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whole environment—the school machinery, his companions, his books, his play, his daily secular studies. Fortunate indeed is the child with a home strong in moral example and precept, and fortunate the teacher who has under her charge sufficient pupils from such homes to help set the moral tone for the class or the school. All the greater is the need of utilizing to this end in fullest measure every environmental influence connected with a school, if, as usual, it has among its numbers some from homes which are confessedly weak. I can dwell upon but a few of these influences of school environment and their moral effects.

First, the elective system. There is no doubt in the minds of most of us that this is a wise provision in our school system and that it has come to stay. It is based on the valid principle that different individuals have different aptitudes and abilities, and was designed to give those aptitudes freer play. But with the consequent gain there follow dangers. Our old, fixt course had one great asset: it taught pupils to fight and conquer obstacles in such a way that they knew the joy of difficulties overcome; the elective system frequently shows an easy way round the obstacle, allows the pupil to follow the line of least resistance, and leaves him weak and without the spirit of determination. We find naturally capable boys choosing "snap" courses, intended for those of weaker mental caliber, and shunning those which mean hardest work and highest achievement.

Furthermore, the offering of election to pupils of high school age presupposes ability to choose wisely. This assumption, particularly in cases of pupils just passing from elementary to secondary school, is at least a matter of doubt. It would certainly seem advisable to arrange matters so that it would be impossible for a boy turned into a prevocational printing course in the elementary school, presumably because of inability in more scholastic work, to enter high school and elect the most difficult program offered, in preparation for a higher institution of learning! Yet no statement of that boy's weaknesses or strong points, his particular difficulties or probable line of best procedure, came to us, save the conventional report card, nor is the rendering of such a statement, I believe, as yet the established custom in city school systems. As discouragement,

. discontent, cessation of effort and a general antagonism to the whole idea of school is engendered in a boy's mind by the outcome of such an unfortunate choice, I think it can be classed as influencing the boy's moral attitude.

My final criticism of the elective system is that unless under good control it may develop “rolling stones,” pupils with no concentration, shallow and without definite aim.

The old proverb reads, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness." And if it does not lead directly to Godliness, it does lead to increased self-respect and to life on a higher moral plane. Moreover, it is the first lesson needed today in congested city districts, from the standpoint of health as well as of character. No greater error, in my opinion, could be made than to relegate the study of hygiene to some small, outof-the-way portion of the high school program, perhaps allowing it one period a week and that presumably out of deference to state law. Man's most important material possession is his body, and yet how little do we teach concerning it, its working and its care-lessons which every shop girl or factory worker must or should know! We do indeed teach a species of physiology in the grammar school, yet even there the "one-third alcohol" of our textbooks is a common by-word. Such treatment of a live issue, a treatment prescribed in many instances, or followed for the simple reason that all teachers without special training in a subject are of necessity slaves to a textbook in greater or less degree, tends to disgust both teacher and pupils. It is a tremendous piece of distortion. No one believes

a more strongly in temperance or would welcome national prohibition more quickly than I, but constantly to fling denunciations of alcohol at children at an age when instruction in care of the person and of the home is the great need, and the temptation to drink is far away in the future, seems, to say the least, poor policy.

As man's next duty after learning to care for himself is to learn to take his place in the community, so there is no way in which the moral truth that man is his brother's keeper can be more graphically taught, and will be, in my experience, more graciously received, than thru the lessons in public hygiene with their many first-hand illustrations which naturally follow a study of the hygiene of the person. Vaccination, quarantine, sewers, dumps, garbage disposal, clean streets, the fly campaign, pure water, boards of health, the school physician, food laws, parks and playgrounds, all furnish live topics of interest, the study of which teaches the truth that man can not live by and for himself alone.

