the moral side in not fully discussing the vast evils of intemperance to both body and soul. In our judgment, however, there has been little if any conscious attempt to evade, in any way, the explicit requirements of the law, and the science, together with its hygienic applications, is gaining favor with teachers and pupils.

There should be no indifference to the serious moral import involved in such instruction. To avoid the evils of intemperance requires, of course, the firm exercise of will, which in most cases, when habits are already formed, needs the power of Divine grace to secure a lasting victory; yet it must be plain that a clear knowledge of the evils, as affecting body and soul, especially with the young, can but be of great service in helping them to shun the temptation when in subsequent years the tempter meets them with his specious pleas. Prudent treatment of any vice is not only therapeutic in the way of applying remedies for the disease already in existence, but prophylactic as well in guarding against its threatened attack.

General compliance with the law.-State Superintendent D. J. Waller, jr. (1890): The reports made to this office indicate a very general compliance with the spirit as well as with the letter of the law. The penalty for failure to comply with its provisions has proven to be sufficient to secure obedience on the part of those not specially interested in the subject.

Aninstance of harmful legislation-Results opposite to what intended.-Superintendent C. F. Foster, of Chester, Delaware Co.,(1891): With all respect for the philantrophic and Christian women who have secured the present scientific temperance law, we can only characterize it, after a thorough test of six years in a strict observance of all its details, as an instance of harmful legislation. We have followed its requirements to the letter. We have used only the authorized text-books. Every grade, from first primary to high school, is taught physiology and hygiene, including special reference to the effect of alcoholic drinks, stimulants, and narcotics upon the human system." The result upon the minds of the pupils, and too often upon their personal habits, is the opposite of what was intended. The way in which this effect is produced, for aught we know, may be that illustrated in the oft-repeated lines of Pope:

"Vice is a monster of so frightful mien,
As, to be hated, needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace."

It is certain that a repetition of any precept, whether in abstract or concrete form, during twelve or thirteen years of a school course, must produce weariness and eventually disgust in the pupil's mind, and that the natural perversity of the human heart will, in not a few cases, assist to produce a revulsion in sentiment and practice. I am ready to affirm that in this community the evils which this legislation aims to check are constantly on the increase in spite of the most thorough temperance instruction in the schools, and that the best results in this line have been reached by a few teachers, who, in a kindly, yet conservative way, have gained the confidence of their pupils, and by the voluntary organization of children in "bands" or "societies," have kept them interested in the various features of moral and social reform. There can be no objection to the requirement by which scientific temperance instruction is made a part of the publicschool course within certain limits, but when it becomes like the image set up in the plain of Dura, claiming universal homage, it is well to ask "cui bono?"


Not received the attention which it should.-State Superintendant G. L. Pinkham (1890): The impetus given this matter by national legislation, while we were yet under territorial government, has been preserved by the passage, at the first

session of the State legislature, of a bill, with stringent provisions, for teaching in our schools the facts concerning the nature and effects of alcoholic drinks and narcotics upon the human system. I am not able to state how universally in our schools the provisions of this law are complied with, but I aprehend that the matter has not received in all places the thorough attention from school officers and teachers which it should. Its provisions are not too strict when we

consider the importance of the subject.

After June 1, 1891, teachers are required by this law to be examined with special reference to their knowledge of the nature and effects of alcoholic drinks and narcotics. As the questions heretofore prepared by the state department have quite thoroughly covered this ground, the teachers and schools are presumably in full harmony with the spirit of this law, and the only change will be that of the text-books that do not comply with the provisions of the statute. Statistics 1890.-Number of pupils, 66,250; number studying physiology and hygiene, 26,732.


Let the children be taught to form good habits.-State Superintendent Justus Dartt (1886): The startling fact that so large a number of school boys are forming the habit of using tobacco by smoking cigarettes, thus retarding physical development, disordering the nervous system, and weakening their mental power, is a sufficient incentive to all the effort that has been or can be put forth to forearm the children against this evil. Above all things else, let the children be taught to form good habits.


REPORT OF GEORGE H. MARTIN, AGENT OF THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION. [The following report of Mr. Martin was taken from the Massachusetts School Report of 1890-91, pp. 312-326.]

Under the law of 1885,' which requires physiology and hygiene, with special reference to the effects of stimulants and narcotics, to be taught as a regular branch to all pupils in all schools, there is great diversity of practice. I have made it a subject of special inquiry, and have gathered a large amount of material in the form of written papers. These papers have been furnished by the most advanced classes in the grammar schools. The pupils have been asked to write for me what they could recall concerning the effects of alcohol and tobacco on the human body. They were not required to put their names to the papers, so that they wrote without constraint, usually taking all the time they wanted. To judge of the work most intelligently, one should read all the papers; but in this report I can use only enough to illustrate the classes of work, or special features of the instruction. Read with the allowance which all written papers need, they are useful. They are printed as written.

The cities and towns within my inspection may be roughly grouped in four classes: (1) those in which oral instruction is given during three or four years of school, with the use of text-books during the remainder of the course, from four to six years; (2) those using text-books only in the last one or two years, confining all earlier work to oral instruction; (3) those using no text-books, but having regular oral instruction throughout; (4) those having only oral instruction, of an occasional, desultory sort. The first three classes might each be subdivided into those having regular oral and written examinations, and those having none. For the use of the teachers in giving oral instruction one or more books are usually furnished, from which the teachers gather material for talks, or from which they read.

Of the work of the schools in the fourth class, it is perhaps enough to say that it does not meet the requirements of the law. Physiology is to be taught as

1The Massachusetts act of 1885 provides that "physiology and hygiene, which, in both divisions of the subject, shall include special instruction as to the effects of alcoholic drinks, stimulants, and narcotics on the human system, shall be taught as a regular branch of study to all pupils in all schools supported wholly or in part by public money, except special schools maintained solely for instruction in particular branches, such as drawing, mechanics, art, and like studies. All acts or parts of acts relating to the qualifications of teachers in the public schools shall apply to the branch of study prescribed in this act, and all penalties now fixed for neglect to provide instruction in the branches of study now prescribed by law shall apply to this branch of study."

« AnteriorContinuar »