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sports which the young like are usually good for them. We began to perceive that “where no pleasure, there no profit is.” When once we noticed that young men would voluntarily spend an hour and bathe themselves in sweat, simply trying to toss a basketball thru an iron ring, we began to see a light. Here was something the pupil enjoyed, something that interested him, yet something that fulfilled the requirements of a good exercise in that it developed heart and lungs, employed all the muscle groups simultaneously in harmonious activity, stimulated the sweat glands and cleansed the system.

We found the same thing in football. Give a score of young men half a dozen footballs and a spare goal-post, and they will get splendid exercise and lots of fun in punting, drop- and place-kicking.

But we discovered that the type of exercise which aroused the greatest interest, that attracted the largest number of men, was a game or a contest of some kind, something in which a man could match his strength, his speed, his skill or his grit against an opponent. We discovered that in order to compete in such games men would give up smoking, get to bed early, eschew dissipation-get themselves into splendid bodily condition. We discovered that they would tumble over each other to get a chance to play in these games, whereas they had to be dragged into formal gymnastics. Why then force them to a mechanical drill which they loathe and from which they flee with relief the instant the hour is up, when they are not only ready but eager to jump into games that result in splendid physical development and at the same time develop traits of character valuable in the struggle for existence!

No courage is required to push a dumb-bell up fifty times; no courage is developed in doing it. Courage is required to tackle a man on the gridiron and courage is developed in the doing of it. No initiative is required to squat fifty times, but initiative is constantly needed and developed in baseball and basketball. A certain kind of nerve is needed for the giant swing, flyaway, etc., but nerve

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of a higher type is needed to stick to the finish in a hard

race.

In this way

Athletic games are coming more and more to displace formal gymnastics. It may be football, baseball, basketball, soccer, sprinting, hurdling, pole-vaulting, weightputting, or what not. A man takes his choice or tries them all. Wherever put he is clast with others of like ability, so that besides the fun he has a chance to win. his interest is maintained and as long as a man is interested you can get good work out of him.

Who cares whether a man has symmetrical development or not if his heart and lungs are sound, his body strong and

tive, and his character strengthened by many a tough scrimmage, many a hard race or tight game? We know that he has stored up vitality for the years to come and we do not care whether each leg measures twenty inches or not-for we know that it makes no difference in his future

career.

A distinctly American system of physical training is in process of development, a system adapted to the character and temperament of American youth. It prescribes exercises that develop judgment, initiative, force and that furnish pleasurable activity. Instead of exercising each group of muscles in turn and carefully counting the number of times a man thrusts a dumb-bell up with his right arm and with his left, it employs all muscle groups simultaneously. Instead of developing ox-like strength in back, arms and shoulders, it develops all-around strength, grace and agility.

It is doing this thru the medium of athletic sports and games, adapting the prescription for each man to his physique and temperament and classifying men according to weight, strength and skill. The range of athletic activity is so wide that suitable exercises for individuals of every class are readily found. The heavy, powerful man becomes a line-man in football or a weight man; the lithe active man, a sprinter, jumper, baseball or basketball player; the man of average weight and build fits into any one of a score of places.

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I believe that this system is destined to become universal in this country. It is still in the formative stage. But the principle upon which it rests, the principle of pleasurable activity and competitive individual development of character as well as physique, commends itself to college men and to an ever-increasing number of physical educators. In method and ideal it parallels the physical training of the ancient Greeks. Grace, agility, force, daring, a combination of physical prowess with forceful traits of character is its ideal, as it was the ideal of the Greek. It solves the most difficult problem the physical director has to face, that of interesting his pupils, and it is developing a race of virile young men.

C. E. HAMMETT ALLEGHENY COLLEGE

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· HOME WORK FOR ELEMENTARY PUPILS Shall we have home work, or shall we not have home work? Indeed, as Hamlet declared at the beginning of his immortal soliloquy, “That is the question.” Of late there has been much discussion of this important problem of school administration among educators. Frequently the principals of schools in the same neighborhood have different views about the matter, and it often happens, especially when a principal is careless or inefficient, that teachers in the same school are permitted to exercise varying policies in the assignment of home work.

A glance at the following quotations will show that the writers of textbooks on school management generally agree that such work has decided advantages:

"We should demand a proper amount of home study.

“The ordinary parent is quite willing that his child study at home."'2

“With parental care and a home training of the best kind, home work should be the rule."'3

"Parents should see that certain hours are set apart for home study."

"The very requirement of such exercises (in home work) results in gain both to the children and to the home.''5

But the authorities are not unanimous on this subject, and some educational writers have quite a different opinion. The following quotations are representative of this point of view:

1 Professor Samuel T. Dutton, School management, p. 172.
2 Dr. Charles B. Gilbert, The school and its life, p. 220.
3 Collar and Crook, School management, p. 5.
4 Dr. Levi Seeley, School management, p. 162.

6 Superintendent Arthur C. Perry, Jr., The management of a city school, p. 158.

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“A word of caution about home work will not be out of place. For the most part, school tests should be done in school."6

“I am definitely of the opinion that school work should be done in school, and that the school days should be made long enough and numerous enough to permit all school work to be done during regular school hours, so that the children may have their evenings and holidays free from the burden of school work.”

A careful investigation of the rules adopted in various places for the regulation of home work shows a wide divergence of practise. In some cities the teachers are given full freedom as to the kind and amount of home work which may be assigned. In Sacramento, California, however, home work has been abolished. The superintendent believes that to know how to study is more important than to know how to recite, and that this part of a child's training should be accomplished under the direct supervision of the teacher, and should not be left to the home, where conditions are, for the most part, unfavorable.

The plan of adding extra study periods during school hours has been adopted to avoid the necessity for home study. 8

In many cities there have been increasing protests against the amount of home study required of children. Even in high schools, this has become evident. Dr. David B. Corson, assistant superintendent of schools of Newark, says: “The changing conditions in our social life and the increasing demands upon students caused a well-defined public sentiment against what came to be called too much home work!"9 In order to correct this evil, in the high schools, he suggested that the study periods be lengthened or that the teacher be enabled to give more individual help to each pupil. Owing to the number of courses that have to be crowded into a few hours the first suggestion is

& Kendall and Merick, How to teach the fundamental subjects, p. 200. 7 Honorable P. P. Claxton, United States Commissioner of Education.

8 Semi-annual report, July 1, 1915—Dr. Albert Shiels, Bureau of Reference and Research, City of New York.

• Annual report, Newark, N. J., 1913-14.

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