Hygiene and neatness go hand in hand. A littered house, room or desk can not be kept clean, and personal cleansing leads to pride in personal appearance. It has been my feeling that considerable practical application on this ground could be made within the school building, to the betterment of the tone of the school as well as to the relief of the janitor, without detriment to the health of the pupils. A few minutes a day of service on a "sanitary squad" in inspection of rooms, fighting the fly nuisance, picking up papers, seeing that disposal of waste at the lunch counter is properly attended to by its patrons, might in time create an atmosphere of cleanliness far different from what now obtains in even a comparatively well-rated school. There seems to be an instinctive tendency to regard the picking up of papers and other litter in a schoolroom as some sort of punishment, and to raise an argument as to who put it on the floor. I have little doubt that pupils found guilty of thus dropping papers have been made to pick them upI have used this method myself—but isn't it time that a more positive idea of neatness should be established which should prevent the necessity of much cleaning up, an idea, moreover, which carries impetus enough to spread into the home and is strong enough within the school to relieve the teachers of the greater part of their duties of supervision in this particular direction?

I now pass to what I will characterize as false systems of machinery. These vary in importance from the device of a single teacher to the management of the whole school or even of a great school system. I have in mind a school ruled (the word is used advisedly) by a very well-meaning gentleman who believed in sitting on the safety-valve to keep in the steam. Needless to say, the strain was intense for both teachers and pupils, and the only wonder was that more serious explosions did not occur.

The monitorial system is happily being discarded in most places as being both worthless and unmoral. To place one pupil over others of the same grade can not but encourage tale-bearing, suspicion, jealousy, charges of favoritism and frequent falsehood. Yet I have known of a case within the last ten years where the master went so far as to keep the door to the boys' lavatory locked, and would only allow its use when another boy, no better than the applicant, went down with the key and stayed to lock the door again!

Not long ago, a boy whom I know well came home with a conduct mark which indicated that he was nothing more than passable. The father, being of an inquisitive nature, as well as desirous above all things that his son should do right, wrote to the teacher, asking distinctly whether the cause of the mark was merely an overflow of boyish spirit or malicious mischief and antagonism to teacher or school. The answer came back something after this fashion: "S. marks himself. He does this by reporting when he is out of order. I keep the record of the number of checks reported, deduct 2% for each check and place the result upon the report card.” Dissatisfied with this evasion of the question, the father telephoned to the principal, this time getting an answer to the effect that lack of concentration was the boy's chief fault, that he was manly and truthful, as well as respectful and courteous. From the boy he found that the “checks” were often for such trivial things as borrowing a pencil from a neighbor (without permission) to help in completing his work, accidentally striking the deskiron on rising, thus making "unnecessary noise," and even in the case of one classmate, for doing the wrong example on the blackboard. Having received this information, the parent wrote again, expressing dissatisfaction with the method, and received the following in response to the comment that pupils were not always truthful in reporting themselves: "S., when he told you that children sometimes failed to report, should have told you a pertinent fact which all the children know. It is this: that when a child who has been out of order fails to report it, I deduct two checks, one for the disorder and the other for failing to report.” In view of the fact that teachers are not all-seeing, and that this particular teacher had duties which at times called her out of the room, it seems hard not to interpret this system as one which rewards the pupil at once sly enough in his disorder to avoid detection and dishonest enough to fail to report himself, and, conversely, works to the greatest disadvantage of the pupil who is most conscientious.

Incidentally, this sketch portrays the attitude of many a teacher, -efficient in most ways, but with attention so riveted upon a series of marks as not to be able to look over the top of the mark-book to see the pupil beyond. It is fortunate that this type of school machinery is more often confined to a single room than extended thru an entire building.

By far the most crying evil in its effect upon the morals of pupils today is our common marking system, greatest in its harm alike, because its use is widest spread, because it warps a pupil's whole outlook on life, and because the reports based upon it give the parents an untruthful account of their childrens' school progress. That is a pretty strong arraignment. Before presenting the evidence let me define our common marking system as one in which results of scholarship are exprest in a series of letters, figures or percentages, based upon a standard of passing determined by the work of previous classes or the average work of the class in question.

An oft-quoted remark of Stratton D. Brooks, former superintendent of schools in Boston, runs to the effect that

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